The Western Hills

Kunming Western Hills, Kunming Attractions, Kunming Travel GuideThe Western Hills, about 15km from Kunming city, is a range of four mountains stretching over 40 kilometers. It is located on the edge of Dianchi Lake in the western suburbs of Kunming with an altitude of some 2,500 meters above sea level. It stretches from north to south for about 40 km. The Hills resemble a reclining maiden lying on the banks of Dianchi Lake with her long hair flowing down into the lake. As a result, the Western Hills have the nickname of the "A Sleeping Beauty Hills". Western Hills contains the best scenery, and thus it is no surprise that numerous temples have been constructed here over the centuries. It's the area that must be considered the fittest to house gods and demons in the vicinity of Kunming.

Actually, the Western Hills is a forested and lovely park that is perfect for hiking. When you are walking in the round path in the hills, flourish trees, beautiful flowers and fountains provide you with a pleasant feeling. However, the most important thing is that the western hills are a very famous scenic spot. Some of the major sites include: Huating Temple (Huating Si), an ancient Buddhist temple that was originally a retreat for the local ruler; Taihua Temple (Taihua Si), with its charming orchard courtyard; Sanqing Pavilion (Sanqingge), a Taoist temple dedicated to that religion's three major deities; and Dragon Gate (Longmen), a collection of Taoist caves and sculptures.

Kunming Dragon Gate, Kunming Attractions, Kunming Travel GuideThe Dragon Gate is a system of grottoes and tunnels dug and hacked into a mountain-top cliff by a group of Taoist monks between 1781 and 1835. It was carved from the 46th year of Qianlong Era (178l) to the third year of Xianfeng Time in the Qing Dynasty. The tourists cannot help being astonished by such elegant carving on such precipitous hills. And the grottoes are dedicated to a number of Chinese deities.

On March 3, every lunar year, hundreds of Kunming inhabitants venture up to the hills to celebrate their heritage in a gathering called "Spring Touring". This event features dancing and singing on the green western hills.