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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

N. China - Day 10, Part 4 - Yungang Grottoes

"Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from." - Jodie Foster

***

N. China
Day 10 - 8th November - Yungang Grottoes
(Part 4)

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"经上级部门同意 云冈石窟在景区建设期间 执行门下浮价 每张100元"
("Since superiors have agreed Yungang Grottoes, during the renovations, will have a ticket price discount of 30¥")
The sign on our tickets announcing the entry fee reduction


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Ratnasambhava Buddha Cave 19 460-470 AD

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I can't figure out which cave this belongs to. Perhaps Cave 20.

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Cave 20

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Pathway

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Praying to Buddha

For caves 21-38 (which were less impressive than 1-20 and thus had no information plaques information available, and sometimes were not even individually marked with their numbers) they were erecting barriers like for 1-20.

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The higher one should be 22 and the lower 23

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Various caves

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Pagoda Cave 39


Shanxi industrial (coal mining) landscape around Yungang Grottoes

At this point there was a chair for an absent guard, and a sign that said "危险止步" ("Danger. Do not pass"). Naturally I ignored it.

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The Chinese idea of danger zzz (Caves 40-45)
In any case there was nothing inside them anyway

I then availed myself of the very modern conveniences.

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For China this was the lap of luxury. Appearance aside there was still the Chinese toilet smell.

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The Toilet Cleaners' Code:
“保洁员在二班时间内不得无胡脱肛
保洁员保标准为五清 : 即人走镜清, 面池清, 台面清, 地面清, 便池清”
("Cleanliness personnel shall not leave their posts without permission for no needlessly while in second grade [?]
Cleanliness personnel's maintenance targets consist of the 5 Cleanlinesses: in other words, People walk and there is the cleanliness of the mirror, cleanliness of the sink, cleanliness of the counter, cleanliness of the floor, cleanliness of the cesspit)")
Presumably other cleanlinesses do not need to be taken care of.

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Some of the caves

The 2 nicest caves were the best preserved, and lots of colour (especially impressive given their age). They had statues from floor to ceiling. So I went back to have a look since photography was banned.

In cave 6, I saw a woman with her recording apparatus out. I have always been a big believer of "When in China, do as the Chinese do" so I did likewise.


Yungang Grottoes Cave 6 panorama

For #5, with the Giant Buddha, security was tigheter and there was less room to walk (for #6 there was a block in the middle one could hide behind). Also there was no one to be thrown out with me.

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Rock landscape on which they're building something. There was a sign saying there was a Temple of the Dragon King. I'd no idea what it referred to. Maybe they were building it.

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UNESCO plaque

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"Premier Zhou made his great contribution to protection of the cultural heritage of the world and he will be remembered forever!"
The sign talks about his 1973 visit and how he saw the state the site was in. Of course, it doesn't mention his role in protecting Chinese cultural and heritage from its biggest threat in history - the Cultural Revolution.

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Business Center - in a touristic site (the "self-service bank" is an ATM). Business never stops in China.
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