27.07.2012 39 °C
Friday, July 27th
We started today with a breakfast of ' millet congee ' (similar to a watery porridge), wontons, chinese noodles ( bean jelly - a cucumber and cornstarch noodle dish) and ' bao zi ' ( pork in a perogie dough).
After breakfast we visited the Kaifeng museum which has artifacts, pictures and art work from the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) where I tried my hand at silk screening.
From the museum we went to the Song Dynasty Summer Palace. This had been converted into a park, displaying the buildings of the summer palace used by the Emporer and his family.
At noon we returned to our hotel room to get out of the hot, sticky weather, since the temperature had climbed to 39 C (102 F) with very high humidity.
At 3 pm, we went to another " hot pot " restaurant for a late lunch where I tried " cow's stomach/belly" as well as beef, " spam ", chinese cabbage, spicy sesame sauce, mushrooms and frozen tofu (bean curd). At this restaurant, we had a single hot pot for the table, divided into 2 sections, one that had spicy water and one that had water with vegetables in it. I ate most of my food cooked in the spicy water.
After lunch we went to " Iron Pagoda ". It is not made of iron, but of red, brown, blue and green glazed bricks and it is 55 meters (180 ft) high (for more information check out - http://www.china.org.cn/english/TR-e/43300.htm ). We experienced a short rainstorm while we were in the ' Bonsai ' gardens. When the rain stopped, Nicole (Mingsi) and I climbed to the top on a dark spiraling stairway with uneven steps to the top where we took pictures out of the small open viewpoints. The steps were solid but they varied from height from 18 cm (8 inches) to almost 40 cm (16 inches) making the climb quite interesting and the narrow walls made it difficult to pass people going in the opposite direction. The low ceilings weren't a problem for Nicole but I had to be careful, especially because it was dark.
There is an internet website that shows most of the places that we visited in Kaifeng. It is http://www.chinahighlights.com/kaifeng/ .
Our next stop is Shaolin.