On Saturday, we went to 佑尼寺, or Youni temple, before going to 达赖故居, the birthplace of the Dalai Lama! We started the day off by hopping a bus to 平安, Ping’an, a small city (read: population of 120,000), and then 包车, baoche, chartering a cab to carry us around all day. It was 60 bucks, although I think the cabbie was expecting us to argue down a little harder, but he was a cool guy and was fairly informative as he drove us about. We went 23 km north to the temple, then back into Ping’an and 30 km south to the Dalai Lama’s birth place, before finally getting back into Ping’an by 3:30.
Anyways, the temple was actually a 土族, Tu zu, or the Tu nationality (a type of Mongolian that go by the name “Monguor” in English and who believe in Tibetan Buddhism), temple. It was pretty much the same as any Tibetan monastery I’ve been in (not that I know how to look for the differences, but I can tell a Tibetan monastery apart from other Buddhist ones), even if it was ran by Tu monks and catered to the surrounding Tu villages.
I will mostly let the pictures speak for themselves, as this trip was nearly entirely information free (there was no entry fee, no guides, and the monks said we could pretty much do anything we pleased, INCLUDING! taking photos). We did speak to a few of the monks for a while though, and they were all extremely nice and helpful, and told us a *little* about what was going on. I will say of the first photo, however, that we started at the temple with the gold roof off to the right, then went across (left in the photo) up the mountain to where the banners and streamers are (far left middle), straight across to the highest temple in the photo (smack dab in the middle of the photo) before going down to the one beneath it to the right and then largely slip-sliding our way the rest of the way back down. The fourth photo was of the largest Buddha in the place (probably about 5 meters) and is Maitreya Buddha, the future Buddha for those of you that have actually been reading my lessons. You can see our little green cab in the middle left of the fifth photo. I!!!!! am in the 6th photo! you’re surprised I got one of me in there, aren’t you!?
I AM ALSO IN THE 7TH! THAT’S TWO!
Once we got back into town (oh, don’t forget my trip to the Dalai Lama’s house in this post! if you haven’t read it already, that happened before we got back into town), we had some Tu Hotpot and then grabbed some cans of 青稞酒, Qingke Jiu, or barley wine. It’s pretty much a weaker version of Baijiu, the more standard Chinese liquor (this stuff was about as strong as beer at 4%, but Baijiu usually hangs out around 120 proof). The first sip is interesting but it pretty much goes downhill from there, it’s a pretty weird flavor. Then we went home and crashed because we had done quite a bit of hiking at, if I may say so myself, a respectable altitude. I’ve included a picture of the barley wine as well (last one) for your consideration.
Anyways, you guys should start asking me questions : p or commenting or something, it’s getting boring just throwing up mountains of photos.