Posts Tagged ‘Kunming Dragon Gate’

The Western Hills in Kunming

Friday, July 20th, 2012
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The Famous Western Hills in Kunming is Steeped in History

Not far from Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province is the Western Hills formed by three hills. These are often referred to as the Lying Budhha. These hills overlook the Dianchi Lake and are a source of natural beauty. They are one of the most popular getaways for tourists and locals alike who want to take time out of their busy schedules and relax in the lap of nature. These hills are also the site for spring celebrations for locals. They were considered to be the most beautiful place in Yunnan Province in the past.

A Natural Gateway: Western Hills 

Yunnan Province is home to 26 out of the 52 ethnic minorities in China. Also, the province lies in the temperate climatic zone which makes it most suitable for study abroad programs and gap year jobs all year round. Most of the other big cities of China like Beijing and Shanghai experience considerably warm weather during summer months. Therefore despite being important cities economically, they are not ideal destinations for Chinese language programs and gap year programs. 

Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan is a great destination for students who want to go on China tour or for learning Chinese. Kunming, without a doubt, has terrific climate which adds to its popularity.  Apart from this it has a lot of sites that the students can visit during weekends and familiarize themselves with the culture and lifestyle of the Chinese. One of such places is the Western Hills. These hills are comprised of three hills; the Huating Hill, the Taihua Hill and the Louhan Hill, respectively. Their altitude ranges from 1900 meters to 2350 meters above sea level.

This is a place to visit when one wishes to get away from the hustle bustle of the city and relax in tranquil natural surroundings. These hills are known for their lush vegetation and pristine natural beauty. There are two ways to go up the hill; one is a steep and narrow path which is generally avoided as it is quite an uphill task to scale the mountain via that route. There is a cable car facility available which is usually preferred for going up to the top. Those who like trekking can walk down if they want to complete the tour in a single day. During ancient times, these hills were considered to be the most beautiful in the whole of Yunnan Province. From afar, it often looks as if these three hills together form a silhouette of a girl lying down. The hills overlook the Dianchi Lake.

According to a Chinese mythical story, a princess, in search of love, met a prince and got married to him. However, the marriage was opposed by the king who had the prince executed. The princess wept so much that the Dianchi Lake was formed by her tears and her body formed the hills. Alternatively, these hills are referred to as the Lying Buddha because of their resemblance to it. During the spring season, locals gather here to celebrate. Folk songs are sung and the traditional dragon and lion shows are exhibited. The Dragon Gate is present among these hills–a structure that took seventy-two years to build. This is a site from where one can view the Dianchi Lake in its entirety.

The Western Hills overlook Dianchi Lake

The Western hills in Kunming overlook the Dianchi Lake

The Western Hills and Dianchi Lake

The West Hills and Dianchi Lake

Dragon Gate is present among these hills–a structure that took seventy-two years to build.

Kunming Dianchi Lake

Kunming Dianchi Lake