Lianfang Tower and Yinna Mountain
Lianfang Tower (Huaqiao Weiwu) is a folk dwelling which perfectly combines the traditional Hakka architecture with western buildings. It is located in Baigong Town, Meizhou City - a famous hometown of overseas Chinese. This building was built by overseas Chinese in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and finished in 1934.
Covering an area of about 0.3 hectare (0.74 acre), it is about 100 meters (328 feet) long and 40 to 50 meters (131 to 164 feet) wide. The 15-meter (49 feet) high structure above the front door took the shape of a bell tower, and the whole architecture looks like a magnificent castle. The outer wall of Lianfang Tower was designed to be the western style and the building is characterized by vivid and beautiful embossments of tigers, leopards and deer. The two-story brick structure has a main gate and two side doors; all of the gates, windows and walls were engraved with exquisite carvings of animals, flowers and plants.
Lianfang Tower can be reputed as the most luxurious Weiwu, and to a certain degree, it is more like a museum of Chinese and western folk art. The imposing tower consists of over 100 rooms, which are perfectly constructed according to the structure of Weiwu, or "Round House". Weiwu, a traditional besieged tower, is a kind of vernacular dwelling of the Hakkas inhabited by the whole clan. The Weiwu of Meizhou City is considered as one of the five most distinctive folk dwelling houses of China along with Beijing's Courtyard and Shaanxi's Cave Dwellings. Weiwu is always constructed into a square or a circular form, resembling a castle which surrounds the main residential buildings. Seen from a lower place, the Weiwu arose in folds, looking like a gigantic dragon entwining in hillside. Therefore, Weiwu is also called 'Round Dragon House'. The Weiwu of Meizhou City is highly artistic with unique design, delicate constructions and fine decorations and paintings.
Lianfang Tower serves as an elaborate work of architecture in the 1930s since the interior decorations are of high artistic workmanship. The various grand pillars, staircase and the corners of each room are painted with flowers, birds, dragons and phoenixes, and the gilt windows are all richly carved. The halls are separated from each other by well-engraved Chinese screens. The spacious balcony in the center of the construction commands a fine view of the Lianfang Tower and the Baigong Town.
Marked by lofty mountains, majestic peaks, rare stones, emerald like waterfalls and drifting clouds, Yinna Mountain is considered as one of the three most famous mountains of Guangdong Province. It is located in Yanyang Town, about 46 kilometers (29 miles) from downtown Meizhou. It has five main peaks that stand together, resembling five fingers surrounded by dense mist surging up from below, with clouds wafting in the air.
Lingguang Temple otherwise known as the Temple of Divine Light sits at the foot of the Yinna Mountain. Reputed as one of the four notable temples of Guangdong, Lingguang Temple has been in existence for more than 1,200 years, having been built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In 1385 of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the temple was enlarged and got its present name. This majestic temple contains Buddhist buildings, including the Grand Hall, Arhat Hall, Kwan-yin Hall, the bell tower, the drum tower, and other subsidiary structures.
Considered as a unique work, the architectural skill of the temple is rather distinctive. The Grand Hall has a special sunken panel, called a caisson used as a ceiling in traditional Chinese buildings. It is spiral in form and is made of over 1,000 rectangular boards, taking the shape of a pineapple. It is more than three meters (9.8 feet) high with a conical roof and an octagonally shaped base, looking much like a small pagoda. What is a marvelous is that though the temple is a busy gathering place of worship for Buddhists, there is no lingering incense in the hall. It is said that the incense spiraled up and out of the hall through the spiral caisson. This unparalleled caisson is rare in China and is considered to be an outstanding masterpiece in the architectural field.
Two ancient trees stands in front of the temple are also an added mystery. For over 1,600 years, one tree still flourishes with luxurious branches and prosperous leaves while the other tree which has been dead for nearly 400 years is still as big as first tree.
Moving onwards from the Lingguang Temple, you will reach the highest peak with an elevation of 1,297 meters (4,255 feet). A building has been constructed here, to provide an excellent place for watching the fascinating sea of clouds. If you arrive here before dawn, you will see and marvel at the spectacular view of the sunrise.
Nearby Attraction: Yearning Tea Plantation Tourist Attraction