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Its red wooden 12-story pagoda rises stunningly against a 30 meter (100 foot) high rock outcropping (see photo) along the banks of the Yangtze River.
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Best photo vantage
The best place to take a photograph of the Shibaozhai pagoda is along the river bank, not as you near the structure.
The tall pagoda tower is the most interesting part of the Shibaozhai Temple. It consists of two sections: The lower one is a nine story edifice that abuts the rock outcropping. The upper section sits on top of the outcropping (where the temple buildings reside). It was built in the early 1800s without nails.
Leaning tower of China
The nine-story section is not a free-standing building. Its architects designed it to lean against the rock outcropping for its support. Without it, the section would topple over. During the early years of the Shibaozhai Temple, the lower pagoda section did not exist. Visitors were hoisted to the hilltop via a cumbersome chain apparatus.
Climbing to the top
The staircase inside the nine story section is very steep (ship ladder style). Those who might find such steps difficult should go up via the exit route that is separate from the pagoda. It has normal style steps and is not as steep.