Archive for the ‘Yanan’ Category

Top 10 Attractions in Yan’an

Sunday, June 29th, 2014
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Planning your Shaanxi tour? Beside the historical discovery of Terracotta Warriors in Xian, the capital of Shaanxi Province, Shaanxi also has a decisive place in China’s contemporary history. The cave houses around Yan’an (延安) 360 km north of Xian were Chinese Communist Party’s base for 12 years from 1935 to 1947, leading to the establishment of People’s Republic of China in 1949.

Today numerous domestic groups, mostly middle-aged “red tour tourists”, flock here to  march on the trails trodden by Mao and CCP.  Few foreign tourists would make it their destination. If you are among the few,  my  Top 10 things to do in Yan’an (延安) will be useful planning your own trip to Yanan (延安).

1.  Fenghuangshan Revolution Headquarters Site 凤凰山革命旧址
This is the first headquarters used by CCP when they moved to Yan’an. It is located at the foot of Fenghuang Mountain, one of the well-known mountains in Yan’an. It is about 100 meters west of China Post Office in Yan’an.

From Jan,1937 to Nov, 1938,  Mao Zedong and CCP leaders lived here, the first revolution headquarters in Yan’an. Its move was mainly due to the fact that this place was vulnerable to the air attack. On Nov 20, 1938, Japanese aircrafts bombed the city of Yan’an, caused a serious damage. Later, Mao and other CCP leaders moved  to Yangjialing northwest of downtown Yan’an.

Now it houses a small exhibition displaying the photos and artifacts relating to Doctor Norman Bethune, a Canadian doctor who came to China to take care of the wounded from CCP in 1n 1930s.

Entrance Fee:  Free
Open Hours: 8:00 – 17:00 ( closed on Monday)
Add: 100 meters west of China Post ( 中国邮政) on Beidajie ( North Street ), Baota District, Yan’an.
How to get there
Take Bus 2,3,4,12 and 19.

Fenghuangshan Revolution Headquarters Site

Fenghuangshan Revolution Headquarters Site

2.  Yangjialing Revolution Headquarters Site 杨家岭革命旧址
Yangjialing is the second revolution headquarters site. It is about 3 km northwest of the downtown Yan’an. Yangjialing is a narrow and deep valley packed with trees and it is hard to be detected from the air, a perfect place to house the center organs of CCP.

Yangjialing is the headquarters where Mao and CCP Secretariat lived for the longest time among the 4 revolution sites. They lived and worked here from Nov,1938 to Oct, 1943 when you moved to Zaoyuan, a beautiful and quite place.

Yangjialing Revolution Headquarters Sites is composed of the two parts. The north part is the cave housed built into the loess earth where Mao, Zhou and other Chinese revolutionary leaders lived and worked.  The south is the assemble hall where the central committee meetings were held including the seventh national plenum which confirmed Mao as the leader of the Party.

Entrance Fee:  Free
Open Hours: 8:00 – 17:00 ( closed on Monday)
Tel:  0911-2385511
How to get there
Take Bus 1,3,4,13

Yangjialing Revolution Headquarters Site

Yangjialing Revolution Headquarters Site

3.  Zaoyuan Revolution  Headquarters Site 枣园革命旧址
Zaoyuan literally means” Date Garden”. The site is also known as Yan’an Date Garden, the Site of the Former Offices CCP Secretariat.  Mao and CCP Secretariat moved to Zaoyuan ( Date Garden ) in October,1943. Mao left the Date Date Garden Jan, 1946.

Date Garden, also known as Yan Garden, was the former manor of the Shanbei warlord – Gao Shuangcheng. After Land Reform Revelution, it was confiscated to the people. It was rebuilt and expanded from 1941 and completed in 1943. Over 20 cave houses and bungalow houses were built as well as one auditorium.

Date Garden was the site of the Former Offices CCP Secretariat from 1941 to March 1947. Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhude, Peng Dehuai, Ren Bishi and other top leaders of CCP, moved here from 1943.

From here Date Garden, in August 1945, Chairman Mao started his trip to Chongqing on a peace talk with Chiang Kaishek of the Nationalist Party or Guomingdang. In June 1946, Guomingdang waged a full civil war. In March 1947, the CCP Secretariat evacated from Yan’an after Guomingdang army attacked Yan’an. From then on, the CCP army went on a mobile fight till the founding of People’ Republic of China on Oct 01, 1949.

The Date Garden is located 8km in the northwest of Yan’an. You take Bus 8 and 13. Date Garden is free of charge. Tel: 0911-2852117.

Zaoyuan Revolution Headquarters Site

Zaoyuan Revolution Headquarters Site

4. Wangjiaping Revolution Headquarters Site 王家坪革命旧址
Wangjiaping literally means “The high land of Wangs’Family”, a place that used to the site of Central Military Committee and the headquarter of Eighteenth Group Army between 1937 and 1947. Chairman Mao Zedong, the top Chinese leader Zude, Zhou Enlai, Peng Dehuai and etc, once also lived in Wangjiaping. This was Mao’s  fourth residential place in Yan’an.

In Wangjiaping, the Military Commitee of the Party Central Committee and the Headquarters of the 8th Route Army led the army and the people in the liberated area in the eight year’s fight against the Japanese invasion.

On March 18, 1947, Chairman Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai led the Military Committee and the departmeents of the Headquarters, and retreated from Yan’an upon the attacks on Yan’an by the KMT armed forces, numbering no more than 230,000.

Entrance Fee:  Free
Open Hours: 8:00 – 17:00 ( closed on Monday)
How to get there
Take Bus 1 and 8
Tel:0911—2335979

Wangjiaping Revolution Headquarters Site

Wangjiaping Revolution Headquarters Site

5.  Yan’an Revolution Memorial Hall 延安革命纪念馆
The memorial hall is located not far from Wangjiaping Revolution Headquarters Site. The building of the memorial hall is the most impressive in Yan’an.

The memorial hall has an exhibition area of over 4000 square meters with 2000 artifacts on display, supplemented by models, oil paintings, sculptures and replica scenes. Modern technology of sound and light is also used to enhance the motiong effects.

In the middle of the square in front of the memorial hall stands the copper statue of Mao Zedong.

Entrance Fee:  Free
Open Hours: 8:00 – 18:00 ( closed on Monday)
Add: East Bank of Baota District, Yan’an 延安市宝塔区延河东岸
Tel: 0911-21382610
How to get there
Take Bus 1,3,7,8, 12 and 13

6. Treasure Pagoda ( Baota Pagoda ) 宝塔山
This is the most prominent landmark of Yan’an. The pagoda stands atop the same name maintain – Treasure Pagoda Mountain.  The Treasure Pagoda is one of the few paid attractions in Yan’an.

The Treasure Pagoda Hill is 113.5 meters high and the pagoda was built in Tang Dynasty and the present pagoda was rebuilt in Ming Dynasty. The pagoda is octogonal in shape, 44 meters high, made of wood and bricks with 9 stories.

You are able to ascend the pagoda and have a high view of the city of Yan’an.

Entrance Fee:  RMB 65; Access to the Pagoda: extra RMB 10
Open Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
Tel: 0911-2113735
How to get there
Take Bus 1, 5 and 18

 Treasure Pagoda ( Baota Pagoda )

Treasure Pagoda ( Baota Pagoda )

7. Qingliang Mountain 清凉山
Qingliangshan or Qingliang Mountain is opposite to Fenghuang Mountain and Treasure Pagoda Mountain across Yanhe River. It stands on the northern bank of Yanhe River.

Numerous stone carved Buddhist statues are scattered on the hillsides of Qingliang Mountain. Many of the caves are well preserved from Sui,Tang through Qing dynasties.  Qingliangshan is also the birthplace of CCP’s newspaper and press like Xinhua News Agency, Xinhua Radio and Liberation Daily.

Entrance Fee:  RMB 31
Open Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
Tel: 0911-2112719
How to get there
Take Bus 1, 8 and 11

Qingliang Mountain

Qingliang Mountain

8. Yan’an Press Museum 延安新闻纪念馆
Yan’an Press Museum is located on the south foot of Qingliang Mountain,  a base for China’s Media. Many well-known China’s media came from here like Xinhua News Agency, Liberation Daily, Xinhua Radio Station, China Central Printing Factory,  and Xinhua Book Stores.

The memorial hall has an exhibition area of 1580 square meters. It is built in the shape of a cave house, indicating the CCP’ press originated from the simple and basic cave houses in Yan’an. The memorial hall is composed of 4 exhibition rooms with over 180 artifacts including photos, documents  and various kids of maps and charters.

Entrance Fee:  RMB 40
Open Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
Tel: 0911-2112719
How to get there
Take Bus 1, 8 and 11

Yan'an Press Museum

Yan’an Press Museum

9. Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts  鲁迅艺术文学院
The former Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts is located 5 km northeast of Yan’an’s city center.  The academy was established April 10, 1938. After 1945, the academy was moved to Sheyang, now the capital city of Liaoning Province in Northeast China.

Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts was established on the church built by a Spanish priest. over 50 stone cave houses were also constructed around the church. The church was served as the auditorium  of the academy.

In the 7 and half years from April, 1938 to Nov, 1945, Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts raised 685 students  – 197 Chinese literature,  179 opera,  192 music and 147  fine arts.  Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts is the first comprehensive academy of fine arts operated by CCP.

Entrance Fee:  RMB 30
Open Hours: 8:00 – 18:00
Add: Qiaoergou,north of Yan’an downtown 延安市城北桥儿沟
How to get there
Take Bus 4

Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts

Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts

10. Yan’an’s Luochuan National Loess Geopark  国家黄土地质公园
Luochuan National Loess Geopark is located Heimugou, south of Luochuan County, about 135 km south of Yan’an’s city center. So the Geopark is located within Luochuan County under the administration of Yan’an.

Luochuan National Geopark has an area of 5.9 square km. The Geopark features the loess sections and loess landscape to display the loess in Shaanxi. This is the place to explore and research the loess in China and even in Eurasia.

Entrance Fee:  RMB 25
Open Hours: 8:00 – 17:00
Add: 135 south of Yan’an’s city center and 198km north of Xian.
How to get there
Daily buses either from Yan’an and Xian to Luochuan, where you connect the local bus or taxi to the geopark.

Yan'an's Luochuan National Loess Geopark

Yan’an’s Luochuan National Loess Geopark

 

How to get to Yan’an 
The city of Yan’an can be easily reached from Beijing and Xian. There are daily trains going from Beijing and Xian. Yan’an also has an airport connecting the major cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Daily Buses go to Yan’an from Xian.

 Add on:

1Visit Hukou Waterfall from Yan’an. 

2. John Paton Davies & Dixie Mission to Yan’an

Any questions, just drop a line.

Yaodong Cave Dwellings in Yan’an

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012
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When you visit Yan’an, a revolutionary holy place in China and a cradle of Chinese civilization, you are still able to find a great number of caves houses, popularly called “Yaodong” in Chinese. The city proper of Yan’an is located about 400km north of Xian. But Yan’an has a large administration area inclding one district and 12 counties. Hukou Waterfalls and Huangdi Mausoleum are also under the administration of Yan’an.
 
These loess cave dwellings are one of the four traditional Chinese dwellings including Tulou ( earth houses, common in Fujian Province), Yaodong ( Cave Abodes, on the loess in the Northwest China), Ganlan ( a wood or bamboo storied house common in Guizhou, Guangdong and Guangxi) and Yikeyin (Seal-like Compound in popular Yunnan Province).
 
Yaodong, or cave residences are mainly divided into three categories – earth cave houses, brick cave houses and stone cave houses. Some of them are carved into hillsides and others are just dugouts.
 
Generally one standard cave house is 7-8m deep, 3m high and 3m wide. Some cave houses are dug as deep as 20m. One family usually have 3 or 5 caves houses which form a courtyard. Most of the cave house courtyards are built at the foot of a hill facing the sun. Above the cave dwellings are ofen planted with trees and flowers.
 
Yaodongs have the advantage of being cool in summer and warm in winter; both fire-proof and sound-proof; economic both in land and labour. Yaodongs are most popular in northen Shaanxi Province (Shaanbei) including Yan’an.
 
Most of the cave dwellings hosts are very kind and friendly to visitors. You may stop for a chat and picture taking when you pass by a cave residential courtyard.  
 
An earth cave house courtyard 

An earth cave house courtyard

 
A stone cave dwelling courtyard with a dog gate keeper 

A stone cave dwelling coutyard with a dog gate keeper

 
Chairman Mao (Mao Zedong) moved here and stayed in the cave house at Date Garden in Yan’an from Oct, 1943 to Dec, 1945.  

Chairman Mao (Mao Zedong) stayed in the Yaodong courtyard in Yan'an.

 
Today, cave dwellings are still available in the city center of Yan’an. 

Today, cave dwelling are still available in the city center of Yan'an

Any questions about the cave houses in Yan’an, please drop a line.

How to Visit Hukou Waterfalls

Monday, February 20th, 2012
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Plan your China tour? Hukou Falls at Yellow River is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in China and the largest yellow waterfalls in the world.

Do you have a fancy idea of visiting this magnificent waterfalls? Yes, years ago its awkward location did drive away many travelers since it is located in the middle reaches of Yellow River in the Loess Plateau hinterlands between Shaanxi Province and Shanxi Province.

But after the local governments improved transport and tourist facilities, foreign and domestic tourists coming to Hukou Waterfalls have increased greatly year on year. Then how to visit Hukou Waterfalls?

Hukou Waterfalls can be viewed either from Shaanxi Province side (Xian as its capital city) or Shanxi Province side ( Taiyuan as its capital city ) since Yellow River is a border river dividing Shaanxi Province and Shanxi Province.

The visitors viewing on the Hukou Waterfalls Shaanxi side has outnumbered those on Shanxi side. The viewing place on Shaanxi side is lower than Shanxi side, which makes the waterfalls looks much more magnificent than viewed from Shanxi side.

Best Time to View Hukou Fallstips-1-3
The best time to visit Hukou Waterfalls is May, June, September and October. July and August are a little to hot and humid.

Winter season finds less water volume on the Yellow River, reducing the greatness of the waterfalls. The ice and snow at Hukou Waterfalls will be melted totally in May.

But visiting Hukou Waterfalls in winter has its unique features which you cannot enjoy in the high or best season. You will see ice pendants and a whitened iced river itself.

How to Get to Hukou Falls?
Xian, Taiyuan and Yanan are the three most accessible cities to start up your trip to Hukou Waterfalls.

1. Going from Xian to Hukou Waterfalls

Choice A: Two Daily Buses from Xian directly to Hukou Falls
Note: The direct buses are possibly closed in winter due to the lack of tourists.
Bus Station in Xian: Xian Cheng Dong Bus Station ( 西安城东汽车站)
Two Departures: 8:00 am and 1:20 pm ( To)
12:00 and 5:00 pm ( Back )
Bus fare: 114 yuan + 2.5 yuan insurance fee
Drive Time: 5 hours ( 340 km )
Bus Station Add: 103 Mid-Changle Rd, Xian  西安市长乐中路103号
Tel::029-83460000

Choice B: Going from Xian to Yi Chuan by Bus + Local Mini-Bus to Hukou Falls
If you miss the direct buses from Xian to Hukou Falls, you may first take the bus from Xian Dong Cheng Bus Station to Yi Chuan (宜川), then connect the local minibus to Hukou Falls.  Hukou Falls is about 41 km to the east of Yi Chuan County .

There are 8 daily buses running from Xian Dong Cheng Bus Station to Yichuan County and 4 daily buses back. From Xian, first bus at 8:00am and last bus at 3:20pm; back from Yichuan, there are 4 buses starting at 6:00am, 8:30 am; 11:40am and 5:40:pm.

As for the public transport between Yi Chuan and Hukou Falls,  you may share the local mini-bus: 30 yuan per person 41 km).

2. Going from Yan’an to  Hukou Waterfalls
Hukou Waterfalls is located about 140km in the southeast of Yanan (Hukou Waterfalls is under the administration of Yanan).  Yanan has plentiful trains going to Beijing, Taiyuan and Xian. Yanan also has a medium-sized airport which has flights for Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and etc.

Choice A: Two Daily Buses from Yan’an directly to Hukou Falls
Note: The direct buses are possibly closed in winter due to the lack of tourists.
Bus Station in Yan’an: Yan’an South Bus Station ( 延安汽车南站)
Two Departures: 7:30 am and 8:20 am ( To)
12:00 and 2:00 pm ( Back )
Drive Time: 2 and half hours ( 140 km )
Yan’an South Bus Station:  located about 300 meters north of Yan’an Railway Station.
Hotline: 0911-2491167, 0911-2492777

Choice B: Going from Yan’an to Yi Chuan by Bus + Local Mini-Bus to Hukou Falls
If you miss the direct buses from Yan’an to Hukou Falls, you may first take the bus from Yan’an South Bus Station to Yi Chuan (宜川), then connect the local minibus to Hukou Falls.  Hukou Falls is about 41 km to the east of Yi Chuan County.

There are 8 daily buses from Yan’an South Bus Station ( 延安南站) to Yi Chuan listed below:
Departures: 6:00, 6:30, 10:05, 12:10, 12:20, 12:40, 17:30, and 18:00
Bus fare: around 44 yuan
Bus Ride: over 2 hours ( 120 km )
Yan’an South Bus Station:  located about 300 meters north of Yan’an Railway Station.
Hoteline: 0911-2491167, 0911-2492777

As for the public transport between Yi Chuan and Hukou Falls,  you may share the local mini-bus: 30 yuan per person 41 km).

3. Going from Taiyuan to Hukou Waterfalls
You may take a bus and drive from Taiyuan to Hukou Waterfalls at a distance of about 400km. The Taiyuan-Hukou Waterfalls highway is completed.

Today I make a side trip to Hukou Waterfalls from Yanan. Follow me into the wonderland of Hukou Waterfalls!

Yesterday I took the overnight train Z53 starting from Beijing Western Railway Station at 20:03. All the cars in the train offer soft sleepers, clean and comfortable. The Z53 arrives at 5:03 early in the morning. Losing no time, I hire a taxi (about 500 yuan for a day to Hukou Falls) hunting for business at the train station and directly dart for Hukou Waterfalls though it is still quite dark outside.

We (me and my taxi driver) take a short cut – a provincial highway No.303 with a length of 140km from Yanan city center to Hukou Waterfalls. We are driving on the loess plateau at the direction of southeast. I hope we can have the luck to enjoy a sunrise over the loess plateau. It seems today the good luck is sure to follow us! Driving on the high loess hills, we hit a red rising sun! Cool!

A sunrise over the loess plateau at 7:30am

A sunrise over the loess plateau


With even a greater expectation to see a sunrise over Yellow River, I elbow my driver to drive a little faster to the edge of the mother river.
Oh, my god! We make it! Here is the melting radiant sunrise over Yellow River.

Here is the melting radiant sunrise over Yellow River

When we get to the tickting office of Hukou Waterfalls on Shaanxi side, we feel dropped from heaven to hell when we are told that Hukou Waterfalls is forbidden to visit due to treacherous ice surface on the river.

Seeing I look so depressed, they show their sympathy and tell us to go to Shanxi side (their competitor) to view the waterfalls.

Heaven never seals off all exits! We continue to drive another 7km crossing a bridge spanning Yellow River and get to the Hukou Waterfalls on Shanxi side. Paying entrance RMB91 enables me to come closer to the waterfalls which has been lingering in my heart for many years.

Entrance ticket for Hukou Waterfalls RMB91

The picture below is taken from the bridge when we drive past the bridge to Shanxi side. You see, most of the river surface is frozen and the flowing water is running under the iced river surface.

The flowing water is running under the iced river surface.

the flowing water is running under the iced river surface.

Unlike a normal waterfalls hanging high and easy for people to look up. But in the case of Hukou Waterfalls, people have to look down! Hukou waterfalls is located in the middle of the over-200m-wide river.

The waterfalls’s velocity increases, and then plunges over a narrow opening on a cliff on the river bed, forming a waterfall 15m high and 20m wide, as if water is pouring down from a huge teapot, hence the name Hukou (literally, the mouth of teapot) Waterfall.

I walk across the iced river along the cement bridges to the a narrow opening on a cliff on the river bed in the middle of the wide river. From the river bank, it is difficult to discern the waterfalls!

From the river bank, it is difficult to discern the waterfalls!

I walk carefully and move closer to a protection rope line. After finding a good viewing point, I snap some pictures of the waterfalls producing masses of smoke, turning the placid water into rapids with ice pendants on two sides.

 

the waterfalls stirring up masses of smoke, turning the placid water into rapids

I’m the only visitor on Hukou Waterfalls at the moment. A local staff comes to me saying if I pay extra RMB21, I’m able to view the waterfalls from its bottom!

They have dug a tunnel leading to the bottom of the waterfalls! Jesus! Sure I’m ready to pay and follow him walk down the tunnel.

 

Follow him walk down the tunnel

Now I’m almost on the same level of the river bed of the running water under the waterfalls. From there, I look up at the waterfalls!

In the sunshine, the mist is reflected by sunlight to create a rainbow spanning the water like a colorful bridge!

 

The mist is reflected by sunlight to create a rainbow spanning the water like a colorful bridge!

Tip: Hassle-free Xian 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 Xian guided tours:

Xian City Day Tour from US$69
Xian Terracotta Warriors Day Tour A from US$85
Terracotta Army and Song of Everlasting Performance from US$135

Xian 2 Day Tour Package from US$170 p/p
Xian 3 Day Tour Package from US$235 p/p

Terracotta Army  Join-in Escorted Bus Tour RMB 480 p/p
Terracotta Army  Escorted Private Tour  US$ $125 P/P

Further Readings


Beijing Xian High Speed Train Experience
Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Tips for Visiting Muslim Quarter in Xian
Tips for Visiting Xian City Wall
Tips for Visiting Shaanxi History Museum
Tips for Visiting Xian Bell Tower
How Visit Terracotta Army
How to Visit Daming Palace National Heritage Park
Top 10 Photography Spots in Xian
The Night View of Great Tang All Day Mall
Tips for Visiting Hanyang Tombs Xian
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow Show in Xian
Tips for Visiting Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Tips for Visiting Huaqing Hot Springs in Xian
How to Visit Mount Huashan
Top 10 Hostels in Xian
Best Time to Visit Xian

Any questions, just drop a line.