Golden Temple Scenic Area

Covering more than 130 hectares on Mingfeng Hill (Singing Phoenix Hill) in north-east Kunming, the Golden Temple Park offers beautiful natural scenery as well as ancient architecture. The centerpiece of the Scenic Area is the Golden Temple. The name refers to the 250 ton, 6.7 meter tall hall built completely from bronze, which makes it the heaviest, and one of the four largest, bronze halls in China (!!). Lofty claims aside, it’s an exquisite construction with a history that dates back to 1602 (rebuilt in 1671 and 1890). The bronze hall forms the focus of the Taihe Temple complex, which also features ornate gates and tranquil gardens. The Taoist temple was first constructed under the orders of Chen Yongbin, a governor of Yunnan in the Ming Dynasty.

From the entrance it’s a long hike up stone stairs to reach the temple, but it’s a lovely walk through a pine and cypress forest. The forest continues beyond the temple – there are a number of different walking trails which lead to man-made flower gardens. Also on the site is a miniature roller-coaster/train for getting around and a chairlift to the neighboring World Horticultural Expo Garden. The chairlift costs ¥15 while entrance to the Expo Garden is ¥100, and definitely only for those with a keen interest in plants and flowers.

Admission: ¥20. Open: 7:30-18:30.

Directions: Golden Temple Scenic Area is about 8km north-east of the center. It will cost around ¥20-25 in a taxi. Alternatively, Bus #71 from the east side of Carrefour on Nanping Jie will get you there in about 45 minutes for ¥1 (it’s the final stop). If you do want to visit the World Horticultural Expo Garden (世界园艺博览园), Bus #71 stops there before reaching Golden Temple Park.

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去金殿公园, 谢谢。 (Please take me to Golden Temple Scenic Area. Thank you.)