On our next day in Guangzhou, we visited the Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King. In 1983, work crews began excavating a site on Elephant Hill to make room for new apartments. They stumbled upon the burial grounds of Zhao Mo, second king of the Nanyue Kingdom. Today, an extensive museum has been built on the site.
After a nap for Simon, we headed back out to see the Buddhist Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Despite being in the middle of a busy part of the city, the temple was calm, cool, and quiet. It was a lovely respite from the streets outside. Families were lounging in the pavilion. Grounds crew watered the plants. Solitary visitors prayed and burned incense at the altars. The occasional monk in an ochre robe walked by. Certainly the dominant feature is the lovely Lotus Pagoda, which was originally built in 527AD but has been rebuilt many times. Featuring nine levels, it stretches high into the air and because of the tight quarters, you really have to lean back and crane your neck upward to see the top.
On our final day, we had just a few hours before heading out. I took Joel and Simon back to Yuexiu Park, since they hadn’t joined us the first day. I especially wanted Joel to see the special exhibit at the park’s museum, “Over the Sea Guangzhou: A Joint Exhibition of Cultural Relics from Nine ‘Maritime Silk Road’ Cities.” Joel is teaching a class on ocean exploration this semester–I think he regrets not going to this museum before he wrote his syllabus! China’s maritime history is vast and this gave us just a glimpse into the trade routes and battles.
We had a little more time to walk through the park and past the old wall again.
From there, our last adventure was a ride home on the bullet train. It was a fun ride, with speeds up to 117mph. We made it back to the Tangjia train station in just under an hour.