Went to Fairylake Botanical Gardens yesterday. It it’s run by Buddhist monks and has a fairly large temple at the top of a mountain. After a long bus ride across the city, we arrived at the village where the park is located. We walked through the village and arrived at the park entrance. Then we took another bus ride to the top of the mountain where the temple is located.
The temple is built on 4 levels, each with about 50 steps, making a total of some 200 steps. Since it was sunny and 90+ degrees, I was exhausted and wet from head to toe by the time I made it to the top. At every level there were 4 or more prayer stations where the Buddhists prayed, lit joss sticks, and dropped money into locked offering bins.
There is a 106 year old monk living at the temple. He is quite a celebrity, but didn’t make an appearance while we were there. I saw him once before, and he created a stir among the faithful.
After the session at the temple we walked down the steps and got on an oversized golf cart for a tour of the botanical gardens. The golf cart made several stops, each at a different part of the botanical garden. We got off the cart and toured each attraction on foot. There was a petrified forest, a lotus lake, a paleontology exhibit, a scenic lake, waterfall, medicinal herbs, etc.
There were large stone carvings of the 12 animals of the Chinese new years. No surprisingly, I was born in the year of the rat.
There was a tree planted by Chairman Deng Xiaoping, the hero of Shenzhen, in 1992. I assume that is when the gardens were established. There was also a map of China outlined on the side of a mountain.
Finally the botanical tour was over. The cart took us back to the base of the temple where and we re-boarded the bus for the trip down the mountain to the entrance of the park. We walked about a mile through the little village to the bus stop for the trip home.
Got home about 16:00. It was unusually bright and sunny. The city looked shiny and new.
Had a small plate of cold flat noodles, bean sprouts, and tripe along with a cup of hot cucumber soup on my way home. It tasted much better than it sounds and only cost 4 Yuan (about 0.75 USD). Then I went home, took another shower and conked out until 20:00. Got up, but didn’t go out again.