Sunday is a rest day at the school, so after heading into town in the morning and picking up a Chinese sim card, the rest of the day was free. [many thanks to Comi at the Shaolin Traveller Hostel for ushering me to the shop and being a mobile phone tariff translator].
Matthew suggested checking out Song Shan. Little did I know, that Song Shan actually meant Mount Song, which was one of the places I wanted to visit here. It’s one of the beautiful mountain ranges that you see from the Wugulun school. More importantly though, it’s the home of ChanWuYi, where Master De Jian (the ultimate master of the art and devout monk) lives. De Jian sought the home from two nuns and started building a temple there in the heights of the mountain. It’s in the middle of construction, but even what is there now was breathtaking. Even though I didn’t get a chance to see De Jian, the opportunity to stand up there and soak in the view meant a lot.
In terms of the actual climb, from the route we took, it was steep, but technically easy one – about 30-45 mins up with stairs. For those (like me) who have a fear of heights and don’t like exposed edges, there are rails to protect your humility. I understand there’s another route up which includes more cliff exposure and bridges.
To build the temple, workers would carry cement mix from the base of the climb to the top whilst others chipped into the mountain face to make room for the building and use the stone as material. These guys took almost the same amount of time as us to get up the mountain (given, we were taking pictures) and probably carry several bags up each day.
Rather than describe any more, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselvesâ€¦.