Archive for the ‘Anhui Travel’ Category

Hongcun Village (Tips, Photos & Map)

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021
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Hongcun Village is located at the foot of the southwest side of Mt. Huangshan, only 11kms away from Yixian town, 60km northwest of Huangshan City.

The triangle of Hongcun, Huangshan Mount and Huangshan City ( Goolge)

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 is typical of Huizhou Dwellings, one of the vernacular dwellings in China, which are adapted to the characters of hills and waters there and gave full play to them. Hongcun Village is a village of rivers and lakes, like a Chinese paintingscroll rolling before you.

The village now boasts 158 dwelling houses dating back to the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, nearly 140 are still in good shape. Hongcun Village was added to the list of the World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in late 2000.

Follow me to explore Hongcun Village.

Hongcun Village with hills behind and water in front.

Hongcun is located northward against Leigang Hill and south on the South Lake. The water from the South Lake is distributed through the channels to each household in the village.

Hongcun Village with hills behind and water in front.

Like a Chinese painting scroll rolling before you.

Like a Chinese painting scroll rolling before you.

Fine art students sketching and painting

Fine art students sketching and painting

It’s amazing! Shoot and take it home!

It’s amazing! Shoot and take it home!

Entering the village.

The village now boasts 158 dwelling houses dating back to the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

Enter the village along the bridge.

Still fascinated by the unique structure of the village with streamlets distributed into the village from South Lake.

Still fascinated the unique structure of the village with streamlets distributed into the village.

This family is selling fruits and local snacks.

This family is selling fruits and local snacks.

South Lake Academy (南胡书院)

Also called Yiwen Private School with an area of 6600 square meters. It was built in Jiaqing era of Qing Dynasty (1814).

As a typical Huizhou academy, it consists of Zhidao Hall, Qimeng Hall, Huiwen Hall, Lake Viewing Mansion and Zhi Garden. Zhidao Hall.

Zhidao Hall

Water Channels in the village (宏村水系)

The general channels are 60cm and one meter deep, crossing circuitously through the lanes of the villages from the northwestward to southeastward extending in all directions.

In every dooryard flows a limpid streamlet. Like a blood circulatory system, the channel system stimulates the spiritual and material life of the village.

The channel system plays of the role of washing, fire protection, drainage and adjustment of temperature.

Water Channels in the village

All the streamlets flowing through the channels finally converge on a pond – Moon Pond (月沼) at the center of the village. Washing by the Moon Pool.

Washing by the Moon Pool

Taking wedding photos by the Moon Pool.

Wedding photo taking by the Moon Pool

Huizhou Style Dwellings by the Moon Pool

Huizhou Style Dwellings by the Moon Pool

People, houses, ducks and the pool

People, houses, ducks and the pool

Hills, houses and the Moon Pool

Hills, houses and the Moon Pool

Chengzhi Hall (承志堂)

Built in the fifth year of Xianfeng era of the Qing Dynasty (1855), it covers an area of 2,110 square meters. The main hall is in front and at the back is built with two-storey-bat structure. It consists of a study, shrine, pond, garden, a kitchen, a well and 28 rooms.

The exquisite carving, red columns and golden painted beams make it known as ” a forbidden city in the countryside”.

A narrow lane leading to Chengzhi Hall

A narrow lane leading to Chengzhi Hall

Inside the main gate

Inside the main gate

The two story building at the back

The two story building at the back

Chengzhi Hall

Chengzhi Hall

Exquisitely carved window

Exquisitely carved window

Exquisitely carved columns and beams

Exquisitely carved columns and beams

Bye, Hongcun!

Bye, Hongcun!

Hassle-free Huangshan Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for guided tours to Huangshan:

Huangshan Tour
Huangshan Highlight One Day Group Tour
3 Day Huangshan & Hongcun Village Tour
Beijing Huangshan Hongcun 3 Day Round Trip by High Speed Train
Hangzhou Huangshan Hongcun 3 Day Tour By High – Speed Train
Shanghai Huangshan 3 Day Tour by High Speed Train
Anhui Tour

Further Readings

Best Time to Visit Huangshan
Top 10 Attractions in Huangshan
Where to Stay in Huangshan
My First Day on Mount Huangshan (1)
My First Day on Mount Huangshan (2)
My Second Day on Mount Huangshan (1)
My Second Day on Mount Huangshan (2)
My Third Day on Mount Huangshan
Huangshan Snowy Wonderland
Hongcun Village
She County Photography Tour
Huangshan Travel Blog
Top 10 Attractions in Jiuhuashan
Top 7 Attractions in Anhui

Huangshan Taxi: Huangshan Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Shanghai Huangshan Transportation
How to drive from Huangshan City Center to Huangshan Scenic Area

Any questions, just drop a line.

Top 10 Attractions in Jiuhuashan (Tips, Photos & Map)

Saturday, October 16th, 2021
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Plan your Huangshan tour? You may also consider a side trip from Huangshan to Jiuhuashan (or Mount Jiuhua 九华山). Approximately 190 northwest of Huangshan, Jiuhuashan,  known as “Mount Jiuhua” in English, is famed for its landscape and temples.

Location of Jiuhuanshan Scenic Area

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 northwest of Huangshan City ( 190km by road)

How to Get to Jiuhuashan

Mount Jiuhu 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.

ABC of Jiuhuashan

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.

Jiuhua New District Station (Ticket + Shuttle)

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.

Jiuhuazhen Town ( Stay, Eating & Climbing)

So Jiuhuajie Village (or Jiuhuazhen 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.

How to Visit Jiuhuashan

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)

Where to Stay in Jiuhuashan

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

Add-on

Huangshan Tour
Best Time to Visit Huangshan
Top 10 Attractions in Huangshan
My First Day on Mount Huangshan (1)
My First Day on Mount Huangshan (2)
My Second Day on Mount Huangshan (1)
My Second Day on Mount Huangshan (2)
My Third Day on Mount Huangshan
Hongcun Village
Shexian County (Tips, Photos 7 Map)
Huangshan Travel Blog
Top 10 Attractions in Jiuhuashan
Top 7 Attractions in Anhui
Anhui Tour

Hassle-free China Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for China guided tours:

China Private Tours
China Small Group Tours
China City Tours
China Train Tour
China Yangtze Cruise Tour
China Silk Road Tour

Further Readings


Top 10 Places to Visit in China
10 Fascinating Facts about China
Top 10 Most Essential Things to Pack for China
Plugs and Sockets in China
China Tour Packages
Learning Useful Chinese Phrases for Travellers 
How to Recognise Chinese Currency

Top 10 Travel Experiences in China
10 Most Scenic Drives in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Mountains in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Lakes in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Grasslands in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Rivers in China
Top 10 most beautiful waterfalls in China
Top 10 Places to See Autumn Leaves in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Villages in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful old towns in China
Top 10 Most Beautiful Museums in China
Top 10 China Tourist Scams
Top 10 Souvenirs in China

Any questions, just drop a  line.

My 3rd Day on Mount Huangshan

Saturday, October 16th, 2021
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Today, October 11, is a heavy foggy and drizzle day on the top of Mount Huangshan. We start at 8:0am from Baiyun Hotel for White Gooose Cable Car Station and descend the Mount Huangshan.

People slowly walk on the stone stair steps up and down. In the past two days, these stone steps has allowed us to have extensive views of the oddly-shaped pine trees, Weird Rocks, Sea of Clouds…

So, the stone steps has offered us the ability to hike the steep mountains and look for outstanding scenery and a rugged mountain walking adventure, combining hiking experience with a real physical challenge.

We are not disappointed by the foggy day, since in the past two fine days we have visited the major attractions on the top of Mt. Huangshan under the clear sky.

On the contrary, we are all delighted to see Mt.Huangshan in heavy fog as if we are melting in the ima ginary heaven with low visibility. It is a unique experience hiking on the Huangshan Mountain in a heavy fog.

2km Walk from Beiyun Hotel to Yungu New Cable Car Station

We are now starting the foggy walking up and down to the Yungun New Cable car Station.

We are now starting the foggy walking up and down to the Yungun New Cable car Station.

The porter is following us carrying 4 suitcases. A suitcase is charged at the cost of RMB 100 carrying from Beiyun Hotel to New Yungu Cable Car Station.

The porter is following us carrying 4 suitcases.
We have to climb over the Bright Summit again.
On the way, we meet lot of hikers in defiance of the foggy and drizzle day.
The pine trees in the fog.
Similar to a Chinese painting.
At 10:00am, we take the cable car down to the base of Huangshan in the fog.
A cable car in the mist
Low visibility driving from the base to Tangkou Town
We arrive at Tangkou Town, finding that there is no fog with good visibility.

Hassle-free Huangshan Guided Tours

If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours, here are some options for guided tours to Huangshan:

Huangshan Tour
Huangshan Highlight One Day Group Tour
3 Day Huangshan & Hongcun Village Tour
Beijing Huangshan Hongcun 3 Day Round Trip by High Speed Train
Hangzhou Huangshan Hongcun 3 Day Tour By High – Speed Train
Shanghai Huangshan 3 Day Tour by High Speed Train
Anhui Tour

Further Readings

Best Time to Visit Huangshan
Top 10 Attractions in Huangshan
Where to Stay in Huangshan
My First Day on Mount Huangshan (1)
My First Day on Mount Huangshan (2)
My Second Day on Mount Huangshan (1)
My Second Day on Mount Huangshan (2)
My Third Day on Mount Huangshan
Huangshan Snowy Wonderland
Hongcun Village
She County Photography Tour
Huangshan Travel Blog
Top 10 Attractions in Jiuhuashan
Top 7 Attractions in Anhui

Huangshan Taxi: Huangshan Taxi Fares, Tips and Phones
Shanghai Huangshan Transportation
How to drive from Huangshan City Center to Huangshan Scenic Area

Any questions, just drop a line.