This morning, much to our dismay, the heat wave was still in effect and we had a full day of tours and sightseeing ahead of us. The first stop of the day was the Flower Nursery. An everlasting landscape full of culture and originality, the nursery offered a sense of serenity and reflection for each of us. Next, we visited the Lingyin Temple, respectfully one of the more impressive attractions we’ve encountered on our travels, outside of our visit to the National Museum of China. The temple, locally referred to as “the temple of the souls retreat,” was anchored by forested hills on three of its sides. It is a quiet and serene place that houses art and the largest statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni sitting in the lotus position. Within the temple walls existed years of ancient traditions and culture.
Later, we visited Leifeng Pagoda, an octagonal five-story tall tower rich with historical tales and interesting legends. Originally constructed in the year 975 A.D., the tower collapsed in 1924, but was rebuilt in 2002 and since then it has been a popular tourist attraction. While at the tower, students climbed the five-story structure and once at the top took the time to view all of Hangzhou and the beautiful West Lake area. We ended the day by visiting the former residence of Hu Xueyan, Huagang Park, and the Su Causeway, a festival area designated especially for tourists. At the Causeway, we shopped in the marketplace and found many unique treasures for our friends and families back home.