Our last full day in Zhengzhou was Friday, Feb 14th.... Valentines Day and the last day of the Chinese Spring festival also known as the Lantern festival.
We woke up that morning to a smog filled sky but the weather was milder then it had been all week. We got up early and by 8:30 were on our way to visit the Shaolin Temple, birth place of Kung Fu. Only one other family from our group decided to go as well.
As we headed out of Zhengzhou the smog made picture taking difficult.
But soon we were in the country side driving through the hills which soon turned to mountains.
The temple is located about a 2 hour drive from our hotel outside of Zhengzhou just outside of a town called Dengfeng. The town is now full of schools where boys and teens study and learn kung fu. We finally arrived at the temple area. It is surrounded by the mountains and the view is beautiful (what you can see through the smog). Dragonfly was all bundled up against the cold.
After we entered the temple area, we first went to watch the kung fu show put on my some of the younger monks. We pasted by some young men who attend kung fu school at the temple as we walked down a long road that runs through the temple area.
We reached the kung fu show area about 20 minutes early. We had a great view and could even watch some of the Chinese tourists ring the bell in the tower.
The actual kunf fu show lasted about 30 minutes. It started with a number of monks demonstrating different kung fu styles and movements. Unfortunately all the commentary and narration of the show was in Chinese so we understood nothing. After this first part, one of the older monks showed some of his special skills such as bending 2 bamboo spears with his neck, breaking a piece of metal over his head, and popping a balloon through glass with a needle. At the end a group id moves with swords and shields.
After the show, we had a traditional lunch which we mostly did NOT eat!
After this we walked along the little road until we reach the actual temple. While this temple is an active worship site, we saw very few people worshiping. 99% of the people there where just tourists. Right inside the temple wall were these two scary figures.
There was a lot of reallllly beautiful architecture and also a 1500 year old tree.
Interesting note about this picture. It is the main room for the actual monks to practice kung fu and over the years the stomping on the floor the bricks are worn down in to little pits.
Miss Dragonfly was only happy when Daddy was carrying her. She will ride in the sling carrier for a little while then whine to get out. But as long a Daddy would carry her, she was super happy.
After the temple, we walked down the long road to the pagoda forest. This is basically a graveyard with pagodas for grave markers.
From that point we traveled back to the bus via a bus to the front of the temple area. And from there we made 2 hour drive back. Miss Dragonfly and Daddy were having a lot of fun.
We arrived back at the hotel in time to go our with the group for one last supper in Henan. We order WAY too much food. it was funny.
After this, we returned to our hotel room to finish packing for our trip out to Guangzhou. Outside the fireworks were going off like crazy! They were everywhere and LOUD! I have video of them but no pics, will try to post some of those later.