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“Worth skipping a day in Lanzhou!”

Bingling Temple Grottoes
Reviewed May 22, 2014

You can totally skip a day in Lanzhou if you are planning on visiting this site! It takes 2 hours to drive to Liujiaxia and another 1 hour boating on the water reservoir.
Boat trip on the reservoir has a deja vu with it on the West Lake in Hangzhou (see my photos), only vaster and bleaker.
The grottoes, which may not be the best ones in China, are of unique style and very authentic. It seems like the artists are just on their lunch break and will be back to finish up the art later. Some small Buddha figures are very adorable, just like a barbie doll.

2  Thank peggielv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"maitreya buddha"
in 4 reviews
"boat ride"
in 9 reviews
"day trip"
in 7 reviews
"sitting buddha"
in 3 reviews
"tang dynasty"
in 4 reviews
"the cliff"
in 4 reviews
"the bus"
in 6 reviews
"nice scenery"
in 2 reviews
"taxi driver"
in 2 reviews
"yellow river"
in 10 reviews
"silk road"
in 7 reviews
"private car"
in 2 reviews
"public transport"
in 2 reviews
"buy a ticket"
in 2 reviews
"worth the effort"
in 2 reviews
"well worth the trip"
in 2 reviews
"hour drive"
in 2 reviews

24 - 28 of 55 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2013 via mobile

Maybe not as impressive as other grottoes in China, however these grottoes are hidden in a very nice scenery making this trip well worth.

Made the trip at the end of October 2013. I took the bus from Lanzhou towards Liujiaxia from West Bus Station. The ride took nearly two hours cause the bus driver kept looking for more people to get on the bus. I told the driver i would like to go to Bing Ling Grottoes and he dropped me a few hundred meters before the docks at a small travel office. Eventually i got my trip to the grottoes booked there (beware: No English spoken there, if you don't speak any chinese, this might be a bit of a problem there). I joined three chinese guys and we first drove more than 30 minutes in a private car along the reservoir to a small dock where we changed to a small speedboat. We were then driven to a first site, that we skipped (not sure what it was but it looked not too interesting), and continued to the grottoes (maybe 30 minutes boatride in total), very scenic boatride.
We got nearly 2 hours for sight seeing there (and contrary to the previous report here we could take pictures, no problem at all). It's not big, but we joined another group with a guide which gave insightful information as there's not much explanation written about the grottoes.
Finally we went back to the same dock by boat where our driver was waiting. He drove us back and also gave us a city tour of Liujiaxia and the water dam.
Boat + car ride was 150 RMB for each of us.

5  Thank shmar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2013

We took bus ride for about one and half hours to get to Yongjing county. this is a small town located by the side of the Yellow River. one of the biggest hydro power station is located here.as it was even the biggest before the one on the Yangtze river was built. we had a simple lunch and moved on to the dock where there were many small speed boat ready to take visitors.

The boat ride was about 40 to 50 minute to reach the BingLing temple. this part of the Yellow River is really beautiful that the water is not yellow at all, but limpid and clear. there were huge mountains and rocks standing high along the river side. all of them are just rocky with no tress or plantations. This scenery is reputed as the Three Gorges of the Yellow River.

When we got off the speed boat, there is a walk for about five minute to the mouth of the valley. this is just the entrance of the bingling temple. make sure that you use the toilet here and this would be the only cleanest one in this complex. The valley is a very long narrow stretch into the mountains. along the way, there are hundreds of small caves or shrines carved into the rocks. the history of these carvings can be traced back to more than one thousand year ago. and some of them still remain more or less colored. The tour in this valley is like taking a big U turn and it is a one way tour. Along the way, visitors could only see everything, but taking picture is NOT ALLOWED AT ALL, there are plenty of security guards petrol along the way making sure that nobody is taking photos or touching these ancient artifacts. because many of these statues and shrines remain just exposed without any fence or protection.

Coming to the Bingling temple is more than just a visit to the beautiful Buddhist art, but also the scenery along the way in the valley or on the speed boat ride is just REWARDING.

there are few options for visitors who do silk road tours in this region.
1: After the visit of Bingling temple, people may take the ferry boat service to LinXia County and drive to XiaHe Tibetan Autonomous County.

2: Visitors may just return back to Lanzhou and continue their onward journey.

3  Thank Liu Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2013

This was my long day trip from lanzhou which included a bus ride and then taking a speedboat to get to the site. The name of this location is Bingling thousand buddha caves and I don't know about whether there are actually ten thousand buddhas, but there are a number of impressive carvings made into the cliffside. You are going to be limited by the speedboat driver as to the amount of time you get to spend at the site.

1  Thank Hoben01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 9, 2013

This is a very nice 90 minutes speed boad ride from LIUJIAXIA. Stay in that little town overnight to be at the caves at the opening at 9:00 - before the buses from LANZHOU arrive at around 11:00 to 11:30.
You will have finished by than ;-).

Bingling means 'ten thousand Buddhas' in the Tibetan language.

Hidden in the Caves are "very nicely restored" Temple Caves stretching about 200 meters on the west cliff in Dasi Gully. Among the caves, the main characters are Sakyamuni, Kwan-yin, Amitayus Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, and other Buddhas. With elegant postures, flying robes and ribbons, the statues are life-like.
The starting construction time dates back to the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316). In the following dynasties, the caves had been excavated many times. There are now 183 niches, 694 stone statues, 82 clay sculptures and some 900 square meters' (about 1,076 square yards') of murals.
It is said, that they lay on the former SILK road - as they are so much hidden, they were not "cleaned" in the cultural revolution.

GO VERY EARLY at the opening at 9:00 & you will be AMAZED about the CALM & BEAUTY!

2  Thank Rolf S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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