Morning rise and shine. Packed up and had breakfast. This time, the breakfast was delicious because it was western-style breakfast. I had hams, scrambled eggs and hotdogs for the first time in 5 days!
After breakfast, we headed to Yangtze River Bridge to enjoy China’s third longest bridge (Sorry, I have no idea where is the longest bridge in China :P).
The bridge flies over Yangtze River, northwest of the city. It was the first double deck and double track highway and railway bridge designed and constructed by Chinese themselves. As a milestone, it was Chinese people’s pride. The construction of the bridge started in 1961 and ended in 1968. The highway bridge flies 4589 meters across the river, 1577 meters over the water and is 15 meters in width excluding two-meter-wide pavements on both sides while the railway bridge is longer and narrower. The bridge totally has nine piers, of which the highest one towers 85 meters and its base covers 400 square meters. The highway bridge approach is full of Chinese characteristics. Rising 70 meters high, two bridge towers stand on each end of the bridge. Inside of towers, elevators reach the two decks and watchtowers atop. The bridge banisters are decorated with 200 cast iron relief inlays. Beside the pavements, there are 150 pairs of yulan lamps. Like a rainbow the bridge spans across the river. When night falls, with more than 2,000 various lamps turned on, it looks like a pearl string of the Yangtze River.
The structure was awesome. We took a lift to the observation area to have some photography sessions. Too bad, that morning was misty, so we weren’t able to see the river clearly. But one thing for sure, there were a lot of cars crawling along the bridge and over the river, quite a number of trade boats were seen cruising along the river.
We left the place and Nanjing to move down south-east to Wuxi, a place I’ve never heard before. As usual, we spent most of the time in the bus as the journey was long. When it reached Wuxi, it was already 2pm. We had lunch at a restaurant and had chance to sample Wuxi’s specialty; pork-ribs.
The Wuxi local guide joined in as we left for Lingshan Buddhist Temple. Much to my surprise, the guide spoke good Cantonese too. It took the driver 15 minutes to reach the temple, and we wasted no time to walk in.
25 kilometres from the city’s downtown area, the Lingshan Sakyamuni Buddha (Lingshan dafo) stands solemnly at the site of famous Tang Dynasty Xiangfu Temple, which was ruined after a series of ancient wars. The bronze icon is 250 feet long, 100 feet higher than the Statue of Liberty. Entirely made of tin and copper, the statue weighs more than 700 tons. On the left side, the Shiwuwei seal is supposed to reduce suffering in the world while the Yuyuan seal on the right delivers happiness. The character on the Buddha’s chest represents solemnity and virtue.
Besides the giant bronze Buddha, there’s a huge bronze structure of Buddha’s palm and a statue of the laughing Buddha with a hundred children in the temple. We spent around 2 hours in the temple because of the show; the show relaying the birth of Buddha. It was a very nice show indeed.
Among other notable attraction is the gigantic lotus fountain, where water fountain performance are held at exactly 4:30pm every day. Right at the top of the fountain lies a huge lotus flower, which slowly opens up throughout the performance, displaying a large statue of a baby Buddha in the middle of the flower. The significance of the lotus flower and Buddha is that it is said that when Buddha was born, he was already able to walk, leaving behind a lotus flower in every step that he took. Beautiful water displays that dances to the captivating music further enhances the magnificence of the giant Baby Buddha as it slowly turns around the fountain. It is a definite must to watch the performance, without which the fountain would just be an ordinary structure with a huge closed lotus flower.
We left the temple feeling good. It was probably the calm atmosphere that eased and freed our mind from burden and negative elements. On the way back, we stopped by a freshwater pearl factory.
Pearls are reared in Taihu Lake, the largest freshwater lake in China. With its shallow water, pearls thrive in it, thus making Wuxi one of the main makers of pearls.
We ended up buying several pearl products like necklace and cream. We ended the day with so-called “Emperor’s Meal” as offered by the tour company. But, the dishes were nothing to shout about. We checked-in after dinner but before dozing off, I headed down to McDonalds with my mum to buy its delicious and yummy BBQ Pork Burger. As the trip neared its end, we were really enjoying every moment of it.