The Grand View Garden in Kunming is the garden found alongside the Grand View Pavilion, a popular scenic spot in Yunnan. The pavilion is flanked by the Dianchi Lake and the Taihua Mountain, and this earns it the name ‘the water pavilion with cloud and mountain’. The pavilion and the garden lies 3 kilometers away to the west of Kunming City.
The Grand View Garden is known as the most gracefully designed gardens in the Kunming area. Although it was only built to accompany the Grand View Pavilion, the garden soon made a name for itself.
The Best Spots in the Garden
The Grand View Pavilion, which was built in 1883, is certainly the best spot in the garden and continues to be a major attraction in the area. It is a three-story high square structure with golden lacquer ornaments and flying eaves. Despite the fact that it has been repeatedly renovated in its three hundred years of history, the Pavilion remains quite magnificent and is still reminiscent of ancient Chinese architecture. It is also known for the grand view of the surrounding Dianchi Lake and Western Mountains that it offers from its topmost floor.
The Pavilion, however, makes up only the southern edge of the garden, which features several other scenic spots. These include the Lansheng Pavilion, the Huaigu with its zigzag corridor, the Cuigeng Gate, and the Mumeng Pavilion. Two of the structures – the Yongyue Pavilion and the Guanjia Hall – are also stunningly surrounded with blossoming flowers and trees.
The Santan Yingyue, a pool divided into three portions by three stone towers, is also a must-see, especially at nighttime when the moon appears and you can see three moons reflected in the water of the pool. The Louwailou stone pavilion, on the other hand, is a unique ship-like structure that offers visitors a grand view of the beautiful surroundings. Then there’s the Lu Garden, which is located in one corner of the park. The Lu Garden was originally a private villa built in 1937. It is currently overflowing with water lilies, weeping willows, and roses.
Indeed, every part of the garden is beautifully designed and meticulously preserved that it is often described poetically. Thus, just as its name implies, the Grand View Garden does offer a grand view of the beautiful Kunming city.
The Highlight of the Garden
The Grand View Garden in Kunming is also known for having the longest ancient antithetical couplet in the world. This couplet hangs down the Grand View Pavilion and is often dubbed as the ‘number one couplet past and present’. It was written by Sun Ranweng, a famous scholar during the Qing dynasty. The couplet is divided into two parts; the first part describes the beautiful natural views in Yunnan and the second part is dedicated to the 2000 years of Yunnan history. With over 180 characters in all, the couplet is considered as one of the most valuable cultural treasures in Yunnan.
The Queen in the Garden
In 1986, Queen Elizabeth II of England visited the Grand View Garden and even planted a rose by herself in the flowerbeds found near Guanjia Hall. The rose multiplied, and even now, there are beautiful blooming roses in that area.
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