Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Western and the Eastern Pagodas

It was my last day in Kunming and I'm frantically trying to locate the two pagodas. I'm walking all over the various streets thinking I'll spot them peeking out of the horizon. I was wrong because the taller and newer concrete buildings blocked all views of it. According to the map, it looked like they'll be here but they were not. I asked around but they couldn't understand what I was getting at. I drew pictures but they still didn't understand. Finally I remembered the guidebook I had in my backpack had Chinese names also. So I took it out and pointed to the Chinese characters but then I was already very closed to finding the two pagodas. The first one is the more impressive Western pagoda and it had a beautiful garden around it. There were people milling around, some were doing Tai chi, others were just hanging out. There was a little pavilion and there were people singing some Chinese folk songs. It was very gratifying to have located these two beautiful pagodas. This was my first live encounter with any Chinese pagodas. I have seen them in pictures all my life.

They say this is a sacred flower, they are found mainly in Yunnan.

The pagodas are now locked and no one is allowed to climb them.

The Eastern pagoda and the older one of the two was just situated a little distance away. Finding the first one was tough but the second one was just next to it.

The eastern pagoda.

This was next to a pavilion which has seen its better days. It was in disrepair but was still beautiful. By now I was hot and sweaty. The temperature was around 80 F but it seems hotter because of the humidity. My next stop was the Provincial museum but before that I was waylaid by a little bird.......

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