After dinner at Zheweiguan, I slept quite well.... probably because I was exhausted. The Missus got up the next morning raring to go. We decided to just grab a quick breakfast at Zhiweiguan(again), and catch the bus to the Lingyin scenic area.
This time we went with the first floor area, which sells snacks and fast-food type dishes. At this time of the morning it was waaaaay more empty than usual.
The drill here, similar to many other places is...... first you go to the counter and buy script:
You then go to the various counters, place your order, pay with script, and get your food. If you have script remaining at the end of your meal, you return them to the counter and get a refund.
This is what we ended up with:
The Missus enjoyed the porridge (when doesn't She?), but the youtiao (fried dough) was on the greasy and soggy side.
The Xiao Long Bao were actually better here then in the more upscale restaurant on the third floor.
The bean curd skin stuffed with glutinous rice and broad beans was also pretty good.
After the meal, we caught the bus to the Lingyin Scenic Area.
So instead of hitting the temple with the first wave of tourists, we took a detour, and decided to check out Fei Lai Feng (Peak Flown from Afar), also known as Nimble Vulture Peak (Ling Jiu Feng). This 700 foot peak was supposedly named by an Indian Monk named Hui Li. Hui Li noticed that this limestone peak was so different from everything around it, and also that it resembled the mountains in India. He theorized that the peak had flown to this spot from India... thus naming it "Peak Flown from Afar).
There are trails around the peak, with over 500 Buddha Statues carved from limestone, many dating back to the Song Dynasty (10th Century).
Even more fascinating for us, were the caves lining the base of the peak.
There are over 300 carvings in the wall of the caves..... which adds a sense of drama to the whole experience.
Within one of the main caves, named Shexu Cave, there is a spot where the sun shines through a crack at the top of the cave. I was told this is called "one thread of heaven" which makes quite an impact.
That's not to say that the trails up and down the peak aren't quite dramatic in their own way. Because it takes mild effort to walk up and down the peak, there are less tourists, and some very nice carvings.
Of course, it's not just the carvings that catches the Missus's eye......