Places to Visit in Ningbo | Pan Pacific Ningbo | Attractions

ningbo xikou scenery qingshan waterfall trestle ningbo xikou scenery qingshan waterfall trestle

4 Ningbo Places Of Interest To Take Awesome Photos

Welcome to Ningbo, one of China’s oldest cities with a history dating back to the Hemudu culture in 4800 BC. Browse through our recommendations below for the best places to visit in Ningbo during your stay.

Once a coastal trade city on the Silk Road 2,000 years ago, Ningbo grew in prominence over the centuries, becoming an important commercial hub during the Tang dynasty (AD 618 – 907). Home to Arab and Jewish traders then, the city was so prosperous that it led to the saying that “there can be no market without Ningbo merchants.”

Today, Ningbo is known for being a major port and industrial hub in East China’s Zhejiang province. While the city may be less glitzy than its famed Northern neighbour Shanghai, Ningbo’s natural and historic attractions are still worth visiting.

To help you discover the most photogenic locations in the city, the Pan Pacific Ningbo team recommends four Ningbo tourist attractions that are a dream for travel photographers who seek quiet contemplation and breathtaking Ningbo photos to bring home.

1. King Asoka Temple—one of the Five Mountains of Zen Buddhism

Address: Baotong Minglun Village, Wuxiang Town, Yinzhou District, Ningbo 315112, China

Telephone number: +86 574-8838-3421

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 6:00am to 4:00pm


Named after the legendary Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty (c 269 BCE to 232 BCE), King Asoka Temple is one of the most popular travel photography spots in Ningbo.

Regarded as one of the Five Mountains of Zen Buddhism in China since the early 13th century, the temple is commonly viewed as one of Zen Buddhism’s holiest sites. With a history of more than 1,700 years, it used to bustle with religious activity—in its heyday during the early 12th century, more than 6,000 monks lived there.

Among the many priceless treasures it houses, the most revered is a śarīra (pearl-like remnant of a Buddhist spiritual master after cremation) from Sakyamuni Buddha, whose teachings Buddhism is founded on. Believed to embody the spiritual knowledge of the master, this relic is kept in a towering seven-storey square-based stone pagoda in the temple’s Buddha Relic Hall.

Do set aside half a day for the visit; the attraction’s sprawling compound of 14,000 square metres cover many traditionally-styled houses, pagodas, sculptures, and gardens. With more than 600 halls, rooms, and pavilions to explore, the temple’s compound offers endless video and photo opportunities.


Tips for eager shutterbugs:

Here are two fun shots to share with friends back home:

1. Find the big piece of stone in the Fodao Pavilion which the Kasyapa Buddha was believed to have stepped on with his left foot.

2. Locate the legendary Seven Buddha Pool where seven Buddhas were said to have once bathed.


Get directions to King Asoka Temple

2. Yuehu (Moon Lake), a 1,100-year-old oasis in the city


Address: Sanzhi Street, Haishu Qu, Ningbo 315000, China

Opening hours: Open all hours daily


An Italian tourist once considered Yuehu to be the “Ningbo version of (New York City’s) Central Park” in his TripAdvisor review.  

Like its North American counterpart, this lush oasis right smack in Ningbo city offers frazzled residents and tired travellers a calming respite, with its peaceful waters, whispering trees, and intricate pavilions that provide protection from the elements.

These days, locals throng the park to play chess, dance, or practice taiji. Travellers, on the other hand, enjoy its beautiful scenery and magnificently restored Chinese buildings, many which feature Chinese architecture styles from the Ming Dynasty to modern times.

Choose from a number of temples and galleries next to the lake to while away your time. Popular ones include the He Memorial Temple, General Guan's Temple, Ningbo Handicrafts and Arts Gallery, and Gallery of Feminine Attires.

Feeling energetic? Hire a paddleboat and enjoy the scenic view from the middle of the lake.

Shutterbugs visiting in Spring are in for a special treat—the plum blossoms are especially gorgeous around the lake.

Fun fact: Yuehu is not the work of Mother Nature, but the result of an engineering marvel more than 1,100 years ago. According to historical records, the man-made lake was first excavated in the year 636. However, both Yuehu and its sister lake Ri Hu (Sun Lake) only came to be in 833—it was only then that the ruling magistrate dug channels to lead water from Lunshan Mountain into the city.


Get directions to Yuehu Park

3. Xikou-Tengtou Tourist Area—a hotspot for nature, history, and culture


Address: Xikouzhen, Fenghua, Ningbo 315502, China

Telephone number+86 400-181-7718

Tourist Service Centre opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 7:45am to 5:00pm


One question to ask yourself before embarking on a day trip to Xikou-Tengtou: “Do I have enough memory space in my digital camera?”

As Ningbo’s only 5A tourist attraction (the most important and best-maintained tourist attractions in China)–and spanning a massive two square kilometres–Xikou-Tengtou boasts of countless sights to photograph. The best thing about visiting this site is transport; numerous sightseeing trains and buses, taxis, and tricycles abound to bring you from site to site.

What’s so special about this tourist destination? Its main appeal lies in how it hits the sweet spot of any curious tourist, encapsulating natural beauty, cultural wealth, and rich Chinese history—all in a single location.

If you are a history buff, you may be keen to know that Xikou is the birthplace and hometown of political leader Chiang Kai Shek, and was once even the command centre of the National Government during the Republic of China. The sites include his home Wenchang Pavilion, the Chiang Ancestral Hall, Wuling School, as well as the mausoleum of Chiang’s mother, Fenghao House. Some of these buildings were built more than 600 years ago, and are regarded as heritage treasures.

And if nature is your antidote, head to Xuedou Mountain, which at an altitude of 800 metres, is the highest peak of the Siming Mountain ranges. Milky white spring water gushes from a hollow at its peak, creating an awe-inspiring waterfall. Pace yourself—there are more than 60 attractions at the mountain, including the popular Xuedou Temple, Qianzhang Rock Waterfall, and Miaogao Platform.

Finally, at Tengtou Village, you can experience Chinese culture and rural life. Take a 3km boat ride down Grandma’s Brook, grind soybeans to make your own soymilk, feed the farm animals, or pick in-season fruits. Do keep an eye peeled for heritage items too—some of the village’s well-preserved stone windows, furniture, and local relics date back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Finally, at Tengtou Village, you can experience Chinese culture and rural life. Take a 3km boat ride down Grandma’s Brook, grind soybeans to make your own soymilk, feed the farm animals, or pick in-season fruits. Do keep an eye peeled for heritage items too—some of the village’s well-preserved stone windows, furniture, and local relics date back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).


Get directions to Xikou-Tengtou Tourist Area

4. Jin’e Temple, a holy site shrouded in celestiality

Address: Hengxi Town, Yinzhou, Ningbo 315000, China

Telephone number+86 574 8846 1628

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 7:20am to 5:30pm


“Once you have been to Jin’e Temple, you will be spared from meeting the King of Hades,” a local saying goes.

Going by this, the ancient place of worship, built in the year 766 by Buddhist master Huaihai and located at the foot of Jin’e Mountain, must be far from ordinary.

Legend has it that the mountain was formed when Wang Mu Niangniang (Queen Mother of the West, the Chinese Tao goddess of life, fertility and immortality) sent her two golden swans to Earth to suppress a couple of evil turtles.

In another tale, scholar Lü Dongbin (796 CE-1016), one of the famed Eight Immortals in Chinese culture, made a special trip to worship here.

You can now see the temple in all its resplendent glory after a RMB 50 million (US$7.5 million) restoration project in 2003. Train your digital camera or smartphone camera lenses on the stark contrast between the buildings’ white walls and red timber beams and the backdrop of majestic rolling mountains. Be sure to visit the Great Hall too—here, you will come face to face with a 12.5 metre tall statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha.


Get directions to Jin’e Temple


Refresh your mind and body with a luxurious stay at Pan Pacific Ningbo. Save up to 15% and enjoy complimentary breakfast in our Easter promotion when you book with us from now until April 30, 2019. Your children’s stay and breakfast are on us as well!

What’s more, the views at Pan Pacific Ningbo are very Insta-worthy too! Stunning scenery of Ningbo city and the Yongxin river are just beyond your guest room window. Contact our team to discuss more.


Sign Up for Pan Pacific DISCOVERY

Join Pan Pacific DISCOVERY and unlock a wealth of benefits, with or without a stay. Enjoy exclusive member rates, specially curated Local Offers and Experiences, and access to our rewards currency, DISCOVERY Dollars (D$).


Discover More Destination Insights

Ningbo Holidays: A guide for first-time visitors

Find Out More

7 Unique Festivals To Celebrate In China

Find Out More

Welcome to Ningbo: A 48-Hour Traveller Guide

Find Out More