Famous Landmarks in Kunming
are considered the Name Card of Kunming, like the Stone Forest, Western Hill and Dragon Gate, Qiongzhu Temple, etc. ancient and new. They are somehow, represent a certain character or role Kunming played to the world. Come with Top China Travel
, to witness and appreciate those famous Kunming Landmarks.
Stone Forest is about 120km from Kunming City and requires only a three-hour drive. It covers an area of 400 square kilometers and included both large and small forest as well as many other scenic spots. It has been know since the Ming Dynasty as the First Wonder of the World. Approximately 270 million years ago - during the carboniferous period of the Paleozoic era - the region was a vast expanse of sea. Over years of movements, the lithosphere gradually caused a retreat of the waters and the rise of the limestone landscapes. Due to constant erosions by the elements, the area finally developed into the present-day Stone Forest.
The magnificent, strange and steep landscape of the Stone Forest creates countless labyrinthine vistas, all of which feature stones in various formations. Animals, plants, and even human figures can be found here. Some are elegant, some are rugged, and each is lifelike with its own distinguishing characteristics. Geologists say that the Stone Forest is a typical example of karsts topography.
Western Hill and Dragon Gate
The Western Hill, located at the west bank of the Dianchi Lake of Kunming, is set in mountains well covered by evergreen woods and filled with sweet songs by lovely birds.
The Western Hill, over 2,500 metres above sea level, also called the Green Peacock Mountain, refers to a range of five mountains stretching over 40 kilometers. Seen from afar, its undulating skyline resembles a graceful young lady sleeping on her back, hence the name of the "sleeping beauty". Its luxuriant trees and bamboos set off splendid Huating Temple, Taihua Temple, Sanqing Monastery and the Dragon Gate.
As a Chinese idiom says, 'Once you ascend Longmen (Dragon Gate), you would receive a sudden boost in your prestige'. Dragon Gate is a certain gorge on a river flanked by precipices and with a natural dam. If carps swimming upstream could jump over the dam, they would become dragons. The houses of powerful dignitaries were often compared to dragon gates; if a man could manage to be a guest in these houses, his future would be ensured.
As a famous Buddhist temple in Yunnan, Qingzhu Temple (Bamboo Temple) is situated on Mt. Yu'an to the northwest of Kunming. The name of the temple (Qiongzhu) refers to a type of bamboo (genus Qiongzhuea).
The Bamboo Temple was established during in the Yuan Dynasty as the first temple dedicated to Zen Buddism in Yunnan. It has since been burned down and reconstructed several times. The present structure mostly dates from the late Qing Dynasty.
These life-sized clay figures are stunning - either very realistic or very surrealistic. Down one huge wall come the incredible surfing Buddhas, some 70 odd, riding the waves on a variety of mounts - blue dogs, giant crabs shrimp, turtles, unicorns. One gentleman has meter long eyebrows; another has an arm that shoots clear across the hall to the ceiling.
More famous attractions in Kunming please click Kunming Attractions
Highly recommended Kunming Tours at Classic Kunming Tours