Archive for the ‘Yan’an Travel’ Category

Top 10 Attractions in Yan’an

Sunday, June 29th, 2014
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

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.

John Paton Davies & Dixie Mission to Yan’an

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Today, April 4 is Qingming Festival, a traditional Chinese festival that is an opportunity for people to remember those who passed away ( relatives, friends, important personages…). On this special day, I’d like to dedicate my today’s humble blog post to John Paton Davies, Jr (6 Apr. 1908 – 23 Dec. 1999).

Why John Paton Davies? Actually two days ago I knew little about him. But today I’m all John Paton Davies! Empowered by internet, I’ve read plentiful articles and documents regarding John Paton Davies, a leading American diplomat who was among the “old China hands” driven from the State Department after Senator Joseph McCarthy questioned their loyalty and labeled them Communist sympathizers in the 1950’s.

My great interest in John Paton Davies was aroused by an email sent by Tiki Davies, John Paton Davies’s daughter. In her email, Tiki Davies kindly pointed out the wrong picture of her father I had posted in my blog titled Wangjiaping, a former revolutionary site in Yan’an. She went on to say she could send me the original picture of her father with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai. And she did! Below is the precious photo she has sent to me!

This is the photo sent by Tiki Davies (Left to Right – Zhou Enlai, Zude, JPD, Mao Zedong and Ye Jianying).

This is the photo sent by Tiki Davies (Left to Right – Zhou Enlai, Zude, JPD, Mao Zedong and Ye Jianying).

This is the photo sent by Tiki Davies (Left to Right – Zhou Enlai, Zude, JPD, Mao Zedong and Ye Jianying).

John Paton Davies was born born in Kiating ( now Leshan city), Sichuan Province, China. He was the son of John Paton Davies and Helen MacNeil Davies, who were Baptist missionaries. He learned at missionary schools in China, including the Shanghai Missionary School. He then studied successively at the University of Wisconsin Experimental College, at Yenching University in Beijing, and at Columbia University. He graduated from Columbia in 1931 and a year later joined the U.S. Foreign Service.

Early in 1942, Davies was appointed as diplomatic aide and political adviser to U.S. army general Joseph W. Stilwell, who was named commander of the allied China-Burma-India theater of war. When Stilwell was recalled by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944, Davies was reassigned as a senior adviser on the staff of Patrick J. Hurley, the U.S. ambassador to China who had also been named a special presidential envoy.

From the years he had lived and worked in China, he recognized the strength of Mao Zedong’s forces and their call to the Chinese people. He also predicted that the Chinese communist forces would eventually win over the corruption-ridden Kuomintang. He advocated US relations with Communist China to forestall a Soviet takeover.

On 15, 1944, in his memo Davies proposed the idea of establishing an observers’ mission in Chinese Communist territory. Davies argued that: the Chinese communists offered attractive strategic benefits in the fight against Japan; and that the more the U.S. ignored the communists, the closer Yan’an would move to Moscow. His memorandum successfully convinced the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt to put the plan into motion.

So Davies was instrumental in facilitating the United States Army Observation Group, commonly known as the Dixie Mission, the first U.S. effort to establish official relations with the Communist Party of China and the People’s Liberation Army, then headquartered in the mountainous city of Yan’an.

The Dixie Mission was launched on 22 July 1944 during World War II, and lasted until 11 March 1947, almost 30 years earlier than Dr. Henry A. Kissinger’s secret mission that led to the deplomatic relationship between People’s Republic of China and US in 1972.

Davies made several trips to Yan’an and passed along two offers from Mao Zedong, one to visit the United States to discuss further ties and the other to cooperate with a contemplated American landing on the Japanese-held coast.

In 1950s, Davies and about a dozen of the country’s most eminent China scholars and diplomats found themselves accused of having “lost China” after Mao’s Communist forces defeated Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists, supported by the American government in 1949. He was one of the China Hands, whose careers in the Foreign Service were destroyed by McCarthyism.

After a protracted battle, Davies was finally exonerated and regained his government clearance in 1969.  He passed away at his home in Asheville, N.C. on 23 Dec. 1999 at the age of 91.

In China, the Dixie Mission is remembered as a positive time between the two nations, and a symbol of Sino-American cooperation. And John Paton Davies, the great man behind the Dixie Mission is to be remembered for ever.

For more about John Paton Davies, you are advised to read his posthumous autobiography “China Hand”, published on March 1, 2012 with the forward by Vanity Fair’s Todd S. Purdum and epilogue by the University of Chicago’s Dr. Bruce Cumings.

Wangjiaping, a former revolutionary site in Yan’an

Monday, April 2nd, 2012
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Thinking of having a Xian tour? While in Xian, if time permits, you are advised to make a side trip from Xian to Yan’an. When you plan your Yan’an travel, you are highly recommended to visit the former revolutionary site known as “Wangjiaping”.

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.

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. 

The entrance to Wangjiaping – the Headquarters of the 8th Route Army

The entrance to Wangjiaping

This is the former Auditorium of the Military Committee. The auditorium is made of brick and wood one-storey building which could hold over 200 people.