Destinations Magazine

Like A Prayer... Nanshan Temple: Sanya, China!

By Josephharrison1990 @JTAH_1990

What's happened to me?! I have not been myself lately, somewhat foolish because I've been playing games with this blog! Nanshan Temple has brought me back to life, well this blog needs to be published before the end of the month, it is well and truly time for another 'Like A Prayer'... Sanya's weather wasn't going to get the best of me, I loved those sunshine climbs a lot! Dios! 

Like A Prayer... Nanshan Temple: Sanya, China!

I was ready for the first day of my China Highlights Hainan tour, I met my driver bright and early outside of my hotel as planned. Driving along the coast and through the tropical looking roads was a treat before I had even arrived at Sanya's Nanshan Temple. I really didn't know much about the temple but knew of the 'Guanyin of Nanshan', that much I knew but nothing else. It took around one hour from my Yalong Bay based hotel to reach Nanshan Temple, to be honest I wasn't shocked by the crowds but knew that getting there earlier would set me in good stead. Making the most of my admission ticket I took the trolley bus from the entrance to the foot of the 'Guanyin', well it was close enough! The 108 meter tall 'Guanyin of Nanshan' stood with complete serenity, the 'Avalokitesvara' faced me as the world's largest and highest statue of its kind, trumping New York City's very own 'Statue of Liberty!' Of course, I didn't know those facts at the time of my visit, I was feeling a little hungover. Oh, the heat was trying to punish me. 

Standing just ahead of the Puji Bridge, I felt that my vista worked well, I felt content. Getting my photo wasn't difficult, I didn't feel the need to cross that bridge at all. Standing from where I was allowed me to view the 'Guanyin' from a reasonable elevation with the sweeping coastline visible to my right and left. I am not religious but I had not visited a temple in China for a hot minute, the last temple was clocked in Beijing being the 'Temple of Heaven'. It felt amazing to be breathing the sea air that was around me, that hadn't been the case in Beijing but variety is the spice of life. Making the most of Hainan's bountiful supply of coconuts, I enjoyed some cold coconut milk as I walked away from that amazing seafront view. Nanshan Temple felt organised, the whole attraction area was signposted beautifully with Chinese, English and Russian reference points available. Where would I venture towards next? I literally dragged my feet because I wanted to take in every single sight and scene. I headed towards the 'Bonsho Garden'. 

Like A Prayer... Nanshan Temple: Sanya, China!

The walk from the center of the 'Tourism Cultural Zone' to the 'Bonsho Garden' was a leisurely one. I wanted to see some more palm trees because then I could be reminded of my tropical island location. The 'Bonsho Garden' impressed me much with a silence that I wasn't expecting, the temple area was packed but the space between each point of interest meant that peace and quiet was guaranteed. I loved the bells that were hanging in a semi-circle, they gave me a sense of calm like the view over the South China Sea did. I wasn't able to find much about that garden because the translation wasn't accurate but that kind of information didn't mean anything to me. I took some time to reflect, my trip had been rather busy but being with that charming garden took away any kind of fatigue. I had a few moments to recharge within Nanshan Temple's 'Bonsho Garden', getting on with my day feeling refreshed I was able to move forwards. Vietnam was in the near distance? Yes it was, but let me mention that soon! 'Bonsho Garden' was lovely! 

Walking towards Nanshan Temple itself was an interesting experience because those signs were playing games. To be honest I trusted the path that I had took, as I carried on straight on I was able to see many unstoppable views of the coastline. That ocean blue looked amazing and better still one of those vantage points was next to a private house. I wanted to at least stay in that house for the night because the view from their driveway was like nothing else. Walking wise, the whole area that I covered really didn't feel like a whole lot and the heat really tried to zap me of any remaining energy. Those palm trees had me in my feelings in the best way, those lush greener pastures almost had me saying a little prayer but you already know I am not religious. I walked past a temple looking building with a question? No, that building in-question wasn't Nanshan Temple. I needed something to eat, those prices though! Another coconut treat would have to do for the time being. A vegetarian restaurant? No thank you very much! Nanshan, who?

Like A Prayer... Nanshan Temple: Sanya, China!

By the time I arrived at Nanshan Temple's entrance I was absolutely exhausted, the sun had finally caught up with me and I needed to take several seats. A short break with another coconut treat was in order, I was happy to talk with a young boy who was with his parents. He was so shocked to see a foreigner in the same place, I used my Chinese language skills to tell him about myself and also asked him questions. They thought I was Russian, I politely told them that I was from England instead. Leaving that conversation behind me, I headed towards the different halls and shrines within Nanshan Temple's walls. I loved the golden figures that I have featured above, there was something about their shining example that I loved. Sure, those boxed in figures reminded me of those similar that I had noticed in Singapore at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. Now, I am going to keep things on the line because Nanshan Temple itself wasn't the most impressive temple I had ever visited. It was the variety that made it for me! No lies, no lies!

I had decided that my Nanshan Temple experience had been enough and if truth me told, the view from those elevated steps impressed me the most! I looked on my maps APP to see where my exact GPS location was at, zooming out only just a little bit allowed me to see that I was just a few hundred miles away across the water from Vietnam. I had that South East Asian country in my search engine, I really needed to book a trip quick-time! Those elevated ocean views from Nanshan Temple gave me piece of mind, the day had given me calm even though those visitor numbers continued to grow! Heading back to my driver it was clear to see that our early morning departure from Yalong Bay had not been for nothing! Heading towards the nearest Muslim noodle restaurant had to be done, I was in serious need of something either rice or noodles! Honestly, it has been great getting back into my blog after such an unusual break. Like A Prayer... is back with a Sanya flavor and also I'm feeling refreshed and ready! Cheers, 南山! 

Nanshan, She Better Don't!

Desperately Seeking Adventure

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