Hóngluó Sì 红螺寺

Part of A Better Guide to Běijīng’s coverage of Běijīng Suburbs and Beyond

After your ticket is torn, turn right through a bamboo grove to reach the main temple buildings, which really amount to little more than a giant tourist trap spun round the story of two immortal princesses who came to earth disguised as the red snails (hóng luó) for which the temple is named, and which are now reproduced in concrete.

The layout of the temple is otherwise conventional, and most of the paintwork and statuary is of recent date, although there’s extensive walking on eight square kilometres of hilly ground beyond, with a further temple a 30-minute walk uphill, assorted red-robed stone arhat statues, and stone tables and chairs scattered among pines and bamboo.

The high ground is optionally reached by chairlift with a toboggan for the return (extra fees payable).

▶ 10km N of Huáiróu District; about 55km N of Běijīng centre, gps 40º22’25”N, 116º37’08”E, t 6068 1639, www.hongluosi.com, 8am–5.30pm summer; 4.30pm winter. ¥54. b to 红螺寺: 936 & 936旅游专线 from 东直门外, just NE of Dōng Zhí Mén bus station; bus tour from Xuānwǔ Mén Sats, Suns, and pub hols, Apr–Oct, dep 6.30am–8.30am.

Next in Běijīng Suburbs and Beyond: Silver Mountain Pagoda Forest
Previously: Yúnjū Sì
Main Index of A Better Guide to Beijing.

For discussion of China travel, see The Oriental-List.