on top of the Lake and the Mountain….

on top of the beautiful West Lake in Hangzhou is a pagoda with a rich history.

The story of White Snake and the Leifang Pagoda appears here 

a small hall leads the way to the zigzag bridge, atop West Lake

nearby the Lake is a hill, a small mountain, with winding paths through a forest. one of those paths leads to a little cave, hidden away from view, off the beaten track.



from atop the hill where the cave is, looking down, a gathering of musicians.

one man stikes up a tune on his erhu – two-stringed fiddle …

and his friends come to join in…

Whilst i loved looking down over this scene, listening to the lilting then melancholic tunes, played by a group of friends relaxing on a sunday morning,

my favourite spot atop the hill was the little mountain cave

where an altar to the Bodhisattva Guan Yin  is hidden away.

观音 –  she who hears the cries of the world.

观  –guan   the character used for Daoist temples. it also means “observation” or “contemplation” and the character was originally referring to the comtempative view from a mountain top temple.

音 yin means sound.

观音guan yin she who hears the cries of the world.


( a little note on phonetics: across the world wide web you will see the Goddess’s name spelt as “quan yin” – this is incorrect and makes absolutely no sense in Chinese. the sound “guan” and “quan” are completely different. the ‘q’ sound is quite a difficult sound for non-Chinese speakers to make – why use it, when it is not correct? a grand mystery.)

Author: Debbie

immersed in the ancient culture of china, and its constantly changing facades.... a traveller through time and space landing in suzhou of the 21st century.... australian by birth, traveller by nature, mother of a beautiful ten-year-old

11 thoughts on “on top of the Lake and the Mountain….”

    1. HI there, under the old Wade Giles transliteration Kwan Yin is a legitimate English transliteration – under the old Wade Giles system, that was how the character was phoneticised.
      The ‘new’ system is Pinyin, and that system more approximates the sound of spoken Chinese. Think “Peking” and the newer ( pinyin) Beijing – in spoken Chinese the sound sounds like ‘bei’ ‘jing’. the ‘q’ spelling is under no system at all, just some ‘new age’ people in the west use it – as i said, for some unknown reason. Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the blog follow too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure it hasn’t. the Lake and surroundings are just the same I’m sure, but the city, unfortunately, has grown around it with high rise visible from boats on the lake.
      Still, it remains one of my most favourite places in China. thanks for dropping by 🙂


  1. Lordy Girl, it seems like I’ve lost touch with my true reality—cyber friends in blogsville. I’ve gone MIA for so long, I hardly know what’s what. Had to stop by (as I was clearing out my spam and noticed) your post. You just keep on ticking, eh? Two things: I thought White Snake was a band. Two: I thought “yin” meant something more like the opposite of yang (whatever that means). I always love a pagoda, but one on a lake…sure, I can see why you like it! OPPO photos?


    1. yep, in the original White Snake post, you commented about it being a band. so that’s old news, Baddie. get a grip on ya-self, man. and OPPO pics – probably not – probably old and new Samsung galaxy. i stooped to turn my back on OPPO because they are in built to not be able to access google apps. its not a matter of putting on a VPN ( proxy server) and downloading – they just wont work – built in anti-google device. so: when we will expect a new Badfish post? in our out of water will do. but please, no thongs, okay?


    1. I guess a Bodhisattva can deal with a multitude of cries, and i guess She has some helpers…. but yeah, right now, I’m sure She and all her helpers must be working overtime!

      Liked by 1 person

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