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TechnoTourist Visits China: Shanghai

Posted July 04, 2013 9:00 AM by SwissMiss
Pathfinder Tags: China Shanghai travel

Shanghai is the last city that TechnoTourist visited in China. With one of the largest populations in the world, Shanghai is a global center for commerce and culture. Though Shanghai is overflowing with modern entertainment, visitors can also enjoy the rich history that the city has to offer. This week TechnoTourist will describe three major historical sites in and around Shanghai. Also check out TechnoTourist's adventures in Beijing, Xi'an, and Guilin.

Jade Buddha

In Xi'an, I visited the Da Ci'en Buddhist Temple. In Shanghai, I visited the Jade Buddha Temple. This temple was founded in 1882 for the purpose of storing two jade Buddha statues that were brought to Shanghai from Burma. Unfortunately, the original temple was destroyed, but it was rebuilt in 1928. The temple now also contains a large reclining Buddha statue that is made of marble.

The Temple of the Jade Buddha has many structures, but the three main sites to see are the Grand Hall, the Jade Buddha Chamber, and the Hall of the Four Heavenly Kings. The Grand Hall contains many statues, including the Three Golden Buddha. The Jade Buddha Chamber contains the 1.9m-high sitting Jade Buddha, the namesake of the temple. It costs a little bit extra to see the sitting Jade Buddha, but it is well worth it. Unfortunately, no photographs are allowed.

The Hall of the Four Heavenly Kings was my favorite part of the temple. It contains statues of the East King, South King, West King, and North King. The kings protect Buddhism and the temple itself. Each king performs different duties and holds a different weapon. Respectively, the kings: offer music with a deadly musical instrument, promote kindness while holding a lethal sword, keep watch over society with the company of a dangerous water-spouting dragon, and provide blessings while holding a magical storm-conjuring parasol.

Yu Garden

One of the most beautiful places I visited in all of China was the Yu (Yuyuan) Garden. The name translates to the 'garden of happiness'. In 1559, Pan Yunduan thought to build a garden to comfort his elderly father Pan En, who was a government official during the Ming Dynasty. Much like other historical places in China, the Yu Garden has suffered extensive damage since it was originally built. The garden that visitors see today is a restoration from 1956.

The Yu Garden contains several pavilions, halls, rockeries, and ponds. There are endless opportunities for beautiful pictures, no matter what the weather is like. To me, one of the most interesting features of the Yu Garden is the Exquisite Jade Rock. Standing at about 3.3 meters, the rock is a natural oddity. If water is poured over the rock, the water will flow out of all of the rock's 72 naturally-formed holes. They also say that if incense is burned below the rock, smoke will emerge from each hole as well, which must be quite an amazing sight.

Tiger Hill Pagoda

The last place I visited on my trip to China was a city called Suzhou, which is about an hour and a half west of Shanghai. It was there that I saw the Tiger Hill (Yunyan) Pagoda. The legend behind the name of the scenic location states that an ancient king was buried on this hill, which had a different name at the time. Three days after the burial, a white tiger appeared on the hill looking as though he was the protector of the tomb.

The pagoda is located towards the top of the hill. Originally completed in 961 AD, it is a 48-meters-tall brick structure with seven octagonal stories. The tower has a very noticeable 3.5 degree lean to the north due to an unstable foundation that was originally half rock and half soil. It is nicknamed the Leaning Tower of China, though it was constructed more than 200 years prior to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In 1957, the Tiger Hill Pagoda was reinforced with concrete to prevent further leaning.

I hope you enjoyed following the TechnoTourist to China. Be sure to comment if you have been to any other great Chinese attractions.

References

Jade Buddha

Yu Garden

Tiger Hill Pagoda

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Guru

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 1993
Good Answers: 25
#1

Re: TechnoTourist Visits China: Shanghai

07/05/2013 7:13 AM

I think you missed large lying Budha at Bangkok. It is long statue of Budha in lying position.

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