Our first few days were spent with family in Changzhou, which is a third-tier city with a population of around 5 million. It is definitely not a tourist destination, and there are very few foreigners there.
One of their few tourist sites is the Tianning Temple, which is the tallest wooden pagoda in the world.
There are many Buddha statues of all sizes inside the temple – over a thousand, I believe. Plus lots of other carvings and statues. It was quite interesting to go through.
Of course, we did climb to the top for a nice view of the surrounding area.
The temple area and gardens were lovely to walk through.
The next day we went to Wuxi to visit the Mt. Lingshan Grand Buddhist Area. This is basically more of a Buddha theme park than a religious site. The Lingshan Grand Buddha is the tallest bronze Buddha in the world (88 meters), and one of the largest Buddhas of any type. If you look very closely at the photo below, you might be able to see people standing at Buddha’s feet at the hem of his robes, just above the lotus petals.
We didn’t have time to visit the entire park, but we did go to the Brahma Palace which was quite impressive both on the outside,
and on the inside. (Portions available for booking your meeting or special event, of course.)
The gardens were lovely as well.
Our last tour stop of this segment was the Nanshan Bamboo Forest. This is not where “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was filmed, but it isn’t far.
We of course, saw lots of bamboo.
But the main reason we went there was for the Giant Pandas. They have two there.