Sunday, January 13, 2008

Old Lang Zhong

Lang Zhang is is covered in black tile roofs and grinning old men.

Kate and I had a ball wandering around this sleepy old town, despite rain and cold and "off-season" (which, after my experiences in Tibet and now Lang Zhong, I refuse to believe exists). Thanks to the most comfortable beds in China (seriously), we got an amazing night's sleep, and woke up very late. After a breakfast of suspicious-tasting beef noodles, we scrambled around the side of a muddy mountain and looked at 1000-year-old cave carvings and a huge female buddha. Her size paled in comparison to the behemoth I recently saw in Le Shan, but she had her own lovely way about her - offerings of apples, incense, and firecrackers (bang!bang!bang!) were all freshly scattered at her feet.

We met the caretakers, who gave us lunch rather than directions to another part of the mountain. They said, "No! Too muddy. Come eat lunch with us! Now!" and we said ok, and sat by their fire chatting with the elderly men while an aproned wrinkled woman cooked us steaming bowls of delicious cabbage noodles. Afterwards, they put on their blazers and we took their portrait outside.

We never managed to make our way to the other side of the mountain. We've decided to come back later in the spring, printed portrait in hand, and try our luck again at those directions, and maybe another bowl of those noodles.