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The Temple at Xili Lake

This article was originally published on May 27, 2011, in the Shenzhen Daily.
The information was accurate at that time, and may be outdated now. Use with caution.

The temple and tower at Xili Lake
I have lived in Xili off and on since 2004. And all that time, I have heard rumors of a temple in the park at Xili Lake.

Once, I even saw a Buddhist temple (named "Xi Hu Si"--West Lake Temple) on a map. But I could never find it.

Well, recently a friend explained that I needed to lower my sights a bit; the "temple" was just one hall, she said, off the main road, and near the tower called "Xili Ta."

So today, I found it!

The interior of the temple
There is no Buddha inside, but rather a Guan Yin (Bodhisattva of Compassion), a Cai Shen (God of Wealth), and an unidentified lady (who may be Jin Hua Fu Ren, the one who assists with childbirth).

The last two are certainly Taoist; but I was assured that Buddhist monks attend the temple on the weekend. I'll have to visit again to ask a "professional" who that third figure is.

A closer look at the front of temple
Above the temple is Xili Tower. Although the tower is closed, you can see glimpses of the lake by climbing up to its base.

Xili Lake Conference and Resort Center
The Resort itself is a hodge-podge of old and new; some abandoned buildings (fun for exploring) and a high-end hotel and conference center. It's an incredibly quiet place, filled with birdsong.

Casual explorers can reach Xili Lake Resort by taking numerous buses, including 66, 101, and 104.

For those who wish to stay longer, hotel rooms start at 688 rmb per night (though discounts are available); check for availability of activities (horse-back riding, etc.) before booking. Also, there are several restaurants, and an area with fire-pits for cookouts; and Shenzhen Safari Park is just outside the front gate.

"Xili Ta" (Tower) peers above the trees on its own hilltop

GPS Info:
  • 22.6025, 113.9663


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