You might remember from my first couple of posts about Xiamen (IIVB) that we’d been a little underwhelmed by it all, we’d got the distinct impression of just another Chinese city which happened to be on the coast and was largely inhabited by a temporary heaving mass of the dreaded bus tour groups.
Well, on day 3 we’d done the tulou tour, which had been awesome and as we woke on the 4th morning (a tuesday as it happens) we were a bit stuck for what to do next. In the end we decided to just pop for a look at Nanputuoshan temple, which was very close to our hotel and had been recommended by Tina.
The first thing we saw on arriving at the temple was a large pond with quite a number of people looking into the water. We wandered over for a look and ended up spending about half an hour there, the thing was positively humming with turtles (probably terrapins to be exact), I had no idea it was even possible for so many to survive in one place. The floating turtle coop in the centre of the pond was underwater due to the sheer weight of turtles, stacked 3 or 4 deep on top and everywhere you looked in the water turtles swam and I was surprised to see that somehow large catfish had managed to survive until adulthood and were competing for food alongside the turtles.
H grabbed some berries from a nearby bush and started dropping them in the water attracting a large group of turtles over towards us, several families started doing the same, the kids were having a great time pinging berries off the back of the turtles. After a couple of minutes H pointed to a group of turtles and shouted LOOK LOOK, I looked over to see that one of the large turtles had grabbed one of the baby turtles by the head and was pulling on it like crazy. Within a couple of seconds its head was off and then the other turtles all joined in tearing chunks off wherever they could, all the while being pelted with berries by the unimpressed watching kids. We decided it was time to take a look at the temple..
Somehow we managed to get in without paying, there was a gate where people were walking through and we just kind of followed, then we noticed attendants at the gate who weren’t really doing anything as we walked past and that other people seemed to be holding tickets, it was all a bit late by this point though, we were already through, unchallenged.
The temple was nice enough, but having just been on a trip to Beijing with my family and visited the Forbidden City (for like the 4th time..) and the Summer Palace we were having fits of deja vu and quickly lost interest. The arrival of a couple of coach tours quickly made our mind up and after playing around throwing coins into the mini-pagodas (it never gets boring..) and taking a few photos we headed back to the hotel for lunch and a nap (well we were on holiday you know…..)