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Wuyuan, Where Time Stands Still

Wuyuan

Wuyuan County (wù yuán zhèn 婺源镇), on the boundary of three provinces in Jiangxi's (jiāng xī 江西) northeastern corner, has a magnificent landscape dotted with strange caves, deep secluded rocks and numerous historic sites. It has been described by some overseas photographers as the "most beautiful of Chinese villages". It is home to some of the best-preserved ancient architecture in China. Each of the numerous ancient buildings has a distinctive shape and structure. They emerge from among the emerald green mountains, clear rivers and the crisscrossing paths in the fields.   Show map 

Wuyuan Summary
Wuyuan County covers an area of 2947.51m2, with a population of 341,000. Its pleasant climate is suitable for travel all the year round. Ziyang (zǐ yáng 紫阳), in the county's central town, is 140km away from Quzhou (qú zhōu 衢州) of Zhejiang province (zhè jiāng shěng 浙江省) to its east, 180km from Shangrao (shàng ráo上饶) to its south, 80km away from Jingdezhen (jǐng dé zhèn 景德镇) to its west and 114km away from Huangshan (huáng shān 黄山) to its north. It is like a bright pearl embedded in the Huangshan - Wuyuan - Lushan golden tour line. With an 81.5% tree cover of woods, Wuyuan is one of the sixteen most ecologically advanced agriculture counties in China. It is the hometown of Philosopher Zhuxi (zhū xī 朱熹) and Zhan Tianyou (zhān tiān yòu 詹天佑), the Father of Railroads in China. There were 550 successful candidates all together from Wuyuan who had taken the highest imperial examinations in the past. Hui Opera (huī jù 徽剧) which is the origin of Beijing Opera , the folk garret-lifting art reputed for "A Unique in China" and the charming tea performance all make Wuyuan an attractive scenic spot.

Wuyuan Wuyuan












Wuyuan History
In ancient times, Wuyuan was governed by Anhui (ān huī 安徽). Merchants from this area spread throughout China around 500 years ago, forging trade relations with dealers from Qingdao (qīng dǎo 青岛) to Qinghai (qīng hǎi 青海). Such were their numbers and business acumen that in some areas, they practically ran the local economy. Historical records show that of the eight barons Qing Dynasty (qīng cháo 清朝) Emperor Qianlong (qián lóng huáng dì 乾隆皇帝) received during a trip to southern China, four were from Anhui. Anhui merchants went on to dominate trade in China for some 400 years in terms of capital and trade outlets. Back in their hometowns, these wealthy merchants would often construct majestic homes and elaborate ancestral temples so their families and forefathers could share in their success. Many of these still stand in Wuyuan. Hidden deep in the mountains, the town escaped the wartime devastation that obliterated many other parts of ancient China, and it remains in its original state today.
Now the Hui-style ancient Buildings with pink walls and black tiles, which are faintly visible amid the green hills and blue waters, make up a picturesque landscape depicting the symbiosis of man and nature.

Wuyuan

Wuyuan

 

 

 

 

 


Wuyuan Attractions
Spring is the best time to visit Wuyuan, as the fields are a vibrant sea of cole flowers. Aside from the lovely scenery Wuyuan is also popular for its cultural heritage.

The central town route
 
Culture Square (wén huà guǎng chǎng 文化广场)
It is located at the new town of Wuyuan, with the Hui-cinema to its south, the commercial zone to its north. It covers an area of seventy thousand hectares. The square is the symbolic landmark of Wuyuan city culture. It can serve as a spot for assembly, leisure and tour. The main theme of Culture Square is green and harmony.

Wuyuan Museum (wù yuán bó wù guǎn 婺源博物馆)
It enjoys the reputation of "the first county-level mu seum of China". More than ten thousand relics inside show you the history and the culture of Wuyuan.
Admission: CNY 20

The east route
Likeng (lǐ kēng 李坑) -> Wangkou (wāng kǒu 汪口) -> Xiaoqi (xiǎo qǐ 晓起) -> Jiangwan (jiāng wān 江湾)  

Likeng (lǐ kēng 李坑)
Wuyuan has two villages named Likeng, but their names in written Chinese are different. Local people call the larger one "Big Likeng", the other "Small Likeng". The former is marked by several imposing houses built by ministers of the Qing Dynasty, which ended inLikeng 1911. This larger village was famous as a birthplace of various ministers. The carvings on bricks, stones and wood are ingenious. Courtyards have at least three layers, and each gate with three steps confirming the high social status of the owner. A river with several stone bridges runs through Small Likeng, most of whose houses are along the river bank. Fish can be seen frolicking in the clear water whilst we humans can row a boat and enjoy the scene.
Admission: CNY 30

Yushi Ancestral Hall (yú shì zōng cí 俞氏宗祠)
This structure, honored as an "Architectural Gallery" by the architects for its magnificence, is so famous that people sometimes forget the village's name, Wangkou (wāng kǒu汪口). The hall is where all local people with surname Yu (yú ) came Yushi Ancestral Hallto commemorate their ancestors. In a sense it is the big camp of Yu families. Exquisite carvings and reliefs can be found all over the buildings, including the eaves, archways, columns and windows. The carvings are so beautiful that the building was long ago deemed "the No.1 wood carving in South China". Sadly, some parts of the wooden sculptures are broken. Traveling in Wangkou, you can walk on the millennial ancient streets, enjoy sights of the old houses, and drift on the long river. 
Admission: CNY 25 (to get in Wangkou village)

Xiaoqi (xiǎo qǐ 晓起)
XiaoqiIt is a village built in the Song Dynasty (sòng cháo 宋朝). There are still many ancient buildings of magnificence and precise craftsmanship that are well preserved, such as "Dungui Shrine (dūn guì gōng cí 敦贵公祠)", "Jinshi Mansion (jìn shì dì 进士第)", "Mansion of Senior Official (dà fū dì 大夫第)" and "Rongru Mansion (róng lù dì 荣禄第)". You can see roads made of small stones, fish swimming freely in the "Yangshen River (yǎng shēng hé 养生河)" and old trees spreading all over the village. All these picturesque landscape depicts the symbiosis of people and nature and makes you want to stay for a long time.
Admission: CNY 20
 

Jiangwan (jiāng wān 江湾) Jiangwan
Jiangwan, as the Great Man’s Hometown, is the place where a lot of great men were born. There visitors can see many ancient buildings such as "Sanxing Hall (sān xǐng táng 三省堂)", "Dunchong Hall (dūn chóng táng 敦崇堂)" and "Peixin Hall (péi xīn táng 培心堂)". 
Admission: CNY 50
 
The west route
Wengong Hill (wén gōng shān 文公山) -> Jingshan Tea Garden (jīn shān shēng tài chá yè guān guāng yuán 金山生态茶叶观光园) ->Mandarin Ducks Lake (yuān yāng hú 鸳鸯湖) -> Youshan Village (yóu shān cūn 游山村) -> Yanchun Ancient Stage (yáng chūn gǔ xì tái 阳春古戏台)

Wengong Hill (wén gōng shān 文公山)Wengong Hill
It is a famous provincial scenic spot. There are ancestral tombs of Zhuxi (zhū xī 朱熹) who was "wengong" on the halfway up the hill. In Nan Song Dynasty (nán sòng 南宋) Chunxi period (chún xī nián jiān 淳熙年间), Zhuxi came back for visiting the elder and planted twenty-four firs around the tombs. Today sixteen of them survive over eight hundred years and grow well. The tallest one is 38.7m and the thickest one encloses 3.43 meters. All these trees gain the title of "the King Group of China Firs in south of china".
Admission: CNY 35

Mandarin Ducks Lake (yuān yāng hú 鸳鸯湖)
It is wonderful place with fresh air, green trees and clear water. It is such a good ecological environment that several thousand couples of wild mandarin ducks migrate there for surviving the winter. It is also a famous provincial scenic spot.
Admission: CNY 40

 Mandarin Ducks Lake

Youshan Village (yóu shān cūn 游山村)
Surrounded by hills and river,it is the biggest ancient Village of Wuyuan, honored as "village of thousands of households". The winding river through the village looks like a fish. There are many ancient relics representing Taoism Culture such as "Hanggu Pavilion (hán gǔ tíng 函谷亭)", "Tizhu Bridge (tí zhù qiáo 题柱桥)". They are the classic material evidences of the village influenced by religions.

The north route
Yan Village (yán cūn 延村) -> Rainbow Bridge (cǎi hóng qiáo 彩虹桥) -> Longtian Tower (lóng tiān tǎ 龙天塔) -> Hongguan (hóng guān 虹关) -> Likeng (lǐ kēng 理坑) -> Hong Village (hóng cūn 洪村)

Yan Village (yán cūn 延村)
Yan VillageIt was built in the beginning of Bei Song Dynasty (běi sòng 北宋). There are 57 well-preserved local residence houses in the village which were built between Qianlong and Jiaqing (jiā xìng 嘉庆) periods of the Qing Dynasty. Most of these buildings have the walls against the wind and fire, the roofs with black tiles. The craftsmanship of "Three Carvings", which includes Brick Carving, Wood Carving, and Stone Carving, inside these residence houses is exquisite.
Admission: CNY 36

Rainbow Bridge (cǎi hóng qiáo 彩虹桥)

Longtian Tower

It is a provincial landmark, built in the beginning of the Song Dynasty, with length of 140 meters, a width of 6.5 meters, with four piers and archways. The eleven pavilions in different way make a long corridor. It is simple and unsophisticated. There are corrals and seats on the both sides for tourist getting a view and having a rest.
Admission: CNY 20

Longtian Tower (lóng tiān tǎ 龙天塔)
It was built in Ming Dynasty (míng cháo 明朝). Made of bricks, it is a seven-floor tower with six sides and a height of 30 meters. Iron bells are being hung on each eave and make sound by the wind.

Hongguan (hóng guān 虹关)
There is an ancient camphor tree aged over 800 years that is honored as "The First Camphor Tree in south of china". It has a diameter of 3.3 meters, a height of 26.1 meters. Its crown covers an area of 2000 square meters. The buildings, such as "Changshen Hall (zhǎng shēng zhèn 长生圳)", "Lobby House (tīng wū 厅屋)", represent the agricultural culture and the religious culture of Wuyuan.
Admission: CNY 10

Wuyuan Getting There
By Air: The nearest airport to Wuyuan is 98 kilometers away from the county in Jingdezhen. The busier airports of Nanchang (nán chāng 南昌) and Tunxi (tún xī 屯溪) are other options, but they are further away.
By Land: Wuyuan has two bus stations, with the busier lying in the west of the city. From there, the tourist can easily commute to Jingdezhen, Nanchang, Quzhou and Shangrao. Two buses leave daily for Tunxi, one in the morning, the other at noon. There are also bus links between Wuyuan and other major cities like Suzhou (sū zhōu 苏州), Shanghai (shàng hǎi 上海), Hangzhou (háng zhōu 杭州), Ningbo (háng zhōu 宁波) and so on.
Get Around: To get around Wuyuan, tourists can avail of its extensive bus and minibus services. There are swarms of motorcycle taxis throughout the area. They typically charge CNY 1 for 2 minutes ,so it's better to make sure of the price before the ride. Wuyuan has a number of hotels near the Wuyuan bus stations. However, any of the villages will have simple and cheap accommodation available for tourists. There are many signs, generally with English. Though without any signs, small tea houses in Likeng's have private rooms that can be rented. Prices are in the range of CNY 50 - 100.

Specialities In Wuyuan
WuyuanFish"The Red" refers a freshwater fish cooked as "Fried Red Fish". It was selected to serve at the state banquet honored for American President Nixon and Japanese Prime Minister when they visited China.
"The Green" is the green tea of Wuyuan, which was recorded in the book named "classics of tea" in the Wuyuan Green Tea Tang Dynasty (táng cháo 唐朝) and "the best of tea" in the Song Dynasty. Wuyuan is called "the hometown of tea". It is an important tea production area and tea exporter in China. It won a gold medal of Panama Global Exhibition Trade Fair as well as in Kunming World Exhibition Trade Fair. It had also gained the certificate of "Grade AA Green Food".
"The Black" is a kind of ink stones named dragon-tail, known as the best among ink stones. It was already famous for its fine features early in the Tang Dynasty and was praised as "Champion of China" by Emperor Liyu (lǐ yù 李煜) in the Nan Tang Dynasty (nán táng 南唐).
"The White" is a kind of pear named Jiangwan Snow Pear. It is one of the highest-grade fruits with its big size, fragrance and brittleness. And that will be your good choice when you want to take something back as gift.

Previous Attraction: Mt. Lushan
Next Attraction: Mt. Sanqingshan
Back to Jiangxi Province Travel Guide

 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 April 2010 17:55
 

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