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Ancient Places / Trip Ideas

China’s 7 famous pavilions

By Discover China

May 5

The Chinese pavilion is an exquisite type of structure that is a traditional part of Chinese architecture. Let’s find out where are the most famous!

The Chinese pavilion is an exquisite type of structure that is a traditional part of Chinese architecture. Let’s find out where are the most famous!

The Chinese pavilion is an exquisite type of structure that is a traditional part of Chinese architecture. Originally built along the roadways to provide a space for people to relax and cool down they began to be widely used to decorate royal parks.

While traveling around China, add a special twist to your trip by checking out some diverse styles of pavilions around the country. Let’s find out where are the most famous!

1/7  Old Tippler’s Pavilion 醉翁亭

Old Tippler's Pavilion [Image Credit: China.org.cn]
Old Tippler’s Pavilion [Image Credit: China.org.cn]
Located beside Langya Mountain (琅琊山), in Chuzhou, Anhui Province, Old Tippler’s is the No.1 most famous Chinese pavilion. It owes much of its fame to The Story of Old Tippler’s Pavilion by Ou Yangxiu of the Song dynasty. It is nestled near a river by a mountain and surrounded by a peaceful and secluded atmosphere.

Tips: Old Tippler’s Pavilion is part of the Mount Langya National Forest Park. The suggested visiting time is 30 minutes for the pavilion itself.

Tickets: 95 yuan/person for peak season; 80 yuan/person for off-season

2/7 Taoran Pavilion 陶然亭

Taoran Pavilion [Image Credit: Xinhua]
Taoran Pavilion [Image Credit: Xinhua]
Built in 1695 in Beijing, the capital of China, the pavilion was famous even back during the Qing Dynasty. Taoranting Park (陶然亭公园) and the Region of Taoranting got both their names from the pavilion.

Tips: Every year during Chinese New Year, Temple Fair is held at the park, offering a great way to experience the Chinese Spring Festival traditional customs.  The begonias blossom in March and April announcing the arrival of spring.

Ticket Price: 2 yuan/person

3/7  Mid-Lake Pavilion 湖心亭

Mid-Lake Pavilion [Image Credit: China.org.cn]
Mid-Lake Pavilion [Image Credit: China.org.cn]
Located in the center of Hangzhou West Lake (杭州西湖), Zhejiang Province, Mid-Lake Pavilion, along with the Lesser Paradise Island and the Ruangong Islet, is one of the three man-made islands in the lake. The Mid-Lake Pavilion is the oldest one among all three.

Tips: Looking out from the Mid-Lake Pavilion, one faces a magnificent vista of the entire lake, as well as a vast landscape of green mountains. The spot is known as  “Hu Xin Ping Tiao” (Viewing Beauty at the center of Lake), one of the famous 18 scenes of West Lake. The suggested visiting time for this must-see spot is 10-30 minutes.

Tickets: Free

4/7  Love Dusk Pavilion 爱晚亭

Love Dusk Pavilion [Image Credit: China.org.cn]
Love Dusk Pavilion [Image Credit: China.org.cn]
Located in Qingfeng Gorge (Cool Breeze Gorge) at the foot of Yuelu Hill (岳麓山), Changsha, Hunan Province, the Love Dusk Pavilion, or Aiwan Pavilion, is embraced on three sides by green hills. In the late fall, the whole scene turns red from leaves. Mao Zedong often came to visit the pavilion in his early years, and the horizontal tablet of Aiwan Pavilion was carved according to his handwriting.

Tips:  The best season to visit is late autumn, when the mountains are covered with maple leaves that paint everything red. The pavilion is right beside of the Yuelu Academy, and the suggested visiting time is 30 minutes.

Admission Fee: Free

5/7 Orchid Pavilion 兰亭

Orchid Pavilion [Image Credit: Xinhua]
Orchid Pavilion [Image Credit: Xinhua]
The Orchid Pavilion, sitting at the foot of Lanzhu Shan (兰渚山), 12.5 kilometers southwest of Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, got  worldwide fame as the object of  Wang Xizhi’s famous calligraphic work, the Lantingjixu . In front of the pavilion is the famous wandering stream called “QuShui”. In Wang Xizhi’s time, he and his friends sat on both sides of the wandering stream and would set a Chinese drinking cup in the flowing water, and the person before whom the cup stopped would compose an impromptu poem or drink the wine.

Tips: Summer is the best season to visit the Orchid Pavilion, when the weather is fresh and cool in the mountains. There are restaurants near the water and Shaoxing cuisine at affordable prices, which is worth trying. Lanting International Calligraphy Festival takes place on the third day of the third month of the Chinese lunar calendar every year, offering a chance to experience Chinese calligraphy.

Admission Fee: 40 yuan/person

6/7 Lixia Pavilion 历下亭

Lixia Pavilion [Image Credit: Xinhua]
Lixia Pavilion [Image Credit: Xinhua]
Located on the largest island in Daming Lake in Jinan, Shandong Province, the Lixia Pavilionhas eight tall columns and eight octagonal eaves, decorated with red pillars, green tiles, and corbel support  arches. Beneath the second level of eaves hangs the “Lixia Pavilion” plaque written by Emperor Qianlong.

Tips: The best season to visit is fall, when the water flows with a scent of lily, and the breeze brings a relaxing coolness.

Admission fee: 30 yuan/person

7/7 Canglang Pavilion 沧浪亭

Canglang Pavilion [Image Credit: Xinhua]
Canglang Pavilion [Image Credit: Xinhua]
Located in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, Canglang Pavilion is Suzhou’s oldest garden. It was originally the private garden of the Guangling King of Wuyue Kingdom during the Five Dynasties (709-960). Build beside the river, the garden’s intricate windows and the bamboos planted within are the biggest draws.

Tips: Compared to the magnificent and crowded Humble Administrator’s Garden (Zhuo Zheng Yuan), Canglang Pavilion is more quiet and elegant. Located beside the Suzhou Art Gallery, the pavilion and its beauty are just a step away.

Admission Fee: 20 yuan/person

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