This is the oldest of the Jook Lum Temple Halls in existence today. It still has the devout who come to this remote place to pray, although, there were only one or two who arrived by car during the times I visited. It was truly a remote and barren place those days, however it was under renovation.
Oddly, there is no bamboo forest today. Only rows and rows of freshly planted evergreen trees over a barren landscape. I visited in the Spring and during the day short sleeves were needed but at night a heavy jacket.
I tried walking over as much of the grounds as were accessible. A young apprentice monk who lived there guided me up to the very back of the Temple, before bringing me back thru some hidden passages. Afterwards, I was introduced to a senior monk and we stood in the wind trying to discuss the history of Som Dot.
The young monk stated the library there indeed had manuscripts of Som Dot. All stated they do not exercise Mantis or any other martial art, particularly since the Cultural Revolution.
Som Dot was said to be raised in Tibet. Of course, Wu Tai Shan has a strong Tibetan influence. He is said to have taught his disciples Kungfu and Spiritualism at Longhushan, Dragon Tiger Mt., in Kwongsai Province, and the Bamboo Temple of Wu Tai Shan in Shanxi Province.
Chung Yel Chong accompanied Lee Siem Si to the Wu Tai Shan Bamboo Temple in order to practice Kungfu and study medicine. Ultimately, Chung mastered these pursuits and In 1917, Master Chung and his teacher left Wu Tai Shan and travelled back to south China. Its said, the journey took them six months by horse back.
Above) This modern guest house was still under construction when I visited. It promised reasonable daily rates, a restaurant and gift shop which is likely open by now.
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