Day 2 – October 14, 2017 – Saturday
Morning – Visit the Chengdu Panda Base for a wonderful time being close to these lovely creatures.
From the peaceful, beautiful natural environment to the quality service, your visit will be one of calm and enjoyment. You will learn about giant panda conservation, and how we need your help to protect our earth for us and future generations. The Panda base is easily accessible, as it is located no more than 10 kilometers north of Chengdu on the Futou Mountain. Rivers, lakes, brooks, ornamental green lawns and greens, wild bamboo forests and, woods, man-made dens, rocks, caves and plant pits, simulates the panda’s natural ecological environment. The landscape combined with enrichment and climbing apparatuses create a natural and mentally healthy environment for the pandas.
Mid-afternoon – we will have lunch and then visit the spectacularly fascinating and mysterious Museum at Sanxingdui – where it is said the origins of Shamanism and Taoism may have begun.
The structure of the Sanxingdui museum is a magnificent innovation with a style of solemnity, which consists of two galleries. Gallery one represents an arc-sloped ecological building, emphasizing the theme that human world and nature are in perfect harmony. Gallery two is spiral architecture, symbolizing both Three-star Mounds and the course of human history development. Through the cultural symbolic building, they implicitly convey rich connotation and profound historical deposits of Sanxingdui culture and also reflect the eternal theme of man and society as well as man and nature.
The display of the Sanxingdui museum is entitled Ancient City, Ancient State and Ancient Shu Culture, which is made up of two galleries, including 9 sections .One is Three Stars Accompany the Moon---Brilliant ancient Shu civilization, the other is Three Stars Shine forever----mysterious bronze kingdom.
Late Afternoon – trip to the Qingyang Monastery (Bronze Goat Taoist Temple) – the oldest Taoist Temple in China.
Bronze Goat (Qingyang) Temple
Bronze Goat Taoist Temple (Qing Yang Gong) is also one of the most famous Taoist temples in China. It is conveniently located in the northwest part of Chengdu, in the Sichuan Province.
The temple was originally built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), a period when Taoism was flourishing. Most of the parts of the temple that remain in existence are restorations from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), including Sanqing Hall, Doulao Hall, Hunyuan Palace, the Eight Trigrams Pavilion, and Wuji Palace.
The most magnificent of these buildings is the Eight Trigrams Pavilion. Built on square foundations, with a colored glazed dome on top, this octagonal building reflects the ancient Chinese philosophy that "the sky is round and the earth is square". There are eight pillars with dragons drawn in relief in the corridor, and colorful caissons and the symbols of eight trigrams are ornately arranged across its ceiling.
While we are at this location, Lama Nicholas will give a talk in this very special, ancient location. I’m getting goose-bumps thinking about this now!