Snippets from Binglingsi

Things went down like this: on the morning of the 9th we left Lanzhou under a thin yet persistent rain. The bus for Binglingsi – or Bingling Temple – dropped us close to the boat docks and alas! The perk of traveling off season – no people around – can also be a huge, huge setback. We had to wait more than one hour to get some other tourists to fill the boat, which doesn’t leave if it’s not fully booked.

After almost one hour of navigation among impressive red and green cliffs plummeting straight into the leaden waters beneath, the cave temple of Binglingsi unveiled in front of our eyes in all of its mighty glory.

DSC_0102The view did make up for the frustration of the seemingly endless wait.

DSC_0115The lotus is sacred for Buddhists: untouched and unstained by the muddy water above which it rises, it symbolizes purity.

DSC_0143Relief of Buddha with two bodhisattvas.

DSC_0167The monumental sculpture of Maitreya Buddha.

DSC_0214Cramped in the speed boat.

DSC_0240And then it stopped raining!

DSC_0242Laura trying to snap the perfect pic while holding the mobile in an iron grip.


Useful bits

Buses for Binglingsi leave from Lanzhou Western Bus Station, just tell the driver you want to go to Binglingsi and he’ll drop you off at the junction close to the boats dock.

If you want to take the boat:

The boat (125 Yuan pax) does not leave for the temple until there are at least nine people – try to find a group beforehand if you don’t want to waste time, especially if you go off season and kinda early in the morning. Afternoons are better.

There should be drivers who can bring you to Binglingsi by road (they assault you as soon as you are off the bus at the junction), but we chose to ride the boat.


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