Posts Tagged With: biking

Exploring Kunming: Biking to the Bamboo Temple

For my day off, my friend and I decided to bike to the Bamboo Temple(筇竹寺), which is located west of the city, north of West Mountain (西山). We headed west and hit the third ring road. We started biking down south and on the way passed another temple, Guanyin Pavilion (观音阁). It was a temple dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin. We took a break to check it out.


Guan Yin Pavilion (观音阁) on Third Ring Road


Buddha Hall

After walking around the small temple, we continued biking down the third ring road until we found a small road that seemed to climb the mountain on the right. This must be the windy road up to the Bamboo Temple! We biked and hiked up for an hour or so before we finally reached it. We paid a small fee to enter the facilities. The Bamboo Temple is famous for being placed within a bamboo forest, as well as for its 500 unique clay statues. Each has its own unique face, posture, expression, everything. It’s incredible! Unfortunately, the room was closed when we got there, so I did not get any good pictures.

You can look up more information about the Bamboo Temple’s history here.


Behind the Temple

I also forget to take pictures of the main entrance way and temple of the Bamboo Temple, but my friend and I explored behind the temple where we found a long hallway of lanterns alongside man-made ponds. It was isolated and relaxing. It was nice to escape the stress of the city and have some peace and quiet.


Posing Behind the Main Buddha Hall


All Natural-The Bamboo Temple

While we walking around, we met a 97 year-old man walking about in tip-top shape. He sparked conversation with us and told us more about the temple. He even knew how to speak some English! We were amazed by his vivacity and sharpness at such an old age. Think back on it, I wish I had learned more about this curious old man. I’ll just have to visit the temple again and hope he’s there.

If you have an open morning/early afternoon, I highly recommend biking or hiking up to the Bamboo Temple. You can get some exercise and enjoy some traditional Chinese culture.

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Exploring Kunming: Zhaozong Water Grotto

For my good friend’s birthday celebration, we took a trip to the Zhaozong Water Grotto (招宗水库), which is west of the city. I met up with them at the birthday girl’s house and then set off to the neighboring market to pick up some picnic snacks. The market was off of Dianmian Avenue in a small alley that led to Jiaoling Road. My friend picked up drinks and some grilled bread (粑粑), while I picked up some sweet bread, specifically peanut grilled bread (花生粑粑) and sesame grilled bread (芝麻粑粑). When you are in Kunming, I recommend buying some street “baba (粑粑).” It’s a local snack that’s very popular in Yunnan Province.


The Bustling Market

Half of our friends biked to the grotto, while the birthday girl, a couple of friends, and I took a cab with the food. The location of the grotto is a bit isolated, so after some ambiguous directions (that my friend told me to say), we finally found the place. We walked behind a few buildings and walked up a flight of stone steps and saw the grotto. Our biking friends had already arrived! We walked around and set out stuff down. It was time to swim!


Relaxing at the Grotto

I looked around and saw a lot of older Chinese men swimming across the grotto exercising. There were also a lot of naked people changing in or out of swimming suits. It was a very relaxed, natural environment. We jumped in and swam for a bit. I avoided the weeds that were growing along the lake bottom (supposedly a couple people drowned last year because they got caught in the weeds). We stayed at the Grotto for a couple hours before having to leave to go to a birthday dinner at Cacao Mexican Restaurant.

I definitely want to go back and swim again before going back to Lugu Lake! I highly recommend visiting the place. It’s a bit hard to find a taxi to go back to the city from there, so you can take a local bus that will take you closer to the center of Kunming (second ring road). You can get off and then find a taxi from there.

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Exploring Yunnan: Two Day Trip to Dali — Day #2

We woke up the next morning and ate breakfast at the Sleepy Fish Hostel with Erin and her friend and then bought a late afternoon bus ticket to Lijiang before setting off to Erhai Lake. Since we did not interact with many people this day, I will just have a photo gallery of our bike ride along the lake:




Talking in Green Fields


Taking a Break by the Lake


Taking a Break in the Fields

[I was testing out features on my new camera]

Afterwards we grabbed a quick bite to eat (vegetable hearts “cai xin,” dried meat, and smoked glutinous rice with sweet sauce) and then hopped on the bus to Lijiang. We only stayed in Lijiang for a night and then went directly to Tiger Leaping Gorge the next morning.

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