Shangfeng Temple, Nanyue, Hunan
(August 14, 2012)

(1) Passing through this "pailou" on Mount Heng (marked "Southern Gate of Heaven"--Hengshan is also called "Nanyue," the southernmost of Taoism's five mountains in China), one enters the peak area proper. I was on my way to Shangfeng, which means something like "Atop the Peak"--and they weren't kidding.

All three of today's temples were inside a "scenic area" (read: high admission fee, massive crowds). Although you have to pay 70rmb ($10US) for transportation on top of the 100rmb ($14US) ticket price, the buses don't go everywhere--like to Shangfeng Temple! Once off the bus, I had a steep 2.5km climb.

The gate area ooks idyllic, right? Well, I waited several minutes for this shot, and there are lots of people just out-of-frame.

(2) A few yards from the previous shot, the crowds are funneled into a corridor where vendors are set up. Not so idyllic now...

(3) When I finally reached the temple, it was--of course--under construction.

(4) All the statues I saw were made of "jade" (I suspect it's plastic). The Laughing Buddha looked like Jabba the Hutt.

(5) I've never seen a "jade" Bodhidharma before. Kinda cool-looking.

(6) The boys who make it all happen

(7) Back at the transpo point, I was able to spot the temple's location across the valley I had walked down and then back up. Yes, I walked all that way. I'm whupped.

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Last Updated August 20, 2019

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