Dinghu Shan Reserve


The 11.3-sq-km Dinghu Shan Reserve lies 18km northeast of Zhaoqing and offers great walks among lush vegetation, rare trees and roaring waterfalls, and makes for a relaxing day trip. A wooden boat will ferry you to a butterfly reserve on a tiny wooded island on Ding Lake (Dǐnghú).

From there, a guide will take you on an hour-long hike through a scenic forest with ponds and waterfalls, to emerge near Baoding Garden (宝鼎园, Băodĭng Yuán), which has the world's largest dǐng, a three-legged ceremonial cauldron. Battery-operated carts (¥20) are useful for navigating the reserve.

Qingyun Temple (庆云寺, Qìngyún Sì) may look a little gaudy, but the site was built in 1636, making it one of Guangdong's 'four oldest temples' (广东四大名刹, guǎngdōng sì dà míngshā). What's more, it's surrounded by towering ancient banyans, and it's where you'll find the great Qingyun Vegetarian Restaurant. Here you can sample the famous Dinghu Vegetarian Dish (鼎湖上素, Dǐnghú Shàngsù; ¥68), supposedly an invention by monks around here. If ordering tea, make sure it's regular tea (普通茶, pǔtōngchá; ¥3 per person) and not an exotic variety that will inflate your bill by ¥30 to ¥100

Bus 21 (¥2) goes to Dinghu Shan from the local bus station in Zhaoqing. Dinghu Shan's local bus station is on Duanzhou Silu.

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