Lóngwangmiào DragonKing Temple

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Su Shi's Lóngwangmiào 龍王廟 was located at the southern extreme of Boyanghe 鄱陽湖. But where and does it still exist are the questions? From the below excerpt from the Su Shi Nianpu, it was on a hill named Wúchéngshān 吳城山 one hundred and eighty km north of Lóngxīngfǔ 隆興府. Lóngxīngfǔ is, we believe in Nánchāng 南昌, so this would place it just about where the present town of Wúchéngzhèn吳城鎮, which is surendipidously the current headquarters of the Póyánghú Guójiājí Baohuqu 鄱陽湖國家級保護區, the Nature Reserve for the Baihe白鶴 White Crane, 天鵝 Heavenly goose and other migrating birds. Next to the Nature Reserve headquarters is a small hill at the confluence of two rivers. On the top of the hill is a towering pavillion called the Wàngfūtíng 望夫亭 Looking For Husband Pavillion, on top of which wives wait anxouisly for their husbands who have ventured out to fish and work on the Poyanghu. It serve a function similar to that of the Widows Watches built into the homes of Yankee fishermen and traders in New England.

On my first visit here in March, 2002, most of the migrating birds had left and I was not aware of the possible connection to Su Shi's travels. This second visit in mid November, 2002 is at the height of the migrating season and flocks of cranes and geese pierce the heavens and dot the riverine mudflats. I climb again to the top of the Wangfuting, where hundreds of white birds feed on the mudflats to the southwest, and think of Su Shi thanking the Dragon King for the strong winds at this point 1,200 years ago. It is a lonely, flat, desolate, wet land and waterscape, and it could not have presented a very pleasant face to Su when he landed here. But, at least he was on land.

How he traveled from here to Nanchang I don't know, but it must have been by smaller boat because I cannot imagine the roads then, in an area that is flooded every summer, could have been even as good as they are today, and from the bruises on my backside, I can vouch they are not smooth today!!

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