One of the most famous historic sites in China.
17.05.2008 - 17.05.2008 33 °C
Since arriving at the college I have been aware of a “Scenic Spot” opposite the college. One day one of the other teachers and I went there with the plan to visit – but the ticket office was unhelpful as no one spoke English. At the entrance there are two roads – one apparently to a temple high in the mountain, and the other to what is called Da Yu Mountain. Da Yu (Emperor Yu) who is famous for taming the rivers of China and preventing much flooding. Read all about Da Yu here.
So it was on Saturday May 17th, that, with a student from the college to help me with translation, that I saw close up this extra ordinary park. To be honest I had been in before – early on morning with a fellow teacher I was in the park when he was preparing for a historic event called “1000 people climb the mountain” which gave me an opportunity to see close up what this park was about, but as I didn’t have a ticket on that occasion, I resolved to go and see more of this huge park.
From Shaoxing City a number 2 and number 10 bus will take visitors to the entrance to the park which may be called Kuaiji Mountain Scenic Spot, or Da Yu Mountain. (confused? – so was I). In the ticket office get on ticket for 50¥ per person, and then enter via the big entry. You can also get a ride on a cart – perhaps costing 10¥. We chose to walk. Along the man road way are stone statues on either side and each has a story about the significance of the animal in the story of Da Yu – and that you would miss if you took the cart).
There is a central square where many ceremonies are held on the edge of a lake which has a series of boats that take passengers on a tour of the lake. One of these boats is the famous black covered Shaoxing boat, but they did not seem to be operating on this day. Of course there would be a fee for taking a boat ride.
The ticket that we purchased at entry gives you entry into three of the four places within the park, and as it was a very hot day and we were keen to get out of the park before the Olympic Flame ceremony.
What is described as the Ancient Village features the life and stories of Da Yu, including his Mausoleum and buildings associated with his life and family. One pavilion had magnificent photos of an opera that is famous in China telling the story of Da Yu.
The gardens are magnificent and any garden lover would enjoy a whole day exploring the gardens.
We went to the Bird Garden – where there were many magnificent peacocks, some black swans, ducks, geese, and many other birds that I did not know.
One sad part about the park is that Cock Fighting is still held, and I was pleased that there was none to see on this day, but we walked through the Cock fighting area, and saw some of the magnificent birds in their cages.
The birds are probably well cared for – but many are in cages that are far too small, and reminiscent of the way birds were treated in parks in Australia some years ago. No doubt China will change.
There was another temple that we did not visit. It is a lot of walking and one needs to spend a whole day there really – or perhaps two days. There is much to see, it is very beautiful and exploring the history of Du Yu is fascinating.
Well worth a visit (or two)!