Western Hills

Map of Western Hills
Map of Western Hills (Click to enlarge it)
In the western suburbs of Kunming lies Western Hills. They are also called 'Sleeping Buddha Hills'. For looked at from a distance, they have the appearance of a giant sleeping Buddha. They have also been given another name - 'Sleeping Beauty Hills' for the hills when viewed together look like a beautiful young lady laying beside Dianchi Lake with her face upward and her hair trailling into water. You can see the outline of her face, chest, and legs clearly.

Western Hills boasts an excellent environment with flourishing flowers and dense forest, providing tourists an excellent environment to enjoy the tranquility and marvelous scenery. No wonder that the place has gained a reputation as 'having the most pleasant environment in the world'.

Here, there are wonderful scenic spots such as Huating Temple, Taihua Temple, Sanqing Pavilion, and Dragon Gate.

Huating Temple

Huating Temple is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Yunnan Province. It had been destroyed and rebuilt several times most recently in 1923. 
Entrance to the temple
Cloud Tower
Daxiong Baodian Hall, Tianwang Hall and Kwan-yin Hall are some of the features in the temple. In the temple you can see three golden Buddha figures with kindly expressions, 500 life-like arhats which are vivid just like real people, and golden figures of Laughing Buddha. Besides, there are abundant colored clay figures depicting vividly various images of mythical animals.

Taihua Temple

Taihua Temple gained its name for it is located on Taihua Hill. Originally built in the Yuan Dynasty (1206 - 1368), the temple is the oldest one in Western Hills. Daxiong Baodian Hall, Piaomiao Pavilion, Sizhao Hall are in the temple. The temple is famous for the beautiful rare flowers on the grounds. It is also a good place to watch the grand spectacle of the rising sun.

Sanqing Pavilion

Sanqing Pavilion is built on the cliff at Luohan Hill. Being over 300 meters (approximately 984 feet) above Dianchi Lake, the pavilion looks like a 'castle in the air'. This temple has a Taoist influence, and 'Sanqing' in Taoism refers to the loftiest stature. The pavilion is a good place where you can not only visit the temples, but also enjoy a panoramic view of Dianchi Lake.
 There is a saying - 'If you do not visit Western Hills, you haven't visited Kunming; if you do not come to Dragon Gate, you haven't been to Western Hills.' Being the outstanding scenic place in Western Hills, Dragon Gate is a big exquisite stone carved edifice. The stone paths, stone rooms, stone grottos, and stone  Buddhist figures are all carved with excellent craftsmanship on a large natural rock. Like Sanqing Pavilion, Dragon Gate was also built on cliff. You can stand on the edge of the cliff holding the railing, looking downward to experience the steepness of the hill and enjoy the spectacle of Dianchi Lake.
Huating Temple
Buddha Statues in Huating Temple
Dragon Gate
Admire Dianchi lake on the top of Dragon Gate

How to get to Western Hills

Take metro line 3 and get off at Western Hills Station, then walk southeast around 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) to arrive at the scenic area.

1. Take bus no. 6, 51, 94, C26, or C70, and get off at Gao Yao Station.
2. Take cable car from the west gate of Haigeng Park or the southwest gate of Yunnan Nationalities Village, to get to the Dragon Gate Grottoes directly.
Kunming Bus / Metro Search
Opening Hours: 8:30 - 17:30
Recommended Time for a Visit: half a day

Ticket Prices:

Entrance Fee Free for entering Western Hills; CNY 30 for Dragon Gate Grottoes
One-way Dragon Gate Ropeway CNY 25 per person
One-way Sightseeing Battery Car CNY 10 per person
Round-trip Tourist Bus CNY 12.5 for a single trip and CNY 25 for a round trip (per person)
Combo Ticket CNY 75, including Dragon Gate Grottoes, one-way Dragon Gate Ropeway, one-way sightseeing battery car, and round-trip tourist bus.

* Note: Free for children under 1.2 meters (3.9 feet).

- Last updated on Aug. 10, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Western Hills
Asked by NG from MALAYSIA | Jul. 08, 2020 03:21Reply
How do i get to Dragon gate from 326 Beijing Road, Ibis Hotel
Answers (1)
Answered by Skyler from FRANCE | Jul. 12, 2020 23:42

Do you refer to Dragon Gate Eco Park? If yes, take public bus no.44 to Hongta East Bus Stop and then transfer to bus no.94 to Longmen Village. After arriving, just walk to the destination.
Asked by Angel from INDIA | Dec. 23, 2019 03:33Reply
If I arrive at 5:30AM will I be able to see Dragon Gate?
My flight lands at Kunming at 5:30 AM and my next flight is at 1:30PM.
I only want to visit dragon gate.
Will I be able to go to dragon gate and return back on time ?
Also how is the crowd and traffic on 1st Jan?
Answers (1)
Answered by Larry from CANADA | Dec. 25, 2019 17:20

I feel like the time is tight. From the airport to Dragon gate, it takes around 2 hours: take metro line 6 to East Coach station, and transfer to metro line 3 to Chejiabi station (Exit D), then take bus C70 to Ma'anshan station, and walk south to scenic area. It will be crowded at that time.
Asked by Jack from VIETNAM | Dec. 09, 2019 22:35Reply
How to get to Dragon Gate from Tenho hotel (Times plaza 806 Xishan district) ?
I will stay at Tenho hotel (Times plaza 806 Xishan district). How can i go to Dragon Gate by bus ? Which bus number? And if i go by taxi then how much i could pay?

Answers (1)
Answered by Andrea from USA | Dec. 12, 2019 18:43

You are suggested to take taxi to save trouble of changing different buses. It could cost around CNY80-CNY100.
Asked by Bhrompong A. from THAILAND | Dec. 04, 2019 02:26Reply
If I arrive in the afternoon, do you think I could make it all the way there?
If I arrived in western hills station at 2.30 pm, do you think I could make it all the way up to the top? is it too late?
Answers (1)
Answered by Rita from AUSTRALIA | Dec. 05, 2019 19:49

Yes, you can.
Asked by AtiqahSya from MALAYSIA | Nov. 18, 2019 23:05Reply
We stay at Saga Hotel (Jinbi Road) . How to get to Kunming western hill?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mireille from AUSTRALIA | Nov. 20, 2019 22:04

You are suggested to walk northwest around 1km to get to Wuyi Road Station. Then take metro line 3 to Western Hill directly.
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