White Pagoda Hill Park

Located to the north of the city, on the far bank of the Yellow River (Huanghe), the White Pagoda Hill Park (Baita shan gongyuan) is a large, quiet area that was first established in 1958. It is a nice place for strolling, with green forests, scattered pavilions, teahouses and, from its heights, some good views of both the churning river and the city beyond. The nearby bridge, Zhongshan Bridge, was the old crossing point for travelers and merchants who were then to head north on the Silk Road.

White Pagoda Hill ParkWhite Pagoda Hill Park

The park was named after the White Pagoda Temple that crowns the summit of its steeply terraced slopes. This temple was first constructed in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368 AD), allegedly under orders from the despot Genghis Khan to commemorate a Tibetan lama. The temple was then rebuilt and expanded in the Ming (1368-1644 AD) and Qing (1644-1911 AD) Dynasties. Nowadays the center point of the temple is an octangular, seven-storey White Pagoda, whose green roof is the only external part that betrays its name. A climb of this 17 meter high construction will reward visitors with the best of the views in the park.

There are a few more sights that are worth visiting here. The Buddhist halls to both the east and west in the temple are of beautiful Chinese architecture. The forest itself is a pleasant stroll, and a visit to the peripheries will turn up the odd pavilion, mosque, teahouse or tout.

How to get there: Take bus No.101 from in front of the railway station on Tianshui lu to the terminus. Bus No.2 also goes. A taxi can take you to Zhongshan Bridge (Zhongshan qiao), and you can walk from here.

Opening hours: 7am-7pm, daily.

Cost: RMB2.

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