Baitayu, meaning White Pagoda Valley, was named after a pagoda standing on a small hill fourteen kilometers northwest of the county town of Xingcheng near Jinzhou City. This place was a Buddhist shrine during the Liao Dynasty. Because of its exquisite workmanship this pagoda was also called Linglong Pagoda, meaning an ingeniously and delicately wrought pagoda.
Built in 1092 during the Liao Dynasty, the octagonal, solid-brick structure with thirteen levels of eaves is forty-three meters high. The lower part is a Sumeru pedestal made of bricks and ornamented with a variety of carvings. Between the pedestal and the first storey is a circle of huge lotus petals, also made of bricks. At the eight corners around the first storey are columns inscribed with the names of eight holy pagodas. Niches on four sides of the pagoda contain statues of Buddha. In the east niche is Buddha the Imperturbable, on whose seat three elephants are carved; in the west niche is Buddha of Infinite Qualities, on whose seat three peacocks are carved; in the south niche is Buddha the Source of Holy Things, on whose seat three horses are carved; and in the north niche is Buddha the Unerring Performance, on whose seat three birds with golden wings are carved. The other four sides of the pagoda each has a carved brick tablet inscribed with a Buddhist motto. Above the niches and tablets are flying apsarases and canopies.
The first level of eaves has brick brackets; the other levels are constructed of projecting layers of bricks. Since the top has been damaged, the shape of the pagoda's steeple is not known. The outside walls of the pagoda are inlaid with hundreds of copper mirrors, gleaming brightly under the sunshine. With its rich variety of carvings and shiny mirrors the pagoda deserves to be called the Linglong Pagoda, exquisite and beautiful.