a climb to the top of lion hill & wangu tower

Saturday, February 7:  Behind Mu’s Mansion, we climb uphill to find ourselves at the entrance to the Lion Hill Scenic Area, where we have to pay another entrance fee.  It’s such a beautiful day, and such a lovely forested spot with sweeping views of Lijiang’s traditional rooftops and the surrounding hills and mountains, that we can’t help but to climb all the way to the top.

According to a sign at the park, “the Lion Hill Scenic Area is an indispensable part of the Lijiang Old Town UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.  The name Lion Hill is given due to the hill’s outline which looks like a crouching lion.  Covering an area of 18 hectares, the Scenic Area boasts a verdant landscape with a forest cover of 90%, where visitors can find many birds and especially over 40 cypresses of 800-odd years.”

View of rooftops of Lijiang's old town

View of rooftops of Lijiang’s old town

Lijiang's rooftops

Lijiang’s rooftops

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lijiang

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Lijiang

I always love to read the signs with Chinglish: “Don’t loitering under the tree during thunderstorms.”

I love Chinglish!

I love Chinglish!

The town of Lijiang from Lion Hill

The town of Lijiang from Lion Hill

The sign at the park entrance continues: “On the top of the Lion Hill stands famous Wangu Pavilion, a five-storied wooden pagoda-styled building with distinctive local features.  Known as a landmark in Lijiang, this 33-meter-tall pavilion is sustained by 16 big columns of 22 meters respectively, and each of its stories has independent eaves. It is the most famous wooden pavilion of bucket arches (an ancient Chinese building system in which brackets are inserted between the top of a column and a crossbeam) in China, thanks to its unattached columns stretching from the foot to the top roof of the pavilion.”

Wangu Pavilion

Wangu Pavilion

the flying eaves of the 5-storied Wangu Pavilion

the flying eaves of the 5-storied Wangu Pavilion

Wangu Pavilion

Wangu Pavilion

Wangu Pavilion from the far end

Wangu Pavilion from the far end

A sign on the Lucky Drum says: First beat for progress, Second beat for progress, Third beat for prosperity.

Lucky Drum

Lucky Drum

Inside one of the halls

Inside one of the halls

Colorful hall

Colorful hall

A sign at the Peace Bell says: All sefe (sic), Best wishes, Extra strong. I guess this means that if you ring the bell once, you’re safe, and so on.

Peace Bell

Peace Bell

Inside the hall on the opposite side of the garden

Inside the hall on the opposite side of the garden

Wangu Pavilion

Wangu Pavilion

We go inside the pavilion and climb to the top.  We find colorful and whimsical paintings on the walls and fantastic ceilings, along with vendors selling traditional arts and crafts.  It’s a quiet and contemplative atmosphere.

Some of the painted ceilings are amazing.

ceiling in Wangu Pavilion

ceiling in Wangu Pavilion

the steps, columns and ceilings in Wangu Pavilion

the steps, columns and ceilings in Wangu Pavilion

another ceiling in Wangu Pavilion

another ceiling in Wangu Pavilion

Another beautiful ceiling

Another beautiful ceiling

view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the newer town of Lijiang from Wangu Pavilion

view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the newer town of Lijiang from Wangu Pavilion

Last view of the gardens before we head back down the hill

Last view of the gardens before we head back down the hill

We’ve now spent so much time at Mu’s Mansion and Lion Hill that it’s quite late in the afternoon.  We’re also hungry.  As we walk into town to search for a place to eat lunch, we rethink our plan to rent bicycles to ride to Baisha and Shuhe.  We might have to find a faster mode of transportation, as today is our last day in Lijiang.:-)

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Categories: Asia, China, Lijiang, Lion Hill Scenic Area, Travel, Wangu Pavilion, Yunnan Province | Tags: , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “a climb to the top of lion hill & wangu tower

  1. This trip is much more colourful and lovely blue sky contrasting with the snow on the mountain. Some of those paintings looked quite erotic. So, did you bang the drum and ring the bell?

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    • No, I didn’t Jude. I was too busy taking pictures to think of doing it. 🙂 I loved this part of China, not only for the weather, but for the all-around cuteness and color and the temples. 🙂

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  2. Wow! I love all the colours in all the architecture!

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  3. Yes, tell us f you banged the drum 🙂

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  4. Love that third shot, with Snow Mountain in the background, Cathy, and the pagoda is wonderful. 🙂 It’s such an intricate style, isn’t it? You could spend hours absorbing the details. I guess you did! 🙂

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    • It was a great excursion, Jo, between Mu’s Mansion, the pagoda and the views from the hill. A lovely day all around. And then we topped it off with Baisha and Shuhe. Such a cute area around Lijiang. 🙂

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  5. Such gorgeousness! Yes, the signs here in Shanghai can be a hoot, too. Chinglish is a good word for it!

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    • Thanks, Vivian. How much longer will you be in Shanghai? I’m considering going there for the four day weekend on April 18. Are you loving it? 🙂

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      • Just saw your message. I got home April 5. Are you still thinking of going there April 18? I am almost finished with the touristy spots of Shanghai which we visited. I’m sorry to have missed Confucious’ Garden/Temple.

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      • Hi Vivian. It turns out I’m not going to Shanghai on April 18 because it seemed rain is forecast for the entire weekend. I’m going to Xi’an, where the Terra Cotta Warriors are, instead. I still will go to Shanghai, but later. I’ll have to put down Confucius’s Garden/Temple on my wish list. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Vivian. It looks like you’re having a great time in Shanghai so far. 🙂

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