Dec 24, 2008
Jan 11, 2009
Zunyi is a city most non-Chinese people have never heard of. It's famous historically, mainly among the Chinese, for being the place where the Chairman became the chairman. Other than that there aren't really any tourist attractions. My enthusiastic guide nick, however, Beth's student, took it upon himself to spend his only day off (students there go six days a week, as do workers...) showing me around Zunyi. Since I noted that I had already visited the meeting hall where the Chairman became chairman, we opted for touring the towns several buddhist temples, which were all really stunning. With Nick in tow, who mysteriously seemed to know everyone at all the temples even though he claimed not to be a buddhist, I was able to meet nuns and have the bell rung for me when I lit a special candle. Nick also explained some of the many deities to me, especially Guan Yin, who you call out to for protection when you're in need. You can see from the photos here just how stunning it all was. (those more educated in Buddhism will probably quickly figure out these are photos from several different temples in the same city...) After the temples, he took me to eat some authentic street food - the region is famous for its many kinds of tofu - and then to a ceremonial tea house. at the end of the day we ran out of time and had to rush back to meet Beth and Dan, after which we took Nick for dinner and beer, including to the only place in zunyi with beer on tap where we taught Nick how to pour. Corrupting youth? Bah, the beer there is so weak it's hardly corruption.