Shiboazhai Pagoda, Yangtze River, China
After traveling for half the day through fog (smog) as thick as pea soup, we arrived at the Shiboazhai Pagoda along the Yangtze River. With enough saturation through Photoshop you can just about see the temple and pagoda through the fog and haze.
As we walked up the path to the Hello vendors (“Hello! Cheaper! You look!”), we passed local women doing laundry in the river.
Now given how muddy the river is, how dirty do your clothes have to be for the muddy river to be considered an improvement? When traveling, it’s sights like these that cause me to take pause and to reflect how truly fortunate we are to live where we do and in the lifestyle we do.
This town is one of the relocation cities in China. After disruption from flooding, the government moved all of these people here, some relieved to be out of the devastating flood plain of the Yangtze River, some just not understanding why they must leave their homes and not understanding how they would make a living.
It actually looks like a ghost town with everyone selling the same government supplied junk (at least that’s where I think they get it from) to tourists like us.
Lucky for them they have the Shibaozhai Temple to attract tourists. Otherwise I can’t imagine what they would do to make a buck here.
The temple was built during the Qing dynasty in 1650 and has a nine story pavilion built right into the side of the stone cliff leading up to the three story Buddhist temple at the top.
Passing through the temple you go through gardens to a monastery and guess what you find up there? More vendors hawking chopsticks, Mao statues, cheap Buddhas, t-shirts, and more.
Making our way back to the ship, we indulged in some spa time while watching the sun set over the Yangtze River. The “fog” adds a pretty red to the sunsets each evening. Just don’ t breathe too deeply while you are enjoying it unless you have your inhaler with you!