Tag: adventure

day trip – baishuizhai waterfall july 31

Looking for a refreshing experience to break up your sweltering Shenzhen summer? Well, look no further than the treasure of northeastern Guangzhou, Baishuizhai waterfall in Zengcheng district.

Baishuizhai (白水寨瀑景区) is one of the tallest waterfalls in mainland China, falling a total of 428.5 meters between two former volcanic peaks. These hills are covered in lush bamboo forests, as well as natural hot springs.

While hiking heroes opt to climb the 9999 steps to the peak of the mountain, kids and casual walkers can climb up the boardwalk skirting the waterfall itself. In several tiers going up, the waterfall is crossed back and forth, at some points close enough to touch and feel its spray. Our goal will be the lookout platform at around 3200 steps.

This is a truly refreshing experience, only a couple hours’ drive from Shenzhen.

Please pack a simple picnic lunch, that we will enjoy on our hike on the side of the waterfall.

After we finish our hike, we’ll have an early dinner in town. Try the local style bamboo rice and other tasty dishes. (Dinner separate, share the bill AA).

Price: 360RMB for adults, 200 for kids (1.2m-1.5m). Under 1.2m and can share a seat, free!
340RMB discounted partner price – for SWIC members
Includes round trip private shuttle, entrance to the scenic area, and guide. Dinner AA pay separately.

Journey to Zengcheng about 2 hours.

Saturday, July 31
8:30am departure
10:30am arrive at waterfall park
Hike plus lunch along the waterfall
4:00pm dinner
5:30pm depart Zengcheng
8:00pm arrive Shenzhen

Pick up in Shekou, other pick ups available – just contact me.

How to Book:

Contact Greta on WeChat (Scan QR code)

If adding me for the first time, be sure to mention Trips or Waterfall in your introduction.

or contact me by email (chinatealeaves @ yahoo.com)

monument valley

red earth

Midway between the tourist magnets of Lijiang and Dali, is a green valley where rice fields are threshed by hand and locals still far outnumber tourists. This is the Shaxi (沙溪) Valley, by now discovered by international tourism but still unspoiled. Outside the village, itself a remarkable model of sustainable small-scale tourism, we managed to escape even further into the folds of mountains, untouched by the ravages of time.

A country road led out of the main town of Sideng, and we located a long path extending out seemingly towards nowhere in particular but for the hills. We parked our bicycles next to an unmanned security booth and set out following the instructions from our guesthouse. Here in these hills, we were told, lies a temple with a sacred stone the shape of a bell, and ancient stone sculptures of the gods from dynasties nearly forgotten. These buddhas were hidden so well in the hills that centuries later, the zealous Red Guard could not find them in their iconoclastic tear across the country.

buddha niche

door guardians

A creek flowed down and out of a rocky valley, crossed by a red sandstone bridge the color of the earth. A pavilion with curved eaves peeked out from the rock formations lining the sides of the valley, some sheared off in smooth planes, and some like bulbous waxy gourds standing upright. A small niche sheltered a Buddha figure at the base of one of these stones, looking much like the knotted head of the Buddha, a common metaphor for this type of stone. We spotted what we thought was our destination, a structure of red colored wood clinging to the face of a mountain. On we pressed, across rope bridges and up stairs climbing steeply along the precipice.

The structure we had seen from below turned out to be merely the door guardians of the temple complex. Behind fine wooden screens, we could see two fierce images carved into the red sandstone cliff face. We took a short break at a clearing overlooking the greater valley below, sharing sunflower seeds and local style yogurt. A Korean hiker materialized from the crevices of the gorge, the only other human we had seen for hours.

valley guys

The sun beat down through clear blue skies on orange earth and young pine needles. Our path led us up to the mountain ridge, into denser woods and then back out. A look out pavilion and trail map confirmed our arrival in the temple area proper. Another valley dropped out below us, with a temple of many levels and courtyards and emerald green hills shifting shades in the cloud dappled light.

temple levels

Inside the temple, another Buddha head stone was dedicated to Guanyin. The collection of the most rare sacred statuary was enshrined along a covered grotto, including figures of buddhas, and a Guanyin (goddess of mercy) which formerly held a child in the same way the Theotokos Mary is portrayed. The final figure was an enigmatic article, a dark object representing the female reproductive organ. Local records note that couples would visit the place and ask for help in conceiving a child.

stone bell
the stone bell

We found a pavilion overlooking the green rolling hills and picnicked on Shaxi baba and Yunnan cheese. An afternoon out of time yielded treasures from start to finish.