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Newer Page 513 of 825 Older Full Trip Report
China Hangzhou Buddha West Lake Hiking

6 September 2012

The great buddah scam

I did two activities in the day today. The first one was great, the mountain area on the northern shore of the West lake.
The second activity, after getting on a random bus, was a rip off for domestic tourists involving buddah at a place called the Lingfeng temple.

Picture overload in 3,2,1 go.

China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - There are many ways to get to the mountain. Its not much of a mountain really, maybe an hours hike from one side, over the top and back down. My route

There are many ways to get to the mountain. Its not much of a mountain really, maybe an hours hike from one side, over the top and back down.
My route was largely undefined, and was determined by paths I found along the way. I decided once near the top to walk along the ridge and see the various sites, which was a great idea.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - There is a sea of bamboo. Similar to the forest in Japan where business men traditionally suicide themselves. I didnt see anyone attempting self decap

There is a sea of bamboo. Similar to the forest in Japan where business men traditionally suicide themselves. I didnt see anyone attempting self decapitation (Its real, look it up!)


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - The path is very high quality, and again seems to be lit in case you feel like going up at night. This is something I should do. Old folks love to wal

The path is very high quality, and again seems to be lit in case you feel like going up at night. This is something I should do.
Old folks love to walk along side the path, clapping and beating each other. Most carry small radios with them, or a bird in a cage.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - At the top is this secret looking compound. I have mapped the perimeter in detail should we need to mount an assault.

At the top is this secret looking compound. I have mapped the perimeter in detail should we need to mount an assault.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - This seems to be the man only area. They are up here telling rude stories to each other and arguing politics. A couple of old dudes just hang around i

This seems to be the man only area. They are up here telling rude stories to each other and arguing politics. A couple of old dudes just hang around in their underwear stretching. I joined them, we all hung out together!


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - I am impressed that theres a few toilets like this on the mountain. Each has a dedicated cleaner stationed there. He was so happy that I used his faci

I am impressed that theres a few toilets like this on the mountain. Each has a dedicated cleaner stationed there. He was so happy that I used his facility.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - This is a taoist temple hidden amongst the trees. They train people in here to infiltrate falun gong and report back. There were people in it making s

This is a taoist temple hidden amongst the trees. They train people in here to infiltrate falun gong and report back. There were people in it making strange howling noises, possibly upset that they have chosen a religion that no one seems to understand?


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - Descending away from the temple you go past lots of little caves with incense burning.

Descending away from the temple you go past lots of little caves with incense burning.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - Then head back up again, through some great boulder areas forming caves and crevices.

Then head back up again, through some great boulder areas forming caves and crevices.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - I have spotted my next destination. Also note the disguised rubbish bin. No sooner do you put your bottle in there that a cleaner takes it out and sor

I have spotted my next destination. Also note the disguised rubbish bin. No sooner do you put your bottle in there that a cleaner takes it out and sorts it into various bags which they presumably carry back down periodically.
There was no rubbish anywhere on the mountain at all, I started trying to spot some.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - Heres your chance to get rid of her. It will be an accident, I wont tell anyone! We all know her constant shoe and handbag buying at the new luxury ma

Heres your chance to get rid of her. It will be an accident, I wont tell anyone! We all know her constant shoe and handbag buying at the new luxury malls is punishable by cliff plunge!


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - Looking down on the west lake, through the pollution. Today its not really rainy so it is just smog!

Looking down on the west lake, through the pollution. Today its not really rainy so it is just smog!


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - And looking the other way at what I presume is the city, somewhere in there.

And looking the other way at what I presume is the city, somewhere in there.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - Here I am, towering over the tower! Fear me...

Here I am, towering over the tower! Fear me...


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - Getting to the pagoda requires going down narrow gaps between boulders. It is really narrow, fat people need not attempt it. If someone comes the othe

Getting to the pagoda requires going down narrow gaps between boulders. It is really narrow, fat people need not attempt it. If someone comes the other way you have to back up until you get to a wider bit.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - This pagoda is filled with concrete and was only built in 1980. The original conveniently fell down along with a few others at around this time when t

This pagoda is filled with concrete and was only built in 1980. The original conveniently fell down along with a few others at around this time when the government decided to redevelop the lake area.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - Coming back down and theres some little villages in the hills. There were quite a few funky bookshops and tea houses for gay or similar Chinese people

Coming back down and theres some little villages in the hills. There were quite a few funky bookshops and tea houses for gay or similar Chinese people to spend their money at.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - Picture for tax purposes. The team of rubbish collectors on the mountain carry the stuff back down to here. Honestly, I can think of worse jobs!

Picture for tax purposes. The team of rubbish collectors on the mountain carry the stuff back down to here.
Honestly, I can think of worse jobs!


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - OK, now for the great buddah scam. I caught a random bus which went further away from the city. Catching the bus is fun as you can see a lot more and

OK, now for the great buddah scam. I caught a random bus which went further away from the city. Catching the bus is fun as you can see a lot more and relax in the relatively air conditioned comfort.
I was on a regular bus but theres also hundreds of tour busses going along this road, they seem to come straight here from far off cities, its the last stop for the bus so I got off with everyone else.
I paid an entry fee not even knowing where I was! About $6 which for China I thought was high.
Then you walk through a maze of shops selling crap.
Eventually you get to some quite nice carvings in the cliff face, but also more ice cream shops, corn on the cob etc.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - The carvings are nice, but I think I can see similar elsewhere, the real thing here is some sort of giant temple.....

The carvings are nice, but I think I can see similar elsewhere, the real thing here is some sort of giant temple.....


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - Last shot of this tourist trap, once you get to the temple, its like visiting a castle in England. You have to pay more to go in, after having paid to

Last shot of this tourist trap, once you get to the temple, its like visiting a castle in England. You have to pay more to go in, after having paid to walk up the path to get to it through gift shops.
I found this idiotic. And so decided to not go into the temple at all. The only bathrooms are inside the temple, so me and about 2000 other men equally annoyed at the buddhist sales technique just relieved ourselves in the stream.
Theres 3 different temples, all have additional entry fees. Theres also beggars everywhere dressed as monks.
It does occur to me that buddhists are the biggest scammers of all religions! You get no money from me.


China-Hangzhou-Buddha-West Lake-Hiking - After exiting through a heap more gift shops, you can get a brief glimpse of a tea field.  Theres a long line of people waiting to get a bus back, but

After exiting through a heap more gift shops, you can get a brief glimpse of a tea field.

Theres a long line of people waiting to get a bus back, but it was quite amusing.
You can either wait in the line for each bus that comes, then fill the seats, or go to a different line to stand up on the bus.
The bus ride was about 15 minutes, so standing was no issue for me, but I watched 3 busses come and go at about 5 minute intervals, it occured to me that the people standing in the get a seat line had already been standing in line for much longer than they would stand on a bus.

And that was another exhausting day! I didnt even have time for a real lunch, it was too late by the time I got back. So no noodle photo!


NewerPage 513 of 825OlderFull Trip Report