The Qianling Mountain Park Adventure
Trip Start Jan 01, 2005
761Trip End Ongoing
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Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,
The Beach Boys!
Of all the places to hear the Beach Boys!
I just sat down in DICOS with my coffee and on came California Girls. I wonder if they do requests, I might ask if they have any Foo Fighters or maybe Venom’s 'At War With Satan’. Now that would be a real treat as I haven’t heard that for over ten years and have never found it on CD.
Monkeys, Monkeys bloody Monkeys!
Filthy, thieving little buggers were everywhere!
Scratching their nuts in public, eating each other’s fleas, being all aggressive and stuff and seriously scaring the absolute hell out of young children and their mothers by chasing after them and stealing their water bottles. Flocks, droves and even herds of kids could be seen running for their lives to find protection from their mother who sadly/funnily on most occasions had a water bottle in her hand also and was soon racing down the road dragging her child behind.
Argh, it wasn’t that bad but it paints the picture.
I’m thinking that below all ‘warning signs’ such as ‘smoking causes cancer’ or ‘don’t play with fire’ we should also add, ‘don’t carry a water bottle around monkeys’. I’m serious, as I was walking along the road I could see monkeys swinging in the tree’s and mothers with little babies on their backs and I’d stop and wipe a tear away and say;
Oh look, a sweet little monkey!
Oh how cute, look at the little baby monkey!
I was then racing down the road swinging my water bottle around being chased by a rabid and snarling monkey. I honestly had no idea what to do and questions such as ‘I wonder what happens to you in China if you get caught spanking the monkey in public (tee hee)? If I hurt the monkey will I be put in prison or be deported. Seriously for its size this thing had fangs the size of Cujo’s and they were still dripping with blood after eating its last victim and even worse it was still carrying the corpse of half of the child’s mother.
Just joking mate!
It only had her left foot to finish…hahaha!
Prior to all that and many hours before I was found at the hotel reception asking what bus would take me from the corner of Dusi Lu andRuijin Lu in a northern direction all the way to Qianling Mountain Park. After catching Bus No: 36 (you can also catch Bus No: 2 from the train station area) I was there in what seemed like only a matter of minutes.
If may have been only minutes but each one took me closer to The Monkeys of Death!
Situated on Qianling Hill one and a half kilometers from the center of Guiyang City, can be found peaceful Qianling Mountain Park. It was first built in 1957 and its name was derived from the Qianling Mountain which is the most famous mountain in the southern Guizhou area and it boasts clear waters, green mountains, tranquil forests and even and old temple
I’d like to tell you how much the park cost but after a small situation with a disrespectful chubby Chinese guy and his wife I put my money into my wallet and walked off in a huff.
OK then I’ll tell you…I was buying my ticket and the ticket lady was getting both my ticket and change and this dumbass from behind me continually pushed is money through the window and in my ear shouted how many tickets he wanted. She kept pushing his money back out the window telling him to wait his turn and after this happed several times I grabbed his money, screwed it into a ball and threw it as far as I could.
She said thank you and I said no worries mate.
He wasn’t happy but everyone else was smiling.
The entrance to the park was beautiful and you’re greeted by a small yet elegant picturesque bridge to stop and admire before moving on…..that is if you’re single…..if you’re a couple you will have to wait your turn for your happy snap.
My first port of call was to take a cool stroll through the tunnel that takes you through Qianling Mountain to Qianling Lake where I spent a wonderful half an hour walking beneath the shade offered by the gentle willows saying my day’s quota of ‘Hellows’. Like a local I sat for a while on the ornately decorated bridge that not long before filled my view across the green waters that until 1954 (when it was dammed) was once Daluo Spring.
I then slowly followed the footsteps of a lone Monk upwards towards Hongfu Temple.
The silent scene soon turned into a one that could easily have been in a Hong Kong Kungfu movie. As women and children (and myself for that matter) quickly scattered from the Macaque Monkey’s he continued his silent journey being ignored by the Monkeys of Death and arrived at the temple with water bottle still in hand. During my journey I watched as the scattered families re-grouped to open yet another water bottle for the monkeys to drink from;
That was until they became greedy and wanted the entire bottle to themselves.
That’s when they morphed into a more King Kong like creature and bared their teeth.
Hongfu Temple was originally built in 1667 and is the largest temple of Zen Buddhism in Guizhou Province. 'Hongfu' is Chinese for 'good fortune', which is an apt name for the temple considering its history. It was in 1667 when Chisong, a monk during the Ming Dynasty founded the temple it was little more than a small hut. Chisong though was determined that it should become a revered shrine and through his persistence many local officials gave their support and it soon became the most important Buddhist temple in the area.
Upon entering the first buildings you will see are the Bell and Drum Towers.
The bronze bell weighs around three and a half thousand pounds and was cast in 1469 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The rest of the temple is pretty much a normal Buddhist Temple with carved statues of Maitreya Buddha and the four Heavenly Kings, steles of sutra along with huge paintings. The most beautiful feature of the temple are the gilded statues along with a jade Buddha statue that is from Rangoon, the capital of Burma which is one and a half meters tall and weighs nearly two thousand pounds.
While walking around the temple I came across a young girl who called herself Annie.
When I met her she was staring at the money that sat at the bottom of one of the Good Luck Wells and from what I can gather she lives either at the temple or somewhere near the temple. She somewhat adopted me and led me around the temple telling me things that I didn’t understand but I did understand that she has no parents and likes to look at the money through the water. I offered her some money to buy food but she declined and said she was happy to look at the ‘water money’.
Or at least I think that’s what she was saying.
Either way she was full of smiles and was more than happy to chirp away beside me.
After saying my goodbyes to Annie and her friend I made my way to the bottom of the small mountain and headed across to the Macaque Garden where around five hundred Macaque Monkeys live but as I’d had enough of monkeys for the day I quickly retraced my steps and then headed across to visit the Kylin Cave. After meeting a friendly student from Fujian I found out that the cave has a bit of history. Chiang Kai-Shek, the leader of Chinese Nationalist Party captured the patriotic generals Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng at the cave during the War of Resistance against Japan and soon after the cave became their prison.
Amongst stalactites of various shapes hanging inside, there is a huge one weighed down like a kylin, a beast symbolising auspice in China, giving the cave its present name.
After leaving the Mountain Park I slowly made my way down the small yet very busy street at the park’s entrance. Here I sat for an amazing snack of finely chopped fresh vegetables along with assorted other things such as small noodles and finely chopped meats that you wrap into a thin pita type bread. Just as I began to fill my first tiny wrap the girl across from me asked where I was from with an American accent. Over what are known as ‘Baby Wraps’ (because they look like a baby wrapped in winter blankets) I found out that her and her boyfriend have been living in California for the past eight years.
As we wrapped our fresh veggie babies we all agreed that what lay before us in all of its simplicity was one of the best meals we had eaten since we all left our mother lands!
Beers N Noodles toya…..shane
The soundtrack to this entry was by World Party
The album was ‘Dumbing Up’