The monkey king


A Ming dynasty novel written about the travel of the monk Xuanzang to China is called "Journey to the West". I understand that it introduces some mythical travelling companions for the monk, one of whom is the popular monkey king. His role was to help the monk to cross borders. The monkey king seems to be a popular character for street-side entertainers. We saw the first one when we visited Hangzhou. In Xi’an they are even more common. This pair was vying for audience with two more pairs near the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the place where Xuanzang lived after returning from India.

Vying may be too strong a word. There was a crowd around each. The monkey king seems to be a really popular character. I’m sure there is some difference between the two characters in the photo which I have not appreciated. Can anyone let me know?


Author: I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

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