No. 104: Qingyun Temple, Zhaoqing, Guangdong

(This article was published in the Shenzhen Daily on August 25, 2014.)

The Main Hall (大雄宝殿) at Qingyun Temple (庆云寺), Zhaoqing, Guangdong
(广东, 肇庆市), is mostly unrestored and therefore beautiful.

July 28, 2012 - Looking at the map, I often feel a certain hesitation about traveling to a remote temple. How close can I get? How far will I have to climb?

As so often happens, though, the journey to "remote" Qingyun Temple, on Dinghu Mountain north of Zhaoqing, couldn't have been much easier.

An 18km city bus ride left me at the gate of a park; from there a pricey shuttle bus dropped me above the temple. I entered the rear gate, worked my way downhill to the front, and then chose to take a delightful stroll back down to the bus road, from where I was whisked back to the park's front gate.

The temple itself is laid out on seven mountainside terraces. The main hall lies behind a cramped courtyard; above there are newer buildings, with older ones below. One impressive feature is a camellia plant said to be more than 350 years old, planted shortly after the temple's founding in 1633. The newish Seven Buddhas in their own hall are also quite impressive.

The temple is located inside Dinghu Mountain National Nature Reserve, China's first (established 1956), which is bisected by the Tropic of Cancer. The path I took down the hill passed waterfalls, pavilions, monuments, and a kitschy "Hundred Buddhas Cave."

One monument is dedicated to Rongrui, a Japanese monk who died in the area while accompanying Master Jianzhen on a journey from Hainan to Yangzhou, after being blown off-course on the Master's fifth attempt to reach Japan.

Zhaoqing is an easy weekend destination from Shenzhen, and Dinghu Mountain should be near the top of the itinerary.

GPS Info:
  • 23.16778, 112.54544


(Regarding problems with this map, please see the CHINA section on this page.)


More pictures can be found here.

The impressive front gate of Qingyun Temple

Qingyun's Main Hall behind a small courtyard

A small gateway down the mountain path from the temple

A monument to monk Rongrui on Dinghu Mountain

Entrance to Dinghu Mountain's "Hundred Buddha Cave"

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