Right across from Fei Lai Feng, is the Lingyin Buddhist Temple. The temple was originally built in the early fourth century, and has been rebuilt at least 16 times over time. After paying admission, we entered the very busy grounds of the temple.
Due to the crowds of tourists, all paying admission, it was easy to lose sight of the fact that Lingyin Temple is a functioning Buddhist temple. And having been to Thailand and Laos, we were a bit shocked to see young ladies wearing pumps and mini-skirts and guys wearing tank tops (one had even taken his shirt off) and shorts on temple grounds. Folks disregarded signs within the halls prohibiting photos, and even let their children climb into urns within the cultural treasury hall...... it was all a bit surreal.
And yet every so often you'd see a monk walking the grounds.
Or folks making offerings......
We headed back to our hotel, for a nap, and to attempt to escape the humidity. As we passed this doorway, the Missus suggested trying this place out. Strangely, some noodle soup sounded pretty good.......
I would later find out that this noodle restaurant Kui Yuan Guan is very well known around China. According to the story, the restaurant was founded during the Qing Dynasty, in the late 1860's.
There was reason the place was pretty busy in spite of the heat and humidity.
The menu is full of various noodle soups, and there is a single phrase English description of each type of noodle soup.
I was to find out later that Kui Yuan Chuan is credited with creating this dish, called Pian Er Chuan, go figure.....
Other than the very lean and tough pork (which I expected), I really enjoyed this soup. The combination of the salty-sour tones of the preserved vegetable, with the earthy and mildly sweet flavor of the fresh bamboo shoots, and what seemed to be a mildly rich pork based broth was a great combination.
The Missus selected the Shredded Eel Noodle soup (23 yuan - about $3.20).
The Missus seemed to enjoy Her soup well enough. We both found the noodl es adequate, though nothing special. This restaurant also marked a first distinct occurrence we were to find several more times at noodle soup restaurants in the region. Our noodle soup arrived, but no spoons were provided. I noticed that other customers simply brought the bowl up to their face and drank their soup, and I was perfectly fine with consuming my soup that way. But for some reason, this wouldn't fly with the Missus, who, in every case would flag down one of the employees and ask for spoons....... it turned out that soup spoons were only provided upon request.