Playing “Tourist”

Now today was what I would call an eventful day! Our new Taiwanese friends took us to Kaohsiung on the train

to visit Fo Guang Shan and E-Da Outlet Mall. The train ticket was priced reasonably

First we stopped by E-Da, a frickin’ big outlet mall!

That sells just about the same shops at any modern mall, such as

But unlike most modern malls, it has its own amusement park!

And theatre!!!

Of course, because we were quite the cheap-stakes, we didn’t go in. And for the life of me, I can’t explain why the deciding party picked here of all restaurants to have lunch at!

Mind you, they had Apple Pie, I forgave them immediately! I think I’ll be hitting MickeyD’s again very soon just because that pie just brings back certain nostalgia!

After lunch we went to Fo Guang Shan Monastery, a Buddhist temple that was recently renovated and re-opened to the public last Christmas. It hosts the world’s largest Buddha!

They’re not kidding! It’s huge! 

The monastery itself was built on the aesthetic on Buddhist beliefs, philosophy and values. Even the side buildings stood for something.

Don’t ask me what. I forgot hours ago. Though out of the 8 buildings, one was called the “Wedding” building (of course, I’d remember that), the Calligraphy building and the Souvenirs (or Arts and Crafts) building. The first building on the right hand side from this view is said to be the Administrative building. So 4 out of 8, I’d say I’m doing a good job!

The monastery hosts various historical displays

Photographs

Shrines

and some interactive activities like this “Build your own Pagoda” blocks! This is how mine ended up!

Isn’t it beautiful!!!??? 🙂 I’m getting all teary-eyed!

So asides from going along all the various things that we went through, we did what all tourist do:

Took photos!

Posed for photos:

People-watch (the kid’s playing Peek-a-boo with us, btw. And no, we don’t know who they are!)

and ATE local cuisine!!!!

Okay, a microwavable version of local cuisine… Hey! I got hungry!

So all in all, it was a really good day! Productive, even! I learned more things about Buddhism and its history that I think I wouldn’t even care to learn about. But that thought aside, I truly appreciate the hospitality of the Taiwanese students, the aesthetic architecture of modern infrastructures, the wonders of fast food, and the knowledge that has been shared throughout our tour today. 

That said, I think I’ve had my fill on Buddhism 101 in one day (let alone a lifetime!) For the first time ever, I actually can’t wait for Easter!

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