Lotus Hill near Guangzhou is one of Pearl River Delta’s popular hills, nestled in the eastern suburb of Panyu City. But before talking about this resplendent place in the mountain, having the same name – Lianhuashan (莲花山) – let’s chat a little about Guangzhou to get you better acquainted.
What is Guangzhou?
Has Guangzhou been mentioned in a conversation you had or have you read about/visited it?
If you had been following my blog from the outset, you would have noticed I had an article on it. But since that was long ago and it’s quite possible that you have missed it (or forgotten what it was about), here’s me coming to the rescue.
Guangzhou sleeps well in the Guangdong province of south-eastern China as its capital city. What’s really peculiar is that it recently surpassed the Japanese capital to become world’s largest agglomeration with a total population of nearly 50 million people. Yes, that includes other cities, such as Shenzhen, Foshan, Dongguan (the former sex capital of China), and some more, but still, it is gigantic. So humongous, one cannot imagine before being pushed in the subway there.
Guangzhou is a very old city and it was there from where the Maritime Silk Road commenced. Nowadays, the port is one of the largest in China, and respectively in the world.
Guangzhou houses the Canton Fair – one of world’s most gigantic trade fairs. It is a city which thrives on heavy manufacturing which brought it mind-boggling prosperity but also large-scale pollution.
Guangzhou’s shores are washed by the Pearl River – one of China’s biggest but also most polluted rivers. The famous Zhujiang beer is named after the Pearl River. Don’t worry, the water which is used for the beer comes directly from a natural spring, not from the river. : )))
Guangzhou is known as the Chinese City of Flowers due to the greenery and verdant ambience of its area. Literally, every pedestrian bridge (and there are many, believe me) over a gargantuan boulevard was overflowing with fragrant flowers.
I trust this is a good start. For more information, check out my article on Guangzhou.
Lotus Hill (Lianhuashan) – A Place of Fairytales and Inimitable Beauty
Now, let’s dip our thirsty-for-knowledge eyes in lotuses or, rather, history and facts. Lotus Hill covers a 2.54 square km area which unites 48 low, red sandstone hills. Its champion measures 108 m tall (354.3 ft). The area’s ancient quarry site is the best preserved in China dating back 2,000 years. The Qing Dynasty, who ruled from 1644 to 1911, was the one who erected the lotus city during the reign of Kangxi.
The remnants of the Ancient Quarry in Lotus Hill is an unusual Chinese landscape. Its history can be mapped out back to 2,000 years ago when the Xihuan Dynasty was at China’s steering wheel.
Herein, the Chinese ancestors were involved in large-scale stone mining which left the area with a myriad of excavated caves, grottoes, and cliffs. The natural weathering since then has converted those into a stunning landscape with all its variety and majestic looks.
Some define the Ancient Quarry not only as a witness of the Chinese ancestors but also as an overt demonstration of their courage and valour. In 2001, the Chinese State Council included it in one of the Key Cultural Preserved Relic Units and a place of significant national importance.
Sauntering down the gorgeous lanes of the Lotus Fairyland (leading to the South Sky Gate), which are lined with lush vegetation and where teems of fish swim into the waters of the water preserves and tiny waterfalls, is a wonderful piece of experience and a relaxation of its own.
Kwan-yin’s Statue and its Dazzling Pavilion
After we have calmly promenaded around heaps of odorous flowers, quarry sites, peculiar plants, perilous grottoes, and winding stone forests, we can leave for the Kwan-yin Pavilion. It’s situated eastwards of the Lotus Hill and there is a good parking place as well as a cosy vegetarian restaurant with delicious food.
But we aren’t going there for the food, are we? It’s the fairy-tale temple and the Kwan-yin gold statue that are we after.
Before you visit the statue, you will pass by an ancient Chinese temple which has 3 floors. From the top, there is a stupendous view of the surrounding area and from where you can also see Guan-yin (or Kwan-yin).
The Goddess of Mercy’s gold statue near Guangzhou is the biggest in the world. Cast there in 1994, it measures 40.88 m (134.12 ft) and was created with 180 taels of gold coating and 120 tonnes of bronze.
When and How to Go?
The popular Peach Blossom and Lotus Flowers Festivals take place in the Lotus Hill Tourist Resort on an annual basis. Every year from June to August, over 100 different kinds of lotuses, Buddha’s holy flower, are hand-picked for the festivals. In order to enjoy their resplendence, you should go there at this time of the year.
Throughout the Spring Festival (when the Chinese New Year happens) is held the Peach Blossom Festival, thus making it another appropriate time for a visit.
In an effort to reach Lotus Hill and its resort, you can either:
Take a bus from Dajitou, the coach terminal of Guangzhou, the Dongpu coach terminal, or the east coach terminal of Guangzhou to Panyu Shiqiao. After that, you only need to transfer yourself to the exclusive “Shiqiao – Lotus Hill” bus line.
Take the subway, line 3, and at Shiqiao station you need to get off. Another option is taking line 4 and descending at Shiqi station. Then again, you need to put your hiney on the special “Shiqiao – Lotus Hill” bus.
At the entrance, you will be asked to pay ¥54 (around $8). Children whose height is between 1.2 and 1.5 metres (3.9 and 4.9 ft.) need to pay only half price. Those with a height of less than 1.2 metres (3.9 ft.) can enjoy the resort for free.
08:00 to 18:30 are Lotus Hill’s opening hours.
The Lotus Hill Tourist Resort packs a mighty punch of ancient ruggedness and modern delicacy. Should you happen to find yourself in Guangzhou, don’t miss the chance to explore this resort.
PS: Here’s a GPS version of this article to help you find your way to Lotus Hill more easily. *I’ll get a small commission for every download.
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