Three Pagodas (Chongsheng Temple)

First and foremost it should be noted that the admission fee for the Three Pagodas is grossly overpriced. ¥121 is more far more than what is charged at China’s most famous and amazing attractions, like the Forbidden City, Great Wall of China or Terracotta Warriors. So if you’re on a budget, or just don’t like wasting money, then skip it.

Admittedly, however, the Three Pagodas, which were built in the Tang Dynasty, are an impressive sight. Arranged in a triangle, the tallest of the three towers, Qianxun Ta, stands 69 meters tall and was built around 850AD, making it one of the oldest structures in Yunnan Province. The other two pagodas were built about 100 years later and are smaller, standing at 42 meters.

Behind the pagodas is the Chongsheng Temple to which the pagodas belong. This temple was completely destroyed in the Qing Dynasty and has only been reconstructed in the past decade. It’s a massive, sprawling complex and the buildings positively gleam, but as it’s a new creation it lacks character. There is a tall pavilion at the back which you can climb for great views of the complex, as well as Dali and Erhai Lake beyond.

Admission: ¥121. Open: 8am-7pm.

Directions: The Three Pagodas are about 25 minutes walk straight north along the highway from Dali’s west gate. Or you can take Bus #19 from Bo’Ai Lu.

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去崇聖寺三塔, 谢谢。 (Please take me to the Three Pagodas. Thank you.)