Monday, October 20, 2008

Panmen Scenery Area

Wandering around over the weekend, I found myself at the entrance to Panmen Scenery Area. I purchased a ticket and went in. After all, it was that or go back to the hotel room.

There were several areas inside the gates, including a large pagoda and an ancient structure with a Land Gate and a Water Gate. Since Suzhou has canals throughout the city, it was important to be able to block off both land and water routes from enemies.

Just inside the gates was this statue of an Ox. The sign in front stated quite plainly not to climb on the statue. I had to take the picture on my way out, as too many people were climbing onto its’ back for photos when I first walked by.

A little further down the path was this turtle. I found out later that it was Listening to Scriptres (yes that is the correct spelling).

The Ox and Turtle statues were in front of the Pagoda.

Behind the Pagoda was the Hall of Four Auspicious Merits. Although I never did learn what the four merits were, and what made them so auspicious. Maybe I should learn Chinese?

As I walked further through the area I passed the Captive Animals Freeing Pool. Why a pool to free animals into? This brought images of throwing cats into the water to my head.

A directional sign further down the way referred to it as a Captive Fish Freeing Pool. This made a little more sense.

I later saw this gentleman. His actions were acceptable – he was far away from the Fish Freeing Pool.

There were gardens and bridges around the various structures. The maintenance on these gardens must be incredible.

And pillars / tablets of various sorts were scattered throughout the gardens. Here are the Millennium Twin Stone Posts.

Followed by the Tablet of Filial Piety and Justice.

As I walked along I passed Moon Island.

This, of course, caused me to ponder. Where is Sun Island? Oh wait, there it is.

As I worked my way through the area, they had a display of ancient military tools. I do not think I would want to find myself facing these, especially the one with the spikes.

Atop the gates were cannons for additional protection.

With my limited grasp of the Chinese Language, I believe this is who the gates and cannons were protecting.

It was a nice day, and it was good to get out for a while.


Kristin said...

Looks like a fun day! Well, for China anyway. The pagodas are cool. We don't have many of those here.

You wouldn't want to learn Chinese... then you might understand the actual translations for "Captive Animal Freeing Area" and "No Whiffing in the Pong." And where's the fun in that?

Chris said...

Beautiful garden. Do you think they made all the actual English translators go help with the Olympics, thus leaving only the non-English translators to translate all these signs? I'm seeing a pattern. You might just have to learn Mandarin after all. It'll come in handy in KY.