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Jingci Temple/净慈禅寺
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You could live here for years and never visit this place. A temple is a temple, right? But, what makes Jingci Temple such a draw to pilgrims from all around is the famous rebel monk Ji Gong (a.k.a. Crazy Ji) who lived here during the Southern Song Dynasty. People like this monk because of his flagrant disregard for decorum and monastic rules. He ate meat. He drank wine. He was arrogant. He didn't have proper summer or winter clothes. He was a scruffy drunk who could always be seen carrying an old fan and a gourd of wine, and any extra money he had went towards replenishing his wine supply. (Is it possible that our head is Ji Gong incarnate?) Yet, he was compassionate, generous, upright and honest. He gave to the poor and supposedly had magical powers to heal them. And he was a fantastic poet (OK, the Ed. isn't exactly like Old Crazy). Check out the smiling visage of Ji Gong at the rear of the main hall. He's small, but definitely one of the happier buddhas you'll see. Jingci is no Lingyin (which is coincidentally where Ji Gong was ordained), but it does bare some historical significance. The Evening Bell Ringing at Nanping Hill is one of the Ten Views of West Lake. Traditionally, it's where the old year is rung out and the new year rung in. Make a half day tour of this side of the lake by checking out Leifeng Pagoda, throwing some food to the turtles in the pond, and then crossing the street to pay a visit to the Living Buddha Ji Gong. Afterwards, you can have a nice vegetarian meal at Jing Lian Ju Vegetarian Restaurant (净莲居素斋)and walk it off on the Su Causeway. Not a bad day at all. Tickets: 10RMB; Busses to get there: Take bus K4, 504, Y1, 2, 3, Holiday 5, or 7 and get off at Jingci Temple bus stop 净慈禅寺.

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56 Nanshan Road

0571 8796 2880

Opening Hours:
7:30am – 5pm (winter), 7am – 5pm (summer)
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