Sunday, October 28, 2007

the hunt for the white temple -

after the 798,
we had one of the most amazing experiences we've ever had during traveling,
one that taught me (mr. plan-it-all-a-month-in-advance)
the power of the random find.

we had read about this place called "green t house living"
which was
"out of the way, a bit hard to find, but worth the experience for the adventurous"
and it happened to be "near" the 798 district.

so our driver drove.
and drove.
and drove.

we passed through tons of almost rural side roads,
until we pulled down a long road, past many falling down buildings,
and hit a white wall.

the fog was still hugely present, so the wall almost blended in with the sky.
a guard came out and spoke in cantonese with the driver,
who turned and nodded at us, and gestured to get out.

we followed the guard behind the wall,
and entered a tilda swinton movie.

a white gravel courtyard, stretching on and on.
a white temple in the middle, with walls of glass.
and complete silence.

we crossed to the sound of our own feet crunching,
almost echoing in the fog.
the glass wall slid open,
and a woman in a woven silver kimono met us.

"two for lunch?"

what followed was an amazing six course meal, served at a long oak table overlooking the courtyard. fennel dumplings, tea smoked duck, pears with goat cheese, honey mustard and greens, six mushrooms and chestnuts served flaming tableside.

there were doves in a large white cage. hanging lanterns with pressed flowers in the paper.

and a subterranean bathroom with a giant red murano chandelier growing from the ceiling, touching the ground.

i kept laughing. it was too good. it was too random. and it was real.


editor said...

no reservations required? were there any other people there? the presence of the guard, the isolation - i'm glad you took me here because i wouldn't have ventured on my own.

TravelGretta said...

Pretty! Nice work.

Now, I am concerned that I keep reading "we took a car here", and "we were driven there".

Have you not ridden the bikes like I recommended?

Do it! It's fun! And you'll totally feel quasi-Chinese.