Paifang Garden is on the east side of the Paifang square. It is another park with a stunning view of the lake. The garden comes with stone bridges, art statues, and a landscape garden with a small lake. It is worth spending time here, a famous place for kite.
In Chinese: 牌坊公园， pai fang gong yuan
Paifang Square is the heart of the Zhaoqing City. This is the square where people for coming to celebrate with concerts, performances, events, and etc. There is a modern performance stage facing the city square. In the early morning, you can see people all walk of life doing something in this square. I saw many groups of people practicing their dances and performances like Tai Chi, Chinese Fan Dance, Drum Dance, Steps, and Chinese Sword Dance. Bicycle riding is common here. And kids are running around playing with their friends. The Seven Star Crags Arch is situated in the square too, the Chinese Fan Dance group was practicing their dance under the arch.
In Chinese: 牌坊广场, pai fang guang chang
Seven Star Crags is one of the two important scenic spots in Zhaoqing, after the Dinghu Mountain. It covers 19.56 square km, including Fairy Maiden Lake, Fairy Maiden Stone Carving, Cave Flowing Rices, and Reclining Buddha. I did not have enough time to visit the attraction, only managed to reach the main entrance of West Gate. There are three entrances to the park, mainly North Entrance, West Entrance and East Entrance.
Bus#19 to the West Entrance.
Bus#1 to the East Entrance
Or, simply take a taxi.
Standard Park Admission: RMB 60 /person
Joint Ticket with Dinghu Lake: RMB 110 /person (Save RMB 10)
The Park and the Lake Crusie: RMB 90 /person
In Chinese: 七星岩景区， qi xing yu jing qu.
Zhongxin Lake is the largest lake in downtown Zhoaqing. You can see the lake from different angles. I have seen the lake from Xinghu West Road (星湖西路) by walking from north to south of the city center. There is a city park on the north part of the lake, where you could see mountains with private houses. In south part of the lake are the city center with Paifang Square and the Garden.
It is worth spending time to walk around the lake.
Also read: Zhongxin Lake (West)
In Chinese: 中心湖, zhong xin hu
On the west side of Zhongxin Lake is the Xinghu West Road (星湖西路). It was nice to walk around the lake with many scenic views of the city and the lake. Especially in the morning, the locals are doing morning exercise and meeting their friends for various activities by the lake. Along the way, I also discovered that you could catch an evening boat cruising the Zhongxin Lake.
Star Lake Evening Tour: RMB 40 /person
Zhongxin Lake Tour or Central Lake Tour: RMB 40 /person
Star Lake Central Park Tour (Transport plus Tour Ticket): RMB 70 /person.
Also read: Zhongxin Lake (North)
In Chinese: 中心湖， zhong xin hu.
Bohai Lake is located opposite of the Railway Station. I was still dark before the sunrise, so I could not really see how beautiful it is. But, if you are taking a train from Kowloon, don't forget to see the lake first before you take a taxi to your hotel.
In Chinese: 波海湖， bo hai hu
You can truly enjoy Qinglian Lake in Star Lake Bay Park. After seeing the beautiful scene in Star Lake Park, I continued walking north on the pedestrian walkway by Xinghu Dadao. It was getting dark, all the street lights were on. Qinglian Lake continued to look stunning despite I could not see any sunset this the cloudy winter.
This would be a great place to rent a bike and cycle around the lake with beautiful views.
In Chinese: 青莲湖， qing lian hu
Star Lake Bay Park is located south of the lake scenic area, northeast of the Zhaoqing Long-Distance Bus Station. It is a local park, where you can see the most beautiful view of Qinglian lake with the seven star crags. I saw an old man start boat paddling from this park, and the scene with the lake and the crags was just beautiful like in a Chinese painting. The winter cloud made it more interesting to take photos and just simply enjoyed the beauty of the entire lake.
In Chinese: 星湖湾公园， xing hu wan gong yuan.
Dinghu Mountain is the forest national park which is 20 Km away from the downtown Zhaoqing. According to their signboard, it is the nearest forest reserve from a city in the world. It is often known as "Natural Oxygen Bar" and "City Forest". This green forest not only has natural forest with 2000 kinds of wild plants and 800 kinds of animals, but also with the beautiful Dinghu or Ding Lake, waterfalls, rocky creeks and a peaceful temple. It is not difficult to explore the national park yourself by walking on the trails and riding with the electric buggy.
I would suggest you to take the electric buggy to Baoding Park (宝鼎公园), where you can learn and experience the bronze ware culture of the ancient society in China. You can see the Ding Lake from the Park. Either taking the electric buggy or simply walk to the lake to visit Butterfly Valley (蝴蝶谷). You need to pay RMB 30 to visit the Valley including a boat trip cruising the lake and a forest trail that accompany by a local tour guide. At the end of the trail, you will reach Qingyun Temple (庆云寺), one of the four famous temples in Guangdong, where you can rest and find peace in this quiet temple surrounded by forest. From the temple, you can continue walking a forest trail along a rocky creek until you see the Flying Waterpool (飞水潭). If you want to spend a little more time at the Flying Waterpool is totally understood as it has a beautiful view of the entire place especially the waterfall and the green pool. Once you have enough to the waterfall, you need to walk uphill to reach the main road to catch an electric buggy back to the main entrance.
Ticket: Dinghu National Park ( RMB 60 per person)*
Butterfly Valley (RMB 30 per person)
Electric Buddy (RMB 20 per person)
* Joint Ticket is available if you are planning to visit Seven Stars Crags together:
(RMB 110 per person)
In Chinese: 鼎湖山， ding hu shan
The Flying Waterpool is also known as Oxygen Bar due to its fresh air that rich of anions, achieve 105600 per cu. cm. The water has 30 meters high that creates a beautiful scenic view with the surrounding forest. It was winter during my visit, otherwise swimming in the pool might be refreshing especially with dark green mineral water surrounded by forest.
After seeing the Flying Waterpool, I continued walking uphill to get back to the main road where I could catch an electric buggy back to the main entrance. Before I took the buggy to the main entrance, I saw the Ding Lake with a bridge. It has beautiful view as well.
In Chinese: 飞水潭， fei shui tan
After Qingyun Temple, the forest trail started from the Southeast Entrance of the Temple. I was walking downhill with proper stairs and passed by the small religious pavilion. Along the forest trail, I was walking along a creek with rocks. The stream is not impressively strong but remaining rocks create a beautiful scenic views of the forest. Before reaching Flying Waterpool, there were few water pools in between waterfalls, I was enjoying the misty forest and walking on a stone pathway to my next mystery waterfall.
NEXT: Flyling Waterpool..
Qingyun Temple is one of the four famous temples in Lingnan (referring lands in the South China including Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi and Northern Vietnam) , located in the Dinghu Mountain. This Temple was built during the late Ming Dynasty (1633) and completed in 1636. It is a historical Buddhist Temple that has many historical relics like the famous Bells and Drums. The Temple is built in the most sacred land on the mountain, where is a place to find peace and learn the teaching of Buddhism blessed by meditation, silence and discipline oneself.
The Empress Dowager Cixi granted the tablet of " Qingyun Logevity Temple", Tripitaka" and "The Story of the Buddha" in Guangxu 19 year to Qingyun Temple in recognition of promoting Buddhism.
In 1983, Qingyun Temple was opened to the public for visitation.
Qingyun Temple was built in strict symmetry on vertical and horizontal lines buildings. The slope of the mountain was cut into seven steps to build the following buidlings:
Fang Pool, Guihua Garden, the 17th Mountain Gate, Weituo Temple, Main Hall, Sutra Collection Pavilion, Dagoba Hall, Ancestor's Hall, Law Hall, Meditation Hall, Zhike Hall, Abbot's Hall, Indian Buddhist Book Hall, Gulang Spring, Lignum Santali Albi Woods. There are more than 100 sites here.
It was a rainy day during my visit.So, I was walking around the Temple compound, I could see not only halls for religious purpose but hallway or corridors are nicely built with the mix of ancient architectural design.
From the Southeast part of the Temple, there is a forest trail that can lead you to Flying Waterpool. Don't miss... Another opportunity to see the forest and waterfalls.
In Chinese: 庆云寺， qing yun si
Based on a map, there are five waterfalls along the trail. I only noticed Cran Dragon Fall (青龙瀑), which is the largest fall in butterfly valley. Other waterfalls include Sky Fall (天瀑), Ren Zi Fall (人字瀑), White Elephant Fall (白象瀑), and Green Jade Fall (碧瀑). There are not big waterfalls, but just nice enough to make some water sounds of the quiet forest. It is part of the forest ecosystem.
Don't miss the forest trail at Bufferfly Valley!
The forest walk came to the end and it was a short walk to the Qingyun Temple.
This is another part of Dingu with bridge. It is a beautiful area where the bridge is built to allow pedestrians cross the lake. I enjoy the water mostly due to the dark green color lake. The beautiful color of the lake is an ideal place to get a good shot of the bridge reflection.
Coming downhill, I could hear the water stream down the hill. The creek paths with natural rocks of different sizes with clear water. It was winter, the water flow was rather slow but was still beautiful and enjoyed the views of streams. Some of the rocks were changed in color due to the stream bringing different mineral to cause the change of color over time.
It must be fun to play the water in this natural forest with friends.
NEXT: The waterfalls...