Restored historic Shaxi temple now open
The temple offers Shaxi tours and field to table dining
Originally known as 'Ci Yin An' 慈荫庵 (Temple of Sheltered Mercy), this breath taking multi-level temple complex, commanding spectacular views across the valley from its vantage point at the head of Diantou Village, was actually a functioning nunnery until the religious purges of the 1950's. The buildings are now being given a new lease of life by the accomplished American philanthropist and entrepreneur responsible for the wildly successful Mountain Retreat and Village Inn projects, across in Yangshuo, Guangxi. Expert local craftsmen have been bought in to preserve the original building and showcase their incredible carpentry and stone-masonry skills.
The top temple, shaded by enormous broadleafs, was until recently in a very poor state of repair. Originally built to honor the Jade Emperor, time has taken a terrible toll on this ancient building. Now visitors can look forward to hearty breakfasts and leisurely lunches on the alfresco upper terrace.
See restoration pictures on the blog.
Working closely with the local government and village elders, the 300 year-old temple is now entering a completely new phase, thanks to the vision and generosity of its incoming patron. Even now, modern facilities are being added for the local community who still use the buildings as a focus point for village affairs. In addition, work has begun on adding a modern visitor center, a small bakery, and a comfortable cafe where visitors can sample local fare, and learn more of the surprises that await them as they plan to explore the rest of the valley. A new modern kitchen has been built, so that local specialties can be sampled by guests from far and wide.
With so much fresh fare to choose from, even the simplest of Shaxi offerings are streets ahead of their big city counterparts. Everyday dishes such as tomato and eggs boast a natural, organic flavor that urban eateries just cannot match. For most Bai, pork is the main meat of the diet, and it is very common to encounter hams and sausages, as well as smoked liver and smoked intestines. The growth of fish farms in the valley has meant that the traditional stewed carp casserole has made a resurgence in recent years. Served locally with enough spice to power a NASA deep space mission, milder versions, are often made available for overly-sensitive tourists like you and I.
Rubing, (known locally as youdbap in the Bai dialect) is a delicate goat's cheese, very similar in taste and texture to queso blanco in South America or paneer in India. While it is usually served fried with a honey or sugar dip, more adventurous travelers might want to try a fermented rice dish topped with slices of cheese, known as 'jiu mi he rubing'. The only way that I can describe it, is as a super-rich, alcohol-infused rice pudding, with hefty slabs of fried feta on the top, which is even more delicious than it sounds.
Pear Blossom Organic Shaxi Dining
Pear Orchard Temple on Shaxi map
- Introduction to Shaxi
- Shaxi history
- Shaxi weather
- Shaxi map
- Shaxi Cooking School
- Shaxi holidays and festivals
- Shaxi Information FAQ
- Lijiang to Shaxi
- Lijiang tours
- Dali tours
- Shaxi ATM and bank
- Shaxi architecture
- Preserving cultural heritage
- Jianchuan town
- Shaxi mobile services
- Spring Newsletter 2015