Originally built over 1,700 years ago, this stunning nine storey tall pagoda has been rebuilt and renovated several times since, with the existing Ming Dynasty structure built around 600 years ago. Most of the octagonal structure is built in brick and stone, with wooden detailing.
The pagoda is part of the Bao’en Temple complex (a working Buddhist monastery), which when I visited was actually undergoing extensive renovations (I accidentally snuck in via the trade entrance…) – although the pagoda itself and surrounding grounds weren’t being touched. The sudden lack of crowds compared to my previous stop, the Humble Administrator’s Garden (only a 10 minute walk away), made it such a peaceful and beautiful place.
I was particularly impressed by the landscaping and trees of the garden, making this tall pagoda sit more comfortably against its surroundings and creating a serene, relaxing atmosphere – you’d hardly know we were in the middle of a busy Chinese city!