Dong Biwu wrote Visiting Xiqiao Baiyun Cave in March 1964, saying that "to view Xiqiao's sceneries, Baiyun should be the first on the itinerary". He listed Baiyun Cave at the top, showing how important he thought Baiyun Cave was.
Located in the north-west of the mountain, Baiyun Cave scenic area is a confluence of Xiqiao sceneries. It is the blessed place for Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism at the same time, comprising three cave paradises and twenty-four sceneries. The major sceneries are Kuiguang Tower,Dashing Torrent Waterfall Sanhu Academy, Zizu Temple,Baiyun Ancient Temple,Yunquan Xianguan Lianlizhi Ficus Microcarpa, Four-faced Buddha, Inspiration Stone and Yangchen Deck, among which, Dashing Torrent Waterfall, also known as "Xiqiao Cloud Waterfall", had been listed as one of the "Eight Sceneries of Guangzhou" since Qing Dynasty
Dashing Torrent Watefall
At the entrance of Baiyun Cave scenic area, the immediate spots you will see are two cultural holy places, Zizu Temple and Kuiguang Tower. The former enshrines the creator of Chinese characters - Cangjie, and the latter is used to worship one of the twenty-eight Mansions from Chinese ancient literature - Kuixing, who carries a writing brush in one hand and a bucket in another. Anyone whose name is pointed by him with the writing brush will be the first in the examination.
1777 (42nd year of Qianlong reign in Qing Dynasty) witnessed the humanistic depression in Xiqiao and continuous failure of students in the imperial examination at that time. To re-energize the spirit of literary, twenty eight rich households in Xiqiao Jian Village contributed to the construction of Kuiguang Tower and Zizu Temple in Baiyun Cave area. After that, students or children would worship these two gods of literary and hold ceremonies before heading Beijing to have the imperial examination or accepting enlightenment in the academy.
Yunquan Xianguan is built right into the mountain landscape with binary design and hipped-gable roof. The architecture has front hall, bell and drum deck, Ancestor Hall, Mozhuang, Diqin Hall and wing rooms of back hall. There are two onyx columns and a pair of stone lions in the front of the hall. Relief sculpture of lion, dragon and fish, mural painting of six horses and birds paying homage to the phoenix are decorated on the walls of both sides. Both sides of the hall door stand bell and drum decks.The front hall has a dome and guiding corridor connecting with wing rooms and the central door, behind which there is a Release Pond followed by the back hall, Zanhua Palace where Lv Dongbing is worshiped. The exquisite brick carvings from Qing Dynasty, status of two dragons snapping at a pearl and mural painting of birds paying homage to the phoenix are all key historical relics, because they demonstrate the brilliant achievement of pottery and porcelain industry of Foshan. As one of the major producing areas of brick carving of Guangdong, Yunquan Xianguan in Foshan well preserves Qing brick carvings that are seldom seen elsewhere
Built in 1789 (54th year of Qianlong reign in Qing Dynasty), Sanhu Academy is so named due to its location among three rivers: Yingchao River, Jian River and Huilong River (Sanhu in Chinese means three rivers). From a distance, you can easily see the tablet on the door with the name "Sanhu Academy" on it, hand-writing of Lin Zexu, a national hero. At the left side of the building, there is a status of Kang Youwei, behind which is a stone wall with "Wuxu Reform Movement" written on it. The current academy was rebuilt in 1987, with a relative small area and binary design. The architecture is built with black brick and white tiles, imparting an antique flavour. It has carved balustrades and marble steps, nestling under the kind shade of pine trees and cypresses, adding a sense of solemnness to it.
Baiyun Ancient Temple sits on the left side of entrance to Baiyun Cave. It is built right into the terrain of the mountain, with ternary design. This brick-wood structure building is a pure land for monk or nun with incense wreathing upward, candles flickering and non-stop scripture reading. The construction of the temple began in 1507 (2nd year of Zhengde reign in Ming Dynasty) and the name was changed into Baiyun Ancient Temple in 1876 (2nd year of Guangxu reign in Qing Dynasty). The carved couplet on the door of the temple says,"winding river keeps flowing, I rode a white crane to find the past good time. White clouds are as usual, I live beside the mountain with plum blossom". Baiyun Ancient Temple was listed as a Relic Protection Unit of Nanhai in the last century.