A Trip to Yangzhou, City of Blooming Flowers

For thousands of years, many literati fascinated by the beautiful sceneries of Yangzhou have left countless praises in the form of poems and songs. The elegance of Slender West Lake, the echoing sound of Zen in Daming Temple, the magnificence of the Great Canal, are often mentioned, and their unique beauty are thus unveiled to the people.

Slender Lake Scenic Spot:

Some people say the charm of Slender West Lake lies in “slender”. It vividly describes the changes of wide and narrow lake surfaces and the zigzagging paths, as if a young and graceful lady feels shy about her delicate but irresistible beauty.

Slender West Lake is more than a lake. By perfectly integrating the lake and the architecture, it is the symbol and reflection of Yangzhou, the century-old city with propound history and culture. The plants, the buildings, the roads, and all details of the Slender West Lake are carefully designed and handled by generations of capable craftsmen, giving the strong humanistic atmosphere in great elegance.

Spring is the season when the Slender West Lake has the gentlest feel. Walking from the South Gate along the glistening lake, you will pass by Xu Garden, Wuting Bridge, Xichun Podium, Ershisi Bridge, Luochun Pavilion, Zanhua Pavilion, etc. With pavilions, terraces, and buildings are scattered among the flowers and trees, for every step you take, you may get a different and amazing view.

Daming Temple in Yangzhou:

Take a five-minute walk from the north gate of Slender West Lake, you can reach Daming Temple. Located at the middle peak of Shugang Mountain, the Daming Temple is a combination of Buddhist temples, cultural relics and gardens and is titled as “the First in Huaidong” and “the greatest historical attraction of Yangzhou”.

In front of the Daming Temple, there is a viburnum, which was planted during the period of Kangxi Emperor, thus having a history of over 300 years. When spring comes, the viburnum will bloom. Eight five-petal flowers gather in a circle with the butterfly-like stamens in the middle. As the flowers sway along with the warm spring breeze, the scene is so attractive as if it’s the butterfly on a pearl, or the eight fairy ladies dancing in charming moves.

Master Jianzhen was once the abbot of Daming Temple. He was dedicated to preaching and propagating Dharma and has made great contributions to the cultural exchange between China and Japan. In 1973, the famous Chinese architect Liang Sicheng has designed and built the Jianzhen Memorial Hall inside Daming Temple while referring to the temples of Chinese Tang Dynasty. In the Hall, there is a seated statue of the Master Jianzhen. On the side walls, there shows the four cloth paintings describing his journey to the east and his life experience, i.e. the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an, the Qixing Rock in Zhaoqing, the  Akizuma Yaura in Kyushu, Japan and the Tōshōdai-ji in Nara, Japan.

In Daming Temple, Pingshan Hall is a place that you can’t miss. The Hall is located in a tranquil place. In front of the hall, you can see the complex and vintage old trees and the growing green plants. The living room is open and wide, and the three characters of “Pingshan Hall” in Chinese were inscribed on the board hung above. By taking a walk in the dense and green bamboo forest and enjoying the green sight, you will also see a great many couplets and stones inscriptions in Pingshan Hall, which are all calligraphy works by past literati.