Copyright 2023 - Ningbo Life / Ningbo Expat

Buddhism booms in Beilun

There's no sandy beach in the Beilun district of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, though it does have one of the country's largest seaports and a lot more to recommend it.

Its waterfront is defined by broad cement embankments and dominated by huge container cranes, looking out onto the East Sea. But Beilun town is quiet, clean and green, with gardens and parks sprinkled among the glittering modern buildings.

A surprising result of the city's prosperity is a boom in Buddhism, as dozens of temples have been, and are being, built around the satellite city of Ningbo. Of them, at least three are worthy of a closer look.

About 30 km southwest of the town and nestled on Lingfeng Hill, Lingfeng Temple is a new monastic compound, though its history can be traced back 1,500 years.

Buddhism booms in Beilun

The statue of Taoist Ge Hong is the biggest draw of Lingfeng Temple, in Ningbo's Beilun district. Chen Liang / China Daily

The temple's buildings are not grand - the Buddha statues are so-so. And an old trail connecting it to another temple is just 2 km long. What makes it remarkable, and one of the most popular temples in the area, is the Taoist statue of Ge Hong in the main hall.

The famous alchemist and traditional Chinese medicine doctor (AD 284 to 343 or 364) is believed to have lived a secluded life at the temple and could summon "die" (magic talismans) for good health.

Now, red, yellow and purple paper die are given to pilgrims by monks at the temple. They come, pray, give donations and take home die. Yellow represents former friends' or family members' peace in the afterlife. Red is for good fortune in the world of the living. And purple is for good health.

The pilgrims' donations are paying for a major expansion of the temple.

The recently completed Ruiyan Temple attracts visitors because of its beautiful, secluded setting.

In front of the temple is a reservoir, full of wild ducks stopping over on their southward migration, while rampant forests on Jiufeng (Nine Peak) Hills surround the temple's yellow walls.

A well-paved road winds from the temple entrance into the hills, from where visitors can climb to the hilltop and descend to another valley along a stone-paved path, through pines and bamboo, past pristine pools, sheer cliffs and roaring waterfalls.

It takes four to five hours to explore the trail from the temple, and there are plenty of places along the way to sit on benches and admire the scenery.

The temple offers 20 standard rooms, with air conditioning and Internet access, to its pilgrims and ordinary visitors.

The temple's abbot, Shanhei, says: "We don't charge for the rooms. You can donate whatever you want."

The most famous temple near Beilun is Ashoka Monastery. Founded in AD 425, it is one of the country's seven Buddhist temples containing a bone belonging to Shakyamuni (Gautama Buddha).

It is also the country's only temple named after the Indian King Ashoka, who elevated Buddhism to an official state religion in the third century BC. As a result, it has been considered one of the holiest temples since the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

The Buddha's Relic Hall perched on a two-story wooden building hidden in the depths of the monastery houses the bone.

Guarded by two monks 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you can see the relic by kneeling on a mat, bending your neck and looking up through the tiny window of an ornamental crystal pagoda, on a incense burner table.

The monastery's architecture matches its religious importance, with grand halls, old and majestic, Buddha statues shimmering with gold, and vivid wood and stone carvings.

When strolling around the monastery, it is easy to contemplate why there are so many temples in Beilun: It has both money and tradition.

China Daily 11/10/2011 page19

Fenghua County ranking among “2011 China’s happiest leisure cities”

In the achievement release conference for "2011 China comprehensive assessment of leisure cities" held in Qingdao, Fenghua County is selected to rank among "2011 China's happiest leisure cities (in the county level)". It is reported that the assessment is specially supported by China Tourism Administration, and China Tourism Research Institute provides academic guidance for it. The event is jointly sponsored by China Tourism Leisure Association, NetEase Travel, and China Travel and Leisure. Beijing International Studies University and Beijing Tourhood Planning and Design Institute are in charge of the project researching and developing

"Diamonds" standing in the Xiangshan Port

Just like two "diamonds" standing in the sea, the two cable-stayed towers of Xiangshan Port Highway Bridge are beginning to take shape. The cable-stayed bridge with twin towers and twin cable planes is the first one of its kind in Zhejiang Province, with the towers being 255.5 meters tall and the main span being 688 meters. At present, over 500 constructors are making great efforts to top the tower by the end of this year and to guarantee its opening to traffic by the end of next year

7 million yuan set aside as special fund for foreign trade enterprises in Zhenhai District

At present, middle and small foreign trade enterprises find themselves in such a tense operating environment, suffering from the double attack from home and abroad. Statistics show that the export volume has been decreasing in the past two months in Zhenhai District. To solve this problem, the District has carried out a range of supporting policies in foreign trade and economy, such as providing a special fund to promote the transformation and upgrading of industries and to accelerate the enterprises' "going out" strategy.

Firstly, enterprises can get policy subsidies if they take part in all kinds of comprehensive or specific exhibitions or fairs. Then, enterprises are encouraged to invest abroad, and they will be awarded if they establish agencies or even industrial firms abroad. Finally, support will be given to the enterprises that attempt to expand their overseas marketing network, such as setting up marketing agencies, marketing nets and public marketing service platform.

The fund can also be used to encourage the enterprises to develop their own brands and improve the competitiveness of their products. For the enterprises listed in the "key export brands to be fostered and developed by the Ministry of Commerce" and "key export brands to be fostered and developed in Ningbo", the fund will award them 200,000 yuan and 50,000 yuan respectively. In the meanwhile, in view of the current market environment home and abroad, the fund encourages the foreign trade enterprises to take the export credit insurance. For those enterprises in the District to take this insurance while engaging in exports, the fund will give them a subsidy of 50% of the insurance premium

Yinzhou invests 200 mln yuan to introduce 100 talents from overseas

Recently, Yinzhou issued a notice on encouraging the overseas talents to start up and innovate on their business. It says that Yinzhou will invest nearly 200 million yuan to introduce 100 high ranking talents. 
According to the notice, global experts include those who lead in the high-tech enterprises that meet the Yinzhou industry standards, those who have served as technology or managing experts for over two years in the international famous enterprises, high-end service industry and culturally innovative enterprises and those leading innovative talents in the overseas universities and having conducted scientific research up to the international level.
Those who can meet the standards will get from the Yinzhou government favorable policy support on research, career training, housing and the arrangement of their family members’ work and study.

f t g m