The Western Hills
Also called “Mounts of the Sleeping Beauty”, the Western Hills, strewn with Taoist and Buddhist temples, offer a splendid sight on the Dian Chi Lake, a true inland sea. It is possible to go there by cable-car from the Daguan Park for 80 RMB; the visit then begins at the top of the Dragon Gate.
You can access to this whole of temples and caves by a road crossing a forest of pines and bamboos by foot or with shuttle services for approximately 16 RMB. The visit begins with the Splendid Pavilion Temple (Huating Si), founded in 1320, several times restored since. The principal building contains a Buddhist trinity and 500 Buddhist masterpieces.
The Supreme Splendor Temple (Taihua Si) is located 3km further, continuously on a stone path. This temple is the oldest one among the Western Hills, which is founded in 1306.
At the end of the road, you will find the tomb of Nie Er who was the composer of the national anthem of the People’s Republic of China. Here you can either continue by feet, or take a small tourist tram (5 RMB), or take a chair-lift for 15 RMB to reach the Three Pure Pavilion (Sanqing Ge). The Three Pure Pavilion is the generic name given to the group of 11 temples. The visit ends at the Dragon Gate, where you find the Kuixing altar, god of the literature, whose broken brush expresses the disappointment of the sculptor of the gate who committed suicide for not being able to complete his work.
For the visit of Western Hills, prepare half a day to benefit thoroughly from it. The visit of the Western Hills can be combined with the Stone Forest, or with various other temples of Kunming like: Yuantong temple, Golden temple or Bamboo temple.
Entrance fee of THE WESTERN HILLS: 40 yuan/person
Access: Metro 3 or private driver.