We spent Sunday morning sightseeing around Guangzhou. We didn’t do this part of the tour last time, choosing instead to go to church. While we’re glad we did that, we’re also glad we chose to go on this portion of the tour too. It allowed us to see a little more authentic Chinese culture.
We started at the Buddhist temple, where people leave offerings for the Buddha in the form of fruit and water – much different than what is put in our offering plate at our home church.
A building inside the temple grounds.
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a monk on his cell phone.
The detail in China has impressed me so much this time around. I think it did last time too, but I appreciate it more this time or maybe I’m just seeing it differently. Check out this detail in the cement work inside the temple.
Or in this elephant.
On one of the Buddhas, Tim noticed a swastika on its chest and asked our guide Kathy about it. She said it was originally a sign of peace representing the Buddha’s footprints, and that Hitler stole it and twisted it into the symbol of hatred and destruction that it became. You can read more about it here if you’d like. It’s just one more way that Hitler destroyed peace.
Today, there are other symbols of peace in the temple: an older monk after worship and a peace pole in the middle of the temple yard.
Our boys and one from another family actually knelt for a moment in front of the temple. Not sure what they were saying or thinking, but it’s the longest they were still for the whole time we were in the temple.
While they were doing that, Vivi and Titus were hanging around in their Steelers shirts. It was before my team tanked, and we were trying to show our support. Vivi looks great, and the look on Titus’s face makes me think that he knew the outcome of the game before it even started.
After the temple, we went to Mr. Chen’s house. It used to be a private home but is now an art gallery and museum. It’s got beautiful landscaping and architecture.
This is the roof of the building.
The top layer of artwork is made of porcelain and can never be repainted. It has not been touched or restored in over 100 years.
I found this statue to be pretty funny. Check out the description placard for it too.
These are two different artists at work. The first only uses ink on his fingers to create beautiful pictures, and the second is a master calligrapher who wrote the boys’ names on notecards for them. (Vivi has one from a different store we went to the last time we were in China.)
A beautiful piece of artwork that Liam pointed out. He has a good eye.
One more thing that I have grown to appreciate in China are archways. In many places, hallways are filled with them, and they add such a different feeling to a place.
Next up, the cruise on the Pearl River!