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Visit to Southern Shaolin Temple -Putian

The Jee Shin Wing Chun Group finally arrived in Fuzhou, southern China. The purpose of landing in southern China was to visit the southern Shaolin Temple. I took a Jee Shin Wing Chun group to the Northern Shaolin Temple in Henan Province in 2012, so completing the trip to the Southern Shaolin Temple was of paramount importance. The Coach trip to Putian from Fuzhou took about 2 hours. I remember the highway being very rough for the first 30 minutes. Driving through Putian reminded me of an ancient Chinese Village rather than a big City. Putian is a very long City so it took some time to reach the main road leading to the Temple.

It is very easy to find as the main road has a traditional Chinese entrance gate at the start of the road, which I believe is called “Shaolin Road”. It was a short trip to the base of the Mountain and then it took about 20 minutes to reach the Temple. The mountain was covered in a misty fog which gave me the feeling of a real spiritual location. As we alighted from our coach, the Shaolin Temple was surrounded by a thick mist, so you couldn’t see the complete picture, but it was very intriguing.

The walk around the Temple only took about an hour, but the monumental statues that surround the walls and entrances were out of this world. The statues were Buddhist Deities ornate in Gold and Brass and the designs and sculptures were absolutely magnificent. Towards the end of our tour, Sifu Linda and I decided to perform some tai chi and kung fu techniques, and within a short time we had a small group of chinese and tourist taking photos and movies.

We were notices by some Shaolin Officials and as a result were invited into a Silk Road forum which was in progress. There, we were greeted by the Head Abbot from Australia and the Head Abbot of the Southern Shaolin Temple, who were happy to have photographs taken with our wing chun kung fu group.

The head Abbot of Australia organized a group of Shaolin Monks (teens) to perform for our group and the Sifu Linda performed wing chun Biu Gee form for the Monks. The Shaolin Monks invited us to stay for Lunch, but as we were on a time schedule I had to decline, with all due respect.

What a surprise for this to occur. It was an honour and privilege to be so lucky to meet the Head Abbots from China and Australia. It was totally unexpected and not on our itinerary. After leaving the Temple and the mountain, we drive around Putian to find a restaurant. The first one we chose was too traditional with the food to pick from cages, such as snakes, turtles and fish. We left in a hurry and eventually found a fantastic restaurant. The staff was so friendly and the food was absolutely fantastic. We took some photos with the staff and left for our drive to Fuqing which hosts another Temple.

The weather became inclement and the time was late afternoon, so we would be going up another mountain in the wet and dark, which would have been very unsafe, so we opted to head back to our Hotel in Fuzhou. What an amazing day!

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