Monk on a walk at Huating Temple, Kunming, China

by China

Kunming, in the far southwestern Yunnan Province of China, has innumerable temples, including Huating Temple – what Chinese city doesn’t? From Buddhist to Taoist, to ones in the hills and on the cliffs at Dragon Gate in the Western Hills Park to serene escapes in the city (e.g. Yuantong), you could spend many years visiting them all.

There is a limit to temple photos one can take. Yes, they are jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring, but walls, candles, bells and etchings are just so … stationery. Sometimes, you just need people in a photo. But at a temple it’s not always possible since often the monks are behind closed doors, in prayer, or don’t want to be photographed.

The subject: The Huating Temple in Kunming’s Western Hills Xishan Park, on the road to Dragon Gate. The temple as it appears today was built in 1320 and, in contrast to most temples, it faces east not south. In the courtyard is a large pool of water – the Eight Merit Pool – with a bridge crossing over one part of it.

The inspiration: On our daylong adventure to get to Dragon Gate, we climbed steep stairs and ventured into caves and small temples – what a worthwhile trek! At our last stop at the end of the day at Huating Temple, I ambled silently around the pond. It was very quiet, I felt peaceful, and no tourists were in sight since it was only minutes before 5 p.m. when the gates would close. Suddenly, I spied a monk doing a couple of laps around the pond – clutching his prayer beads behind his back with his athletic shoes peeping out under his pants. I was not in the best position and he wasn’t exactly waiting for me to get into one. I scrambled to get two shots before he rounded the bend. I waited, hoping he’d take another lap, but no such luck. He was gone. Fortunately, both shots weren’t bad, with this one being the best.

Artist’s tools: My Nikon D90 still serves me well for many an adventure, as does the 18-105mm lens f/3.5-5.6, both of which I got when I returned to photography after about 25 years! What I like about this focal length on a lens is its ability to capture almost everything for me without fiddling with changing lens or being draped with several cameras with different lenses. I’m a simple photographer like that. I was set at a 1/160th of second at f/13 with a focal length of 105mm. I also try to avoid over-processing so this has only the simplest of touches; in this case, however, my meandering Huating Temple monk hit a perfect spot but there was a stone bench behind him. That had to go, as you can see in the original, totally untouched photo below. This was taken in April 2016.

 

I

Wondering what else to do in Kunming?

[et_pb_map_extended address=”Chengdu, Sichuan, China” zoom_level=”5″ address_lat=”30.572815″ address_lng=”104.066801″ mobile_dragging=”off” map_type_control_style=”DEFAULT” marker_center=”off” bounce_on_click_on_off=”off” marker_animation=”off” map_directions=”on” map_directions_placement=”bottom” map_type=”4″ map_height=”500px” admin_label=”China Map Extended” _builder_version=”3.12.1″ saved_tabs=”all”][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Baiji Temple (Chicken Temple)” pin_address=”111 Da Wa Lu, Xianggelila Shi, Diqing Zangzuzizhizhou, Yunnan Sheng, China” zoom_level=”11″ pin_address_lat=”27.8128152″ pin_address_lng=”99.6988655″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/theravadatemple.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″][/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Stone Forest” pin_address=”Unnamed Road, Shilin Yizuzizhixian, Kunming Shi, Yunnan Sheng, China” zoom_level=”12″ pin_address_lat=”24.808296980407″ pin_address_lng=”103.3422898418″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/forest-park-open-space.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Stone Forest In Yunnan Great Day Trip From Kunming[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Jinbi Square Arches” pin_address=”Jin Bi Guang Chang, Xishan Qu, Kunming Shi, Yunnan Sheng, China, 650221″ zoom_level=”11″ pin_address_lat=”25.0330921″ pin_address_lng=”102.7100559″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/city-square-map-icon.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Top 6 Things to do in Kunming[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Yuantong Temple” pin_address=”30 Yuantong St, Wuhua Qu, Kunming Shi, Yunnan Sheng, China, 650031″ pin_address_lat=”25.050174″ pin_address_lng=”102.711708″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/theravadatemple.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Top 6 Things to do in Kunming[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Green Lake Park” pin_address=”Cuihu Lake, Wuhua, Kunming, China, 650031″ pin_address_lat=”25.0474126″ pin_address_lng=”102.7039966″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/urbanpark.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Top 6 Things to do in Kunming[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Kunming Old Town” pin_address=”Bao Shan Zhong Biao Lao Dian ( Guang Hua Jie ), Wuhua Qu, Kunming Shi, Yunnan Sheng, China, 650221″ pin_address_lat=”25.0393661″ pin_address_lng=”102.7062183″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/historicalquarter.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Top 6 Things to do in Kunming[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Wuhua Square” pin_address=”229, 269 Wu Yi Lu, Wuhua Qu, Kunming Shi, Yunnan Sheng, China, 650221″ pin_address_lat=”25.0442905″ pin_address_lng=”102.7053249″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/city-square-map-icon.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Top 6 Things to do in Kunming[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Western Hills | Dragon Gate” pin_address=”Xishan Mountain, Xishan, Kunming, China, 650000″ pin_address_lat=”24.934343″ pin_address_lng=”102.638444″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/forest-park-open-space.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Top 6 Things to do in Kunming

Advertisement

Visit Dragon Gate in Western Hills Xishan Park Outside of Kunming[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Huating Temple” pin_address=”Xi Shan Gong Lu, Xishan Qu, Kunming Shi, Yunnan Sheng, China” pin_address_lat=”24.9669333″ pin_address_lng=”102.6299997″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/theravadatemple.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Visit Dragon Gate in Western Hills Park Xishan Outside of Kunming

Monk on a Walk at Huating Temple, Kunming China[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Lu Xun Park” pin_address=”China, Shanghai Shi, Hongkou Qu, LuXun GongYuan, 鲁迅公园 邮政编码: 200000″ pin_address_lat=”31.272464″ pin_address_lng=”121.482549″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/urbanpark.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Shanghai City Parks: Dance, Exercise, Breathe[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Victoria Harbor Promenade for the Symphony of Lights” pin_address=”10 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong” pin_address_lat=”22.294071″ pin_address_lng=”114.170367″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/HI-Travel-Tales-Maps-harbor.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″][/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Hong Kong International Airport” pin_address=”Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), 1 Sky Plaza Rd, Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong” pin_address_lat=”22.308047″ pin_address_lng=”113.9184808″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/airport-map-icon.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Hong Kong Layover: Getting Into the City So Easy[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Bridal Tea House” pin_address=”Bridal Tea House Hotel – Yau Ma Tei Arthur Street, 5 Wing Sing Ln, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong” pin_address_lat=”22.3109743″ pin_address_lng=”114.1706652″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/lodging-vrbo-hotel.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Hong Kong Layover: Getting Into the City So Easy[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Kowloon Station” pin_address=”108 Austin Rd W, West Kowloon, Hong Kong” pin_address_lat=”22.3049232″ pin_address_lng=”114.1613036″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/train.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″]Hong Kong Layover: Getting Into the City So Easy[/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Baisha Village” pin_address=”Xin Shang Duan, Yulong Naxizuzizhixian, Lijiang Shi, Yunnan Sheng, China” pin_address_lat=”26.972561″ pin_address_lng=”100.2147027″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/historicalquarter.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″][/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”Black Dragon Pool – Lijiang” pin_address=”Hei Long Tan, 1 Minzhu Rd, Gucheng Qu, Lijiang Shi, Yunnan Sheng, China, 674100″ pin_address_lat=”26.883374″ pin_address_lng=”100.233445″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/urbanpark.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″][/et_pb_map_pin_extended][et_pb_map_pin_extended title=”LaMu’s House of Tibet – Lijiang” pin_address=”Xin Hua Jie, Gucheng Qu, Lijiang Shi, Yunnan Sheng, China, 674100″ pin_address_lat=”26.8741786″ pin_address_lng=”100.2333933″ pin_on_off=”on” pin_src=”https://hitraveltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/restaurant.png” pin_widthsize=”32px” pin_heightsize=”37px” _builder_version=”3.12.1″][/et_pb_map_pin_extended][/et_pb_map_extended]

TRAVEL INSPIRATION

The minaret of the Grand Mosque in Doha stands tall before a flaming sunset. Not so long ago, minarets were the tallest buildings in Doha. Not anymore though with a city skyline dominated by towering skyscrapers.⁣ ...👉 Tap the link in our bio for more 👍⁣... @qatarairways @visitqatar⁣ .....⁣ #qatar #doha #qatari #instaqatar #qatarairways #instagramqatar #instagramdoha #qatarinstagram #dohaqatar #seemydoha #sunsetporn #sunsetaddict #sunset_hub #ig_sunrisesunset #sunsetmadness #instasunsets #sunsetgram #sunset_captures #sunset_ig #sunsetsnipers ⁣ #sunsetoftheday #loves_skyandsunset #sky_perfection #ig_skylovers #skycaptures #ok_sunset #skysunset_shotz #fever_skies #sunset_super_pics #sunset_madness ...

0 5

Obama, Merkel & Putin. The three are portrayed in the classic Buddhist pose of the three wise monkeys—see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. This famous piece of street art, created in 2014, is located in Kreuzberg (Berlin) at Ritterstraße 12. ...👉 Tap the link in our bio for more 👍...@visit_berlin @berlinmuralfest @urbannation_berlin⁣⁣ ...⁣⁣ ..#visitberlin #exploreberlin #ihavethisthingwithberlin #berlinstagram #officialfanofberlin #berlinlove #instaberlin #berlinlovers #berlin365 #unlimitedberlin #visit_berlin #berlinmylove #ig_berlincity #berlincity #berlinbreeze #berlinpage #srs_berlin #bestofberlin #berlinstyle #ig_berlin #berlinfashion #muralart #urbanartberlin #urbanart #spraypaint #iloveberlin #streetartphotography #streetartandgraffiti #igberlin #publicart ...

0 1

A barrel fountain illuminated on the Corniche in Doha, Qatar. This is located in front of the Museum of Islamic Art, looking back across the bay toward the skyline of Doha. ⁣ ...👉 Tap the link in our bio for more 👍⁣...@visitqatar @qatarairways.....⁣ #qatar #doha #qatarinstagram #qatari #corniche #instaqatar #instagramqatar #qatarlife #qatarairways #travelphotograph #worldwonder #travelmakesmehappy #happytraveller #travelnation #placesoftheworld #placestotravel #wanderlove⁣ #seeingtheworld #wandermore #travelalways #travelingplanet #travelingworld #traveltheworldwithme #travelingislife #travelingsoul #passiontravel #citylights⁣ #nightphoto⁣ #travelpicsdaily #bucketlisttravel ...

0 0

Mulled wine and good cheer at the Spandau Christmas Market. Chilly evenings are made all that much warmer with a visit to a Berlin area Christmas market. We loved the medieval flair in Spandau's old town area where the market offers the traditional spicy mulled wine, but the food was some of the best. ⁣ ...👉 Tap the link in our bio for more 👍⁣...@visit_berlin @best_berlin_photos @visit_germany⁣ .⁣ .⁣ .⁣ .⁣ .⁣ #aroundtheworldpix #theprettycities #flashesofdelight #travelog #forahappymoment #exploringtheglobe #travelon #awesome_earthpix #ig_deutschland #diestadtberlin #berlinstagram #berlinstyle #ig_berlin #christmasdecorations #christmastime #christmaslights #christmasart #visit_berlin #berlingram #gendarmenmarkt #berlinchristmasmarket #spandau #berliner #followmefaraway #berlineransichten #berlincalling #ichliebeberlin #instaberlin #berlin #christmasdecor ...

0 2

Old man and a bird. Amazing street art in Berlin created during the 2019 Berlin Mural Fest. Smug is an Australian-born street artist – his real name is Sam Bates -- and is internationally famous for his detailed murals demonstrating a photo-realistic style. He currently calls Scotland home. This recent mural can be found at Manteuffelstraße 70 in Berlin. ⁣ ...👉 Tap the link in our bio for more 👍...@visit_berlin @berlinmuralfest @smugone @urbannation_berlin⁣ ...⁣ ..#visitberlin #exploreberlin #ihavethisthingwithberlin #berlinstagram #officialfanofberlin #berlinlove #instaberlin #berlinlovers #berlin365 #unlimitedberlin #visit_berlin #berlinmylove #ig_berlincity #berlincity #berlinbreeze #berlinpage #srs_berlin #bestofberlin #berlinstyle #ig_berlin #berlinfashion #smugone #mural #muralart #urbanartberlin #urbanart #spraypaint #iloveberlin #streetartphotography #streetartandgraffiti ...

0 1

Subscribe

Follow Me

Therese Iknoian

Co-Conspirator at HI Travel Tales
Little did her parents know that a short trip to Europe in high school would launch a lifetime love of travel, languages and cultures. Trained as a news journalist, Therese Iknoian now focuses her writing and photography talents on travel. Fluent in German, Therese also runs a translation business (ThereseTranslates.com) working primarily with companies in the outdoor/sports/retail industry. She's a French speaker, and loves to learn a bit of the language wherever she goes -- gdje je kupaonica? Мне нужна помощь! -- often embarrassing herself in the quest for cross-cultural communication. Therese is an award-winning member of the North American Travel Journalists Association.
Follow Me