Daguan Park (simplified Chinese: 大观公园), located in the southwestern suburb of Kunming City, is a lakeside park. Today many locals come to sit, drink tea, fly kites, and go boating. There is an ancient pagoda situated in the park, which overlooks the lake to the western hills.
In 1696 in the 35th year of Emperor Kangxi, Wang Jiwen, governor of Yunnan, carried out a largescale construction of a two-storyed pavilion. Ponds were dug, embankments were constructed, and trees and flowers were planted. With a good view of the waters and hills in the distance, and the sailing boats and trees in mist, the pavilion was titled Daguan ("Grand View") pavilion. In the later years, the Daguan pavilion had twice been reduced to ruins by warfare and flood. In the 9th year of Emperor Guangxu (1883), Chen Yuying, governor of Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces, ordered Monk Xingtian to take charge of the renovation of the pavilion, and the pavilion has remained intact ever since.
Known for its longest antithetical couplet in China, the Grand View Park, also called Daguan Park, is found within a walking distance from the Western Hills. It received its name from the longest antithetical couplet (composing 180 Chinese characters) written by Sun Ranweng, a famous scholar in the Qing Dynasty. It is a beach garden possessing both the natural landscape and elegance of an ancient garden. The entire park is dotted with green embankments, graceful pavilions, and colorful flowers in four seasons. What fun to climb up the Grand View Pavilion, which was built in the early Qing Dynasty and to share the artistic conception with Mr. Guo Moruo, a well know Chinese writer:
"What a grand view! How could I close myself in the room while the hills and waters call for your attention, Sleeping Buddha is flying high in the clouds and the Dianchi Lake is as big as an ocean."
On every Mid - Autumn Festival (Moon Cake Festival), looking down the water surface of the lake from the Grand View Pavilion, you will catch an image of : " Reflection of Moon from Three Pools " as in the west lake of Hangzhou. The local people would rather call it " the reflection of the Moon from the Long Antithetical Couplet " . Why not spend one night there enjoying the moon
Daguan, which means 'the grand view', is the most befitting name for the park and the pavilion which are on the terminus of Daguan Road in the southwest of Kunming city, Daguan Park and Daguan Pavilion.
Daguan Park locates on the shore of Dianchi Lake and faces the Western Hills which are on the other side of Dianchi Lake. In 1682, a monk named Qianyin built a small temple here to give Buddhist lessons; eight years later, in 1690, the satrap of Yunnan Province Wang Jiwen was attracted by the beautiful natural views here and began to construct a whole park including many halls, pavilions, bonsais, rockeries, trees and porches. Daguan Park became an attraction from then on and the most famous spot among them is the Daguan Pavilion.
Like many other Chinese ancient buildings, Daguan Pavilion also had been in disarray, destroyed and restored several times because of the dynastic changes and the civil wars. The present-day square, three-storied pavilion was established in 1883. At the entrance there is the longest antithetical couplet which was written by a famous Qing Dynasty scholar named Sun Ranweng (also called Sun Ran); this couplet of 180 characters is one of the most valued cultural treasures in Yunnan Province. The first part of the couplet describes the beautiful and magnificent natural views before your sight, tell people to enjoy and treasure. The second part reviews the 2000 years' history of Yunnan,awakens to that no matter how successful or frustrated you are, all will be in nothingness in the end.
Other sceneries like Santan Yingyue, Louwailou and Lu Garden, also beautiful places, deserve a visit. Santan Yingyue is a pool with three stone towers which divides the pool into three parts. Therefore when there is a moon in the sky there are three moons in the water; Louwailou is a stone pavilion built like a ship. Standing on it you can see Santan Yingyue on the right and the ocean of grass on the left, Dianchi Lake in front and levee behind; in the south of Daguan Park is the Lu Garden which was a private villa in 1937, with water lilies, roses, weeping willows and oleanders everywhere. Lu Garden looks like a little peaceful fairyland which is hiding in the corner of Daguan Park.
True to its name, Daguan Park and the attractions in it provide spectacular and grand views in different styles. From the sparkling Dianchi Lake to the superb Western Hills, the natural beauties create a perfect place to spend your holiday.