0620 hours the next morning.
Phone: *TooOOoOoottt*Â *tOoooOoOooooTTT*
Me: *Half-sleep mode* “Heeeelllllooooooo?”
Voice from phone: “Good morning, this is a morning call. Thank you.” *Hang up*
Damn morning call. I never felt so tired. Woke up feeling giddy. After packing everything, we headed down for breakfast. Thanks to the not-so-delicious breakfast which included hard-to-chew noodles, sugarless soy drink and herbal eggs, I felt so fresh. We moved on to Oriental Pearl TV Tower, which took 20 minutes drive from our hotel. The weather has been kind to us. Clear but hazy.
The Oriental Pearl TV Tower, whichÂ isÂ 468 meters high (1,536 feet), is the world’s third tallest TV and radio tower surpassed in height only by towers in Toronto, Canada and Moscow, Russia. However, even more alluring than its height is the tower’s unique architectural design that makes the Oriental Pearl TV Tower one of the most attractive places anywhere. The base of the tower is supported by three seven-meter wide slanting stanchions. Surrounding the eleven steel spheres that are “strung” vertically through the center of the tower are three nine-meter wide columns. There are three large spheres including the top sphere, known as the space module. Then there are five smaller spheres and three decorative spheres on the tower base. The entire structure rests on rich green grassland and gives the appearance of pearls shining on a jade plate.
Hurriedly, I snapped a few photos of the gigantic structure. Surely beats our own KL Tower many many times.
Our visit lasted more than an hour. Sadly enough, we left Shanghai for Hangzhou which was 2 hours drive. The glimpses of modern building slowly disappeared. I took this opportunity to rest my eyes.
We reached Hangzhou around noon. To my surprise, Hangzhou is indeed a modern city, far from what I imagined earlier. 😛 We headed toÂ a restaurant to grab our lunch before “torturing” our legs later.
We began our adventure after filling our stomach. The first destination was Lingyin Temple. Oh no, temple again? Along the way to Lingyin Temple, I saw a huge lake called West Lake. It was so beautiful but too bad, we weren’t making any stop at the moment. Besides, the government of Hangzhou has indeed placed a lot of efforts to beautify the area surrounding the beautiful West Lake. I could see various plants which were planted along the lake and also the road being trimmed nicely.
We reached Lingyin Temple after a few turns. We got down and walked to the entrance. I was so surprised to see a garden at first. A temple in a garden? After walking further, we passed some small caves which brought us to the real temple. It was so serene around the temple with birds chirpping and nothing else.
The presence of a temple on this site can be traced back to the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 – 420AD) when, according to local legend, Huili an Indian monk came to the area where he was inspired by the spiritual nature of the scenery to be found here. To his mind this had to be a dwelling of the Immortals and so he gave the temple a name “Ling Yin (Temple of the Soul’s Retreat). The Chinese name is translated into English as either “Temple of the Soul’s Retreat’ or ‘Temple of Inspired Seclusion’ for the setting has a quiet and beautiful grandeur that encourages a feeling of peace and for contemplation.
We ended our visit to Lingyin Temple at around 4pm. The sky has already darkened a bit. We then headed downtown to have a round of shopping. I just wandered around aimlessly with my mum. After an hour later, we had our dinner and sampled Hangzhou’s specialty, “Tung Po Yuk” or braised pork. We checked into the hotel around 8.30pm. Because we have ample time and coincidentally, there was night market right below the hotel, we strolled along the street and bought some fruits before going back to hotel to prepare for Day 3.