Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 2 of Ningbo

Sunday morning we attempted to sleep in, figuring we would get some much needed sleep. We thought this would have been possible in Ipoh, but alas our schedule was too busy. Figuring that we had the weekend in Ningbo we would at least sleep in a little bit, as there is no construction to jolt us out of our dreams. Apparently, the universe is against us, right across from our hotel, was a very nice church, which happens to ring its bells every hour starting at 6am. We muscled through it, and finally woke up around 9am, pretty much exhausted from the day before.

So, day 2 in Ningbo we decided to take another route to see where that would lead us. We first went through the plaza where all the shops including Starbucks were located. The area around our hotel, called Tianyi, is considered pretty much the "downtown" of Ningbo.

We walked through an area that was a typical China town, clearly preserving some history before tearing down everything that resembles China of old. There was a quaint tower, called Ningbo Tianfeng Tower, which use to be the tallest building in Ningbo. It was originally constructed during the Tang Dynasty and then rebuilt during the Song Dynasty. You get a very nice view of the city, granted it's only 51 meters tall, but it is still worthwhile to climb.

Tianfeng Tower

The construction in Ningbo

After lunch our journey continued where we came upon an area that appeared to have buildings that went back about 100 years, though perhaps longer. The buildings were typical of what one expected when coming to China. It was quite interesting to see this neighbourhood as this is what we have been searching since arriving Ningbo. We really wanted to take photos, but since we were the only non-Chinese people, the locals saw us coming a few blocks away.

We managed to see a few buildings during our walks

We then found a ship museum close to the Lao Wai Tan area and checked that out. It was quite interesting to see the display of the different ships and how they improved during the various dynasties.

We learned about Mazu, the Chinese goddess of the sea and that over 1500 temples have been dedicated to this young women. Mazu, could cure the ill, predict the weather and announce when it was safe to travel. She died at the age of 28, and has been revered ever since. To this day, many sailors still pray to her before and after their journeys.

Later on, we walked back to the hotel for some much needed rest. Later, we enjoyed a nice dinner before retiring to bed, exhausted as usual.

It was great to have seen this city as it wasn't on our "must see, while we're in China" list and found some very interesting sites we were not expecting to see.

The next day, I flew back home, while Mark remained in Ningbo.

No comments: