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Tag Archives: China

Discovering Chinese Jews in Kaifeng

Did you know Chinese Jews were Persian merchants who traveled to China via the Silk Road?

 

Legendary fog in #Kaifeng, #China. Imagine crossing the road in this weather! #travel #nofilter

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

This was Kaifeng’s welcome. Fog? Pollution? Combination? I don’t know but it was one hell of a welcome. I held out my hand and saw nothing. I looked down and I had no feet. I blindly walked forward – away from the train station and closer to the sound of the road. I couldn’t see the cars and bicycles and they couldn’t see me. I played it by ear. Literally. And hailing a cab? I want to say, “Fuggedaboutit,” but I managed to do so. Till this day, it still puzzles me.

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Bathroom Trauma In Qufu, Confucius’ Birthplace

Qufu, the place where Confucius was born, had the worst hole-in-the-ground makeshift toilet I’ve ever seen!

 

Kong Family Mansion in #Qufu, #Confucius’ birthplace. #China #travel

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

Unlike all the other places I visited in China, Qufu was the least touristy of them all. The main, and probably only, attraction is the Kong Family Mansion, home of China’s most prominent teacher and philosophers – Confucius.

It’s the second largest historical complex in China after the Forbidden City in Beijing. Like everywhere else in China, there were plenty of people trying to make a buck or two selling useless items. I was offered water bottles, maps, bicycle rentals, tour guides and souvenirs – all from the same lady!

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How The Big Wild Goose Pagoda In Xian Got Its Name

Big Wild Goose Pagoda was named after prayer that was answered by Bodhisattva.

 

Stunning #sunset in #Xian, #China by the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. #travel

A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on

After watching the stunning sunset in Hangzhou, I made an attempt to capture a sunset in every city I visited. I missed my chance to see one when I was at The Tiger Hill Pagoda in Suzhou. This time, I made sure not to make the same mistake in Xian.

After my visit to the Terracotta Army, I went to The Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Here’s the story behind the funny name:

A legend goes that there were two branches of Buddhism in India, the Mahayana and the Hinayana. The Mahayana believers are vegetarians but the others are meat-eating people. One day, the Hinayana believers couldn’t find meat to eat. Suddenly a flock of big wild geese flew over the sky. A monk murmured to him: ‘Today we have no meat. I hope the merciful Bodhisattva will give us some.’

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