Manila, Philippines

From the top of Manila Fo Guang Shan Buddhist temple, where I’ve spent about a month during our 4-month temple stay in the Philippines, you could overlook the country’s capital, and the sunset time was the best. If you were lucky enough and the evenings weren’t cloudy, you could see how the sun sinks into the waters of Manila Bay. I wasn’t that lucky.

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One Night in Zhangye

We were tired, sleepy, all alone among hundreds of thousands of Chinese living in the city of Zhangye.. Standing in the middle of the square in front of the Giant Buddha Temple me and Anya were thinking of where to spend the night.. How could we know that the temple is not a temple at all, but a museum, which is closed at night.. Our chances to find free accommodation were million to one.. The Buddhist temple was closed.. Priests of the Christian church sent us away, and the internet cafe was too cold to spent the night there.. We were in despair.. I left Anya on the square and went to look for some ways to get in through the gates so that we could put our tent and sleep there.. Wandering around I came across a statue of a monk, sitting in meditation.. I don’t know why but I hugged the statue and said, “Hello old man! I don’t know who you are but…please, help us..” The statue was cold to me.. I mean it was really cold, physically.. I turned back to see where my friend was (she was at same place where I left her) when I noticed a big black car turning off the road and parking right in the middle of the square near Anya..

~The statue of a monk~

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