China Expat & Travel Blogger. ATTRACTIONS & THINGS TO DO IN CHINA. See My Fun TRAVEL Adventures in China!
Live in China long enough and you'll discover it's home to some of the best statues across the world. There's everything from towering Buddhist sculptures to larger-than-life monuments of iconic presidents in Chinese history.
And then there’s the colossal bronze statue of Guan Yu, a prominent historical figure in China renown for his bravery, loyalty, and righteousness during the Three Kingdoms Period. In the West, he is often referred to as the “Chinese God of War”.
I had stumbled on an article covering the statue's construction and opening some time ago, and thus began my travel-to-see-a-statue checklist: Was it massive? Check. Did it look interesting and cool? Of course. Was it near Shanghai? Yep. And most importantly, was it Instagram worthy? Hell-to-the-yeah! Well then, Guan Yu statue, here I come!
The Guan Yu Statue
And so the journey began. My friend and I reached Jingzhou Railway Station by 2pm, checked into our hotel, and landed at Guan Yu Park by 3:30pm.
We shelled out a measly 40RMB to enter Guan Yu Park—1/3 of the original price we were prepared to pay as advised from the Internet—and made our first stop in the park: a temple that housed a large indoor Buddhist statue and a couple of detailed murals.
And then it happened: we finally arrived at the 10-meter tall base of the Guan Yu Statue, and you know what? Up close, the 58-meter tall (190 ft.), 1,320-ton sculpture was pretty bad-ass.
The artist did a great job capturing Guan Yu's thick, long beard that he was notorious to have, but did an ever better job placing the 'Chinese God of War' in a determined, ready to kick-someone's-ass type pose.
What's more, his ready-for-combat stance was backed by 3 details. One, a cool-looking cape-like garment that swooshed around his body to compliment his warrior mythology.
Two? Guan Yu held an elaborately carved weapon-- his “Green Dragon Crescent Blade”--that hung over the edge of the building below. Can you believe that the blade alone reportedly weighs 136-tons!?
And three? Check out the placement of Guan Yu's left hand, which undoubtedly looks as if he's ready for a killer martial-arts strike. Now that's intimidating!
And so after awhile we'd exit the park and try to find out what else the city of Jingzhou had to offer, but not before racking up a few final awe-inspiring pics of the Guan Yu statue from across Mahe River.
All in all, catching sight of the colossal Guan Yu statue was a great weekend adventure. It was a nice escapade from Shanghai, and even though Jingzhou wasn’t necessarily a city oozing with popular attractions at every turn, it was still a fun exploratory experience that I'd recommend. Safe & happy travels!
How to See the Guan Yu Statue
How to get to the Guan Yu Statue in Jingzhou: Take a high-speed train to Jingzhou in Hubei Province (Be careful not get tickets for Jingzhou in Hunan Province!). Exit the train station and take Bus #15 to Guan Yu Park. It will only take about 15-20 minutes to arrive at Guan Yu Park. You can see the statue from the bus or get off when you pass by the Ancient City Wall.
Where to stay in Jingzhou? I recommend staying at Jiuge Holiday Hotel, which is located at 13 Jingnan Road (Jingnan Lu), Jingzhou Distict, Jingzhou, 434000, China. The hotel was around 15min. walking distance from Guan Yu Park.