Green Lotus Peak
The Green Lotus Peak does not give you the most spectacular views over Yangshuo nor the Lijiang river. However, the park is worth a visit. There are many stories the peak and for that alone the park is worth a visit. So, let’s walk in the footsteps of Xu Xia ke, Mr. Lin Shaonian and the famous monk JianZhen.
The Green Lotus Peak is located right in the heart of Yangshuo, just behind West Street. The peak has a long history. One of the first known people to stay here was the famous monk JianZhen. JianZhen lived from 688 to 763 AD. He was originally from Yangzhou in Jiangsu province. JianZhen was a famous Buddhist in the Tang dynasty.
Times were different in these days. JianZhen had been invited by Japanese scholars Rongrui and Puzhao to visit Japan. He tried six times but failed. During the fifth attempt in 748 he got lost in a storm and the boat was driven to Xijiang. After some adventures he arrived in Guilin. While in Guilin, he took a boat on the Lijiang river to Yangshuo to visit the Jianshan temple.
The famous monk JianZhen, who visited the Green Lotus Peak in the 8th Century
During his stay in Yangshuo he was teaching Buddhism. Some years later, he tried again to go to Japan, this time, in 753, he succeeded. He lived a total of 11 years in Japan and was an important ambassador for improving the Sino-Japanese relationships.
Ticket to the Green Lotus Peak
As you see, Yangshuo has been famous over the decades. Xu Xia ke was a famous traveler and tourist in the 17th century during the Ming dynasty (when also Mushan was an important place of learning, see our Mushan section). Xu Xia Ke visited the the top of the peak in 1637.
But it was in 1906 when Mr. Lin Shaonian visited Yangshuo and inscribed two Chinese character here. Lin Shaonian was the Xunfu of Guangxi. A Xunfu was the provincial governor during the Ming and Qing dynasty. The characters he inscribed where:
You can walk all the way up where Lin Shaolian once stood, at the foot of the Standing Cliff. The cliff here is smooth and steep, like a standing mirror. Thus the cliff was by many people in old China called: “Jing Zi” or “Jian”, meaning “mirror”.
It is the highest point of the climb up on the Green Lotus Peak, about half way the real top.
The Jianshan Tower
The small Jianshan Tower is also very old. The tower is located a little bit below the Standing Cliff in 713AD at the beginning of the Tang Dynasty.
At that time, monks in the temple rang the bell every morning and evening. As the tower stands higher and near the river, the sound of the bell spread far and was for people a mark in the day.
For many centuries the sound of the bell was heard until in 1916 the temple was destroyed and there were no longer monks around.
The story of the word Dai
The Green Lotus Peak has been an inspiration for Chinese artists over the centuries.
The word was written in 1834 by the mayor of Yangshuo, Mr. Wan Yuanren. He was mayor in Yangshuo during the Qing Dynasty. The mayor had a nickname: Jingshan. He was originally from Shanyin, Zhejiang province.
View of the Green Lotus Peak towards the east
Wan Yuanren wrote the word in the wall. It’s 5.7 by 2.9 meters. At first you may think, what so special here? It is special because of the meaning of the word, it’s a poem in one word that reads:
“How beautiful the landscape here!
We should study and work hard when we are young”
Moreover, the carver failed to read Mr. Wang’s nickname “Jingshan” properly, the signed name was carved up0side down! The stele has been persevered as an important historical relic in Yangshuo since 1981.
View on the riverside in Yangshuo
There is small exposition of local made art near the entrance of the park. It contains traditional Chinese paining, calligraphy, sculptures and some beautiful antique furniture.
Exhibition of local made art in Yangshuo
Entrance and price of the Green Lotus peak
The Green Lotus Peak has two entrances. Walk from West Street to the Lijiang river and turn right. The other entrance is located at the other side. Go to the Green Lotus Hotel and follow the riverside. You find the entrance at the end of the path.
The entrance ticket is quite steep: Y30. Many doubt it’s worth the money and I tend to agree as the views over the Lijiang river are nice but there are no views in summer from the Standing Cliff as the leaves of the trees block the view. However, on the way up there are several place to make some good photos of the surrounding area although you will not get a clear shot on Yangshuo proper town center.
Entrance to the Green Lotus Peak Park