June 13th – Mount Heng

Got up early at 5am. Fiddled with my computer – getting pictures posted and such. Had breakfast.

Went down to the lobby at 7 to meet my driver. The first place we went was the wooden pavilion. It’s a bit over an hour out of town on the beijing – mongolia expressway. It’s a pagoda made of wood. It had some big wooden buddhas, and was beginning to deteriorate on the inside.

The driver said a lot of ‘foreign tourists’ came to datong. Most of them from japan and korea, and mostly there for relgious reasons. Not a ton of westerners.

In another hour we got to hengshan. Half an hour walk up to the temples from the parking lot. Lots of temples, and cool scenery. The area actually reminds me a lot of eastern Oregon. It has the same shrubbery and orange-ish hills.

Lots of staring. I kind of stood out from the crowd I guess. It’s sort of to be expected though.

after I’d explored hengshan we went to the hanging monastery. It’s just across from hengshan, with a small reservoir between the two. Lots of tour groups there, but the place itself is pretty cool. I got through it in 15 minutes, because it is small. It’s not active – all commercial now. There was another one hidden up the hill from it where the monks have retreated.

Then we drove back to the city – getting back at around 2. Coming in it really is impressive how huge the development of the place is. There are a good 30 blocks all under construction as you come in – block after block of cranes. The block I’m in is apparently safe because it’s where the 9 dragon screen is – but both sides are in the process of the demolition. It’s also impressive how active the place is in spite of the demolition going on. Lots of people on the streets and in shops that are still open.

I walked to a super market and restocked on water – I was thirsty after the morning.

Came back and discovered my computer wouldn’t turn on. After some fiddling it’s in a state of partial ok-ness, but is still finicky.

Got dinner from one of the street sellers.

came back and I’m in the process of amusing myself until it’s time to go to bed.