Several kilometers away from the city center of Guilin is one of China’s heavens, made up of a scenic mountain, a serene lake, and a gushing waterfall. All the sights and sounds combine to create a visual rhythm that truly delights senses.
Things to Do
One of the main highlights in your trip to Ziyuan County is the Baoding waterfall. The falls isn’t a new discovery as it has long been documented by ancient Chinese travelers and note takers, and if one has to take the old folk’s words, you’ll realize that nothing much has changed: the waterfalls impresses you as much as it did hundreds of years ago.
The Baoding waterfall is part of a large scenic spot, which you can venture into later on. But this body of water is already an adventure. It is a multi-layered waterfall that gushes rapidly from the mountaintops. All in all, the falls spans for more than 650 meters. The bed, meanwhile, is composed of granite rocks.
Where do the waters go? It ends up in a river dam, which is used to generate power for the nearby community. Nevertheless, before it reaches that point, it starts in the Baoding Lake, which is a beautiful contrast to the falls: it’s quiet, almost mysterious, perhaps eerie for some. It is a great personification of “the calm before the storm.”
Tourists who want to experience the waterfalls ride a ferry boat that traverses the majestic lake before it enters into the rapids. Simply put, unless you’re truly ready for the unpredictability of the waterfalls, then the trip isn’t for the faint-hearted.
The Baoding waterfalls sits close to the Baoding Mountain, also known as Treasure Peak, which is about 15 kilometers from the town of Dazu. Quiet, it’s one of the best places to meditate, though that isn’t the reason why the tourists are here. They instead prefer to gaze at the sculptures, which now total to more than 10,000. These works of art that depict various tales of Buddhism and Buddhists are carved from stones. Two of the most popular are the Sleeping Buddha and the Thousand-Arm Goddess of mercy, called as such because of the incorporation of thousands of hands holding objects that are related to the philosophy. The statues didn’t come all of a sudden. Instead, they were built in a span of over 65 years.
The White Cloud Temple, also called the Baiyun Buddhist Nunnery, offers a hint of history in Baoding and a superb detour from all the nature trips. It’s an ancient place of worship that was built during the middle of the eighth century of Tang Dynasty. The temple is made up of several halls such as Yuhuang, Qiuzu, Sanqing, and Laolu. Qiuzu includes a long hall that showcases traditional Chinese works of art. The Sanqing Hall, meanwhile, is composed of two levels, on top of which is a cluster of statues known as Three Pure Ones. At the floor are the Four Celestial Aides.
Whether you’re looking for an adventure close to nature or a short lesson on the province’s history, a tourist can get it by being in Baoding.