Making Of / 08 December 2019

Travel Journal: The Yungang Caves

Finally a touristic spot that is not crowded. Mostly because the area is way too wide.

They carved Buddhas right into the mountain. Giant Buddhas, tiny Buddhas unfinished Buddhas, some regular sized Buddhas…

“- Ibrahim ! What is a regular sized Buddhas ?”

“ – I don’t know. How much fries is there in a medium portion ? Both answers are very blurry. Now stop interrupting me while I tell my story.”

… painted Buddhas and sometimes, nothing. Really, sometimes you enter a cave, the place is huge, the lighting is mysterious and even the smell tells a story. They dug into it to create raw columns and, nothing. Did they moved the statues to preserve them ? I don’t think so because the walls seemed clean. Did they used the space to meditate ? I don’t know, I couldn’t read the Chinese sign. But after reading a bit about Buddhism it could make sense. It is a lot about peaceful emptiness.


After the apology of emptiness, I noticed sooo much contrast compared to some other caves. I call this architecture the Baroque Buddhism… Oh, ok I get it. They moved all the statues there.

Time is passing by, the area is bigger than I thought and I begin to be tired. But wait.

There is a last entrance. Different than the others. I approached there with the curiosity of a child and I entered in a very dark place. I could distinguished between darkness and the ceiling, I just guessed it was very high. The walls were narrow, the ground was uneven and it seems like the only path is on my left. At that moment, the light was coming from a big carved window to let me enjoy an Uncharted like scenery.

Now that I felt like Nathan Drake, I could go back.

Ibrahim Lancoln | Nomad Photo Reference