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There are many more than a few pagodas in China, but this one built in the Northern Song Dyansty is a spectacularly beautiful structure! Covered with glazed bricks that are as fresh as they were 1000 years ago; figures of Buddhas, apsara, flowers and intricate paterns are moulded everwhere. Inside the pagoda, climbing the narrow stairs leading up into darkness are a few handsome cast iron buddha images.

Most guidebooks give the dimensions of every pagoda and these dimensions are like buzzing flys, of no interest. But this octagonal pagoda, tall, slim, firm, powerful juts up to over 55 meters! It would be totally masculine were it not for the softness of the moulded Buddhist figures that cover it.. There is no pagoda in China like it and it lives up to the name on the gate, 天下第一塔 Tianxia Diyita, Number One Pagoda under Heaven!

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