• Russell Roy

The Precarious Hengshan Hanging Monastery

Our first trip to China left an indelible impression. How could it not?

One of our highlights was a visit to the Hengshan Hanging Monastery. Built more than 1500 years ago, it remains as it was and still clinging precariously to a mountain face. We visited the monastery back in 2005 (I am certain that it looks the same today). The anticipation builds when you approach the site.

Half the fun on the visit is to walk up the cliff face.

At the top, you appreciate just how narrow the monastery is and how precariously it sits. At the same time, you may find yourself surprised at how large the structure actually is in terms of length and levels. It looked so small looking up.

The visit culminates with a stop in the main temple area at the top. The temple boasts to be the only one in China containing elements of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

The last photo is a shot of the roof tile details and mountain valley view. There is so much detail present as with all traditional Chinese edifices. Our visit of this site was recorded with old fashioned film that that had to be developed when we returned home. I am certain that we would take ten times as many photos if we were to revisit the monastery today.