Monday, June 12, 2006

Dafo!

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Sunday we decided to do a little day trip to Leshan, home of the Dafo. The Dafo is listed in the Rough Guide to China as a must see and is also a UNESCO site. I have to agree I totally agree with that, if not for the Buddha, but for the beautiful park the Buddha sits in.

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We did a ton of walking and most of the walking was up and down stairs. We couldn't take the stroller with us so Angus was on Jonny's shoulders most of the time. Gemma was an absolute trooper and probably walked 5 miles! She did fall once and scrape her shin, but she was a star!

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Crouching Tiger, Little Dragon?

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We were pleasantly surprised by all of the beautiful scenary in the park. They had a little koi pond and sold fish food so we could feed the fish. Here we are trying to get the fish to jump out of the water to get their food.

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We unfortunately didn't get a chance to see the entire Buddha, just his head. There was a huge line to get down to his feet, but we thought it would take more than an hour to do so. We knew we would be back, so we just took a few snap shops of his head. Everyone was trying to touch the Buddha's ear for some reason, I decided to give him some lip service!

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Gemma and Mommy with the Buddha.

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Angus doing his best impression of a Chinese man! Most Chinese people just squat where ever they are when they are tired. I have seen people hope on the escalator at the supermarket and just immediately squat. I find this position quite uncomfortable, but obviously Angus doesn't mind.

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Here is a picture of Gemma and Jonny with a statue of the sculptor and monk, Haitong who created the Dafo. Haitong began the project in 713 AD to protect passing boats from danger. The monk lived in a cave behind Dafo's head and when a local official threatened to blind Haitong unless he could take a cut of the funds, the monk gouged his own eyes out to prove his sincerity. The project was only completed in AD 803 after his death.

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Here is Jonny and the kids in a traditional Chinese door called a moon gate.

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Here are just a few pictures of the beautiful scenary inside the park. I am definitely coming back again!

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Notice the look on Jonny's face as Angus pulls his ears!

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There was also another Buddha carved in the opposite side of the mountain from Dafo. It is called the Sleeping Buddha and is 170 feet long. When Jonny went to work today he told some of his Chinese co-workers about this and they said that it didn't exsist. I clearly saw it and I think you will be able to see the Buddha's face. Remember he is sleeping, so his head is sideways.

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Here was one of the beautiful temples inside the park.

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A family shot!

I have to say this was the best site seeing trip I have taken so far in China. I will definitely be bringing friends and family to this place. There are tons of photo opportunities and it feels very Chinese, but without the spitting and smoking!

5 comments:

Dan and Madeline said...

Leshan looks awesome!! I am entranced by Buddhas. I wonder why Jonny's coworkers deny the existence of the Sleeping Buddha, it looks extremely obvious to me. Maybe he can show them a picture. The weather there looks very temperate. Our summer has been mild, at least compared to last year! Kim, I have to say, I'm totally addicted to your blog.
Take care, Madeline
PS We do not have your email address. Can you send Dan an email with it? We have some pictures to send you.

Cacti to Cornfields said...

Hot diggity that's a big Buddha head! Reminds me of someone I used to date. :-( heehee.

Love the far away "forest view" shot of the temple through the trees - beautiful!

Tracy said...

It looks like a amazing garden. Just beautiful! Is angus liking Gymboree? I can't believe how much he has changed. And Miss Gemma is looking so much more grown up.

Jill said...

That park is so beautiful. I do see the sleeping budda. That's funny that they didn't know it was there. That budda is huge. Did you actually get to touch it? You all look so great and healthy.

PJS said...

I never realized the Bhudda had such a large face. No wonder he was famous!