Lotus Hill, one of the famous hills of the Pearl River Delta, is located in the eastern outskirt of Panyu City, 20km from Guangzhou and 60 sea miles from Hong Kong. Covering an area of 2.54sq km, Lotus Hill is composed of 48 red sandstone low hills, the highest of which is 108m tall. It has the best preserved ancient quarry site, with a history of 2000 years in China.
The lotus city itself was built during the Kangxi’s reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). There is also the gold statute of the Goddess of Mercy, which is the biggest in the world. The statue was cast in 1994 with 120 tonnes of bronze and 180 taels of gold coating and measures 40.88m. The Lotus Hill Tourist Resort displays a combination of ancient ruggedness and modern delicacy. Do not miss Lotus Hill when in Guangzhou.
Origin of the Name
The hill had its name originated from a fairy tale, whereby it was said that an evil dragon residing in the South China Sea (Nan Hai) often made waves at the Pearl River mouth. Consequently, farmlands were flooded and ships toppled over. These mishaps did not stop until the Goddess of Mercy paid a visit. Seeing the misery suffered by the people, the Goddess of Mercy threw his lotus seat into the water to tame the dragon. The lotus seat was believed to have turned into the present lotus stone, situated next to Nantianmen of the hill. That was how the hill gained its name “Lotus Hill (Lian Hua Shan)”.
The quarry works from each of the past dynasties, dating back to the Western Han (206 BC – 24 AD), leave behind a legacy of countless majestic red sandstone cliffs, perilous peaks, stelae and winding stone forests and grottoes. Visitors should not miss the Swallow Rock (Yan Zi Yan), Eagle Cliff (Fei Ying Ya), Goddess of Mercy Rock (Guan Yin Yan), and the Lion Stone (Shi Zi Shi), as they formed the essential stone landscape of this ancient stone yard.
Looking up from the Swallow Rock, one will see four cliffs circling around it, shaping the broad sky into a small well. The gigantic tottering cliffs are breathtaking and dazzling. Vines on the rocks are just like a green wall, forming a wonderful watercolor painting in the blooming season. Film and TV directors frequently use this place as their choice location.
The Eagle Cliff, on the other hand, painted an opposite picture. Looking down from the Eagle Cliff, one will see crisscrossing roads, vast fertile land, and boundless Pearl River winding to the east.
The Lion Stone lies in the eastern part of the Lotus Hill. Due to the stone lion roaring towards the direction of the Pearl River, the Lotus Hill is also sometimes referred to the “Lion Hill.” According to archaeologist, Lotus Hill used to be just a small island hundreds of years ago but with passing time, the land elevated and sea level dropped, resulting in what it is today. The Lion Stone, originally a rock on the side of the small island, took the current shape due to continuous erosion and weathering.
Best Time to Visit
The famous Lotus Flower and Peach Blossom Festivals are held in Lotus Hill Tourist Resort annually. From June to August every year, more than 100 kinds of lotus flowers, the holy flower of Buddhism, are picked for the festival. Hence, if tourists were to visit Lotus Hill during this period, they would not only enjoy the grand landscape but also appreciate a myriad of blooming lotus.
Other than that, Peach Blossom Festival is held during the Spring Festival, making it another good time to visit.
Admission: CNY30; CNY15 for children below 1.5m
CNY2 to climb the Lotus Tower; CNY3 to enter the Lotus City
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 18:30 daily
1. Take a ride at Dajitou, Haizhu District of Guangzhou, Guangzhou Coach Station, or Guangzhou Road to Panyu City bridge (CNY6 to CNY10), and then transfer to Special Line (CNY3 to CNY4).
2. By water from Xidi Pier.
3. Take subway line no.4 to Shiji station. Get on bus to Lotus Hill at the entrance of the subway station (CNY2/single). Walk about 5 minutes after you get off the bus and you will get to the gate of Lotus Hill.
4. Take express busses to Lotus Hill from Guangzhou (CNY10, estimated journey time: 40mins).