View of one of the temples
Today we took a 30 minute drive to a Tibetan Buddhist Temple outside of the city of Xining to an elevation of at least 8,500 above sea level, which also meant that it was even more cold and it was already 1pm by the time we arrived. There was fresh snow still laying around. We definitely knew were outside of the big city. It looked very rural and the people living there looked different than those who lived in the city. They looked more traditional Tibetan or native like. Many were monks who lived in the temple. It was a scene from the many Chinese Kung Fu movies my brothers and I used to watch.
The temple is made up of many buildings sprawled out along the hillside. The temple was built in 1357! It's hard to put into words what really awed us! Once inside the temple we aren't allowed to take any photos. There were quite a few people touring the facility. It was strange that there was a mix of new and old together. We had to purchase tickets and inside this large room there was a modern ticket booth enclosed in glass with a monk sitting behind handing us a DVD that was cased in a cover with barcodes. These barcodes were scanned at each temple that we entered, which made it seem so weird. The smells of incense, sounds of a drum used during prayer and traditional monk attire were so authentic, then there was a computerized scanner at the entrance. At each temple alter there is an area for donations. And seeing some of the cars that these monks drive, I'd say they were making a pretty good living!
We did enjoy our day today and were glad that we got to see where our little Dash came from. He pointed a lot to different things. He especially loved the large cylinders that were made of copper and or wood that spin and aligned a lot of the buildings. These spinning cylinders are used for wishes. Now we are off to Guangzhou on Friday and arrive at 10:00 PM. We have Dashell's doctor appointment first thing Saturday morning and the rest of the day to explore, rest and enjoy a new adventure!