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.
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
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).
Google Earth: Click here or enter 23.07972625704272 112.4699263537085
Entrance fee to the park is 50 yuan
Beautiful scenic views, even on a cold and drizzling day.
My guide and interpreter Fang Mingming.
Thousand Sails Brand Rice Vermicelli, Made in Zhaoqing
The entrance to the cave with the underground lake.
The underground lake where you can take a boat ride.
In one of the caves a figure of religious significance
Feeding the goldfish
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.
It was foggy and the visibility was not good.