Located south of Fujian province, with an area of 70 square kilometers, Wuyishan (shan=mountain) is noted for its breath-taking landscape. It has been dubbed “the most beautiful mountain in Southeast China”. With both alpine and water scenic beauty combined in one, Mt Wuyi is grand, elegant, beautiful and quaint.
Wuyishan Nature Reserve has the largest subtropical primeval forest habitation that can be found on the same latitude. Mt Wuyi came under the protection of United Nations “Global Biosphere Protection Zone” in 1988. It was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1999.
Wuyishan Nature Reserve is well known for its abundance of deep canyons, dense forests, waterfalls, animals (many of them endangered), flora and fauna. The ionic particle levels are high due to the dense foliage. Of all the fun activities here, the most popular one is the “two valleys-two waterfalls-one water-born drift” itinerary. The two valleys are the Red River Valley and the Jade Valley; the two waterfalls are Green Dragon waterfall and Phoenix waterfall. The drift refers to the drift along the Grand Wuyi Canyon, which is also the biggest drift in eastern China.
The Nine Scenic Spots
Nine-Crooked Creek is the centerpiece of Mt. Wuyi. The 8.5 square kilometers area originates at the northwest corner of Tongmu Pass in the Sangangguo nature preserve. Its meandering course forms nine distinct crooks or angles. The Nine-Crooked Creek is flanked on either side by mountain peaks and stones of unusual shapes that are interwoven with various watercourses. Each crook forms a unique picturesque and poetic landscape and each landscape has its own name. There are bamboo rafts for visitors.
Wuyi Palace Scenic Area
Nestled at the foot of Dawang Mountain and beside the Yiqu Creek, Wuyi Palace is the oldest of its kind at Mt. Wuyi. Covering an area of 3.5 square kilometers, it is variously known as Tianbao Palace, Chongyou Temple or Ten-Millennia Palace. The first emperor of the Han dynasty had send emissary here to build temples to consecrate the Saint Wuyi. Construction of this palace started in the Tang dynasty (742-755 AD). Later it was transformed into a Tao temple: Huixian Temple. Expansions in the Song Dynasty and Later Song Dynasty saw further additions to the palace. It was renamed Chongyou Temple.
Main scenic spots are Mt. Wuyi Museum, Sanqing Hall, Dawang Peak, Manting Peak, Lion Peak, Bone-changing Stone, Sangu Stone, replications of Song Dynasty streets, and memorials for the great Chinese intellectual Zhuxi and the great literary figure Liuyong.
Tianyou Peak is situated north of the Fifth and the Sixth Crooks and covers an area of 4 square kilometers. With ever-changing cloud reflections in the water and sun shining through the fog, Tianyou Peak is the No. 1 must-see spot in the Mt. Wuyi area. After rainfalls or when dawn breaks, the ever-shrouding clouds allow only the tip of the mountain to be visible, hence its name Tianyou, which literally means roaming in heaven. The vista from the top changes with the seasons: blooming flowers during spring, dense greeneries during summer months, colorful fall foliage, and the beauty of the clouds in winter.
One-line-sky scenic area
The One-line-sky area is the southernmost area in Mt. Wuyi. It is mainly a grand valley running from east to west. Covering an area of 16 square kilometers, it is also called the Xi Nan scenic area since it is located south of the Nine Crook area. This area is famous for the linear view of the sky from the bottom of the valley. Main scenic spots include the three caves: Ling Cave, Wind Cave, and Fuxi Cave; and the One-Line-Sky view. The Blue Rock and the Pavilion Rock opposite the three caves are also noted for its rugged beauty, steepness and diversified recession structures. The red-colored mountain peaks clustering like a forest, the vertically steep Danxia Redstone, the rare consecutive perforated caves, the longest cross-sectional layer cave, the zigzagging and recessive accumulative caves and various unique topographic structures are nature’s beauty at its best.
Roaring Tiger Scenic Area
Roaring Tiger Peak is one of the 36 famous mountain peaks in Mt.Wuyi. It is very steep and detached from the other peaks around it. The mountain is in the shape of a roaring tiger. Sounds resembling tigers’ roars can be heard every time the wind sweeps through the pine forest. Legend has it that a deity figure rode on a tiger inside the mountain. It usually takes one and a half hour to tour this area. Tours generally circle the Roaring Tiger peak with beautiful scenes around each bend of the rocks.
The water-curtain cave area
Water Curtain Cave is the largest cavern in Wuyi Mountains. Deep valleys form cracks among huge rocks of various shapes and sizes. Creeks and waterfalls run through the cracks. Pine trees, bamboo forests and various flowers abound. The spaces between rocks and the brooks are where the famous Wuyi Rock Tea trees are planted. A dense cluster of these tea trees are scattered in the Nine-Dragon cave, nourished by water from the springs. Wuyi Rock tea is well known all over the world. Some tearooms are located inside the cave.
The Longchuan Grand Canyon at Mt. Wuyi
The Longchuan Grand Canyon is 21 kilometers away from the Mt.Wuyi tour area and 18 kilometers from the core area of the Mt. Wuyi preserve.
This canyon world is a realm of mountain peaks, gardens and waterfalls. There are various species of animals and birds. Ancient trees with giant vines entwined thrusts into the sky. Elegant waterfalls cascade along the rugged surface of the mountains; its silvery curtains bouncing off and reflect the colorful sunlight. The waterfalls give a poetic touch to the picturesque landscape.
Canton Emperor City
Canton Emperor City is located at the southern foot of Mt Wuyi. It is hugged by mountains on four sides and caressed by meandering streams. It is 20 kilometers away from the Mt. Wuyi scenic area and an important part of the Wuyishan world heritage. The Relics of the Canton Emperor City cover an area of four hundred and eighty thousand square meters. There are scenes typical of cities in south China. It was dubbed the “first city for archeologist”in south China. The famous archeologist Henry Clear, sitting on the panel of UN world heritage, declared Canton Emperor City to be of historic value and called it China’s Pompey City. It is a Mecca for both tourists and archeologists for either leisure or scientific research.
Main spots include: the history museum where the canton cultures that spanned thousands of years are on display; the first well of China built for the emperor in Earlier Han Dynasty, and some villages in the Ming and Qing styles. Songs and dances are performed here to showcase the ancient Canton State. Every brick tells a story and every tile sings a song.
The Peachtree Cave scenic area
Well ensconced inside the Sixth Crook of the nine famous crooks, the Peachtree Cave is surrounded by mountains on all four sides. Inside, water flowing under the bridge makes musical footnotes. The Sun-Moon Lagoon and the Setting-free Lagoon stand shoulder to shoulder at the cave. This secluded cave, with green bamboos groves, peach orchards and gurgling springs, reminds one of China’s neverland as imagined by Taoyuan ming. Hence its name, the Taoyuan Cave.
The Peachtree cave covers an area of more than 6000 square meters and consists of the Sanqing Hall, the YuHuang Hall, the Ling Guan Hall and the main gate. Around the flanking wings are the San Huang Yuan Jun Hall, the Warrior Hall, the San guan Hall and the Scripture-storing Hall. Here is an ideal place for Taoism disciples to carry out consecration services and disseminate their religion. In 1995 the administrators of the temple and the Mt Wuyi scenic area cooperated in creating the biggest Saint Laojun sculpture to honor the founder of Taoism.
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I updated this article on November 18, 2012
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