Thursday, April 29, 2010

Xian Diary Day 7 Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

We continue with our China series today, see all posts on our China trip here.

For our third day in Xian, we planned to see the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, the Musical Fountain and the Great Mosque. There is so much stuff I would like to share I am splitting this day into a couple of posts, today we will cover the first 2 venues.

On the internet, fellow travellers highly recommended the Musical Fountain which was located in the North Square of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. They had greatly enjoyed the free half hour show and strongly advised others to arrive at least 20 minutes early to get best seats. The first performance of the day starts at noon, see the show timetable here, it's close to the end of the page. Breakfast took longer than expected so we arrived at 11:50 AM and found the place virtually tourist free. We thought perhaps it was Monday and everyone had better things to do but we also noticed the fountain was dry. After half an hour we stumbled upon a sign in Mandarin that said repairs were under way during the time of our visit!

Although we were disappointed we noted the area was popular with locals, it was a lovely afternoon to spend with loved ones. Below the waterless fountain surrounded with mothers and children, the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in the distant.
We slowly made our way towards the pagoda, the pathways were decorated with intricately carved pattern such as this. The red sweater team, a grandma and her grandson who wore a traditional haircut for boys like the ones I saw in Chinese paintings.
The children at the square were adorably dressed, this one sported hand made shoes, they looked like cats with yellow ears and golden whiskers.
Closer to the pagoda, the sculpture wall encompassing the square with carved reliefs depicting the journey of Buddha. Appropriately themed, the pagoda is an ancient structure built in 652 and a holy place for Buddhists.
Souvenir carts lined the streets along the walls of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. In the warm afternoon sun, the locals sought cool shade under the trees. A husband napped on the park's bench while his wife finished a sewing project.
A stylishly dressed mother picked through her bag of lunch items while her daughter ate a Chinese bun. I envied those mustard colored shoes!
An elderly woman weaved through the customers at the souvenir stalls, her face looked interesting, her cheeks looked so smooth, we wondered about her age.
Roof decorations on the buildings near the pagoda, they looked similar to the ones at the Forbidden City on this post. These were unglazed, in its natural state I think it gave the structure a time-honored appeal.
A close-up of the roof top accents, they reminded me of the clay designs in Bali, Indonesia.
A shot of the brightly colored souvenirs we left behind, I had found similar ones of the Chinese zodiac animals in Vancouver Chinatown. We took our time wandering through the square we ran behind our schedule so we decided to skip the pagoda and headed onto our next venue. Day 7 in Xian to be continued next week!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful shots, too bad about the fountain. The children are very sweet. I loved the vibrant colours in the last photo.