Shaxi Shibaoshan: a China heritage site shrouded in mystery
The grottoes and temple complex at Shaxi Shibaoshan are one of the best preserved treasures of ancient Buddhism in China and are a national heritage site. Just a beautiful 90-minute hike from Old Theatre Inn, Shibaoshan grottoes are a stunning complex of temples perched high on a mountain featuring waterfalls, many shrines and endless forested trails.
Another way to access Shaxi Shibaoshan is from the Visitor’s Centre at the Pear Orchard Temple. Here you can also hire horses to climb up the forested pathways in just one hour.
The temple complex consists of Boxiang Temple, Shizhong Temple, Haiyunju Nunnery and the stone grottoes. Shaxi Shibaoshan is part of a forested national scenic area and getting around requires a lot of walking and hiking, some of it quite strenuous. There are now shuttle buses to take visitors from the main gate to Baoxiang and Shizhong temples. The tickets are RMB 15 and are good for the day. Alternatives are to hire a car from Old Theatre Inn or the Shaxi Visitor’s Centre and let the driver drop you in the parking are where you can hike in to the temple complex.
All of Shaxi Shibaoshan requires some hiking, though there are well-established stone trails and steps. The entire journey around the park on foot takes over three hours. Bicycles are another alternative and are available from the Shaxi Visitor’s Centre at the Pear Orchard Temple or the Old Theatre Inn.
Tickets are available directly from the Shaxi Visitor’s Centre. For reservations, email us here or call (+86) 13577258117
Some words of caution
There are families of large Macaque monkeys at the parking area below Shizhong Temple. Don’t carry any food in the open or in the webbing of your backpack. These monkeys can be aggressive and are not shy about taking food right out of your hands. Be sure to prevent this happening especially with young children. Secondly, there is no photo taking at the stone grottoes. The ticket takers will remind you of this, but don’t try and sneak one. There are surveillance cameras everywhere and if security catches you, they will take your camera card and erase it.
Shaxi Shibaoshan Map