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Tourism in Liuzhou
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Liuhou Temple and Park
Situated in the centre of the city,
near the city square, this park is a commemoration of Liu Zongyuan (A.D.773-819) who was born in Shaanxi Province,
and was a
famous writer, thinker and politician of the Tang Dynasty. He held a
diplomatic post but was demoted for taking part in a failed political
reform movement. He held office in Liuzhou during the latter part of his
his time in Liuzhou, Liu Zongyuan apparently issued orders to reform the
local law, stipulating that slaves could redeem themselves. He
contributed money to help poorer families regain their freedom and
attached great importance to agricultural production, organising farmers to open up the wasteland and plant bamboo and other trees.
Zongyuan made a remarkable contribution to Chinese literature. He
advocated the use of colloquial Chinese rather the ancient style of
writing used since the Six Dynasties (420 to 589 AD). His articles are
sharply penetrating and persuasive.
Three years after his death, Luochi Temple was built to offer sacrifices to Liu Zongyuan. The temple, located in Liuhou Park, is simple yet imposing, with bronze statues of Liu Zongyuan and his subordinates. Also, there are historical relics, diagrams, paintings and calligraphy introducing in detail the life of, and historical deeds done by, Liu Zongyuan. There are more than 40 stone tablets inside the temple including the famous "Stone Tablet of Dragon City" written by Liu Zongyuan.
And no, I didn't mis-spell it. It isn't Liuzhou Park! It is Liuhou Park. A small difference in English, big difference in Chinese!
As with all Liuzhou parks, entrance is free.
Allegedly, the nicest park in Liuzhou, Longtan (or Dragon Pool) Park is in the south of the city, approximately 3 kilometres from the centre (No 19 bus terminates here). A very pleasant place to walk and relax in in the summer months, the park has a minority nationality theme. Don't be taken in by the fake minority stuff. They have 'minority villages' etc. They are truly pathetic and nothing like the real thing. There is also a supposed replica of the Wind and Rain Bridge at Sanjiang (see in Guangxi) which is top of my list for destruction come the revolution. The original is a thing of beauty, this is a cheap Disneyesque travesty. Near the main entrance is a not bad minority style restaurant. The park also has a popular outdoor swimming pool.
As with all Liuzhou parks, entrance is free.
Yufeng Park Area
This scenic area is near the city centre, just south of the main No. 1 river bridge. Spread over two hills - Yufeng Hill and Ma'an Hill - this is an ideal place to view the city. Yufeng Hill is allegedly shaped liked a carp leaping into the air and Ma'an is shaped like a horse saddle. The two hills are accessible and linked by cable car and there are paths for the more agile!
The hills contain caves which were inhabited thousands of years ago and the whole area is the site of numerous legends. Among these are the legend of Liu Sanjie, a Zhuang nationality folk singer who rose to heaven on the back of the carp, and the legend of two of the 'Great Immortals' who played chess here. On Ma'an hill there is a large depression which is said to be the footprint of one of these immortals.
One of Liuzhou's less well known places of interest, Xilai is an active Buddhist Temple sandwiched between housing blocks on the north side of the river. The current temple dates from the Qing Dynasty but there has been a temple on this site since at least the Ming dynasty. A quiet refuge from the city.
To find the temple, follow the north bank of the river past the new Hongguang Bridge. See map. The temple is on the right, facing across the river. The temple is open from 7 a.m. until 6 a.m. except on the 1st and 15th of lunar months when it opens at 5 a.m. There is no entrance fee.
Please remember that this is an active place of worship and dress and act appropriately.
Among the few older buildings preserved in Liuzhou are these two curiosities from relatively recent history.
Ho Chi Minh, founder and leader of North Vietnam lived for two years (1942-1944) in this house while in exile. The house is at the entrance to Yufeng primary school, opposite Yufeng Hill, and is now a museum. The house was given official protection in 1997. Entry is ¥5 per person. Exhibits are labelled in Chinese and Vietnamese. No English.
In December 1938, the Government of Korea arrived in Liuzhou to organise opposition to the Japanese troops occupying their country. They remained in this building (near Yufeng Park) until April 1939, when they were forced to move again as Guangxi was under threat from the Japanese. The building is now a museum Entry is ¥5 per person. Exhibits are labelled in Chinese and Korean. No English.