Dragon Gate in the Western Hills
Lying 15 km west of Kunming City, the Dragon Gate in the Western Hills is close to the west shore of the Dianchi Lake. It consists of the Sanqing Temple Complex and the Dragon Gate Grotto Complex.
The buildings of the Sanqing Taoist Temple are arranged in nine tiers: They are the Lingguan Hall, the Chunyang Pavilion, the Sanqing Hall, the Yuhuang Temple, the Taiqing Palace, the Zhenwu Hall, the Luzu Temple, the Qisheng Temple, Lingxiao Pavilion, the Laojun Pavilion and the Taiji Palace. The Dragon Gate Grotto Complex, on the other hand, includes Lanhaichu, the Ciyun Cave, the Yunhua Cave and the Datian Pavilion.
The marvelous Dragon Gate Grotto Complex was accomplished through 72 years hard work (1781-1853).
Its consists of 3 parts: a stone archway, a platform, a stone room and a number of sculptures, all carved out of the same rock.
It is both the summit of the grotto and the highlight of the grotto as well. The characters “Longmen-Dragon Gate, (the sign of the Dragon Gate)” are inscribed in red and gold upon the arch.
On the left,a platform surrounded by a stone railing is the ideal place to welcome the wind and to view the bold cliff. When looking far into the distance by the railing, one will be carried away by the beauty of the misty, 500 square kilometers Dianchi Lake: the glistening waves, the sailing boats, the green mountains and the floating clouds.
The elevation of the Dragon Gate is over 2,300 meters, 300 meters higher than the water surface of the Dianchi Lake. The scene is well noted for its dangerousness and uniqueness.
The best season to visit Dragon Gate is from March to October. Spring, summer, and autumn are other good times to travel.
The Western Hill Forest Park may be reached by a number of bus lines. Take bus No. 6, 94 to Su Family Village or bus No. 33, 94 to Gaoxiao Village if you’re a tourist.
Cable Car, Travel Bus and Travel Route
Lingxu Pavillion: After leaving Dragon Gate, proceed up the mountain once again by taking the stone steps and walkway that lead to Lingxu Pavillon. Since it’s a little bit of a grunt, you get the nicest views and less tourists from there.