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A Date With The Western Hills

Local people in Kunming all know the saying "On March 3, go to the Western Hills for a hike". Springtime should not be wasted, so do not miss the green willows and red flowers, listening to the sound of the wind and the singing of the birds, looking at the vast and misty waves of the endless Dianchi Lake. If you have one free day, you must visit the Western Hills.Most people are busy at work on weekdays. But in your spare time, you must bring some friends to the Xishan Forest Park, which is also known as the "Sleeping Beauty". 

Last weekend, we went for a hike there. Because it was a weekend, the scenic area was crowded with tourists, we waited for more than an hour in the waiting room at the foot of the mountain to get on the bus to the Western Hills Scenic Area. When we arrived in the park, we took a  sightseeing bus and hiked a little. Of course, you can choose to walk all the way up the mountain, which will take about 3 hours, the landscapes change along the way. There is even clear spring water for you to quench your thirst, and eliminate your sleepiness.

It was a beautiful sunny day and the trees covered the mountain path, making it blissfully cool. There were many stalls on the roadside, selling local seasonal fruits and snacks. If you were tired of walking, you could choose to sit down and have a taste of the fresh local fruits. Refreshing fruit juice is the best way to banish excessive summer heat.

After the steep cliff of Sanqing Pavilion, often stopping along the way, we finally made it to the Dragon Gate atop the Hill. Along a narrow path on the cliff face of the Dragon Gate, the thousands of steps with stone carvings and caves were carved by the craftsmen of the Qing Dynasty by hand using very primitive tools. The carvings are elaborate and as a whole, spectacular.

As we passed through the gate, we found a "Lucky Bead" hanging in the middle of the door frame. It is said that if you touch it, you will get a good fortune, and the bead was polished by so many hands that you can see how much people believe in it.

On top of the Dragon Gate, you can see a panoramic view of Dianchi Lake and feel the fresh wind, which makes people relaxed and happy.

We continued our walk along the ancient road and hiked to the highest point of the Western Hills - Lingxu Pavilion, here you can also see a panoramic view of Dianchi, villages, tall buildings...in brief, the whole city of Kunming. After a short rest, we began to take the cable car down the mountain overlooking Dianchi lake.

After the cable car, we walked along the Ancient Road of Taihua Temple, which is surrounded by bamboo and lined with pine trees. In the midst of the vast forest of pines and cypresses is hidden a painted tower, which used to be a famous bell tower at the entrance of Huating Temple. It is a solemn scene hearing the pure sound of the bell reverberating through the scattered buildings of the temple, while people worship Bodhisattva and Luo Han inside its halls.

After this visit, the whole day had gone by. After our minds lingered in the waves of Dianchi Lake, ringing with the forest, wind, flowers, birds and temple bells..., we would miss the Western Hills greatly, but everyone has to return to the earthly world one day, right?

When you are in Kunming, do not miss a trip to the Western Hills! Try out our Kunming Hiking Tour for a more dynamic visit to the hills. Or you can just contact us for more information.