Grand View Tower (Daguan Park) is the most fitting name for the park and the tower situated at the terminus of Daguan Road in southwest Kunming City. Grand View Tower sits on the shore of Dianchi Lake and faces the Western Hill across the Dianchi Lake.
In 1682 a monk named Qianyin built a small temple here to teach Buddhist dharma; eight years later, that's in 1690, the official of Yunnan Province, Wang Jiwen, was so attracted by the beautiful natural views here, began to construct a whole park including halls, pavilions, bonsais, rockeries, trees and terraces. Grand View Tower has been an attraction ever since with the most visited spot being Daguan Park.
Like many other ancient Chinese buildings, the Daguan Park has also been, destroyed and restored several times because of dynastic changes and civil wars. The present-day's square and three-storied tower was built in 1883. At the entrance is on display the longest antithetical couplet in China, which was written by a famous Qing Dynasty scholar named Sun Ranweng (also called Sun Ran). The couplet of 180 characters is one of the most valued cultural treasures in Yunnan Province.
The first part of the couplet describes the beautiful and magnificent natural views before you, and urge people to enjoy and treasure this special part of China. The second part of the couplet reviews the 2,000 years history of Yunnan and remind that no matter how successful or frustrated you are, all will be in nothingness in the end.