On May 1st, Labor Day, which was a major holiday, my friend, Veronika, and I decided to take a quick trip out of Chengdu to do something and get some fresh air. I don’t know much about Chengdu and what surrounds it, but luckily she knows a lot of things and so she said we should check out this pretty temple just outside of Chengdu. I woke up super early and grabbed the first train in the morning at 6:17 and I was off to meet her at the transfer stop for both of us. We rode the subway for another 30 minutes or so before we took a little bus for 45 minutes out to Longquan. You would think that first thing in the morning many people would not be on the bus, but I forgot that when you take the tiny buses that head into the villages there tends to be many elderly people on the morning buses. They wake up early to do what they need to do, so they are returning about the time we were arriving.
It was nice watching the high-rise buildings disappear and give way to green forests and small buildings on the main roads. We got off the bus and are first order of business was to buy some incense for the temple. We bought the incense and off we went to the temple, I can’t remember the price to enter, but it was under a dollar.
So we went in and began exploring the temple. Since it was the first thing in the morning there were not too many people at the temple yet, which is a good thing. Normally, when you travel somewhere in Asia during a national holiday, everyone else is traveling and many people are probably headed to the same place as you. I encountered this a lot in Korea, and my friends have told me it is the same for China.
This monastery was really interesting and I really loved watching all the incense and candles burn as people made their offerings. I wondered whether the candle wax gets cleaned or does it stay until more candles are burned? I have a curious mind so maybe I think of the silly questions.
There were some beautiful stone stupas in the temple as well, which I thought was interesting because it is a Chinese buddhist temple and I wasn’t expecting them.
But that was not the only surprise! As we meandered slowly through the rest of the temple we came across a building that had Tibetan written on it, as well as Sanskrit.
Inside there was a large intricately carved wooden statue which was beautiful and it
seemed to encompass how this one spot in particular in the monastery was different.
I later learned the reason there was Tibetan writing prayer wheels present in this one area was because the great Tibetan buddhist master, Tsongkhapa, had stayed in the monastery for a while.
Towards the end we sat down for some tea for a little while relaxed and enjoyed the atmosphere. It was really nice getting out of the city for even just half a day. To breathe in that fresh air and to just spend time in nature was just what I needed to recharge.