China Travel Photo of the Day: Enlightenment for all at Hunan's Heng Shan

Culture | by Aimee Groom
Posted: July 28th, 2010 | Updated: April 19th, 2011 | Comments
Being in China for any amount of time means visiting A LOT of temples. Some are beautiful, some renovated to the point of being garish, others are positively ramshackle and past the point of repair but no matter what, there are always plenty of statues to go round. Bulge-eyed, terrifying, spear-wielding gods? Check. Peaceful, cross-legged Buddhas? Check. Geeky looking chap in a 50s style suit and glasses? Check! Heng shan I don't know about you but this dude looks like he's at the wrong conference--just goes to show, enlightenment doesn't necessarily entail flowing robes and a goatee! This picture was taken in one of the many temples scattered across Hunan's Heng Shan though too long ago for me to remember which. Also known as Nanyue Shan, Heng Shan is one of China's five sacred mountains and not to be confused with Shanxi's sacred mountain of the same name. Revered by Taoists and Buddhists alike, Heng Shan is also beloved by hikers, rewarding a little effort on the trail with fresh air, temple-studded slopes and mist-shrouded summits. Those ambitious enough can ascend to Wishing Harmony Peak or explore Grand Southern Heights Temple. Heng Shan is a just couple of hours by bus or train from provincial capital Changsha. There are plenty of flights to Changsha from all over China and if you're planning to spend the night before heading out, there are lots of hotels in Changsha to choose from.
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