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Anqing - The Birthplace of Peking Opera

Zhenfeng Pagoda in The Night

Anqing  (ān qìng shì 安庆市), located in the southwest of Anhui Province  (ān huī shěng 安徽省), borders Lu'an  (liù ān shì 六安市) to the north, Chaohu  (cháo hú shì 巢湖市) to the northeast, Tongling  (tóng líng shì 铜陵市) to the east, Chizhou  (chí zhōu shì 池州市) to the southeast, and Jiangxi Province  (jiāng xī shěng 江西省) and Hubei Province  (hú běi shěng 湖北省) to the south and west respectively.

  

Overview

The Performance of Hui OperaAnqing is a famous port city lying on the north bank of the mid-lower reaches of the Yangtze River  (cháng jiāng 长江). It used to be the capital of Anhui Province for more than 200 years. The development plan of Anqing nowadays is to build a key national base of petrochemicals, light textiles, modern equipment manufacture, building materials, new materials, an important cultural recreation and tourism base in Yangtze Delta  (cháng jiāng sān jiǎo zhǒu 长江三角洲). As a national-level historical and cultural city, Anqing, to some extend, is steeped in history. Besides, there are many beautiful mountains and rivers in this city which is also an excellent National Tourism City rich in natural resources. Not only does it include the national 4A-grade scenic spots of Tianzhu Mountain  (tiān zhù shān 天柱山) and Huating Lake  (huā tíng hú 花亭湖), but also many other well-known sightseeing sites such as Duxiu Mountain  (dú xiù shān 独秀山), Dalong Mountain Scenic Area  (dà lóng shān fēng jǐng míng shèng qū 大龙山风景名胜区) and Longmian Mountain  (lóng mián shān 龙眠山) in Tongcheng County  (tóng chéng xiàn 桐城县) which is regarded as the First Town in Jiangnan  (jiāng nán 江南) with a history of more than 1200 years. It is so well known not only because of magnificent natural sceneries and spectacular ancient buildings but also for its history which is filled with anecdotes and literary background. The most famous allusion took place, in Qing Dynasty, in Six Feet Lane  (liù chǐ xiàng 六尺巷) where a famous poem by Zhang Ying  (zhāng yīng 张英), the grand secretary, came into existence, saying: "For wall you wrote to me, Why not cede three feet from thee. The Great Wall still can be seen, Disappear did its King." (Chinese: 千里修书只为墙,让他三尺又何妨。万里长城今犹在,不见当年秦始皇。) The story is popular because it has been teaching people to be humble and decent. Built in Song Dynasty  (sòng cháo 宋朝), the spectacular Zhenfeng Pagoda  (zhèn fēng tǎ 振风塔) is the major landmark on the Yangtze River from which a fine view of the city can be enjoyed. Anqing is also regarded as the hometown of Huangmei Opera  (huáng méi xì 黄梅戏) and Hui Opera  (huī jù 徽剧). Huangmei Opera is the local opera of Anhui Province and one of the most popular local operas in China. Hui Opera is an important contributor to the Peking Opera  (jīng jù 京剧). Sanqing Opera Troupe  (sān qìng bān 三庆班) from Anqing together with three other opera troupes from Anhui Province declared the emergence of Peking Opera in history stage. In a word, the enjoyable climate, clean water, rich culture and history make Anqing the best place for holiday.

 

History

A Photo of Chen DuxiuAnqing has a long history and rich culture. During East Zhou Dynasty  (dōng zhōu shí qī 东周时期), it's the site of Wan Country  (wǎn guó 皖国) the name of which is the origin of the short name of Anhui Province. In Southern Song Dynasty  (nán sòng 南宋), the name of the troop was changed to "Anqing", hence the name of the city which is set up more than 800 years ago. From 1760 in Qing Dynasty (qīng cháo 清朝) to 1938, Anqing was always the capital and the political, economic and cultural centre of the province. It's in Anqing that the first gun, the first steamer and the first powerboat of China were invented as well as the first power plant, the first water plant, the first telegraph office, the first national road, the first airport, the first modern library and the first university of Anhui Province. Anqing is also the home of operas and the holy land of Zen  (chán 禅). Besides it is the hometown of many great historical figures such as Chen Duxiu  (chén dú xiù 陈独秀), the pioneer of New Culture Movement  (xīn wén huà yùn dòng 新文化运动), Zhao Puchu  (zhào pǔ chū 赵朴初), the Buddhist leader, Deng Jiaxian  (dèng jià xiān 邓稼先), who has been awarded "Two Bombs" in China, Ci Yungui  (cí yún guì 慈云桂), the father of computer in China, Xia Juhua  (xiā jú huā 夏菊花), Queen of Acrobatics in China and Zhang Henshui  (zhāng hèn shuǔ 张恨水), the master of Popular Novels in China.

 

Climate

Enjoying a subtropical humid monsoon climate with plenty of sunshine, Anqing has four distinct seasons. The annual temperature on average ranges from approximately 14.5℃ (58.1℉) to 16.6℃ (68.9℉). The weather of Anqing is just like other cities in South China which are greatly affected by the plum rain season in summer. But there is rare snow and frost. It's better to visit Anqing in Spring and Autumn.

 

Attractions

Tianzhu Mountain scenic zone

Feilai Peak of Tianzhu MountainWith granitic peak cluster, Tianzhu Mountain  (tiān zhù shān 天柱山), 1488.4 meteres high, also called Wan Mountain (wǎn shān 皖山), one of the 10 famous mountains in China, is located in Qianshan County  (qián shān xián 潜山县) of Anqing. It is famous for its main peak sticking highly in the sky which looks like an enormous pillar. It is a key national scenic and historical interest site as well as a national forest park and a national geological park. The whole zone can be divided into 8 scenic spots including both elegant natural scenic views and profound ancient Wan culture  (wǎn wén huà 皖文化) and human landscape. Quite a few historical scholars such as Li Bai  (lǐ bái 李白), Bai Juyi  (bái jū yì 白居易), Su Dongpo  (sū dōng pō 苏东坡), Wang Anshi  (wáng ān shí 王安石) and Huang Tingjian  (huáng tíng jiān 黄庭坚) were fond of this place and considered the mountain as an ideal place where they'd like to live. According to the legend, it's the hometown of Seventh Fairy  (qī xiān nǚ 七仙女) who married her husband just in this area. Feilai Peak  (fēi lái fēng 飞来峰) is the most famous peak of the mountain. In Qing Dynasty, Emperor Qian Long  (qián lóng 乾隆) visited it. As soon as he doubted its name, the dark clouds massed in a minute. Seeing such mysterious result, he had to change his words immediately. The mountain is abundant in peculiar pines, bizarre stones, flowing fountains, running waterfalls, mysterious ravines and caves. Furthermore, the cloud sea, Buddha light, sunrise, sunset glow, fog bloom and Tianzhu Mountaindifferent scenic views of the four seasons are adding brilliance to the mountain. It is the birthplace of the Yangtze River civilization as well as the place where the third ancestor of the Buddhism used to live. The transportation here is very convenient and the roads and the footpaths on the mountain have been also upgraded.

 

Susong County

BaiyazhaiSusong County  (sù sōng xiàn 宿松县), located in the southwest of Anhui Province and on the south of Dabie Mountain  (dà bié shān 大别山), is one of the ancient counties of the province. Xiaogu Mountain  (xiǎo gū shān 小孤山), Baiyazhai  (bái yá zhài 白崖寨) and Shilian Hole  (shí lián dòng 石莲洞) are three major scenic spots in the county. The magnificent Baiyazhai is also called "the Smaller Great Wall in the South  (nán guó xiǎo cháng chéng 南国小长城)" which is just situated on the Baiya Mountain  (bái yá shān 白崖山). With an intrinsically challenging military environment. It was constructed around the five great peaks of the mountain in the end of Yuan Dynasty  (yuán cháo 元朝). Xiaogu MountainThe name of the Xiaogu Moutain is different from Dagu Mountain  (dà gū shān 大孤山) near Poyang Lake  (pó yáng hú 鄱阳湖). The mountain came into existence in the Fourth Ice Age. Shilian Hole, a park, also called Lotus Hole  (lián huā dòng 莲花洞), is located in the west of the county. Mainly based on the forest landscape, the park is also rich in other kinds of beautiful natural sceneries and perfect recreational facilities.

 

Yuexi County

Baima Pond Tianxian River DriftYuexi County  (yuè xī xiàn 岳西县) features forest-clad mountains and limpid streams and comfortable weather all the year. The biological genetic resources are very rich here. It is considered as a natural garden in the world. Baima Pond Tianxian River Drift  (bái mǎ tán tiān xiǎn hé piāo liú 白马潭天险河漂流), Miaodao Mountain  (miào dào shān 妙道山), Yaoluoping  (yào luò píng 鹞落坪), Dry Will Garden  (kū jǐng yuán 枯井园), Yunfeng Canyon  (yún fēng xiá gǔ 云峰峡谷) and the Residence of Wang Buwen  (wáng bù wén gù jū 王步文故居) are the most popular sites in the county. It is also a famous traditional Chinese medicine base. Yaoluoping is composed of virgin forest and primeval forest in order to protect nature. Just like Yaoluoping, Miaodao Mountain is also surrounded by a sea of forests, clouds and fogs.

 

Fushan Mountain

Fushan Mountain Fushan Mountain  (fú shān 浮山) borders harmoniously Baidang Lake  (bái dàng hú 白荡湖) on its south, Caizi Lake  (cài zǐ hú 菜籽湖) on its west, Jiuhua Mountain  (jiǔ huá shān 九华山) to its south and the Yangtze Rive to its north. It is also called "Penglai on the Sea  (hǎi shàng péng lái 海上蓬莱)". It is an inactive volcano with a long history. The mountain is also a famous Buddhist mountain since in ancient times Fushan Temple  (fú shān sǐ 浮山寺) was built there. A lot of ancient poets had visited and praised the mountain such as Bai Juyi, Wang Anshi, Su Dongpo, Huang Tingjian, Fan Zhongyan  (fàn zhòng yān 范仲淹), Ou Yangxiu (ōu yáng xiū 欧阳修), who had left hundreds of exquisite inscriptions carved on cliffs with different styles. In a word, this area, which integrates beautiful natural scenery and many historical sites, is renowned for its mysterious lava caves and petroglyph. Together with Huangshan Mountain  (huáng shān 黄山), Jiuhua Mountain, Tianzhu Mountain, Qiyun Mountain (qí yún shān 齐云山) and Langya Mountain  (láng yá shān 琅琊山), Fu Mountain is one of the famous mountains in Anhui Province.

 

Sikong Mountain

Sikong MountainSikong Mountain  (sī kōng shān 司空山), lying to the south-west of Yuexi County  (yuè xī xiàn 岳西县), is one of the original places of Chinese Buddhism. Many legends have been reported and passed generation by generation in this area. Erzu Huike  (èr zǔ huì kě 二祖慧可), the second ancestor of the Buddhism, took seclusion here. It seems that Sikong Mountain is more important than Tianzhu Mountain in the eyes of monks. According to some scholars, the shape of the mountain is just like a Budda meditating with his face to the west. The famous poet Li Bai also sought refuge here and wrote two famous poems to speak highly of Sikong Mountain. In order to commemorate him, Taibai Book Hall  (tài bái shū wū 太白书屋) was built, which is still well reserved. On the mountain, other ancient buildings are also well-reserved in good condition such as Xima Pool (xǐ mǎ chí 洗马池), Daoqiang Hole (dāo qiāng dòng 刀枪洞), Zhangdexing Stone Inscription (zhāng dé xīng shí kè 张德兴石刻) and Stone Stockade (shí zhài 石寨). All in all, the natural scenic attractions are unique here including splendid water falls, mysterious craves, cliffs, peaks, stones of different shapes and so on and so forth. It is really a good place to get close to the nature and relax ourselves.

Admission Fee: free
Opening Hours: 8:00-16:00
Transportation: take bus No. 21

 

Food

Mozi Crisp CakesThe specialties of Anhui in Anqing are the most famous cuisines, for example, the Chicken Wonton Soup  (jī tāng yún tun 鸡汤云吞) is characterized by thin skin and tender, delicious taste and fresh meat; Mayongxing Restaurant  (mǎ yǒng xīng fàn diàn 马永兴饭店) is famous for Guotie  (guō tiē 锅贴), Baozi  (bāo zī 包子) both stuffed with beef and Wonton  (yún tun 云吞). Mozi Crisp Cakes  (mò zǐ sū 墨子酥) and Humeiyu bean sauce  (hú yù měi cán dòu jiàng 胡玉美蚕豆酱) are two local snacks of Anqing. Yinjiangsi  (ying jiang si 迎江寺) Vegetarian Restaurant, built around Guangxu years  (qīng guāng xù nián jiān 清光绪年间), is widely liked by pilgrims and tourists.

 

Transportation

Water
Anqing is a first grade port with the annual transportation capacity of 25,000,000tons. It has complete service system of customs, inspection and quarantine, port supervision, ship agent and tally. The international transportation waterway can reach to Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippine and some other countries.

Air
Now Anqing Tianzhu Mountain Airport (ān qìng tiān zhù shān jī chǎng 安庆天柱山机场) has opened the airlines to Beijing  (běi jīng 北京), Guangzhou  (guǎng zhōu 广州), Shanghai  (shàng haǐ 上海) and is still expanding.

Location: in the north of Anqing
Transportation: take bus No. 18 or take taxi

Train
Anqing has the routes leading to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen (shēn zhèn 深圳) and so on. The Hefei-Jiulong  (jiǔ lóng 九龙) line passes 5 Counties of the city. Though the railway transportation still need further development, the construction of Hefei-Anqing Inter-City Railway will shorten the distance between Anqing and the Yangtze River Delta region.

Bus
Everyday, there are tens of buses taking from Anqing to Hefei  (hé féi shì 合肥市), Shanghai, Nanjing  (nán jīng shì 南京市), Hangzhou  (háng zhōu 杭州) and so on. Totally, there are 2 bus stations and 1 in construction in the city. One is at Linghu Lake Park (líng hú gōng yuán 菱湖公园) and the other is on Huazhong Road (huá zhōng lù 华中路).

In the city, there are 18 bus lines including urban and rural area. That cost is CNY 1 for a public bus within the urban area. It's very safe and convenient for passengers to get to everywhere in Anqing by public bus.

Taxi
There are plenty of taxies in Anqing. The fare is CNY 4 for the first 4 kilometers and after that it is CNY 2 for each kilometer. At the gate of large stores and shopping centers there will be special areas for the taxies to pick up passengers.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 May 2011 11:52
 

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