One called this place the Long Hua temple another called it the Lon Wa temple. It’s not that hard to write a guide book based on facts, but still they fail. The name outside is the Shaolin Kung Fu Temple. The taxi and jeepney guys just call it the Chinese temple. This is what got me there!
No stick poking here!
For once I didn’t have to present my bag for a stupid stick poking by security and just wandered in through the side entrance. The main doors were locked.
A woman with a shaved head greeted me with a warm smile from around a corner. Her look reminded me of my time in Tibet. Then again so did that familiar smell of incense and candle wax that filled the air.
I walked around and down some stairs to find one of a few statues of Buddha. Back up the stairs again and I was interrupted from my second photograph by a pleasant man.
“You need to start over there,” he said pointing out the side entrance again. “They start to pray soon.”
He seemed nice enough until his final comment. “And, you wear shoes! No shoes here.”
I looked down at his own black leather shoes and then at the shaven headed ladies thick sandles.
What’s good in Tibet, is not worthy enough here
“I see, well when I was in Tibet in the Dalai Lama‘s old house they didn’t seem to mind me wearing shoes! And, how come you are wearing them?”
Religious rules while traveling
If there is one thing I have noticed about religion when traveling it’s that nearly every country has a slightly different take on the rules.
“It’s not something often explored by religious commentary and I can see why.”
The man walked away. I’d finished inside anyway, but couldn’t resist against the stupid non enforced rule.
For those that don’t know, I have a thing against taking my shoes off in side any “religious place’. Let alone when no one else is doing it.
Always an alternative:
Outside and I found the small well kept gardens a lot more pleasant. I’d wanted to ask a few questions about the place. But, the man had put me off, and I really wasn’t so interested anymore.
There was another temple somewhere nearby, I’d heard it was a lot more isolated and unvisited. What better place to visit.
Conform to your own rules religion:
I don’t quite get why religion differs in every country that practices the same kind. Well I do, it’s due to culture and centuries of adaptation.
“But then again, are they not all meant to be under one head Lama, Pope, Mullah e.t.c,.”
And, to me, therein lies one of the main problems with religion in the world today. Everyone is speaking in their own interpretation of what was originally written, no matter the religion.
Much like the guide books who can’t agree on the name of a place.
I wrote an article a while ago about how to deal with religion and travel. In it I state, when asked my religion, I reply “A little bit of everything.”
There’s a reason for that, though I am not sure everyone else agrees.
A special place that all travelers in every country should know about, but few do, and even fewer go there …