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Western Hills and Dragon Gate

Nineteen kilometers from Kunming, the Western Hills form part of a string of beautiful mountains. These are best known for the evergreen woods that blank them and the sweet songs of graceful birds that fill the air.

The Western Hills stretch along the west bank of Dianchi Lake, creating a lovely view of water, mountain, and sky. Viewed from afar, its undulating skyline looks like a graceful young lady reclining leisurely by the lake with her long hair drifting in the placid water. This amazing resemblance has earned it the nickname "Sleeping Beauty".

The natural beauty of luxuriant trees and giant bamboo starkly contrasts with the man-made splendor of Huating Temple, Taihua Temple, Sanqing Pavilion and Dragon Gate.

Cut out of the side of a precipitous cliff, the Dragon Gate is the highest temple of the Western Hills and sits at 2,500 meters (8000 ft.) above sea level. The temple is made up of a group of grottoes, sculptures, corridors and pavilions that were hacked from the cliff between 1781 and 1835. A Taoist monk along with his co-workers completed the job proving that "impossible is nothing". Visitors will be amazed at the feat and can 't help but wonder if the workers were hanging from the side of the cliff by their fingertips. A stone archway was built at the entrance with the inscription Longmen (Dragon Gate) at the top.

In addition to its remarkable architecture it is also famous for its spectacular view. There is an old winding staircase leading to the natural cliff-top platform. As you work your way up and finally pass through the archway at the top you will have a panoramic view of Dianchi Lake and the entire valley. The stone path along the outer cliff edge is so narrow that only one or two people can squeeze by at a time, so avoid public holidays and weekends!

Western Hills and Dragon Gate Western Hills and Dragon Gate
Stand high to experience the steepness of Western hills and enjoy the spectacle of Dianchi Lake Narrow corridor to the Dragon Gate only allowing one or two persons squeezing by at a time

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