The Colorful Waterfall

On September 6, 2011, in Nature Scenery, Sichuan, Tombs, Waterfalls & Pools, by Jack Li

The Colorful Waterfall, otherwise known as the Luohun Terrace Waterfall, is the most breathtaking waterfall in the Shunan Bamboo Sea. It is located in the Calabash Valley between the Stone Drum Hill and the Stone Gong Hill. The Shuiliao Stream flows down from the cliff beside the valley and form a splendid 4-level waterfall below […]

The Colorful Waterfall, otherwise known as the Luohun Terrace Waterfall, is the most breathtaking waterfall in the Shunan Bamboo Sea. It is located in the Calabash Valley between the Stone Drum Hill and the Stone Gong Hill. The Shuiliao Stream flows down from the cliff beside the valley and form a splendid 4-level waterfall below the Huilong Bridge. The total drop of the waterfall is around 200 meters.

The first level of the Colorful Waterfall starts from right below the Huilong Bridge. It is 5 meters wide, and drops for 30 meters. The second level of it is 3 meters wide, and drops for 15 meters. The third level lasts for 50 meters with a width of 4 meters, and the 5 meter wide forth level lasts for 74 meters. The last two level of the waterfall nearly join together into one level. The falling water hit the rocks in the pool at the bottom of the waterfall and splashes. In sunny days, if you look down to the pool from the bridge, you might see elegant rainbows. It is important to enjoy the waterfall from good angles, or you can only hear the sound, but cannot see it.

The Stone Drum Hill and the Stone Gong Hill are situated beside the waterfall. They are named like that because during the night, when tourists leave the waterfall and the Calabash Valley becomes quiet, sound of drums and gongs are likely to appear in the sound of the waterfall. There are several relatively small attractions on the hills, such as the Tomb of Menghuo and the Ancient Drill Ground. The Colorful Waterfall and its gorgeous surroundings welcome a great many visitors every day.

The Shunan Bamboo Sea

Longyin Cave

On September 6, 2011, in Caves & Canyons, Mountain Areas, Sichuan, Temples, by Jack Li

Longyin Cave is situated on Jiulong Mountain about 980 m above sea level. Around it there are undulating mountains covered in bamboo forests. When wind blows the woods give off a low rustling sound. It reminds people of the roaring of a dragon, so the cave is called “Longyin”, meaning the roaring of the dragon. […]

Longyin Cave is situated on Jiulong Mountain about 980 m above sea level. Around it there are undulating mountains covered in bamboo forests. When wind blows the woods give off a low rustling sound. It reminds people of the roaring of a dragon, so the cave is called “Longyin”, meaning the roaring of the dragon.

Longyin Cave is three kilometers to the northeast of Feicui Corridor. Built in the Ming Dynasty, it covers an area of 450 square metres. It used to have a main hall, a back hall and a side hall. It was renovated in the Qing Dynasty by a monk named Zhanghui, but was torn down in 1959. Now all that is left is the foundation stone, the stair and the stone gate-frame.

In the cave there are 41 Buddhist statues left. In the main hall, three huge statues of Buddhas sit upon the lotus-shaped throne. Unlike the kind and serene Buddhas in other temples, their looks are solemn, serious and mighty. The Arhats lining on the sides are in various postures with different countenances: sitting, standing, smiling, meditating…In the front and the back halls you can find the statues of Maitreya, Goddess of Mercy, Weituo, and Linggong. The statues demonstrate great sculpture skills.

There is another interesting thing about Longyin Cave. On the mountainside out of the back gate of the temple there is a cave called “the Reclining Buddha Cave”. A stone statue of a Buddha lies inside. It is a mystery as to when it was sculpted and why it was put there. However, it is considered propitious because the place is blessed with his presence.

The Shunan Bamboo Sea

The Shunan Bamboo Sea

On September 6, 2011, in Lakes, Nature Scenery, Sichuan, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

The Shunan Bamboo Sea is located in Yibing, a city in the southern part of Sichuan Province. The scenic region covers an area of 120 hectares, with a major scenic region of 44 hectares. Dotted with 134 fascinating attractions, the whole bamboo sea scenic region consists of 2 preview areas and 8 scenic zones. There […]

The Shunan Bamboo Sea is located in Yibing, a city in the southern part of Sichuan Province. The scenic region covers an area of 120 hectares, with a major scenic region of 44 hectares. Dotted with 134 fascinating attractions, the whole bamboo sea scenic region consists of 2 preview areas and 8 scenic zones. There are 427 kinds of different bamboos in the scenic region, ranging from ordinary varieties like the Shui Bamboo, the Nan Bomboo to the rare ones, for example, the Julong Bamboo (the largest bamboo in the world). Thanks to the high vegetation coverage there, the Shunan Bamboo Sea has become a natural oxygen bar.

The Shunan Bamboo Sea is a place filled with extraordinary natural beauty. The land there fluctuates a lot and forms more than 500 hills. They are all decorated with verdant bamboos thickly, making them look like giant bonsais. The whole region is covered by a green carpet, with bamboos everywhere. It does live up to its name, “the Shunan Bamboo Sea”.

Apart from the beautiful bamboos, there are also many gorgeous natural attractions in the Bamboo Sea. It is very comfortable for you to spend your leisure time enjoying the splendid waterfall, boating on the elegant lakes, exploring the mysterious caves. If you are tired of the natural scenes, you can visit the museums and the ancient villages nearby, and experience the rich local culture.

Visitors can enjoy some special snacks in the Bamboo Sea, too. For example, the Bamboo Cake and Feast for Panda. The Bamboo Cake is wrapped with Bamboo leaves and served. You can feel the scent of bamboo when you put it into your mouth. As for the Feast for Panda, all the dishes in the feast were made by bamboos or mushrooms grown on bamboos. It is highly advisable to taste them because they are only served in the Shunan Bamboo Sea.

The Shunan Bamboo Sea attractions

The Longyin Temple

The Tianbao Village

The Colorful Waterfall

The Fairy Lake 

The Shunan Bamboo Sea Story

The Origin of the Shunan Bamboo Sea

It is said that the region where the Shunan Bamboo Sea is located now used to be a barren land consisting of giant red stones. There was no plant there at all, even grasses.

One day, a fairy lived in the Heavenly Palace called Jinluan saw the barren land. She wanted to knit a green carpet for the land so much that she sneaked out the palace and descended to the area. Unfortunately, her deed was soon discovered by the Emperor of Heaven. He was so angry that he sent his soldiers to catch her and put her into prison. Another fairy named Yaoqing was ordered to watch out her beside the prison. She is a very kind hearted fairy. When she found out why Jinlun was put into prison, she was very sympathetic about her, and she decided to release Jinluan secretly. After Jinluan was released, the two fairies had a short discussion, and then made up their mind to go to the barren land to finish knitting the green carpet together. However, they were caught and thrown into prison again. Many gods in heaven heard about their stories and were deeply touched by their kindness. So they appealed to the Emperor and pleaded him to show some mercy. Finally, the Emperor agreed. He released the two fairies and ordered them to stay in the mundane world and finish the green carpet. They were not allowed to come back to the Heavenly Palace unless they complete the job. Jinluan and Yaojing were very thankful to those gods who had helped them. They said goodbye to them and then descended to the earth happily.

Year after year, the two fairies kept knitting the carpet, and the barren land became more and more green. When the day the carpet was finished, the land had become a green paradise, that is, the Shunan Bamboo Sea.

Water Mirror (ShuiJing) Stage

On September 6, 2011, in Historical Relics, Popular Provinces, Shanxi, by Jack Li

The Water Mirror Stage covers a big area and the eastern part of the stage is often used as the background screen in the plays while the western part, faced with the Shengmu Palace, serves as the proscenium. Under the stage eight large earthen jars functioned as loudspeakers. According to Chinese traditions, when people redeem […]

The Water Mirror Stage covers a big area and the eastern part of the stage is often used as the background screen in the plays while the western part, faced with the Shengmu Palace, serves as the proscenium. Under the stage eight large earthen jars functioned as loudspeakers. According to Chinese traditions, when people redeem a vow to a god or offer sacrifices to gods and their ancestors, they usually give various performances to entertain the god as well as themselves. And such a custom lasts for generations. Why? Because ancient common people in China were poor and had to work hard almost every day through the whole year, so they did not have much leisure time. When it came to the ritual ceremony, people all got excited and took this particular opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves. This kind of folk worship ceremony was entertaining and ceremonial at the same time. In the Song and Yuan Dynasty, plays were very popular. In order to meet the needs of the performances of ritual activities, people devided the stage into terrace, pavilion, proscenium and background screen and opened only one side of the stage. Not all people who stood around the stage could enjoy the show, but only those who sat in specific direction could do so. Therefore, stages with fixed watching direction came into being and gradually appeared in various temples or other sacrificial sites.

Jinci Temple

The Buddhist Relics Tower

On September 6, 2011, in Popular Provinces, Shanxi, Temples, Towers, Pagodas & Grottoes, by Jack Li

The Buddhist Relics Tower is located in Futu Court in Fengsheng Temple. The legend holds that after the death of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, his bone ash formed many shiny beads, which were called Buddhist relics (Shelizi) by his followers. Only one of the beads were buried under the tower, however, when the Qing […]

The Buddhist Relics Tower is located in Futu Court in Fengsheng Temple. The legend holds that after the death of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, his bone ash formed many shiny beads, which were called Buddhist relics (Shelizi) by his followers. Only one of the beads were buried under the tower, however, when the Qing Emperor Qianlong had the tower rebuilt, surprisingly to all, many Buddhist relics were found. How could one bead become millions of beads? Was it because the living soul of Sakyamuni did this and showed people that Buddhism could last for good? As a result people started to call the tower Buddhist Relics Tower. Built in 589 to 604 BC. (Kaihuang years in Sui Dynasty) and rebuilt in Song Dynasty, the temple was unfortunately destroyed in the beginning years of Qing Dynasty. Shanxiu, a monk in Fengsheng Temple decided to repair this tower, so he began the fund-raising immediately. For some years, he finally got the money needed to accomplish the task in 1751 (the sixteenth year under Qing Emperor Qianlong’s reign). The tower measures 38 m in height with 8 angles and seven floors, and on each floor there are 4 doors and 8 windows. The delicate spiral stairway will lead you to the top of the tower where you can enjoy the most beautiful sight of the tower at dusk when the setting sun is going down. to the east of the tower there is a court called Liushan Garden, in which two pavilions can provide you perfect places for a good rest, one is called Liushan Pavilion, the other is Banyun Pavilion. A folk tale has it that in the year 1558 the Hanging Urn Hill (Xuanweng Shan) moved slowly to the east for more than four hours and stopped just in front of the Lishan Pavilion, and that is how Liushan Pavilion got its name because in Chinese Liushan means to stop the mountain.

Jinci Temple

Everlasting Spring

On September 6, 2011, in Historical Relics, Popular Provinces, Shanxi, Temples, by Jack Li

The source of Jinshui is inside Jinci Temple and there are in all three springs named Yuzhao Spring, Shanli Spring and Everlasting Spring. Sometimes the source of Yuzhao Spring and Shanli Spring is dried up while the Everlasting Spring never runs out of water. The water comes out from the rock 5 m deep down […]

The source of Jinshui is inside Jinci Temple and there are in all three springs named Yuzhao Spring, Shanli Spring and Everlasting Spring. Sometimes the source of Yuzhao Spring and Shanli Spring is dried up while the Everlasting Spring never runs out of water. The water comes out from the rock 5 m deep down the ground with an average flow of 1.8 m3. The temperature of the spring keeps at 17℃ all year round. The name of the spring is from a famous sentence “never grow old” in The Book of Songs.

A folk story tells that once there was a girl called Liu in Jinsheng village 20 km away from Jinci Temple got married with a man in Gutang village, where the temple was located. Her mother-in-law was very mean to her and never let her visit her parental home. She was ordered to carry water to the house from afar. It took her a whole day to carry just two buckets of water, however, the evil mother-in-law only use one bucket and pour out the water in the other bucket so as to torture the poor girl. One day Liu met an old gentleman riding on a horse half way back home, and the man wanted to get some water from her to feed his horse. Without any hesitation, Liu said yes and give the water to the man, but to her surprise, the horse drank the water in both buckets. Then Liu faced an awkward dilemma, it was already at dusk now, so there was not enough time to carry another two buckets of water, but if she went back home empty-handed, the harsh old lady would surely call her names or even abuse her. At this moment, the old man gave Liu the horsewhip and told her if she put the horsewhip in the jar, water would come out immediately and fill the jar to the full. With these words the man disappeared. Liu got home and secretly used the whip as she was told to, and it turned out the man did tell the truth. Days after, the old lady felt quite curious about how Liu could make the jar full of water without going out. She asked her daughter to secretly keep a lookout over Liu and the girl came to know the existence of the magic horsewhip. The old lady intentionally allowed Liu went back to her parents’ home and then let her daughter imitate Liu’s trick; sadly, the water kept running all time and did not stop. They could do nothing but ask Liu for help. Liu tried to stop the water flow by sitting on the jar, but the water continues to come out incessantly for thousands of years. That’s how the story goes about the Everlasting Spring.

Jinci Temple

Jinci Temple

On September 6, 2011, in Must-sees, Shanxi, Temples, Towers, Pagodas & Grottoes, by Jack Li

Jinci is a must-see in Taiyuan City. People also say that “Not going Jinci temple when you are in Taiyuan is like not going to the Forbidden City when you are in Beijing.” It situates in 25km away from downtown Taiyuan, Xuanweng Mountain. The Temple is under special protection of the state attracting visitors all […]

Jinci is a must-see in Taiyuan City. People also say that “Not going Jinci temple when you are in Taiyuan is like not going to the Forbidden City when you are in Beijing.” It situates in 25km away from downtown Taiyuan, Xuanweng Mountain. The Temple is under special protection of the state attracting visitors all over the world. The ancient trees soar to unbelievable heights. It is in compound with hall, pavilions, and towers. The Saintly Mother’s Hall, built from 1023 to 1032 during the Song Dynasty, is the most magnificent and oldest building remains of ancient in Jinci Temple. Jinci Temple is fine combination of natural landscape and architecture. The main buildings are distributed along the central axis from east to west. All the buildings are in compact and designed strictly according to traditional style. The cypresses grown in the Zhou Dynasty and pagoda trees of the Sui Dynasty are still vigorous, lush and exuberant.

Jinci Temple Attractions

The Buddhist Relics Tower

Everlasting Spring

Water Mirror Stage

Jinci Temple Stories

1.   Fengsheng Temple Pagoda Tree

Around the Fengsheng Temple there stands a giant centuries-old pagoda tree. The trunk is crooked but the branches are young and tender. Story has it the tree was old and dead until 1756, the Qing Dynasty. A Taoist priest was selling plaster under this tree claiming that it is panacea. However, no matter how hard he tried to sell his medicine no one cast a look at it. Disappointed and upset, he pasted the plaster on the dry bark of the dead pagoda tree. Miracle happened several months later: the tree began to branch out again! Nonetheless, it is probably just happened to come to itself after hundreds of years of sleep.

2The Iron man in the Jinci Temple

It is said that in a hot summer, an iron man wanted to cross the Fen River. When he was stranded in the heat by the river bank, he noticed that a boat coming from downstream. He waved and asked the boatman to carry him across the river. “All right. But I’ll wait and see if there’re other people want to cross the river. It’ll be such a waste to carry just you.” “Really? I’m wondering is you’re skillful enough to carry just me!” “How much do you weigh? I can ferry dozens of people except that you’re made of iron.” To the boatman’s surprise, the man began to freeze right in front him and the man looked rather familiar! The man was the iron man in the Jinci Temple. The boatman gathered some fellow villagers to carry the iron man back to the Temple. The Buddha commanded him to be whipped on his feet. Today the scars still can be seen on the statue’s feet.

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Drepung Monastery Travel Tips

On September 6, 2011, in Lhasa, Monasteries, Tibet, Tours, Travel Info, by Jack Li

1. Visitors need some medicine to prevent the altitude reaction. 2 The delicious foods here are: Lhasa Zanba, Lhasa buttered tea, Best Time to Visit Drepung Monastery The best time to visit Lhasa is the summer and spring because the temperature is moderate, neither cold nor windy. The city is warm throughout the whole year […]

1. Visitors need some medicine to prevent the altitude reaction.

2 The delicious foods here are: Lhasa Zanba, Lhasa buttered tea,

Best Time to Visit Drepung Monastery

The best time to visit Lhasa is the summer and spring because the temperature is moderate, neither cold nor windy. The city is warm throughout the whole year and people call it “sunlight city.”  The highest temperature is in July whereas the lowest temperature is in January. There are few rainfalls here but you can clearly distinguish between seasons. Rain is concentrated in July, August and September and mostly during the night. In summer, you can visit the Potala Palace, the Dazhao Temple, the Drepung Monastery and some other palaces. You will feel the strong religious atmosphere. At night you can go to the Tibetan bars and experience the Tibetan customs. Most of the rain will be during the night, so you will see a sunny day when you get up in the morning. You can breathe the fresh air and go on your journey. The 1st of July, according to the lunar calendar used by the Zang nationality is the Shoton Festival in Tibet. You can watch the performances and see the splendid scene.

Drepung Monastery’s Tickets:

The level of the scenic spot: the impotant preservation of culture relics

Address: in the Genwu Zi Mountain of the west Lhasa

The entrance ticket: 55RMB/person and the Tibetan are free of charge. The low season from the 20th of October to the 20th of April, and the ticket is 25RMB/person.

Open time: 9:00AM-17:00PM

How to get to the Drepung Monastery:

By airplane:

Lhasa Gongga Airport has international and domestic routes, including direct flights to Chengtu (part of the flight stops at Changdu), Chongqing, Xi’an, and Changdu, Guangzhou (stops at Chongqing), Beijing (stops at Chengtu) and Shanghai (stops at Xi’an). The only national flight flies to the capital of to Nepal.

The Gongga airport is in the Gongga Country which is 98km away from the south of Lhasa. The airport bus from the airport to the ticket office of the Niangre Road and it will take you one and half an hour, the charge is 25RMB each person. If more people want to go to the airport together, you can take a taxi, the charge is about 150RMB.

By train:

The Lhasa train station is located in the northwest of Liuyu village, Duide Longqing. It is 20km to the Potala Palace. You can take the bus No.86,91 to get there. At present, Beijing, Chongqing, Chengtu, Xining, Shanghai, Lanzhou, and Guangzhou have trains to go to Lhasa.

By bus:

Lhasa has four passenger depots including the eastern suburbs, the west suburbs, the north suburbs and the Liuyu.

The eastern suburbs passenger depot is located in the No.3 of Jiangsu east Road of Lhasa. The consulting telephone number is 0891-6340523.

Bus Routes:

Lhasa – Bayi: every hour, the charge is from 80RMB to 120RMB.

Lhasa – Dangxiong: eight times a day, the charge is 30RMB.

Lhasa – Yangba Jing: 3 times a day, the charge is 15RMB.

Lhasa – Sangye Temple: 2 times a day, the charge is 40RMB.

Lhasa – Gandan Temple: 4 times a day, the charge is 10RMB.

Lhasa – Zhigongti Temple: one time a day, the charge is 30RMB.

The northern suburbs passenger depot is located in the No.11 of Zhaji Road. The buses will take passengers to the Ali, Naqu and Shigatse. The consulting telephone number is 0891-6922104.

Bus routes:

Lhasa – Ali: two times a day, the departure time is 4:00 AM, the charge of front rows is 800RMB and back rows is 500 RMB. It will arrive at the destination next day.

Lhasa – Shigatse: 4-5 times a day, the charge is about 50RMB.

Lhasa – Naqu: 6-7 times a day, the charge is about 60RMB.

The western suburbs passenger depot is located in the No.1 of Nationality Road, Lhasa. The buses will take passengers to the Chengtu, Shigates and Shannan. The consulting telephone number is 0891-6824469.

Bus Routes:

Lhasa – Chengtu: just one time a day, the departure time is 5:00 PM. It will arrive at the destination in 2days. The charge is 530RMB.

Lhasa – Shigates: the bus will come per half an hour. The charge is about 50RMB.

Lhasa – Shannan: the bus will come per half an hour. The charge is 30RMB.

Liuyu passenger depot is next to the Lhasa Station and combined with Lhasa Station into one. It is a new long – distance passenger depot. The consulting telephone number is 0891-6947216.

Buses Routes:

Lhasa – Zhangmu (the Nepal port), it will leave at 8:30 AM on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning. The charge is 270RMB.

Lhasa – Changdu: the departure time is 10:00AM every day. The charge is 320RMB. It will arrive at the destination in three days. The bus will pass by the Bayi, Mibo and Wuran.

Lhasa – Mangkang: the departure time is 10:00 AM on the next day morning, the charge is 350RMB. It will pass by the Bayi, Mibo and Wuran.

Lhasa – Shangri-La: the departure time is 10:00AM on the next day morning. The charge is 520RMB, the sleeper is charge 570RMB. It will arrive at the destination in 4 days. It will pass by No.318 line.

By taxi:

The taxi will take you to the foot of the mountain and the charge is 20RMB. You also can take a bus to arrive at the foot of the mountain the charge is 1RMB/person. If by walking, it will take half an hour.

Lhasa barley wine, stew the sheep head, drying red meat and so on.

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Gandanpozhang Palace

On September 6, 2011, in Monasteries, Palaces, Temples, Tibet, by Jack Li

Gandanpozhang Palace is bed room of Dalai Lama in Drepung Monastery. Before Potala Palace was built, the Fifth Dalai Lama had been lived there. At the period, he was the political and religious head in Tibet. So Gandanpozhang also is symbol of the Tibeten government. Gandanpozhang Palace was built in 1530. There are seven floors […]

Gandanpozhang Palace is bed room of Dalai Lama in Drepung Monastery. Before Potala Palace was built, the Fifth Dalai Lama had been lived there. At the period, he was the political and religious head in Tibet. So Gandanpozhang also is symbol of the Tibeten government. Gandanpozhang Palace was built in 1530. There are seven floors in the palace. The architectures are divided into three parts, the front part, the middle part and the back park. In the front part, there are many store rooms. Dalai Lama lined on the seven floor. There is a scripture hall, a bed room, a lecture room and a living room there. Besides there, there are another two halls, Zhuoma Hall and Hufashen Hall. The Palace has a special room for the mummification of an innocent young girl. It is said she was put to death by a siren. Then people regarded her as a lucky goddess. The third floor is very magnificent. There are Buddha statues there. After the fifth Dalai Lama, the government offices were not there anymore.

Drepung Monastery (Zhebingsi)

Four Zhacang (Buddhist College)

On September 6, 2011, in Monasteries, Temples, Tibet, by Jack Li

Zhacang is a unit of Gelupai Temple which is used for learn scripture. It is also following the Cuoqing (a unit of temple). The Drepung Monastery had seven Zhacang in the past and they were charged by the seven disciples of Jiangyang Qujie. However, there are more and more monks came here and the seven […]

Zhacang is a unit of Gelupai Temple which is used for learn scripture. It is also following the Cuoqing (a unit of temple). The Drepung Monastery had seven Zhacang in the past and they were charged by the seven disciples of Jiangyang Qujie. However, there are more and more monks came here and the seven Zhacang combined into four which including Luo cycolin, Guo mang, Deyang and A ba.

Guo Cycolin Zhacang:

It is the largest Zhacang in the Drepung Monastery. It covers an area of 1860 Square meters and divided into two parts, the Scripture Hall and the Buddha Temple. The Scripture Hall has 102 pillars and the area is 1053 square meters. The scripture shelves against the walls and about 60 meters long. All kinds of classical scripture are on the shelves. The Qiangba Buddha Temple is behind the hall. The temple has three rooms and connected with each other. There are many Buddha statues there. The monks in this Zhangcang are the most. They come from Kang District and Yunan Province. The Zhacang has 23 Kangcun (a unit under Zhangcang).

Guo mang Zhacang:

The Guo mang Zhacang also has a Scripture Hall and a Buddha Temple and has 102 pillars. The Buddha Exhibition composed with three parts, they are Ba Lakang, Minzhu Lakang and Zhuoma Lakang. The Zhacang has 16 Kangcun. There are many Micun under the Kangcun (Micun is a unit under the Kangcun).

Dezha Zhacang:

The Dezha Zhacang is the smallest Zhacang and covers an area of 375 square meters. The Buddha Temple is behind the Scripture Hall.

A Ba Zhacang:

A Ba Zhacang is the Esoteric Buddhism College of Drepung Monastery. It is located in the right of the Cuoqin Palace and is a closed yard. There are many monks’ rooms around the yard. The Scripture has 48 pillars and covers an area of 467 square meters. The religious paintings on the walls are attractive.

Drepung Monastery (Zhebingsi)