Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Big Wild Goose Pagoda & Tang Paradise

Finally have some solid plans to go out and do some field work! I'll be going up into the mountains to survey water quality and the distribution of plants used for traditional Chinese medicine. I look forward to filling the blog with some work related things.

A while back I took a day trip into the city to check out some other tourist sites in Xi'an. First on the menu was the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the surrounding park.

formally had 3 extra stories
This pagoda was originally constructed in 683AD and built to house the Buddhist treasures brought back from India by monk Xuanxang. Apparently there is a wild goose pagoda in India that inspired this architecture.  It has undergone some reconstruction over the years, the last reconstruction being in the 1500s after a big earthquake. Today it has a bit of a lean to it, pointing slightly to the west. At the end of the night we went back to the fountain to check out their big fountain show, here's the video:

The surrounding blocks are all part of the pagoda experience, parks and markets everywhere. My favorite part had to be the Relic Site Park, where I spent plenty of time hanging out in the morning. Statues of people and poems line the paths, there are even some Kung Fu babies doing their thing.

a great spot to relax during the midday sun 

Next we walked down to Tang Paradise. It's a 164 acre landscaped park that contains many reconstructed buildings of the ancient Shaanxi style during the Tang Dynasty. The park took most of the day to walk around. This park makes for a great escape from the city life, without needing to leave the city. Had it not started to rain so heavily we would have stayed later to check out some of the theater performances.

tang dynasty architecture (always a crane present)
That's it for today! I took a lot more pictures so check them out here.