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Day 146 - Dive-Bombing Seagulls & Incense Asphyxiation

Ni hao all!

Today I woke up early with a plan to go and see Green Lake Park which is in the North of Kunming and then go to a nearby temple. I set off walking and although the park seemed to be quite a distance away on my map, it only took an hour or so to walk there and it was a nice sunny day which made the walk there quite enjoyable.

When I arrived at the park I was greeted with a huge still lake, the surface of which was like a mirror. Walking a little further into the park I found a small market, lots of ducks and swans who were enjoying being fed by people, women dancing with umbrellas that looked like giant versions of the ones that come in cocktails and even people doing tai chi with swords which can't be legal. (I wonder whether China have an offensive weapons act or not?) On my walk around I found a lake that was completely covered in algae and lilly pads which is probably how the park earned the "Green" part of its name. I also found a lake that was pretty much covered in seagulls which was ok until someone decided to scare them and they all took to the air and started dive-bombing the people who were stood around watching.

I ran for cover under a tree as I could hear the "Splat, splat, splat" of bird poo falling all around me like cluster bombs and I didn't move from that spot until they had all landed back on the lake again. I started to get hungry and just as I did, I smelt a wonderful smell coming from across the road from the park. I made my way across and was greeted by a food market which sold fresh crabs, salted meat, fruit & nuts, barbeque, dumplings and a whole host of other edible delights. I picked up some very spicy barbeque and some dumplings then headed back across to the park to eat them, then once I was done I set off walking yet again in the direction of the Yuantong Zen Buddhist temple.

When I arrived there were about twenty beggars outside all with varying degrees of physical deformations and it was quite saddening to see but also hard to watch at the same time so I quickly made my way inside. Upon entering the temple grounds I saw what looked like a building site and I hoped that it wouldn't all be in a state of disrepair. After walking for a little longer I found that my fears were unfounded as the rest of the temple site was in pristine condition and there was a collection of different style temple buildings all with different gold statues of various gods in and people were praying to them and offering flowers, food and of course incense to them. In fact, outside the main temple building there were what can only be described as huge furnaces of burning incense which were spewing out smoke so thick that it was hard to breathe, along with ash that made the surrounding area look like a volcano had just erupted nearby.

I spent a while looking around the temple before heading back to the hostel where I had a good chat with some of my family on Skype before the connection went too bad to continue using. I then started to write my blog but I met Hadar & Noam again and instead we sat around chatting over a couple of beers and me & Hadar were treated to an impromptu version of Baby, Baby by Brittany Spears on the new guitar that Noam had bought earlier that day. After a while we all decided to go out for food and I thought that places would still be open as it was only half past nine but the whole city was very quiet and all of the restaurants had closed for the evening. In the end I settled for an expensive, half cooked Zinger burger from KFC, Hadar got a McDonalds and Noam managed to find a street seller who still had some tofu left so everyone got to eat something then we headed back to the hostel. Me & Hadar played pool with a Chinese guy for a while and actually won most of the games (woo!) then when 1am came I called it a night and headed to bed.

Bye for now folks!

Posted by UKtoCA 20:50

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