Day By Day

Monday, July 04, 2011

Return to China -- Part 23, The Three Elegant Pagodas

After leaving the butterfly places we headed through the high country back to our hotel in Dali. I was in pretty bad shape with my cold, so I went straight to bed while most of the rest of the group headed out for the next destination.

Yep, we are getting high up. To someone from the Appalachians like me they look like mountains, but they are really just foothills leading up to the Himalayas,

Those are tobacco fields far below us. This region is the major tobacco producing region of China.

Despite my absence, there are still pictures. Before I crashed I gave my backup camera to my friend Lilly and asked her to take some photos of their trip to see Dali's famous "Three Elegant Pagodas" [Chong Sheng San Ta]. Thanks Lilly, you took some nice pics.

The entrance to the pagoda and temple complex. Those are the Cangshan mountains in the background.

A lovely model shows off traditional Bai clothing.

Part of the Congshen Temple complex. These temples date back more than a millenium to a time when Dali was a Buddhist kingdom, but in the twentieth century they were devastated first by an earthquake and then by the Maoist madness of the Cultural Revolution. They were recently rebuilt and leased to a private company that hires actors to play the part of monks. So what you see is a modern tourist attraction constructed on an ancient site.

Another view of the temple complex with Dali and Lake Erhai in the background.

Here are the pagodas themselves. The main one dates back 1200 years, but has recently been extensively reconstructed. They're quite impressive and I wish I had gone to see them, but I needed to rest up for a long trip the next morning.

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