Mixing with pilgrims
If you are into history and magic places, you should not miss the 1800 years old Lingyin monastery in Hangzhou. It has not only amazing artwork - like this Buddha carved right into the rock - but is also huge - at its peak in the 11th century, there were no less than 3000 monks living and praying there.
Although the monastery has always been regarded as one of the most important temples of the Jiangnan region, it has been destroyed many times - 16 times to be precise, the last part of destruction having taken place in the last century. Despite all these attempts against the monastery, there are still plenty of things to be seen there. Imagine how it would look if there had been no marauders since its construction …
If you visit the monastery as a tourist, you will immediately notice that this is still a religious place in full service – pilgrims are everywhere, and one cannot help admiring the religious fervour and faith of all these people. The Chinese name of the monastery can be translated as “Temple of the Soul's Retreat”, and even as tourist, you feel that your soul may be positively affected by the very special atmosphere and setting.