National Geographic : 1964 Nov
couldn't take photographs. We could hardly make our way back to the hotel through the throng, and for more than an hour hundreds of people milled outside the main entrance, hoping to catch one more glimpse of the strange bearded creature from the West. The old quarter of Tatung charms the vis itor with its tile-roof houses, each different. Glossy red paint-once common in China but today rarely found except on temples-bright ened doors and pillars (pages 606-7). The city's main streets, however, led out through a great wall to a host of new fac tories blooming on the outskirts. These, of course, were the chief charm of Tatung for my committee. Giant Buddhas Stare From Caves I think that most Westerners, though, would find the famous Buddha Caves of Yun Kang, ten miles southwest of Tatung, more of an attraction than any factory. Here during the Northern Wei Dynasty, 15 centuries ago, gift ed craftsmen carved more than a score of huge Buddhas within man-made caves. Op posite each statue, they cut a window, creat ing a fascinating play of light across the gold covered faces of the contemplative Buddhas (pages 608, 610-11). Cheng did not miss the opportunity to point out a headless Buddha. "The Ameri can capitalists stole that, and they now show it in a museum," he claimed. A railway journey of 1,000 miles brought me to Sian. From there, I learned with joy, we would continue to Yenan by car. I ex pressed the hope that this would afford an (Continued on page 623) Traffic Trickles Down Shanghai's Bund, Onetime Crossroads of the World China's most populous city, pre-Communist Shanghai reigned as mistress of the Orient. Here Britain opened China to Western trade in 1843 and Europe followed, creating the alien-ruled International Settlement and French Concession. Here along the Bund, named for the Whangpoo River embank ment, European investment reared sky scraping banks and hotels and reaped privi leges granted by China's Imperial Court. Today the waterfront, once jammed with thousands of junks and merchantmen from ports around the world, seems strangely quiet. And Shanghai's seven millions, so individualistic as to be called "untamed" by their rulers, struggle to toe the Party line. 618 KODACHROME© N.G .S.