Although October brings the eagerly-awaited seven-day NationalDay Holiday, “Golden Week” is not an ideal time for a trip becauseof the sheer volume of travelers during this period. For those whodon’t want a week of stress and exhaustion, China Pictorial recommendseither choosing a different time in October or traveling foronly one or two days within the Golden Week. For a one or two-daytrip, Shaolin Temple is a good destination for those living nearby.
Widely known as the birthplace of Shaolin kung fu, the ShaolinTemple was constructed in 495 at the foot of Wuru Peak, DengfengCity of Henan Province. It is said that Bodhidharma, a renownedancient Indian Zen Buddhist master, once stayed at the temple. AfterEmperor Taizong (599-649) of the Tang Dynasty, one of the mostoutstanding emperors in Chinese history, was saved by thirteen warrior-monks of Shaolin Temple when he was still a prince, he didn’tforget to reward the temple greatly during his reign.
A famous pagoda forest is located 300 meters west of the temple.
For more than 1,000 years, over 250 pagodas have rested there, makingit the largest of its kind in China. The pagodas, most of whichare carved with inscriptions, vary in size but resemble each other inappearance while reflecting contrasting architectural styles of differentdynasties.
The surviving temple includes the mountaingate, Abbot Hall, the Thousand-BuddhaCave and many other attractions.In recent years, the Hall of HeavenlyKing and Mahavira Hall,which were destroyed longago, have been rebuilt.
Slow Tourism Growth
Despite the increasing number of foreign touristsvisiting Beijing in the first half of the year, tourismgrowth is slowing.
The capital welcomed more than 2.5 million touristsfrom overseas in the first half of the year, an increaseof 4.2 percent year-on-year. However, growthhas slowed since the second quarter of the year and isexpected to continue slowing, according to the BeijingTourism Development Committee.