|Yunnan Kunming | Western Hill (Xi Shan) - Dian Lake - Dragon Gate|
Located in the western side of Dian Lake (pronounce as Dianchi in Mandarin), Western Hill is less than 30 minutes away from Kunming city. This place is packed with local and foreign tourists especially during the weekends.
From afar, the hill resembles a sleeping lady with her tresses of hair flowing into the water, hence nicknamed 'Sleeping Beauty Hills'.
The highest point of Western Hill is around 2500 metres. This place is best reached by coach. As we were in short of time, we took up this option and continued by buggy cars upto the entrance. There, our flight of stairs climbing expedition starts!
Our target at the Western Hill was to get aerial view of Dian Lake and a few 'touching mission'. It is believed that there are a few points of interests for visitors to touch certain objects for 'good luck and properity'. Here you go the list:
1. Ling Guan - In Taoism, he is known as 'God of Prosperity'. One must touch his hand which is said to carry a pouch with gold. This symbolize money – typically favored the Chinese businessmen.
2. The Long Snake and The Golden Tortoise. It depends on your wish. For longevity, you must touch the snake first, then only the tortoise (Mandarin: 'Zhang Sou'). If your desire is to have a slim body, then you must touch the tortoise first, then only the snake (Mandarin: 'Sou Zhang'). Superstitious, you may think - but naturally most people will choose longevity.
3. Filial Cattle Spring Water. This is a story about how a young cattle when she found that her mother was about to be slaughtered by a farmer. She then shed her tears and bowed to the farmer. Her action touched the farmer’s heart who eventually released the mother cattle.
4. Phoenix with a messenger box. The Phoenix is the messenger that spread the beauty and invites everyone to visit the Western Hill. For good luck, you can try throwing coins into its messenger box.
5. The Dragon Gate (Long Men) – Being the highlight of Western Hill, the Dragon Gate comprised of impressive sculptures, grottoes and tunnels hacked by the Taoist monks in the end 1700s, in dedication to The Three Taoist deities. One must touch the pearls located in the center of the archway.
Nearby, there is also a chairlift by The Dragon Gate. One way costs RMB15 and RMB30 is offered for return journey from Sanqing Ge.
Well, for me the scenery alone is worth my tired legs, so do not miss out the lovely Western Hill if you are visiting Kunming! and when you are there, do like what the Kunmingites do – must reach The Dragon Gate, as 'if you have never seen Long Men, you haven’t seen Xi Shan (Western Hill)!
Admission fee (Dragon Gate): RMB30
Opening Hours: 08:30 to 18:00
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