Seven Star Crags

Another famous attraction in Zhaoqing is the Seven Star Crags next to Dinghu Mountain. It is called “Seven Star” because the seven limestone crags are naturally arranged in the same order with the Plough constellation. Numerous prominent figures including Bao Qingtian and Ye Jianying have been attracted to visit and write poetry for it, just like Dinghu Mountain. In the Poetry Gallery of a Thousand Year, you can find the writing of a range of scholars. 

The reflection of the lake glows up the Seven Star Crags – its beauty is on par with Yangshuo in Guilin. Spring sails on the Lotus Lake to the Peach Blossom Island. The peachy floral fragrance filled the air, turning the island into Shangri-La. In the Jade Screen Rock, flowers flourish everywhere while worshippers fill the place with incense. There is an ancient temple inside the “Stone Cave of the Open Sky”. The sunlight glows through the stone cave and light up the temple as if it is blessed by Heaven. 

Looking far from Fairy Lake, you can see the shape of the mountain is like a lying Buddha. When the sun sets, the sun is like an elixir inside the mouth of the lying Buddha. Such an astronomical wonder! Walking inside the Seven Star Crags is like wandering in the fairyland. Let’s experience your own mediating practice here in this place of magic!

Zhaoqing Ancient City Wall

City walls since the Song dynasty are rarely seen in modern China, not to mention those properly reserved intact. However, in Zhaoqing, you are able to find the most intact city wall from Song. The wall was originally built with earth but later made of bricks during its expansion. The city wall, until now, still stands after centuries of changes. 

The city wall meanders for approximately 3km, surrounding the ancient city of Zhaoqing. Each of the four gates of the east, south, west and north has a gate tower and several watchtowers and forts to fight against enemies. 

Apart from that, on the wall, there are the Wenchang Pavilion and Piyun Building which allow you to observe outside of the city. Although not every city wall could be preserved to its best shape, we still can have a glimpse of the glorious history from the existing parts. Wandering in the spot enables you to experience the days under the reign of Song and understand how the city wall helped safeguard Zhaoqing. 

Dinghu Mountain

Dinghu Mountain is, simply put, the most famous tourist spot in Zhaoqing. As the first-ever National Nature Reserve in China, Dinghu Mountain is well-known among Hongkongers. Do you know why this mountain is named “Dinghu”? There are several interpretations. Legend has it that the Yellow Emperor had once presented an ancient Chinese cauldron, known as “ding”, on the mountain; some say the lake (pronounced as “hu” in Mandarin) at the peak (“ding” in Mandarin) never dries up so it is called “Dinghu”, meaning the lake at the peak; others reckon the mountain looks like a ding from afar.

No matter which saying, the three interpretations match with the magnificent mountain and aquatic sceneries. Since time immemorial, many eminent personalities have visited Dinghu Mountain. For instance, Dr Sun Yat-sen and his wife. Yoei, a Japanese pilgrim-monk who accompanied famous Chinese monk Jianzhen to propagate Buddhism in Japan, was buried in Dinghu Mountain after his death. On Dinghu Mountain, appreciating the beauty of ding culture in the Baoding Garden is a must-do activity. Then you may visit the ancient temple of Qingyun, the first of the four famous Buddhist temples in Lingnan, where monks give their lectures in. In the Flying Waterpool, you can see the waterfall splashing against hills and stones in irregular shapes. Take a deep breath of the unpolluted air on Dinghu Mountain for a mental and physical de-stress.

Deqing Palace

In Deqing County, there is a magnificent building erected since the Song Dynasty – the Deqing Palace. What does the “Palace” actually refer to? It was, in fact, a place for students to have classes. The Deqing Palace was built in 1011 during the reign of Emperor Zhenzong of Song. In 1297 under the rule of Emperor Chengzong of Yuan, the palace was reconstructed and expanded. Not only was it historically a local government school in Deqing Fu, but it was also a place to worship Confucius so that it was also a temple of Confucius. A Confucius temple, regardless of its scale, has a Dacheng Hall where a statue of Confucius is placed. 

With a magnificent architectural design, Dacheng Hall is the main building of the Confucius Temple. It is famous for being built with the ancient architectural technique of “Four pillars not reaching the roof”. The four wooden gold pillars were not built to reach the roof of the hall. The extraordinary architectural techniques are truly ingenious, phenomenal and only exist in China. The Deqing Confucius Temple Festival has been listed as the "Guangdong Intangible Cultural Heritage" by the Guangdong Provincial Government. You are recommended to visit here during the festival.

Yanyan Rock

Not only can you see magnificent karst cave in Jiuzhaigou, but also in Huaiji County, Zhaoqing. Yanyan Rock has all sorts of strange rocks. Among rocks which look like camel humps, orangutans watching the moon and turtles walking on a mountain, there are rock caverns. The Yanyan Rock is simply a cavern museum of nature. 

It is called Yanyan Rock because Aerodramus swiftlets reside here. The bird’s nest in Yanyan Rock is hence famous too. The stream meanders, and you can travel inside the cave by boat. Once you enter the cave, you will find the wonders of stalactites- stalagmites, stone pillars and stone bells. The cave also features various rocks in shapes. For instance, the horse-riding general, the Butterfly Lovers holding hands and the chanting monk. They are statues created by the great craftsman of nature. 

Legend has it that legendary folk singer Liu Sanjie once hid in the hole to sing every day, in order to escape from the oppression of the landlord. Eventually, she became a fairy who created the scene of “Sanjie singing”. The moment when the Aerodramus swiftlets flying up and down among the rocks is truly a natural wonder that we would marvel at.

Yuejiang Floor

Who knows a stylishly built architect for literati is a crucial military location? Yuejiang Floor is one of the four famous buildings in Guangdong. Taking a view of the Xi River from the Yuejiang Floor, which is decorated with rockery and fish ponds, is indeed a graceful activity. In the late Ming dynasty, however, it was an important venue for discussing military essentials. The Yongli Emperor of the Southern Ming dynasty once reviewed the navy against the Manchu invasion. 

In modern times, Chinese military leader Ye Ting even established an independent regiment, which was the predecessor of the New Fourth Army. The New Fourth Army, which was also known as the Iron Army, was the first regular force of the Communist Party of China and owned a military armoured car. Now, the Yuejing Floor has become a museum to commemorate Ye Ting and his independent regiment. The museum also has a collection of Emperor Kangxi's handwriting. We just simply cannot help but recall the glorious eras of the Yuejing Floor and Zhaoqing.

Longmu Imperial Ancestral Temple

Where is Longmu, the mother of dragons? She is actually in Yuecheng Town, Zhaoqing. Those who grew up by the sea believe Longmu is the guardian goddess of the sea. In To Kwa Wan, Hong Kong, there is the Hoi Sum Lung Mo Temple ("Lung Mo" as Longmu in Cantonese). 

In the legend, Longmu was the female leader of Baiyue. She had lived in Yuecheng before she was deified as a goddess to protect the fishermen. Therefore, people in Yuecheng worship her and she became a belief for the locals. Among those Longmu temples in China, the Longmu Temple in Zhaoqing is relatively large with Chinese architectural arch “paifong” and academies. It was believed to be built in the Qing dynasty. The wood and stone engraving inside is astounding that it is said to be the model of the Lingnan ancient architecture.

Qishi River, Sihui

Zhaoqing is famed for its landscapes. Apart from Dinghu Mountain and Seven Star Crags, Qishi River in Sihui is also mesmerising with a variety of strange rocks, streaming water and the view of plants and animals.

Walking into the scenic area, you can visit the spectacular Yinlong Waterfall and enjoy the splashes of water falling around. Or you may play and relax in the “Fairy Island Park”. Walking on the plank road through the mountain jungle, you will be energised by breathing in the clean air there with higher oxygen level. Along the way, you can see a large group of waterwheels, a beach full of rocks in unusual shapes and fountains. For our young readers who opt for something more exciting, the glass slides, aerial glass rafting and sky-high glass bridge in 5D sound and light effects are recommended for you to de-stress by screaming out loud!