The Smoggy West Lake in Hangzhou

September 16th, 2021
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The West Lake Landscape, a World Cultural Heritage Site, dominates the psyche of the locals and visitors. Walking along the 15-km perimeter of the lake is a delightful rewind. If not strong legs, choose any of the sections for a leisure stroll; or you may easily rent a bike since the area around the lake is very bike-friendly. The lake shoreline is full of well-maintained paths and gardens which are all free including the lake itself.

The West Lake presents its different picturesque views under different time of a day, different weathers and different seasons. Even in a smog ( not heavily smoggy – around P.M 120), the West Lake still looks mesmerizing like a traditional water and mountain scroll of Chinese painting.

The popular tourist West Lake does attracts domestic tourists who come in droves. A bit annoyed by the noisy huge crowds? Well, just mingle with the crowds and people-watch. Many local people do all kinds of impromptu activities like singing, dancing, playing chess, flying kites, taichi, calligraphy with water brushes, etc.

On your Hangzhou tour, walking along the water edge gives you a picture of classic beauty of China and a better understanding of its people.

Now follow me to have a West Lake walking tour in smog.

A close-up view of the rowing boats by the water edge

A close-up view of the rowing boats by the water edge
A close-up view of the rowing boats by the water edge

On the lake edge in the largest island in the West Lake,  boatmen are waiting for business.

 boatmen are waiting for business.
boatmen are waiting for business.

The withered yellow lotuses on the Inner West Lake with the Baoshu Hill and Baidi Causeway on the background, a late autumn view of the lake.

The withered yellow lotuses on the Inner West Lake
The withered yellow lotuses on the Inner West Lake

Walking and biking along the Baidi Causeway.

Walking and biking along the Baidi Causeway.
Walking and biking along the Baidi Causeway.

It is a leisure and contemplative walk on the Baidi Causeway lined with waving willow trees.

Walk on the Baidi Causeway lined with waving willow trees.
Walk on the Baidi Causeway lined with waving willow trees.

Walking on the lake edge, appreciating the hazy West Lake.

Walking on the lake edge, appreciating the hazy West Lake.
Walking on the lake edge, appreciating the hazy West Lake.

Two foreign visitors are cycling on the Baidi Causeway, a great way of traveling the lake.

Two foreign visitors are cycling on the Baidi Causeway
Two foreign visitors are cycling on the Baidi Causeway

Flying a paper ring kite.

Flying a paper ring kite.
Flying a paper ring kite.

More pleasure boats waiting on the  water edge and cruising on the lake.

More pleasure boats
More pleasure boats

The legendary so-called Broken Bridge, an arched bridge connecting the Baidi Causeway with the shore.

The legendary so-called Broken Bridge,
The legendary so-called Broken Bridge,

A close-up view of the Baishan Hill and Baishu Pagoda in a late autumn hue.

A close-up view of the Baishan Hill and Baishu Pagoda in a late autumn hue.
A close-up view of the Baishan Hill and Baishu Pagoda in a late autumn hue.

 
The images and views of the West Lake will linger in your mind for ever

The images and views of the West Lake will linger in your mind for ever
The images and views of the West Lake will linger in your mind for ever

Add On:
Walk around West Lake in early morning Hangzhou

Tip:  Hassle-free Hangzhou Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Hangzhou Guided Tours:

Hangzhou Tour
Hangzhou 4-Day Tour Package
Hangzhou 3-Day Tour Package
Hangzhou Private Tour
Hangzhou Theme Tour
Hangzhou Side Trips
Hangzhou Car Rental with Driver

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Hangzhou
Top 10 Photography Spots in Hangzhou
Night View of West Lake in Hangzhou
The Best hiking trail in Hangzhou
The best time to visit Hangzhou
Hangzhou East Railway Station
Hangzhou Airport Arrival Hall
How to Visit Feilai Peak Grottoes in Hangzhou
Where to stay in Hangzhou
Hangzhou Bicycle Hire
Wushan Night Market in Hangzhou
Pedestrian Streets in Hangzhou
Hangzhou’s Best Bars & Nightclubs
Best Way to Visit Hangzhou from Shanghai
How to Visit Grand Canal Hangzhou
How to Visit Xiling Seal Engravers’ Society
How to Visit Liuhe Pagoda
Hangzhou Tea Plantation
How to Visit Leifeng Pagoda
How to visit Hupao Spring (Tiger Spring) Hangzhou
How to Visit Yellow Dragon Cave in Hangzhou
The Best Place to View Sunrise over West Lake Hangzhou

Any question, just drop a line.

Best Places to Take Picture of Potala Palace Lhasa

September 16th, 2021
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Plan your Lhasa tour? Visiting Potala Palace is one of your highlights in your Lhasa trip. Many visitors would like to take some photos of Potala Palace bringing their memory back home. There are many places to view and photograph Potala Palace sitting on a hill in the heart of Lhasa city.

You may walk around Potala Palace in a clockwise direction, a religion kora (The Pilgrim Kora in Lhasa) and take some pictures of Potala Palace from different angles and spots. Wandering on the path circling Potala Palace takes you approxi. 40 minutes.

There two best places to have an overview of Potala Palace for pictures taking – the Medicine King Hill and Palubuk Rock Temple both to the southwest of the palace. It takes you 2 yuan to take photos on the viewing platform on the hill. The entrance to Palubuk Temple costs you 20 yuan.

Shooting Potala Palace on the Medicine King Hill

This is the entrance gate leading up to the sightseeing platform on the Medicine King Hill to the southwest of Potala Palace, just a few minutes’s walk from the west gate of the palace.

I zoom in and have a clear and bigger picture of Potala Palace standing on a hill slope, which is mainly composed of two parts – the White Palace and the Red Palace. The White Palace is the former residence of the Dalai Lama. The Red Palace accommodates the Spirit Pagodas.

I zoom in and have a clear and bigger picture of Potala Palace

I zoom in and have a clear and bigger picture of Potala Palace from the Medicine King Hill
I zoom out and have a distant view of Potala Palace with its square to the south.

Shooting Potala Palace from Palubuk Temple

To the southwest of the palace, walking a road rimming the west foot of the Medicine King Hill, soon you will see a temple standing the hilllside. This is the Palubuk temple, a kind of temple built on the rock in the hill.

Palubuk Temple was built during the King Songtsan Gampo’s Time, and has a long history over 1200 years. It is said that the statues of Shakyamuni and his disciples were carved naturally from the rcok in the hill.  The King Songtsan Gampo and his two sons all had lived in this temple.

Now we are inside the courtard of the temple and follow the arrow, walk on the steps leading to the different storeys of the temple.

follow the arrow, walk the steps leading to the different storeys of the temple.

Have a clear and overall picture of Potala Palace from the top floor of the temple.

Have a clear and overall picture of Potala Palace from the top floor of the temple

Shooting Potala Palace from its different sides

Walk around the Potala Place gives you the chance to snap the shots of the temple in different angles. Actually if you have the circular walk in a clockwise direction, you step on a perform kora.

In Lhasa, there are four major kora (cirsuits) – Inner Kora, Middle Kora, Outer Kora and Potala Palace Kora.

Shooting Potala Palace from its southeast side.
Shooting Potala Palace from its southwest side.
Shooting from the middle at its south
Doves and the palace

Hassle-free Lhasa Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for guided tours to Lhasa:

Lhasa Tour
Lhasa Tibet Group Tour
Lhasa Tibet Private Tour
Beijing Lhasa Tour
Lhasa China Tour

Further Readings

Best Time to Visit Lhasa
Top 10 Attractions in Lhasa
Lhasa Tourist Traps, Tourist Scams Lhasa
Where to stay in Lhasa
Makye Ame Lhasa Restaurant – Your Kitchen in Lhasa
Lhasa Airport, Lhasa Gonggar Airport
Xian Lhasa Flight Experience, Xian Lhasa Flight
Lhasa Railway Station Transportation, Taxi, Public Bus
Get around in Lhasa with Pedicab or Trishaw
lhasa Taxi
Best Places to Take Picture of Potala Palace Lhasa

4-Wheel Drive Trip from Lhasa to Ranwu
Drak Yerpa, My trip to Drak Yerpa Monastery
The Pilgrim Kora in Lhasa, Lhasa Pilgrim circuits
Monks at Sera Je College at Sera Monastery in Lhasa
Beijing Road in Lhasa
A Fun to Walk along Lhasa River in the City of Lhasa
Lhasa Great Mosque, the Mosques in Lhasa
Lhasa Yamdrok-Tso Lake Road Trip

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to visit Qingyang Palace in Chengdu (Tips, Photos & Map)

September 16th, 2021
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Plan your Chengdu tour? If you are into the Taoism (also spelled Daoism) , a religion and a philosophy from ancient China, Qingyang Palace is definitely your cup of tea.

ABC of Qingyang Palace

The Qingyang Palace, also known as Qingyang Taoist Temple, is lauded as “No 01 Taoist Temple in Sichuan” and “No.01 Taoist Temple in West China”. Now It is a famous tourism and sightseeing attraction of Taoist cultural heritage.

First built in Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC-249BC), Qingyang Taoist Temple was originally called Qingyang Fair. In the first year of Zhonghe Period (881) of Xizhong Reign of Tang Dynasty (618-907), the emperor retreated to the place of Qingyang Temple to avoid the chaos.

After the upheaval was calmed down, the emperor allocated a sum of money to expand the temple and issued an imperial edict to change the name of the place into Qingyang Palace. This temple was flourishing in Tang Dynasty.

In Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), the temple buildings built in Tang Dynasty were unfortunately damaged in natural disaster and wars. Today’s Qingyang Palace is the result of successive reconstructions during the six to tenth year of Kangxi of Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911).

How to get there and tickets

Qingyang Palace is located to the east of Du Fu Cottage and to the north of Wu Hou Shrine. It is easily accessible by public transport.

The location of Qingyang Palace in Chengdu

Bus lines: Bus No. 11, 19, 27A, 27, 34A, 34, 35, 42, 58, 59A, 59, 82, 129, 151, 165, 170, 309, 319 and get off at Qingyanggong Station
Subway lines: Line 2 or line 4, get off at the Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine Station and walk south;
Take subway Line 5 and alight at Qingyanggong Subway Station ( Exit D )
Admission Fee: RMB 10
Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00 all year round
Suggested visiting time: one hour
The temple is to the east of Du Fu Cottage and to the north of Wuhou Temple.

Virtual Tour of Qingyang Taoist Temple

Follow us to enter the main gate to Qingyang Palace and start the virtual tour.

The entrance to Qingyang Taoist Temple

Hunyuan Hall

Going through the gate, and the first building you will see is the second important hall in the temple known as Hunyuan Hall. The hall was rebuilt during reign of Kangxi emperor (4 May 1654 – 20 December 1722) in Qing Dynasty.

The hall is about 22 meters high and suppported by 28 columns and covers an area of 600 square mteters. Enshrined in the hall are Taishang Laojun and Goddess of Great Compassion.

Burning incense sticks before the Hunyuan Hall

The Bagua (Eight Trigrams) Pavillion

The Bagua (Eight Trigrams) Pavillion is an octagonal pavilion where the statue of Laozi riding on a bronze cow is enshrined and well preserved. 

Constructed on square bases, with a colored glazed dome on top, this octagonal building showcases the ancient Chinese thinking that “the sky is round and the earth is square”.

The Bagua (Eight Trigrams) Pavillion

Sanqing Hall

Sanqing Hall, also known as Wuji Hall, is the main hall of Qingyang Palace. It was originally built in the Tang Dynasty and rebuilt in 1669 ( the eighth year during the raign of Emperor Kangxi ) in Qing Dynasty.

Sanqing Hall is dedicated to the worship of the three highest Taoist deities in Taoism – Yuanshi Tianzun, Lingbao Tianzun and Daode Tianzun.

Sanqing Hall

In front of the Sanqing Hall stand two eye-catching bronze goats. Two bronze goats are a veritable treasure of the palace.

The two bronze goats in front of the Sanqing Hall in the temple.

Doulao Hall

Doulao Hall where Doulao, a great Goddess in Taoist is enshrined. Doulao Hall, also known as Yuanchen Hall, is about ten meters long and nine meters wide. It was built in the Ming Dynasty ( 1368 – 1644) . Doulao Hall is the only existing Ming Dynasty original building in Qingyang Palace.

Doulao Hall

The Jade Emperor Hall

The Jade Emperor Hall. According to the doctrine of Taoism, the Jade Emperor is the most senior God of the world. The original hall of the Jade Emperor was built during the reign (1821-1850) of Emperor Daoguang in Qing Dynasty. But was later demolished due to dangerous buildings.

The Jade Emperor Hall

The new hall, built in 1995, is about 18 meters long and 6 meters wide. On the upper floor of the temple is dedicated to the Jade Emperor, a Taoist deity next in rank to the three highest Sanqing deities.

Hassle-free Chengdu Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for Chengdu and Sichuan guided tours:

Chengdu tour
Chengdu Car Rental with Driver
Create My Chengdu Trip
Jiuzhaigou Tour
Sichuan Tour

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Chengdu
Best Time to Visit Chengdu
Chengdu Airport
Railway stations in Chengdu
Chengdu Taxi
How to visit Wuhou Shrine
How to visit Du Fu Thatched Cottage
How to visit Jinsha Site Museum
How to Visit Tomb of Wangjian
How to Visit Wangjiang Tower Park
How to Visit Qingyang Palace
How to Visit Jinli Street
How to visit Kuan Alley and Zhai Alley
How to visit Qintai Road, Qintai Street Chengdu
How to visit Shaoling Road Bar Street
How to Visit Jiuyanqiao Bar Street
The Old Teahouse in Pengzhen Town, Chengdu

Drive from Hanzhong to Ya’an
Ya’an Night View
Most Beautiful Sky Road in China
Night View of Moxi Old Town
Camp No.03 at Hailuogou Glacier
Camp No.04 at Hailuogou Glacier
Night View of Kangding
Drive from Kangding to Xinduqiao
Drive from Xinduqiao to Danba
Jiarong Tibetan Blockhouses
Jiarong Tibetan Ancient Watchtowers
Drive from Xinduqiao to Yajiang
Drive from Yajiang to Litang
Drive from Litang to Daocheng
Drive from Litang to Batang
Drive from Batang to Mangkang
Drive from Shangri-la to Daocheng
Drive from Daocheng to Yading
Yading Brings You Inner Peace

Bipenggou is a fairyland in Autumn
When is the best time to visit Jiuzhaigou?
Best Places to Visit Autumn Leaves in Sichuan
Top 10 Places to Visit in Sichuan
Ruoergai Grassland, my first trip to Ruoergai Grassland

Any questions, just drop a line.