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Posts tagged: Wang Dynasty

Mountains and Mansions

I know that I’m pretty late in posting this. But since Photobucket has been MIA for a few days I just put off posting things that need pictures.

SO: We climbed a mountain last Sunday. It was one of the better day trips that we’ve taken. Speaking of, I was ‘taken’ with all of the interesting paths, bridges, creeks, waterfalls, and pagodas.


The mountain was about an hour away from Huo Zhou by bus. When we got to the foot hills, we were broken into two groups; Fast and Slow. However, these turned into “Those that want to actually climb a mountain” and “Whining babies.”

We made it to the first landing where there was a beautiful old pagoda painted orange and overlooking the parking lot and onward toward the city.

Orange Pagoda

The clouds/smog/fog was pretty thick so visibility was low. But it made the mountain seem taller than it really was; as if we were thousands of feet up in this mysterious abandoned city. There was also a temple on the same landing with multiple buddha that people were purchasing incense and lighting it depending on their prayers.

After that, we continued our journey skyward to find ourselves an hour and a half later stopped at a waterfall for a snack.

The night before, we had purchased a bunch of things from a bakery in town. The best find was this almost black bread that turned out to be sweet and delicious. It was gone before we had time to think about saving any for the “slow” group.

From there, only Righteous Ross, Tenacious Thomas, and myself continued on. For about another 30 minutes we followed the mountain stream up and up towards an unknown destination. At one point there was only a chain and some poles to grab onto that led us over some slippery rocks and I was sure that coming down I would be a cat up a tree; Wanting to reach the top and then not knowing how to return to the safe grass below. But to my surprise, I only slipped once and it was on a staircase of all places.

We never made it to the top. Although after returning to the bottom, we were informed that the “top” would have taken many hours to reach and really wasn’t meant for day climbers. So, even though we eventually just had to turn around, I really enjoyed being outside. The air on the mountain was so much cleaner than anything in the city.

Pat yourself on the back LA; At least you’re not China.

I think that besides all of my American cravings, I’m really just looking forward to fresh air, clean water, and healthy food.

As for food, the picture below depicts this amazing dish that we’ve had a few times. It has yams that have been candied with caramelized sugar. The sugar hardens by the time it reaches the table so they serve it with a bowl of water. Once you’ve mastered breaking off a piece with your 筷子 (Kuàizi/Chopsticks) you submerge the delicacy in the water to soften the sugars again. It’s very delicious.

The other day trip we took was to a mansion from the Wang dynasty. This ‘mansion’ was more like an entire walled city. There was half used for entertaining government officials and another half dedicated to living. The two were separated by this bridge.

Imagining being a member of the Wang family was surreal because you would never leave this paradise that they called home. Everything you would ever need either already existed inside the walls, or would be brought to your feet immediately if you asked.

Wang Mansion

We wandered through the small city and found our way through different courtyards. All of them had very specific names. Such as the Peace and Meditation garden or the Divine Knowledge courtyard.

Afterwards this photo was taken out of necessity to remember all of the construction that was going on right outside of the walls.


There were new apartments and stores being built in this mess of a town. Nothing was finished and there appeared to be no end in sight. Yet things are still being built. That seems to be a recurring theme for most cities in China. Everything is promised just around the corner, but we have yet to see a completed town.

Currently, I’m writing in my room in 大同 (Da Tong). Tomorrow we’ll be seeing the Buddha Paintings in the morning and the Hanging Monastery in the afternoon.

Now it’s time for sleep. Until 明天。。。