The Underground Castle That Wasn’t Underground

on Monday, 24 May 2010

Today we had to do something, after doing absolutely nothing the day before. We had decided it was too early to get up for the underground castle at 8am and had decided to just have a cycle around town and check out some of the other sites we had not seen the first day. But when we got down stairs for breakfast, Bob the manager said we could leave for the castle at 11am, so we decide to do the castle today. It takes about 45 minutes to get to the castle, and soon after arriving I realise the castle is not actually underground as I had thought, it in fact is just a castle with some underground tunnels. We have only managed to get the trip because Jonas a Swiss guy and two girls, one from Shanghai and the other a Thai living in Shanghai have joined the group. The girls are ultra friendly and both speak good English, so can help translate things for us. The fact that all the hotels are empty makes it fairly difficult to get a big enough group to book any tours up.

We walk round seeing lots of temples in the blistering heat. The girls are Buddhist so find it quite a bit more interesting than us I think. We go down the tunnels, which apparently there are 10km of and they are larger than I had expected and run all over the town. After spending several hours in the castle we return back visiting Shaoling Temple on the way back. It is full of art students from Beijing sculpting the various statues out of clay, which for us is probably more interesting than the temple itself. We get back to the hotel about 5pm and spend the evening playing pool with a few beers.