Archive for the ‘Jiuhuashan Travel’ Category

Top 7 Attractions in Anhui

Friday, January 1st, 2016
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Plan your Anhui tour? Abutting Jiangsu to the east, Zhejiang to the southeast, Jiangxi to the south,  Anhui is a low-profile province in the east region of China with Hefei as its capital city.

The Yangtze River and Huai River cross Anhui Province from the west to the east, geographically bisecting the province into two parts – the northern Anhui ( north of Yangtze River ) and the southern Anhui (south of Yangtze ).

Topographically the northern Anhui is part of the North China Plain and part of the Huai River Watershed as well, both flat and densely populated while the southern Anhui features rugged hills and ranges winding through the southeastern Anhui.

Anhui’s cultural and historical sights are mainly scattered in the south and southeast regions, represented by the Huizhou-type villages, white-washed walls and back-tiled roofs, and the mountainscapes of Huangshan.

150 km southwest of Huangshan, Jiuhushan is noted for its unworldliness and tranquility. Anhui’s green mountains and the bucolic life in the countrysides are a great escape from the hustle and bustle of China’s bigger cities.

I’ve rounded up the 7 top attractions in Anhui for your perusal while planning your own trip to Anhui.

1. Mount Huangshan 黄山
Mt. Mountain is world famous for its beautiful landscape – sunrise, sunset, granite peaks, pine trees, and the other-worldly sea of the clouds. Also much of Mt. Huangshan’s reputation comes from its significant impact on Chinese art, literature and profound cultural resources.

Huangshan

Huangshan

The World Heritage Committee of UNESCO put Mt. Huangshan on the list of World Natural and Cultural Heritage in 1990. Mount Huangshan was named the “sister mountain” of Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps. See Top 10 Attractions in Huangshan. 

2. Tunxi Old Street  屯溪老街
Tunxi is the old town, the city core of Huangshan which is named after Mount Huangshan. The attractions in Tunxi include Laojie (Old Street), a souvenir street lined with wooden shops and Ming-style Huizhou buildings.

Tunxi Old Street

Tunxi Old Street

Wancuilou on the Laojie offers an in-depth look at Huizhou architecture, furniture and antiques. Duck into the side alleys for a glimpse of the bona fide slice of the local life.

3. Hongcun Village 宏村   
Hongcun Village is located at the foot of the southwest side of Mt. Huangshan, only 11kms away from Yixian town, 60km west of Tunxi, Huangshan.

The whole village is like a buffalo lying on its side surrounded by green hills and blue water with dwelling houses its “body”, South Lake its “belly”, Moon Pool its “stomach”, Leigang Hill the “head”, two huge trees the “horns”, a winding stream as the “intestines” and the four bridges as the “four feet”.

Hongcun Village

Hongcun Village

Hongcun Village is typical of Huizhou Dwellings, one of the vernacular dwellings in China, which are adapted to the characters of hills and waters there. Hongcun Village was added to the list of the World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in late 2000.

4. Xidi Village 西递村
Located 18 km south of Hingcun Village, Xidi Village is also part of the  World Cultural Heritage along with Hongcun Village.

It is the perfect place for visitors to see typical folk houses, where residents have lived as they have for centuries. It gives visitors the rare opportunity to explore China’s ancient culture and arts.

Xidi Village

Xidi Village

Wandering along this ancient village, you will find traditional Hui-style houses, ancestral temples, academies of classical learning,  stone archways, white walls and grey tiles, beautifully painted windows, projecting horse-head walls, and stone slab bridges.

4. Chengkan Town 呈坎镇
Chengkan Town is located about 30 km north of Tunxi, the center of Huangshan City and at the south base of Mount Huangshan.

Chengkan is a tranquil and bucolic place different from the busy and crowded Shen County or the Hui-type villages in the west – Hongcun Village and Xidi Village. Here in Chengkan, you are able to get a glimpse of an authentic piece of countryside life.

Chengkan Town

Chengkan Town

Ringed by lush mountains and cut through by placid rivers, Chengkan has over 100 well-preserved buildings of Ming and Qing Dynasty that feature various styles – pavilions, terraces, towers, bridges, wells, ancestral halls and residential buildings.

These buildings epitomize the Huizhou dwellings, one of the vernacular dwellings in China, which are adapted to the characters of hills and waters. 

5. Jiuhuashan 九华山   
Approximately 150 northwest of Huangshan, Jiuhuashan,  known as “Mount Jiuhua” in English, is famed for its landscape and temples. It is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China.It is the earthly abode of the Bodhisattva Dizang Kshitigarbha ( Guardian  of the Underworld). The other three sacred mountains are Putuoshan, Wutaishan and Emeishan.

Jiuhuashan

Jiuhuashan

Jiuhuashanliterally means “Nine Lotus Flower Peaks” named after the nine tallest peaks of the 99 peaks in Jiuhuashan area. Jiuhuashan’s Buddhism boomed during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong in Tang Dynasty.

Today there are still over 90 temples well preserved with 9 temples crowned as National Key temples. There are 600 monks and nuns living in these temples.   See Top 10 Attractions in Jiuhuashan.

6. Mount Qiyun (Qiyunshan) 齐云山
Mount Qiyun is located about 33 km to the northwest of Huangshan City, about 40 minutes’ drive from Tunxi .
It is noted as one of the Four Sacred Mountains of Taoism, home to numerous temples and monasteries.

Mount Qiyun

Mount Qiyun

There are some hiking trails with stunning views and the highest point of the mountain rises to 585 meters. A charming village – Qiyun Village is perched in the middle of the mountain range. Some white-washed houses are dotted on the slope with a range of eateries and restaurants and stalls for souvenirs and local products.

7. Shexian Old Town (She County )  歙县老城
There are some hiking trails with stunning views and the highest point of the mountain rises to 585 meters. A charming village – Qiyun Village is perched in the middle of the mountain range.

Some white-washed houses are dotted on the slope with a range of eateries and restaurants and stalls for souvenirs and local products.

Shexian Old Town

Shexian Old Town

She County is representative of Hui Culture, the cradle of Peiking Opera. Shexian County (She County) is the original area of Hui merchants. She County is the main production area for the Ink and ink stone, the two treasures of the four treasures of the study.

She County is also nicknamed “the county of Paifang”. Paifang is also called “pailou’, a traditional Chinese architectural archway.

Add-on:

Anhui Tour
Top 10 Attractions in Huangshan
Top 10 Attractions in Jiuhuashan
Huangshan Travel Blog
Huangshan Tour

Any questions,  just drop a line.

Top 10 Attractions in Jiuhuashan

Friday, July 4th, 2014
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Plan your Huangshan tour? You may also consider a side trip from Huangshan to Jiuhuashan (九华山). Approximately 150 northwest of Huangshan, Jiuhuashan,  known as “Mount Jiuhua” in English, is famed for its landscape and temples. It is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China. It is the earthly abode of the Bodhisattva Dizang Kshitigarbha ( Guardian  of the Underworld). The other three sacred mountains are Putuoshan, Wutaishan and Emeishan.

Jiuhuashan is located in Qingyang County, Chizhou, Anhui Province, about 490 km west of Shanghai. Jiuhuashan is easily accessible by road, train and even flight. You may take long-distance buses directly from Huangshan, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Tongling and Heifei. You can reach Jiuhuashan by train via Chizhou ( 50km northwest of Jiuhuashan) from Shanghai, Nanjing.  Jiuhuashan Airport at Chizhou ( 50km northwest of Jiuhuashan) allows you to enter Jiuhuashan conveniently by air from Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou etc.

Jiuhuashan literally means “Nine Lotus Flower Peaks” named after the nine tallest peaks of the 99 peaks in Jiuhuashan area. Jiuhuashan’s Buddhism boomed during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong in  Tang Dynasty. Today there are still over 90 temples well preserved with 9 temples crowned as National Key temples. There are 600 monks and nuns living in these temples.

No matter in whatever  tools of transportation you use to enter Jiuhuashan, all the buses or cars stop at Jiuhua New District Station where you buy your entrance tickets to Jiuhuashan from the tourist center: RMB 190 ( summer ) and RMB 140 ( winter ). Your entrance tickets are valid for 3 days. In addition, you need to purchase your return shuttle bus tickets from the Jiuhua New District Station to Jiuhuajie Village (Town) (九华街), a 20-minute bus ride ( RMB 50) every 30 minutes. Basically it takes two days to explore the highlights in Jiuhuashan and your entrance ticket is valid for three days.

So Jiuhuajie Village (Town) (九华街) is your starting point to ascend Mount Jiuhua. Jiuhuajie Village is situated at about half way up the mountain.  your shuttle bus stops at the Gate to the village. Furong Road is the main street in the village lined with hotels and restaurants. As you march on, you will soon see the square on the street.

There are numerous hotels and restaurants around the square and the main street Furong Street (芙蓉街). You have a large choice of hotels ranging from 2 or 3 star hotels, guesthouses and dorms. Prices go up during weekends and holidays.  Budget guesthouses could be found on Jiuhua Old Street.

There are three cable stations namely, Phoenix Pine Cable Station, Baisuigong Cable Station and Huatai Cable Station. Most travelers would choose Phoenix Pine Cable Station which allows you go up to Tian Tai Peak. The Phoenix Pine Station is about 7.5 km away from the starting point at the Gate to Jiuhuajie Village. You need to take the shuttle buses from the gate to the station ( the bus fares are included in your entrance tickets, but you need to buy cable car tickets.  Baisuigong Cable Car Station is within Jiuhuajie Village (Town).

Phoenix Pine Cable Car Station Fare (1350 meters and 476 meters fall):
Up the mountain: RMB 55 ( summer ); down the mountain: RMB 50 ( summer)
Up the mountain: RMB 40 ( winter ); down the mountain: RMB 35 ( winter)

Baisuigong Cable Station (452 meters long and 223 meters drop )
Up the mountain: RMB 40 ( summer ); down the mountain: RMB 35 ( summer)
Up the mountain: RMB 35 ( winter ); down the mountain: RMB 30 ( winter)

There are numerous hotels and restaurants around the square and the main street Furong Street (芙蓉街). You have a large choice of hotels ranging from 2 or 3 star hotels, guesthouses and dorms. Prices go up during weekends and holidays.  Budget guesthouses could be found on Jiuhua Old Street.

Jiulong Hotel (聚龙大酒店):  0566-2831368  Furong Road, Jiuhuajie Village
Shangketang Hotel (上客堂): 0566-2833888 Furong Road, Jiuhuajie Village
Longquan Hotel (龙泉饭店): 0566-3288888 Furong Road,  Jiuhuajie Village

I’ve rounded up the top 10 attractions in Jiuhuashan in an attempt to help you plan your own trip.

1. Jiuhuajie Village ( Town) 九华街 
Jiuhuajie is nestled in the basin at the altitude of 640 meters surrounded by the mountains in all sides with an  area of 4 square km,  a core of Jiuhuashan Scenic Area.  It is a dispatch hub  for tourists and pilgrims.

The development of the village ( now like  a town ) goes back to the year of 401 AC  when the famous Monk named Huaidu built a temple below the Furong Hill, thus starting the Buddhist activities in Jiuhuashan. There are many temples and old building in Jiuhuajie Town. A big number of makeshift, shabby and ugly buildings have been turned down recently to restore the original appearance of the old the village.

You are encouraged to stay overnight in Jiuhuashan. Jiuhuajie Town is definitely your ideal place to settle down.  Furong Road is the main street in the village lined with hotels and restaurants.

Jiuhuajie Village ( Town )

Jiuhuajie Village ( Town )

2. Huacheng Temple 化城寺
Huacheng  Temple is the earliest temple in Jiuhuashan. It is located at the foot of Furong Hill in the center of Jiuhuajie Town. Huacheng Temple dates back to the year of 401 when a monk named Huaidu built a temple on this place. In Tang Dynasty the temple was named Huacheng Temple.

Huacheng Temple is the largest and most elaborate temple in the town.  It is a four-courtyard temple starting the entrance gate, Mahavira Hall, Back Hall and sutra depository building.

Huacheng Temple

Huacheng Temple

3. The Incarnation Hall ( Embalmed Body Hall ) 肉身宝殿
This is the place where  the embalmed body of a Korean monk named Jin Qiaojue  is buried. In 719,  the monk Jin Qiaojue came to Jiuhuashan to practice Buddhism. After his Nirvana 794, Jinqiaojue was recognized as Bohdisattva  Bodhisattva Dizang Kshitigarbha ( Guardian  of the Underworld).  Such this place is respected as the abode of Bohdisattva  Bodhisattva Dizang, attracting numerous pilgrims every year.

The Incarnation Hall is the most sacred and the highlight place in Jiuhuashan.  Bohdisattva  Dizang’s birthday falls the lunar July 30 each year when huge crowds of pilgrims will flock here to pray and pay tribute to his birthday.

The Incarnation Hall ( Embalmed Body Hall )

The Incarnation Hall ( Embalmed Body Hall )

4. Shantan Temple 旃檀禅林
Shantan Temple is located in the center of Jiuhuajie Town, southwest of Huacheng Temple. Some of its construction wood is sandalwood, hence the name of Shantan Temple. Shantan literally means “sandalwood”.  Some pillars of the temple smell of the odor of sandalwood.

Shantan Temple is composed of 4 hall-typed rooms,  a palace-typed Mahavira Hall along the middle axis. On the east side is the monks’ and  lay Buddhists’s living rooms. This temple was built in the later 19th century.

Shantan Temple

Shantan Temple

5.Tiantai Temple天台寺
Tiantai Temple is the highest temple in Jiuhuashan. It stands atop the summit of Tiantai Peak at the altitude of 1306 meters. Tiantai Temple is a must visit place for every pilgrim coming to Jiuhuashan, so Tiantai Peak is often reputed as the main peak in Jiuhuashan. The temple is composed of three group of halls and palaces.

Tiantai Temple is also an ideal place to view the sunrise and sunset.  It takes about 4 hours’ walk along the stone steps to get to the top. Or you may take the cable car from Phoenix Pine Station and up to the upper station. You still have to climb one kilometer to reach the summit of Tiantan when you get off at the cable car.

Tiantai Temple

Tiantai Temple

6. Baisui Gong ( Temple ) 百岁宫
Baisuigong Temple was originated during the reign of Emperor Wanli in Ming Dynasty. A monk known as Wuxia traveled Jiuhuashan. He settled down and lived on wild fruits. He spent 20 years by using his own tongue blood and yellow color power finishing the copy of Buddhist sutra, totaling 81 rolls which are kept intact, a National first class relics.

In 1623 Monk Wuxia passed away at the age of 11o, known as One Hundred Monk. Later his body was embalmed with gold power and enshrined, hence the name of Baisuigong,  literally, One Hundred Monk Palace  (Temple ).  This temple attracts a great number of visitors and pilgrims. You may take the Baisuigong Cable car from Zhiyuan Temple Station and walk one hour up to Baisuigong Temple.

Baisui Gong ( Temple )

Baisui Gong ( Temple )

7. Zhiyuan Temple 祗园寺
Entering the main entrance to Jiuhuajie Town, soon on your left side, you will see a yellow building where many worshippers are holding sticks of incense to their foreheads, that is Zhiyuan Temple.

Zhiyuan Temple is as famous as Huacheng  Temple, Incarnation Hall Temple, Shantan Temple and Baisuigong Temple in Jiuhuajie Town. Zhiyuan Temple is famed for its elaborate and ornate architecture. Jiuhua Buddhism Association is located inside the temple.  By the temple is the Baisuigong Cable Car Station up to Baisuigong Temple.

Zhiyuan Temple

Zhiyuan Temple

8. Longchi Nunnery 龙池庵
Longchi Nunnery is located on the northern bank of Longchi Ravine at Jiuhua North Road in Jiuhuajie Town, about 4km north of the town center. This nunnery was first built in Tang Dynasty and inhabited  by a poetic nun known ad Shenying.

The nunnery we see today is rebuilt in 1987 with a construction area of 950 square meters.  The present abbot is Niguoman.

Longchi Nunnery

Longchi Nunnery

9. Longchi Waterfall 龙池瀑布
Longchi Waterfall is located northeast of Longchi Nunnery and southeast of Ganlu Temple, about 7 km north of Jiuhuajie Town. Longchi Waterfall is over 10 meters fall. The waterfall is caused by Longqi Ravine on its way down from the zigzag deep valley.

Longchi Waterfall is an interesting natural scenic spot in Jiuhuashan and worth exploring for a while.

Longchi Waterfall

Longchi Waterfall

10. Ganlu Temple 甘露寺
Ganlu Temple is  located on the hillside of Banshan at Jiuhuashan North Road, about 7 km north of Jiuhuajie Town. The temple was built in 1667 with Qing Dynasty-style architectures. It was said that on the night before building the temple people had found all the pine trees coated with dews, hence then name for the temple Ganlu Temple, literally sweet  dews.

It is one of the four major temples in Jiuhuashan, a National key temples. The Jiuhuashan Buddhism Academy is located inside the temple. The temple is built on the shape of the hillside with a construction area of 3500 square meters.

Ganlu Temple

Ganlu Temple

Any questions,  just drop a line.