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.
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.
The Western Hill Forest Park has dense forests, flourish flowers and plants, beautiful scenery. In Ming dynasty Jiajing period, Yangshen praised the mountains as the most enjoyable or pleasant scenery in Yunnan. In the Ming dynasty, Kunming Western Hill, Tonghai Xiushan Mountain, Weishan Weibao Mountain and Binchuan Jizu Mountain were called “the four famous mountains scenery of Yunnan”.
The Western Hill Forest Park, 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.
Huating Temple was first built in 1063, during Song Dynasty, covering an area of 12,000 square meters in rectangle. The temple is axisymmetric and closed courtyard type. Huating Temple is the largest temple in Yunnan province. It was released as one of the Kunming municipal cultural relics protection units.
Taihua Mountian is the highest mountain in the Western Hill with an altitude of 2500 m. The magenificent and solemn Taihua Temple is located on the mountainside of Taihua Hill in The Western Hill Forest Park. Taihua Hill has Dianchi Lake to its east, Huating Hill, Biji Mountain to its north.
Sanqing Pavilion and Dragon is a set of architectural complex built in Western Hill main mountain Luohan Mountain cliff, the building are 9 layers 11 cabinets. Each cabinet built along the cliff of mountain, layer upon layer, close together in a row, which is very characteristic. Temple shrine, coiling clouds, it likes the “castles in the air”.
【Dragon Gate (Longmen)】
Dragon Gate is in the south of Sanqing pavilion. Dragon Gate is in the top of Western Hill, cliff of Luohan Peak, from Dragon Gate can go down along the plank road to the top of the mountain, but the narrow plank road only let two people pass together.
Dragon Gate circuitous road not only increased the exports of Dragon Gate to make a clear road that tourists pass unobstructed, increased the sense of security, and added new scenic sightseeing spot. Enjoyed the Dragon Gate exquisite stone carving art, tourists can pass through the Dragon Gate tunnel, and step to the Dragon Gate new platform.
Dragon Gate on Western Hill
Dragon Gate Legend
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.)
How to get to Western Hill and Dragon Gate
There are many bus line can reach the Western Hill Forest Park. Tourists can take bus No.6, 94 to Su Family Village, or take bus No.33, 94 to Gaoxiao Village.
From Kunming Railway station, it will take about half an hour to Western Hill, 60 RMB or so.
From Changshui Airport, it will take about 1.5 hours, 120 RMB or so.
From downtown of Kunming, it will take about 40 Mins, 30 RMB or so.
And, from Yunnan Ethnic Village to Dragon Gate, there is cable car between Haigeng and the Western Hill, 50 RMB for round way, 30 RMB for one way.
1. It is said that there is unsafe in the by-place of Western Hill Scenic Area, so please pay attention to safety during sightseeing, do not go alone and go away from the tourist route.
2. There are several restaurants in Taihua Mountain around Outdoor Travel Service Center of Western Hill Park Administrative Office, but the conditions are not so good, also the price is quite higher so it is better to bring food and water by your own.
Best time to travel to Western Hill and Dragon Gate
The best time is from March to October, spring, summer and autumn is the suitable time to visit Western Hill and Dragon Gate.