Zhaoqing
Zhaoqing
 

    Zhaoqing is located in the west Pearl River Delta on the north shores of the Xi River and is 110km (68 miles) from Guangzhou. It has population of 5.4 million and covers an area of 22,300 sq km. , Zhaoqing is a thriving river port and commodity distribution center whch can be reached by train or by bus from Guangzhou and even by boat from Hong Kong.
    Visitors have been coming to Zhaoqing for over 1,000 years, drawn in part by the limestone peaks at Seven Star Crags and the Dinghu Shan mountain range. These scenic areas are refreshing destinations in fast moving Guangdong. If time is limited, they are a good way to see a natural smaller scale versions of the classic scenery of Guilin. Zhaoqing itself is a thriving modern city but among its new streets and shops you can find old city walls, which are over 800 years old and a few interesting restored temples.
    We took a morning bus and arrived in Zhaoqing at about 11. Following my Lonely Planet guide book we walked to the Yuejiang temple but once there decided it did not look like it was worth the admission fee so we walked on to the Chingxi pagoda which we also just saw from the outside. From there you can see another pagoda on the opposite bank of the river.
   The plan was to now go to the Plum Monastery and to the Tuan Inkstone Factory but we figured we did not have enough time and decided to go directly to the Seven Star Rocks park.

Plum Monastery (meian) was established in 996AD and has been recently restored. There are paintings and sculptures relating to Hui Neng, the founder of Zen (Chan) Buddhism, who is associated with Plum Monastery. Plum monastery is located by a lake and enjoys pleasant views.
Tuan Inkstone Factory(duanyan chang) is located in the east suburbs of Zhaoqing and is known as one of the best sources of inkstone in China.
    Inkstones are a crucial part of Chinese calligraphy and are made from a particular type of fine whetstone. Inkstones have a shallow well where blocks of ink are ground down and mixed with a calligraphy brush to create the ink used in paintings. The stones are always very smooth and are often carved with dragons, clouds and other traditional images.
    The Tuanyan brand produced near Zhaoqing has been used by Chinese calligraphers for over 1,300 years.

 
Seven Star Crags Park (Qixingyan)

    In the northern outskirts of Zhaoqing, beside Star Lake, there are seven peaks arranged somewhat like the stars of the Big Dipper constellation. Legend has it that the pillars of limestone grew from stars that fell from the skies and it is the most scenic place in Guangdong province. There are lots of caves in this 8 sq km area and some contain underground rivers that are large enough to navigate by boat. Star Lake has been designated a national park and is an area of distinctive natural beauty. A summer resort with its lakes, rocks, and caves, it has both the charm of Guilin's mountains and the placid beauty of Hangzhou's West Lake. Since the Jin Dynasty (265-420), many tourists have inscribed the walls of the caves with poems eulogizing the fascinating beauty of the place. The most famous inscription is an essay written by Li Yi of the Tang Dynasty in a cave on Stone Chamber Rock (Shishiyan).

Hotels in Zhaoqing
Zhaoqing Hotel
Duanzhousi Road
Zhaoqing 526040,
Guangdong, China
Tel (0758) 2235819
Fax (0758) 2220346
Overseas Chinese Building
90 North Tianning Road
Zhaoqing 526040,
Guangdong, China
Tel (0758) 2232650/2232952
Fax (0758) 2231197
Starlake Hotel
37 Duan Zhou 4 Rd
Zhaoqing 526040,
Guangdong, China
Tel (0758) 2261188
Fax (0758) 2236688
slh@zq.col.com.cn
Dynasty Hotel
9 Duanzhou Wu Road
Zhaoqing 526040,
Guangdong, China
Tel (0758) 2238238
Fax (0758) 2223288/2223928

Google Earth: Click here or enter 23.07972625704272 112.4699263537085

Zhaoqing park ticket Zhaoqing park ticket
Entrance fee to the park is 50 yuan

Zhaoqing Seven Star Crags
Beautiful scenic views, even on a cold and drizzling day.

Zhaoqing
My guide and interpreter Fang Mingming.

Zhaoqing Seven Star Crags

Zhaoqing Seven Star Crags

Zhaoqing Seven Star Crags

Zhaoqing Seven Star Crags

Zhaoqing Seven Star Crags

Rice Vermicelli, Made in Zhaoqing
Thousand Sails Brand Rice Vermicelli, Made in Zhaoqing

Zhaoqing Seven Star Crags Zhaoqing Seven Star Crags
The entrance to the cave with the underground lake.

Zhaoqing Underground Lake
The underground lake where you can take a boat ride.

Zhaoqing Seven Star Crags
In one of the caves a figure of religious significance

Cormorans
Cormorans

Cormorans

Goldfish
Feeding the goldfish

Zhaoqing Seven Star Crags
Next to the Buddhist temple there are these vessels with handles filled with water.
If you rub the handles with your hands in the right way the metal vibrates
and makes musical sounds while the water's surface ripples.

Zhaoqing cute girl

Zhaoqing cute girl

Zhaoqing cute girl
It was foggy and the visibility was not good.


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