Saturday, May 31, 2008

Arch bridge

This picture is shoot around the West Lake on Nanshan Rd. I don't know the name of this arch bridge. I like this photo because it seems so peaceful and fresh. With willow trees hanging over the West Lake, the arch bridge looks like a shy girl hiding behind willow trees.
PS: Willow tree is my favourite tree, so what's yours?

Friday, May 30, 2008

North or South?

Photo taken at Gong-chen Bridge.

To the south, the canal stretches its way to the heart of this city, heading towards Beijing; to the north, this is where this great canal ends (in the last post).
Which side do you prefer, north or south? I love this one(south) more.
I need a few days to deal with my papers, my partner will continue blogging.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

View on The Great Canal

The buildings on the right side is the goverment building and district court of the Gong-shu area, the place I live now, and you see the Water Bus(off work, so no light on) in the canal? This is one of our transportation tools, it can take you to the downtown area of Hangzhou. So it is a really good alternative for cars.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

United Rural Cooperative Bank

This is the building of United Rural Cooperative Bank of Hangzhou, Gong-chen Branch.
There has been a recent trend of rural banks moving to urban areas and urban banks moving to rural areas, another good example is Standard Chartered Bank's settlement in the rural areas of China, a strong rival in the rural finance campain.
PS: The door looks to me a little bit like a church, donno why.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

West Lake

West Lake, known as "the pearl" in Hangzhou, is surrounded by mountains in three sides. Around the West Lake, people can find many Chinese Tranditional achitectures, like pavilions, stelas etc. and some of which have been exsisting for more than hundreds of years. As you can see, the plant in the lake is the Lotus without blossoming. Lotus is regarded as a sacred flower, for in Buddhism, the appearence of Buddas is alway accompanied with Lotus as their pedestals. The sculpture in the lake portrays a picture of a woman plucking Lotus.
PS. If you ask me what people are doing in the pavilion, I have to say"Only if they are not washing their feet is everything fine." :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

TaiZiwan Park

Taiziwan park is regarded as one of the most beautiful parks in Hangzhou. Featuring by its beautiful scene in different seasons, Taiziwan Park attracts tens of hundreds couples to shoot their wedding photoes here(just as the couple in the center of the photo). Every year from Mar. to Apr., the park will hold the Tulip Exhibition, which makes the park more attractive than ever.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Three Years On

This is the same bridge as the one in the last post,now three years have gone, can you recognize it?

Some modern features have been added to it, a traffic light and some luminares, while the antiqueness still well-retained as four stone sculptures of "Baxia", in Chinese myths, one of the nine sons of Dragon King, also added.(I know dragon is synonymous with demons in some cultures, but here in China, the opposite is true.)

In that myth, it is said that Baxia can keep the Grand Canal away from natural disarsters and marine accidents.

I took lots of photos but chosed this one because I love the comparison between the moving cargo ship and this static old bridge.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gong Chen Bridge

Happy Thursday:) Take a look at this, I have to tell you this is indeed an amazing bridge.

Stretching across the Grand Canal, Gongchen Bridge has a history of 377 years, that is to say, it was first built during the reign of emperor Congzhen in the Ming Dynasty. It has gone through several wars and reconstruction, this photo was actually taken before the latest repair in August 2005, and I'll show you a photo of its current condition tomorrow or maybe next week .

As you can see, it has three bridge spans, the one in the middle is 15.8 meters in diameter while the adjacent two 11.9 meters.

1631 AC, no wonder they say that it can bring you to a period beyond living memory.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Night View Of ShangTang Rd

I didn't go to sleep until 3am this morning and this photo shows that I'm not alone, but since when did Hangzhou become a city that doesn't go to sleep as well?
Gotta take a nap now, my poor eyes must look like two balloons.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hungry Kids

We were at a poorly-conditioned animal relief center ( No.471, Shi Xiang Road) last Sunday, these cats and dogs haven't been able to eat anything for quite a long time, and our arrival really cheered them up.
So much cheering that might be too much. All the dogs rushed to this poor girl with a bag of Dog Chew, look at her frightened face....
Me and my roommate said we may go there again sometime in the future, but this girl in the photo, as you can imagine, got too scared to say "Me Too".


This photo was taken at Xinyi Fang, a newly built commercial street. This is a cuisine corner. So many people love it.
I miss the lobster there. Gotta go..

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Backyard of Buddha's House----SR Temple(7)

We toured around the temple and discovered this unworldly peaceful backyard. There's nobody around, the scene just impressed us on its rich color. The one-storey wooden house(behind the garden) homes dozens of monks who lead a tranquil life inside this 1600-year-old temple.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"CHAN"-----SR Temple(6)

This is the Chinese Character of "Chan", a sect of Buddhism cognate to Zen in Japanese Language. Photo taken in SR Temple.

Lotus---SR Temple(5)

Stepping into Soul's Retreat Temple, we saw lots of Lotus-shaped stuff, that's because Lotus is considered to be the symbol of Guanyin(the buddha as you can see in the last post). This is a facility for drinking water(What do you call this in English? You native speakers must know, I'm really curious about its name.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Luck Rilievo----------SR Temple(4)

This verdict rilievo inside the temple is much like those good-luck fountains in Rome, people tossing coins onto it, the only difference is it's really difficult to keep your coins on this verdict wall, I tossed 10 Yuan, but.... should have change them into 100 cents and then toss them together, there must be one got in.
(In the second photo) you believe these two coins were tossed into it? I don't..

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cross Our Fingers------SR Temple(3)

I just heard the shocking news of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Sichuan, nearly 900 students were buried as two primary school buildings collapsed. I'll cross my fingers for them..

This photo was taken within the temple, I almost got caught when I took the photo because normally it's not allowed to take photos inside the temple. This statue of Guanyin(aka Avalokitesvara) stands about 15 meters high, but the wall in the back is much more magnificent, rises over 30 meters high with 108 arhats sculptured on it.
May Guanyin and Arhats bless those in Sichuan.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Twist In History-----SR Temple(2)

First and fore most: Happy Mother's Day!

This is the front door of Soul's Retreat Temple(SR Temple,aka Lingyin Temple),but it was closed when we got there, you might wonder why, well, will you be surprised if I tell you this door, this magnificent front door, has been closed for years and all the tourists are only allowed to enter the temple through the side-gate, unless you are the emperor or the head of states. I heard the last time that it fully opened was for Chairman Mao's arrival, and even the highly-admired Premier Chou(aka Zhou Enlai) was greeted by a semi-opened gate.'s really picky,right?

But this gate was not closed until the secret visit of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty, here's a really interesting story, I don't know if it's true but that's what we were told by the tourist guide.
It took me almost an hour to translate this story, still, it's pretty sketchy and poorly organized. But I'd like to take it as a gift for my mom and all the moms who see this story. May Buddha bless you~
During Emperor Qianlong's secret inspection tour(trip intended to inspect the livelihood of his people without informing any people of his arrival) in the southern China, Emperor Qianlong visited the SR temple at midnight, as you can imagine, all the monks had slept except a gatekeeper, and the front gate was closed with only a side-gate open for midnight lodgers.

Without knowing whom he's talking to, the gatekeeper refused to open the front gate for Qianlong and told the emperor the door would not open even if the epmeror was here.

Being the emperor of this country, Emperor Qianlong should, by no means, walk the side-door.
Without any alternatives, however, Emperor Qianlong, took the side path and the next day he made up a decent excuse to save his face, asking the leader of the temple to shut down the front door(aka the east gate) lest the divinity atmosphere of this temple(located in the eastern China) leak from this east gate.

There are two other occasions for the open of the front gate, one is the birthday of Avalokitesvara(a buddha), the other is the shuffling of the temple leader.

And it is considered to be a great great luck if you happen to be there the day it opens.^^

Friday, May 9, 2008

"On The Way To Heaven"--SR Temple(1)

We have to leave our cars here and take the scary cable car( Do I have to? Look at the mountains behind!)
Or,you may depend on your feet. (Thank goodness...)
On my way to heaven...

These four characters, I'm not so sure about the translation, but basically mean "one foot below heaven", indicating that you are very close to heaven when you get there. (This photo was taken at last summer, it's actually a rainy day today, but it seeems the rain stopped when I left the temple.)

I thought two posts should be enough to cover all the things about this old temple, but I was wrong. With a history of 1600-odd years, Soul's Retreat Temple is definitely not something you can get in a few words.

I took lots of photos this afternoon but I'm not gonna upload them all. Still, you should take a look at this amazing temple, and I'll spend the whole week introducing the temple, so if interested, you may come again in a few days, I believe there'll be a relatively complete introduction by then.

Lights Up For U

This photo was taken at the park near my home. This is a ramp, and as you can see, the handrails for the disabled, actually there are dozens of such disabled access products in my neighbourhood, but that doesn't mean we have a lot of disabled men around, instead, it shows a very human design.
P.S. Weather is really getting strange, it's so easy for us to get a cold, so pls pls take care of yourself.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Inner Design

As I said in the last post that you have to walk along the path to discover the garden piece by piece, that is because another important feature of Chinese gardens is that no one point gives an overall view of the garden, that it is made up of more or less isolated sections which are connected by stone bridges(as u can see in the first photo) or pavilions (also can see behind those trees).
This introduction is far from comprehensive, should u have any questions, leave it here. I'd be glad to help.^^
PS: Next post will be about Soul's Retreat Temple and you will see the photos on Saturday.
Have a nice weekend

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Where Does It Lead?

Remember the two photos yesterday? Ok, I just think it might be needed to introduce you the typical structure of a Jiang-nan garden.
This is one of its lead-in pathes, normally 20-50 meters stretch and as you walk along the path, you'll discover the mystery of this garden piece by piece.
I still remember my trip in Suzhou, and the gardens there are really exquisitely designed, typical of Jiangnan Garden. No wonder everytime I walk past this garden I feel kind of deja vu.
The interior structure will be posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Can't Stop The Sun

"Can't stop the sun from shining
down and down and down..."

"Nothing is certain except death and taxes",ok, here's one more: spring has gone even before we noticed, 37 celsius today, 34 yesterday. Where is my spring...
This is a corner of a typical Jiangnan garden (gardens in the southern reaches of the Yangtze river), actually it's one of my favourite haunts. Located in the Gong-shu District, it's always the best place for me to get away from the endless sunshine.. and you see the green duckweed floating on the pond that creats the effect of a green blanket? I love it..but I gotta tell u that never try to stare at them for more than 1 minute, because u'll get dazzled and then everything u see turns red.*.* They are really on a rampage growth recently..probably because there's no duck around, ahaha..

Monday, May 5, 2008

Osmanthus----The City Flower

Yes, this is osmanthus, the city flower of Hangzhou. It's beautiful, isn't it? This photo must have been taken within last fall, because osmanthus prefer Autumn or Summer as their best season to blossom. Another feature of this flowering plant is its amazing smell. I have to tell u I cannot love its fragrancy more. It's sooooooooo sweet.
The city gov hold "Westlake Osmanthus Festival" annually, so it'll be great if u can come and see by yourself. Btw, it can be used as medicine when people drink it as tea combining dried osmanthus and typical black or green tea leaves, it will be better for your appetite, it also serves as expectorants, antitussives and drugs for relieving dyspnea without any side-effects, of course the medical effect could have a lag and slow to come.
Monday again, gotta pull myself together. Wish u a good Monday.
ohya.. I forgot sth: Happy Cinco De Mayo~

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Das Grüne Geschenk Cross My Path

If it weren't for this heavy storm, I could have been in Soul's Retreat Temple now(an amazing Buddhist temple, very famous in the Yangtze Delta region). But now it's raining cats and dogs out there. So..m sorry you can't see the amazing view of that temple, but that's ok, I'll make it up for u next weekend.
This photo was taken on my way home, the transparent emerald green makes me feel refreshed, this kind of plants are ubiquitous across Hangzhou, bacause they are the typical green belt plant, but they don't look so nice under the scorching sun, so I assume that's an unexpected gift for all the people who caught in the storm. ^.^

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Glad To Back

Fast-pace Shanghai
Laid-back Hangzhou
It's always interesting to shuttle between the two cities because you can switch easily from a fast-pace job to a laid-back rest, and vice versa.

Friday, May 2, 2008

West Lake Sunset

Happy May Day Holiday~ This is one of the most typical photos of Westlake, a beautiful symbol of this city. It's the best place to go if you want to stay away from urban anxiety. More photos will be posted about the lake.

NO matter what you are going through, keep a good feeling everyday.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Night View Of The City

Photo donated by HZ Car Club