Snapshot Sunday: The World’s Largest Buddha?

[ptcPhoto filename=”LeshanBuddha640.jpg” title=”Buddha” caption=”The Grand Buddha in Leshan, Sichuan – China” position=”center”]

At 71 meters (233 feet) tall, many contend that Leshan’s Grand Maitreya Buddha is the world’s largest. He was built in the eighth century to control the confluence of two rivers that were taking many ships and lives. And it worked – after his construction the river became much more manageable.

A miracle? Not so much. The massive amount of rock removed from the river for construction changed the currents and made passage easier.

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Snapshot Sunday: Spinning Prayer Wheels in Litang

[ptcPhoto filename=”LitangSS.jpg” title=”Litang Prayer” caption=”A Tibetan Senior in Litang, Sichuan Province – China” position=”center”]

Now part of Sichuan China, Litang was once a major town in the ancient Tibetan province of Kham. The Tibetan population here is devoutly Buddhist, and it’s common to see women spinning prayer wheels during their daily walks.

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Snapshot Sunday: Trekking through the Tiger Leaping Gorge

[ptcPhoto filename=”TigerLeapingGorge640.jpg” title=”TLG” caption=”View from the Tea Horse Guest House in Tiger Leaping Gorge – Yunnan, China” position=”center”]

After a five hour hike culminating with the notoriously steep “28 Bends”, we stopped to rest at the Tea Horse Guest House. It was one of the best views we saw during our trek through the Tiger Leaping Gorge.

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Snapshot Sunday: The Yuantong Temple

[ptcPhoto filename=”YuantongTemple640.jpg” title=”Ishigaki Island” caption=”The Pavilion at Yuantong Temple – Kunming, Yunnan – China” position=”center”]

With a history of more than 1,200 years, Kunming’s Yuantong Temple is the most important Buddhist temple in Yunnan Province. In addition to its elegant octagonal pavilion, the grounds are also home to two thirty-foot tall dragons – symbols of an emperor in Chinese feudal society.

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Snapshot Sunday: Ishigaki from the Air

[ptcPhoto filename=”Ishigaki640.jpg” title=”Ishigaki Island” caption=”View of Ishigaki from the plane – Ishigaki, Okinawa – Japan” position=”center”]

Late typhoons in Okinawa prevented us from scuba diving during our two weeks in Ishigaki. But as we left we saw some beautiful views of the reefs that surround the island. We’ll have to save the manta rays for next time!

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