Summary: Part of a 24 day China tour. Start in Hangzhou, followed by Shanghai and Suzhou. From there to Tunxi (Huangshan) by plane continued by train to Wuyishan. From here by plane to Xiamen with a three day trip to the Tulou Clusters and back to Xiamen. Everywhere spend around 2-4 days to see all UNESCO Sights and all other most important sights.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites visited: Wuyishan Mountain Nature & Culture Area (see all UNESCO sites here)
In Wuyishan we have hired a driver and guide through Wuyishan CITS. In principle one can easily arrange transport and the walks by yourself in Wuyishan BUT our experience is to have a local with you everything goes a bit more smooth. We already told them in advance what we wanted to see and that we do not like to stop / eat at tourist places. This was very well respected so that we can give this agency a 5 star rating for sure! Everything was arranged as per our request.
Day 1 trough 13 – Hangzhou, Shanghai, Suzhou & Tongli, Huangshan
See previous posts about the visit to those cities:
CHINA – Hangzhou (2014.07.07 – 2014.07.30 China Tour)
CHINA – Shanghai (2014.07.07 – 2014.07.30 China Tour)
CHINA – Suzhou & Tongli (2014.07.07 – 2014.07.30 China Tour)
CHINA – Huangshan Tunxi (2014.07.07 – 2014.07.30 China Tour)
Day 14 – Arrival
Today we arrived by train from Huangshan to ShaoWu and were picked up for a small drive further to Wuyishan to our hotel, QingZhu Hotel. A simple dinner left for the day and off to bed early to check out Wuyishan the next day.
Wuyishan, or Mount Wuyi, is a mountains region in China. You will find great cliffs, river canyon, forest, animals and historical sites. The landscape is old volcanic landscape of millions of years ago. History in the area goes back thousands of years. The place was also an area where writers, poets and official went for retreat. The area is also very famous for it’s tea plantations and gardens. One can visit various places, see below a short description of the best places to visit. We took 3.5 days here as it takes some time to walk the various trails especially in the soaring heat and humidity in mid July!
Day 15 – Heavenly Tour Peak & Bamboo Rafting
First hike is the heavenly tour peak, up to the cloud nest. It’s called cloud nest because in some days there is clouds coming out of the caves moving around the peak. Also one can see here the tea canyon and fairy bath pool amongst other things. This peak gives the best views of the area; it’s therefore a bit crowded in busy times!
Second today we did the bamboo raft trough the nine bend river. The river flows trough the canyon and has a total of nine bends and everywhere you have new, different views of the surrounding landscape. It’s a very relaxing ride on a sunny day without doing anything and just getting in the natural beauty of the area.
Day 16 – Dahongpao area, Nine Dragon Nest, HuiYuan Temple, Water Curtain Cave, One Line Sky, Wuyi Palace, Dahongpao Performance
We entered today the Wuhishan area at the Dahongpao Spot, or Big Red Robe. This area is famous for it’s rock tea only growing here. The bushes found here are 350 year old female Dahongpao bushes. It’s also called the emperor of tea. The tea from these old bushes can go into thousand of euro’s per gram of tea. Around the area you find many second and third generation tea gardens. The origin of the plants is from a species of rare wild tea plants growing on the mountains.
We then walked through the nine dragon nest to the HuiYuan temple. Most tourist go back by bus and take another bus to Water Curtain Cave, we walked through the valley to the Water Curtain Cave. The HuiYuan temple is a temple dedicated to three religions: Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. It has distinct features of each religion. A very quiet and peaceful walk as we only came across a handful of other tourists. The nature is just magnificent!
From the HuiYuan temple we walked further to the Water Curtain Cave. The Water Curtain Cave is a huge rock cave and one of the famous mountains in Wuyishan. A water stream is coming from the top forming a water curtain, although these days not that big anymore. You have great views here to the tea gardens. Along the rock you can find some remains of early settlements. There is also a remembrance hall from the Song dynasty. From this cave we went for lunch. After lunch we continued to the one line of sky. One of the magical caves in Wuyishan where two rocks come together leaving at the top a line of sky open. Total of three caves and the smallest part to go through is 30 cm only! One can sea here (at least in hot days) the white bats flying around and hanging half way to the sky. It’s a great and unique experience. From here we went back and visited the Wuyi Palace which is at the foot of the Great King Peak. Build in the Tang Dynasty and expanded during the Song Dynast but now only two Halls remain.
After a great dinner we went to the Dahongpao show. A shot about the story of the tea history in Wuyishan area. It’s a great show with lots of effects and the mountains are lit up in the night by light. The whole audience turns around 360 degrees from one performance to another. Do not miss this Dahongpao Impression show; it’s a nice evening amusement.
Day 17 – Xiamei Village, Longchuan Grand Canyon, Qinglong Waterfall, Tea Taste
Xiamei village is a short 10km away from Wuyishan and has some great Ming and Qing architecture. It’s a nice old traditional village from the region. Interesting to see the wood and stone sculptures in the ancestral halls.
The Longchuan Grand Canyon is in the Western part of Wuyishan which is much less touristic. It’s more wild nature and many parts are not accessible at all due to environment protection. It houses many rare fauna & flora. Here you find lots of waterfalls with old tries making it like a fairy land. If you have the time go to this part of Wuyishan to see the difference.
The Qinglong Waterfall is also in the Western part. It’s the number one waterfall in China and is 40 meter wide and comes from a height of 120 meters. The flow down is over 200 meters. It’s a great quiet place away from the crowd of tourist.
Day 18 – Han Minyue Village & Departure
The last morning we went to the old Minyue capital. A state in southern China from 4th to 1st century B.C. which later was taken by the Han Dynasty. It took a long time for the Han to conquer the city due to it’s protection by the mountains. The city was a stone city in the mountains. Currently one can see the remains of it like city wall, foundations of houses and an old well. There is a nice old town nearby and a museum also which was not yet open when we visited. If you like old culture it’s a place not to miss. The drive is just over half an hour from Wuyishan and a nice get away from the crowd as we didn’t see any other tourists there. From here we went back for lunch and off to the airport on Shandong Airlines to Xiamen.
Day 19 through 24 – Xiamen & Tulou
please see here the last part of our tour: CHINA – Xiamen (2014.07.07 – 2014.07.30 China Tour)