Saturday, September 13, 2008


Huanglong is a scenic and historic interest area in Songpan County in the northwest part of Sichuan, China. It is located in the southern part of the Minshan mountain range, 150 km north-northwest of the capital Chengdu. This area is known for its colorful pools formed by calcite deposits, especially in Huanglonggou , as well as diverse forest ecosystems, snow-capped peaks, waterfalls and hot springs. Huanglong is also home to many endangered species including the Giant Panda and the Sichuan Golden Snub-nosed Monkey. Huanglong was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992.

Huang Long Attractions

Due to thousands of years of geological evolution, Huanglong consists of numerous unique landscapes of geological landforms. Glacial revolution, terrane structure, stratum of carbonic acid rock, tufa water and climatic conditions such as artic-alpine sun light have created this world-famous travertine landscape.

These accumulated travertine landscapes and fascinating pools are Huanglong's main attraction. The total length of the travertine is 3.6km and it is thought to look like a huge golden dragon wheeling through the snow-capped mountains of the valley. The main landscapes are travertine banks, amazingly colourful ponds and travertine waterfalls and caves.

The main body of water starts from the Ancient Buddhist/Benbo temple at the top of the valley and ends at Xishen Cave Waterfall in the north with a length of 2.5km and a width of 30 – 170m. The colours of Huanglong’s waters consist of various yellows, greens, blues and browns. The flowing water appears as golden ripples dazzling in the sun. Known to the locals as “Golden Sand on Earth” the Huanglong travertine bank is the largest and most magnificent in the world.

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Dujiangyan Irrigation System

Dujiangyan is an irrigation infra-structure built in 256 BC during the Warring States Period of China by the Kingdom of . It is located in the in Sichuan Province, PR China, near the capital Chengdu . It is still in use today and still irrigates over 5,300 square kilometers of land in the region.



During the Warring States period, around 2,300 years ago, the people who lived along the banks of the were plagued by annual flooding. governor Li Bing investigated the problem and discovered that the river was swelled by the fast flowing spring melt-water from the local mountains that burst the banks when it reached the slow moving and heavily silted stretch below.

The most obvious solution would have been to build a dam but Li Bing had also been charged with keeping the waterway open for military vessels to supply troops on the frontier, so instead he preposed to construct an artificial levee to redirect a portion of the river's flow and then to cut a channel through Mount Yulei to discharge the excess water upon the dry Chengdu Plain beyond.


Li Bing received 100,000 taels of silver for the project from King Zhao of Qin and set to work with a team said to number tens of thousands. The levee was constructed from long sausage-shaped basket of woven bamboo filled with stones known as Zhulong held in place by wooden tripods known as Macha. The massive construction took four years to complete.

Cutting the channel proved to be a far greater problem as the tools available to him at the time, prior to the invention of gunpowder, were unable to penetrate the hard rock of the mountain so he used a combination of fire and water to heat and cool the rock until they cracked and could be removed. After eight years of work a 20 m wide channel had been gouged through the mountain.


After the system was finished, no more floods occurred. The irrigation made Sichuan the most productive agricultural place in China. Li Bing was loved so much that he became a god to the people there. On the east side of Dujiangyan, people built a shrine in remembrance of Li Bing.

Li Bing’s construction is also credited with giving the people of the region a laid-back attitude to life, by eliminating disaster and insuring a regular and bountiful harvest it has left them with plenty of free-time.

Today, Dujiangyan has become a major tourist attraction. It is also the admiration of scientists around the world, because it has one ingenious feature. Unlike contemporary dams where the water is blocked with a huge wall, Dujiangyan still lets water go through naturally. Modern dams do not let fish go through very well, since each dam is a wall and the water levels are different. In 2000, Dujiangyan became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2008 Sichuan earthquake

On May 12, 2008 a massive earthquake centred on the Dujiangyan area struck. Initial reports indicate that the Yuzui Levee was cracked but not severely damaged while the Two Kings Temple was levelled.

Engineering Constructions

Irrigation Head

Li Bing’s Irrigation System consists of three main constructions that work in harmony with one another to ensure against flooding and keep the fields well supplied with water.

Yuzui or Fish Mouth Levee, named for its conical head that is said to resemble the mouth of a fish, is the key part of Li Bing’s construction. It is an artificial levee that divides the water into inner and outer streams. The inner stream carries approximately 40%, rising to 60% during flood, of the river’s flow into the irrigation system whilst that outer stream drains away the rest, flushing out much of the silt and sediment.

Feishayan or Flying Sand Weir has a 200 m-wide opening that connects the inner and outer streams. This ensures against flooding by allowing the natural swirling flow of the water to drain out excess water from the inner to the outer stream. A modern reinforced concrete weir has replaced Li Bing’s original weighted bamboo baskets.

Baopingkou or Bottle-Neck Channel, which Li Bing gouged through the mountain, is the final part of the system. The channel distributes the water to the farmlands to the west, whilst the narrow entrance, that gives it its name, works as a check gate, creating the whirlpool flow that carries away the excess water over Flying Sand Fence, to ensure against flooding.

Anlan Suspension Bridge

Anlan or Couple's Bridge spans the full width of the river connecting the artificial island to both banks and is known as one of the ''Five Ancient Bridges of China''. Li Bing’s original Zhupu Bridge only spanned the inner stream connecting the levee to the foot of Mount Yulei. This was replaced in the Song Dynasty by Pingshi Bridge which burned down during the wars that marked the end of the Ming Dynasty.

In 1803 during the Qing Dynasty a local man named He Xiande and his wife proposed the construction of a replacement, made of wooden plates and bamboo handrails, to span both streams and this was this was nick-named Couple’s Bridge in their honour. This was replaced in 1970 by a modern bridge of reinforced concrete and steel chains that is now opened to visitors.

Temple Sites

Two Kings Temple

Erwang or Two Kings Temple is located on the bank of the river at the foot of Mount Yulei. The original Wangdi Temple built in memory of an ancient king was relocated and so locals renamed the temple here in honour of Li Bing and his legendary son whom they had posthumously promoted to kings.

The 10,072m? Qing Dynasty wooden complex conforms to the traditional standard of temple design except that it does not follow a north-south axis. The main hall, which contains a modern statue of Li Bing, opens up onto a courtyard facing an opera stage. On Li Bing's traditional birthday, 24th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar, local operas were performed for the public, and on Tomb Sweeping Day a Water Throwing Festival is held.

The rear hall contains a modern statue of the god Erlang Shen who was allegedly Li Bing’s son, but historic records fail to confirm this and it is possible that he was invented by locals to give their hero a descendent to maintain his family heritage. Guanlantin Pavilion stands above the complex and is inscribed with wise words from Li Bing such as, ''When the river flows in zigzags, cut a straight channel; when the riverbed is wide and shallow, dig it deeper.''

Dragon-Taming Temple

Fulonguan or Dragon-Taming Temple in Liudi Park was founded in the third century in honour of Fan Changsheng, the Jin Dynasty founder of . Following Li Bing’s death a hall was established here in his honour and the temple was renamed to commemorate the dragon fighting legends that surrounded him.

It is here that Erlang Shen, the legendary son of Li Bing, is said to have chained the dragon that he and his 7 friends had captured in an ambush at the River God Temple when it came to collect a human sacrifice. This action is said to have protected the region from floods ever since.

During the East Han Dynasty a statue of Li Bing was place in the river to monitor the water flow, with the level rising above his shoulders to indicate flood and falling beneath his calves to indicate drought. Recovered from the river in 1974 and placed on display in the main hall, this is the oldest known stone statue of a human in China.

Benxi Shuidong National Park

Benxi Shuidong was made a national park on January 10, 1994. The Benxi Water Caves are located 30km east of Benxi. The Benxi Water Caves are a forest of stalactites and stalagmites within a cavern system lit by colored lighting. A river 3,000 meters long, 2 meters deep and wide enough for 20-30 boats, flows through a giant 5 million-year old cavern system.

Access to the Benxi Water Caves are by direct bus from Shenyang which leaves in the morning and returns in the afternoon or minibuses from Benxi which leave regularly from Benxi train station.

Beidaihe District

Beidaihe District is a in Qinhuangdao municipality, Hebei province, . It has an area of 70.14 square kilometers and a population of 66,000. is also known as a birding haven. The Beidaihe Beach Resort stretches 10 km from east to west, from the Yinjiao Pavilion to the mouth of the Daihe river. The beach itself is covered with fine yellow sand stretching some 100 meters to the sea. The water is shallow and welcoming for children to play in. The environment around Beidaihe is considered beautiful by many. Mt.Lianfeng near the beach has two peaks covered by abundant green pines and cypresses. Lush vegetation, caves, decorated pavilions, secluded paths and winding bridges have made it attractive to visitors from throughout China. There are still few Western tourists, and there is little proliferation of English among the local populace.

English railway engineers were the first Europeans to discover the fishing village in the 1890s and it was not long before wealthy Chinese and foreign diplomats from Beijing and Tianjin made the village a popular destination.

Prominent Visitors

Beidaihe is best known as the Communist Party of China's summer retreat, which is still commonly used by the Party's highest leadership each July to slip away from the summer heat of Beijing and to plan important strategies in the privacy Beidaihe offers. "Beidaihe," an diplomat once said, "is China's 'smoke-filled room.'" These conferences have been abandoned by the order Hu Jintao in 2004, mainly for two reasons. First, a conference in a resort area appeared to contradict the goal of Hu and Wen Jiabao in projecting a frugal image for the party and second, it is a desire of the leadership under Hu to work through formal party and state mechanisms rather through informal gatherings.

After Mao Zedong led the Communists to power in 1949, the new rulers also developed a taste for seaside atmosphere. Mao himself had a summer resort here. Sanatoriums sprang up to reward the efforts of model workers from every industry. A very large Friendship Guesthouse was constructed in 1954, one of dozens across China, to receive the Soviet "elder brothers" who came to assist Chinese development prior to tensions emerging between Soviet and Chinese leadership.

Now many Russian tourists come to the place every summer. You can see many shops and restaurants with Russian names in Beidaihe. The place is practically empty in winter.

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

The Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is a unique national forest located in Zhangjiajie City in northern Hunan Province in the People's Republic of China.

In 1988 it was recognized as China's first National Forest Park.. In 1992, it was officially recognized as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site. Its unique geographical features make it a popular tourist destination for both Chinese citizens and foreigners. Annually the park brings millions of in park revenues. Most of that money comes from tourists, and for this reason many of the park workers learn Korean as a second language. Also, the shop keepers in and near the park accept Korean Won in addition to the Yuan.

The most notable geographic features of the park are the -like formations that are seen throughout the park. They are the result of many years of erosion. The weather is moist year round, and as a result, the foliage is very dense. Much of the erosion which forms these pillars are the result of expanding ice in the winter and the plants which grow on them. These formations are a distinct hallmark of landscape, and can be found in many ancient Chinese paintings.

Some highlights of the park include

* The self-proclaimed tallest, fastest elevator in the world
* An elaborate gondola lift system which transports visitors from the tops of the mountain peaks to the valley below.
* Several unique ethnic groups: The Tujia, Bai, and , who together comprise a majority of the residents of Zhangjiajie.

Xixi wetland park

XiXi Wetland is the first and only wetland park in China. It is located at the west part of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, a total of 10.64 square kilometers . The park is densely crisscrossed with six main watercourses, among which scatter various ponds, lakes and swamps.

XiXi Wetland has a history of more than 1,800 years and an abundant cultural heritage---it’s the original site of Chinese South Opera; it has a traditional Dragon Boat Contest; it contains the vivid life of a water village, featuring silkworm feeding and silk production.

The sights


Typical birds are: aigrette, white wild goose, kingfisher, green head duck and silver pheasant.

Aquatic animals are carp, chub, shrimp, eel and crab.

Some of the vegetation includes: persimmon, willow, camphor, bamboo, mulberry, plum, peach, elm, nelumbo, maple, poplar and hibiscus.

Wuyi Mountains

The Wuyi Mountains are a mountain range located at the prefecture Nanping, at the northern border of Fujian province with , . The mountains cover an area of 60 . In 1999, Mount Wuyi entered UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites, both natural and cultural. It is the most outstanding biodiversity conservation zone of Southeast China. Numerous types of tea are produced around Mount Wuyi, it is the origin of the ''real'' Da Hong Pao tea and Lapsang souchong, further described in .


The Wuyi Mountains are located between Wuyishan City, at Nanping prefecture of Fujian province and Wuyishan Town, at Shangrao city of Jiangxi province. The geographical coordinates are 27 43 northern latitude and 117° 41′ east of Greenwich. The area is connected to the road network by provincial road number S303. The world heritage site has an area of 999.75 square kilometres with an additional buffer zone of 278.88 km?.


The region is part of the Cathayshan fold system and has experienced high volcanic activity and the formation of large fault structures, which were subsequently subject to erosion by water and weathering. The landscape is characterized by winding river valleys flanked by columnar or dome-shaped cliffs as well as cave systems. Peaks in the western portion of the Wuyi Mountains typically consist of volcanic or plutonic rocks, whereas peaks and hills in the eastern area are made up of red sandstone with very steep slopes but flat tops. The Nine-bend River , about 60 kilometers in length, meanders in a deep gorge among these hills. The highest peak in the area is Mount Huanggang at 2,158 meters, making it the highest point of Fujian, the lowest altitudes are around 200 meters.


The Wuyi Mountains act as a protective barrier against the inflow of cold air from the northwest and retain warm moist air originating from the sea. As a result, the area has a humid climate with high rainfall and common fogs. Lower altitudes experience annual temperatures in the range from 12 to 18 °.

The area is relatively pollution-free, the Chinese government set up its first air quality monitoring station in the area on January 31 2005.

Biodiversity and environment

The Wuyi Mountains are the largest and most representative example of Chinese subtropical forests and South Chinese rainforests' biodiversity. Its ecology has survived from before the Ice Age around 3 million years ago. Biologists have been conducting field research in the area since 1873.

The vegetation of the area depends strongly on altitude. It is divided into 11 broad categories: 1) temperate coniferous forest, 2) warm coniferous forest, 3) temperate broad-leaved and coniferous mixed forest, 4) deciduous and broad-leaved forest, 5) evergreen broad-leaved and deciduous mixed forest, 6) evergreen broad-leaved forest, 7) bamboo forest, 8) deciduous broad-leaved shrub forest, 9) evergreen broad-leaved shrub forest, 10) brush-wood, and 11) meadow steppe. Most common are evergreen broad-leaved forests, some of which make up the largest remaining tracts of humid sub-tropical forests in the world. Higher plants from 284 families, 1,107 genera and 2,888 species as well as 840 species of lower plant and fungus have been reported for the region. The most common tree families are Beech Fagaceae, Laurel , Camellia , Magnolia , Elaeocarpaceae, and Witchhazel Hamamelidaceae.

The fauna of the Wuyi Mountains is renowned for its high diversity, which includes many rare and unusual species. In total, approximately 5,000 animal species have been reported for the area. 475 of these species are vertebrates and 4,635 insects. The number of vertebrate species is divided as follows:

49 vertebrate species are to China and 3 are endemic to the Wuyi Mountains. The latter are the bird David's Parrotbill , Pope’s Spiny Toad , and the Bamboo Snake ''Pseudoxenodon karlschmidti'' . Other known endangered species in the area include: South Chinese Tiger , Clouded Leopard , Leopard , Hairy-fronted Muntjac , Mainland Serow , Cabot's Tragopan , Chinese Black-backed Pheasant , Chinese Giant Salamander , and the Golden Kaiserihind .

Human history

Human settlement on the slopes of Mount Wuyi can be traced back 4,000 years by archeological remains. During the Western Han Dynasty, the ancient city of Chengcun was the capital of the Minyue kingdom. In the 7th century, the Wuyi Palace was built for emperors to conduct sacrificial activities, a site that tourists can still visit today. The mountains were an important center of Taoism and later Buddhism. Remains of 35 academies erected from the era of the to the Qin Dynasty and more than 60 Taoist temples and monasteries have been located. However, most of these remains are very incomplete. Some of the exceptions for which authentic remains are preserved are the Taoyuan Temple, the Wannian Palace, the Sanqing Hall, the Tiancheng Temple, the Baiyun temple, and the Tianxin temple. The area is the cradle of Neo-Confucianism, a current that became very influential since the 11th century.


The number of visitors to the area has increased from approximately 424,000 in 1993 to 700,000 in 1998. A raft trip down the Nine-bend River is the most popular activity followed by a visit to the "Thread of Sky" caves, where the narrowest walkway is only 30cm. Visitor access to the biodiversity protection area is controlled.


Wulingyuan is a scenic and historic interest area in Hunan Province, China, famous for its approximately 3,100 tall quartzite sandstone pillars, some over 800 meters in height, which are a kind of karst formation. It is part of Zhangjiajie city, about 270km from the capital of Hunan Province, Changsha. It lies between the coordinates of and . It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Wulingyuan forms part of the Wuling Range.

Wudang Mountains

The Wudang Mountains , also known as Wu Tang Shan or simply Wudang, are a small mountain range in the Hubei province of China, just to the south of the manufacturing city of Shiyan.

In years past, the mountains of Wudang were known for the many to be found there, monasteries which became known as an academic centre for the research, teaching and practise of meditation, Chinese martial arts, traditional Chinese medicine, Taoist agriculture practises and related arts. As early as the Eastern Han Dynasty , the mountain attracted the Emperor's attention. During the Tang Dynasty , the first site of worship - the Five Dragon Temple - was constructed. The monasteries were emptied, damaged and then neglected during and after the Cultural Revolution of 1966–1976, but the Wudang mountains have lately become increasingly popular with tourists from elsewhere in China and abroad due to their scenic location and historical interest. The monasteries and buildings were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The palaces and temples in Wudang, which was built as an organized complex during the Ming Dynasty , contains Taoist buildings from as early as the 7th century. It represents the highest standards of Chinese art and architecture over a period of nearly 1,000 years. Noted temples include the Golden Hall, Nanyan Temple and the Purple Cloud Temple.

In 2003, Wudang Mountain's 600-year-old Yuzhengong Palace was accidentally burned down by an employee of a martial arts school.

Wudang Martial Arts

According to legend, Zhang Sanfeng , the originator of Wudangquan generally and Taijiquan specifically, was inspired by a fight he witnessed between a pied magpie and a cobra. Wudangquan advocates the cultivation of morality and fostering of nature in conjunction with physical training.

The Hall of Yuzhen is the cradle of Wudang kung fu. In 1417, Emperor Zhudi decreed Wudang to be the "Grand Mountain" and ordered the construction of the Hall of Yuzhen for Master Zhang Sanfeng.

On January 19, 2003, a fire broke out in the hall, reducing the three rooms that covered 200 square metres to ashes. A gold-plated statute of Zhang Sanfeng, which was usually housed in Yuzhengong, was moved to another building just before the fire, and so escaped destruction in the inferno.

The third biannual Traditional Wushu Festival will be held in Wudang Mountains from October 28 to November 2.

Wudang Martial Arts in Popular Culture

The Wudang monasteries figure prominently in Chinese martial arts films, especially the genre known as wuxia film and popular literature. For example, an ending scene of the famous movie ''Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'' by Taiwanese director Ang Lee was set at the Wudang monastery, although not actually filmed there. In some wuxia films about the Shaolin Temple, characters employing Wudang martial arts are featured as villains.

It is in reference to this type of film that the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan named themselves. In many martial arts movies, however, actors portraying Wudang practitioners are also found in heroic or neutral supporting roles.

Pudacuo National Park

Pudacuo National Park is a national park located in Shangri-La County in the People's Republic of China. The park was announced on June 25, 2007, and is believed to be the country's first national park.

Mount Qingyuan

Mount Qingyuan is a national park in Fujian, People's Republic of China, located about 3 km from Quanzhou city. It consists of three scenic spots. They are Mount Qingyuan, Mount Ling and Mount Jiuri. The total area covered is 62 km2. It is 615 metres above sea level.


Mount Qingyuan has been famous since the Tang dynasty. The earliest mention of Mount Qingyuan dates back 221-207 B.C.E. Rapid development of Mount Qingyuan began in 618-1279 A.D. and reached its peak during 1297 to 1911.

The centuries of development on Mount Qingyuan has imprinted various important historical and cultural artifacts. Such examples include nine huge Taoist and Buddhist stone sculptures, 600 stone inscriptions and 3 granite stones. The site also contain the shrine of Master Honyi.

There is also the "Four Superlatives' which includes the stone statue of Laozi from the , the stone statues of for Three Lives, the holy Islamic tombs and the pray for wind stone inscriptions.

Mount Jiuhua

Mount Jiuhua is one of the four sacred mountains of Chinese Buddhism. It is located in Qingyang County in Anhui province and is famous for its rich landscape and ancient temples.

Many of the mountain's shrines and temples are dedicated to Ksitigarbha , who is a bodhisattva and protector of souls in hell according to Mahayana Buddhist tradition. Pious Buddhists often come to this popular attraction in Anhui to climb to Greater Tiantai peak, which is regarded as Jiuhuashan's most important peak, although it is not the tallest.


Mount Jiuhua was called Mount Lingyang in Han Dynasty. It was called Mount Jiuzi in Liang and Chen Dynasties of South Dynasties. A legend says that the great poet Li Bai of Tang Dynasty travelled here and wrote down "Magic is divided to two branches, sacred mountain generates nine glories." . Thus it was named Mount Jiuhua.

JiuHuashan is delicately beautiful which is located in the southeastern part of Chizhou City,Anhui Province.The gross area reaches 120 square kilometerswhile the protection area reaches 114square kilometers.Together with WuTai Mountain in Shanxi,E??mei Mountain in Sichuan,Putuo Mountain in Zhejiang.Jiuhua Mountain is called one of the four great Buddhist mountains in China. In 719 AD,Kim Qiaoque,prince of the king of XinLuocame to Jiuhua Mountain and cultivated himself for 5 years.He died at 99 years of age,his corporeal body stayed intact.Because he was very similar in appearance to Dizang Buddhisattva,the monks there believed Dizang Boddhisattva was reincarnated in him,as a result,Jiuhua Mountain became the place to hold rites for Dizang Boddhisatva.During the golden periods n Ming ang Qing dynasty,there were as many as 360 temples and 4,000 to 5,000 monks and nuns. Mount Jiuhua was originally known as Jiuzi Mountain. But ever since Li Bai, the celebrated poet in the Tang Dynasty wrote of the mountain: "Sailing down the Jiujiang River the other day, I saw the Jiuhua Peaks in the distance. Looking like a heavenly river hanging in heaven, Its green water embroidering cottonrose hibiscuses.", the mountain was renamed Jiuhua Mountain . As number 1 place fo pilgrimage,it was very famous in the southeastern part of China and became one of the great four Buddhist mountains .Since the opening-up in 1979,JiuhuaMountain,with its abundant buddhistic culture and uniquely attractive scenery,has been enjoying a high reputation in southeast Asia,SouthKorea and Japan,which belong to Han-culture centered xountries.It is of high influence power in the area of Dizang Buddhisattva and the large numble of whole buddhistic relics.There are 99 peaks in the area,among them ,Shiwang Peak,Lotus Peak and other nine ones are the most beautiful.They enjoyed the laudatory of ??Lotus Country??.Besides, Jiuhua Mountain is famous for its historic interest with more than 2000 historical relics,500 poems written by famous poets through dynasties and 20 school relics.

Temples in a thousand,amid the mist they scatter,among the great four mountains,Jiuhua Mountain is the most beaurtiful for its charming,and it has a double crown as ??the most incense stick and candle?? and ??number one mountain in the coutheast??,being regarded as a sacred place by the pious men and women.The mountains of Jiuhua are all imposing.Ridges and peaks eagerly show their delicate beauty.Vegetation thvives.Waterfalls and springs splash. The climate here is warm and wet with 4 seasons being clearly demarcated.The natural scenes combining with artificial spectacles as well as the atmosphere of buddhism have long since made JiuhuaMountain the famous scenic spot from the acient period in China.


*Huacheng Temple


Mount Huang

Mount Huang, also known as Huangshan , is a mountain range in southern Anhui in eastern China. The area is famous for its scenic beauty, which lies in the peculiar shapes of the granite peaks, in the weather-shaped Huangshan Pine trees, and in views of the clouds from above. The area also has hot springs and natural pools. Mount Huang is a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and . Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of China's most popular tourist destinations.

The Huangshan mountain range comprises many peaks, 77 of which exceed 1,000 in altitude. The three tallest peaks are ''Lotus Peak'' , nearby ''Bright Summit Peak'' and ''Celestial Peak'' . The World Heritage Site covers a core area of 154 square kilometres and a buffer zone of 142 square kilometres.

The mountains were formed in the Mesozoic, about 100 million years ago, when an ancient sea disappeared due to uplift. Later, in the Quaternary Period, the landscape was shaped by the influence of glaciers. In many cases, stone pillar forests were formed.

During the Qin Dynasty, Huangshan had been known as ''Yishan.'' It got its present name in , when the poet Li Bai referred to it by this name in his writing.

The vegetation of the area depends on altitude: Below 1,100 , moist forest can be found; deciduous forest stretches from 1,100 m up to the tree line at 1,800 m; above that the vegetation consists of alpine grass-lands. The area has diverse flora, where one-third of China's bryophyte families and more than half of its fern families are represented.

Because the mountain tops are often above cloud level, they offer views of the clouds from above and interesting light-effects. The ''Sea of Clouds'' and '''' are famous phenomena which attract many tourists. On average, the Buddha's Light only appears a couple of times in a month.

The hot springs of the area are located at the foot of the ''Purple Cloud Peak''. the water retains a temperature of 42 ° all year. Most natural pools are concentrated in the ''Songgu Area''. Some particularly well-known water bodies in the area are the ''Old Dragon Pool'' , the ''Green Dragon Pool'' , the ''Black Dragon Pool'' , the ''White Dragon Pool'' , and the ''Jadeite Pond''.

''Mao feng tea'' is a famous green tea from the Huangshan area, it is named for the downy tips of the tea leaves.

Huangshan has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990 for its exceptional natural beauty and its role as a habitat for rare and threatened species.

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Mount Hua

Hua Shan is located in the Shaanxi Province, about 100 kilometres east of the city of Xi'an, near the city Huayin in China. The mountain is one of China's , and has a long history of religious significance. The mountain has five main peaks, of which the tallest is the South Peak at 2160 m.


Huashan is located in the Qinling mountain range, which lies in southern Shaanxi province.


As early as the second century BC, there was a Daoist temple known as the Shrine of the Western Peak located at its base. Daoists believed that in the mountain live a god of the underworld. The temple at the foot of the mountain was often used for spirits mediums to contact the god and his underlings. Unlike Taishan, which became a popular place of pilgrimage, Huashan only received local pilgrms, and was not well known in much of the rest of China. Huashan was also an important place for immortality seekers, as powerful drugs were reputed to be found there. Kou Qianzhi , the founder of the received revelations there, as did Chen Tuan , who lived on the mountain prior to receiving immortality. In the 1230s, all the temples on the mountain came under control of the Daoist Quanzhen School. In 1998, the management committee of Huashan agreed to turn over most of the mountain's temples to the China Daoist Association. This was done to help protect the environment, as the presence of monks and nuns deters poachers and loggers.


Huashan has a variety of temples and other religious structures on its slopes and peaks. At the foot of the mountain is the Cloister of the Jade Spring , which is dedicated to Chen Tuan.

The trail that leads to the South Peak from North Peak is on a cliff face, and it is known as being extremely dangerous. The infamy of this route seems to have arisen from a story put on the web page of a person called Rick Archer with the title "The Deadly Huashan Hiking Trail". The author claims it was written by an American couple who visited the trail in 2003.

The origin of the story is not known and is assumed by many Hua Shan visitors to be purely fictional. The spread and popularity of the story was aided by many videos showing the most dangerous parts of the trail.

Mount Heng (Shanxi)

Heng Shan in is one of the . At 2,017 m, it is one of the five tallest peaks in China Proper. Heng Shan in Shanxi province is sometimes known as the Northern Heng Shan, and should not be confused with the Southern Heng Shan in Hunan Province. Both mountains have the same pronunciation in Chinese, and the Southern Heng Shan is also one of the Five Sacred Mountains.


Like the other four sacred Daoist mountains in China, Heng Shan has been considered a sacred mountain since the Zhou Dynasty. Due to its northerly location, the mountain was often under the control of non-Chinese dynasties, such as the Liao . This made it impossible for for pilgrimmages by the Chinese to take place for much of its history. Because of this, Hengshan is not nearly as religiously important in China as the other four Daoist mountains.


During the Han Dynasty, a temple called the Shrine of the Northern Peak , dedicated to the mountain god was built on Hengshan's slopes. While periodically destroyed and rebuilt, this temple has an uninterrupted history from Han times to the present day.

The most famous temple at Hengshan is not Daoist, but is actually the Buddhist Hanging Monastery . The Hanging Monastery stands at the foot of Mt. Hengshan and is one of the most dramatic sights at Hengshan - a wooden temple clinging to the cliff side, appearing to defy gravity with only a few wooden posts as support. The Hanging Monastery, built in 491, has survived more than 1,400 years. The extant monastery was largely rebuilt and maintained in the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty . The buildings were restored in 1900 and there are 40 wooden halls and structures linked by an ingenious system of pillars, posts and walkways.

Mount Heng (Hunan)

Mount Heng, known in China as ''Nan Yue'' , is located in Hunan and is one of the in China. Heng Shan is a mountain range 150 km long with 72 peaks and it is located in Hunan Province at 27.254798° and 112.655743°.

Mount Emei

''Omei Shan redirects here, For the bird see Grey-faced Liocichla''

Mount Emei is a mountain in Sichuan province of Western China. Mount Emei is often written as 峨眉山 and occasionally 峩嵋山 or 峩眉山 but all three are translated as Mount Emei or Mount Emeishan.

Mt. Emei is one of the . The patron bodhisattva of Emei is Samantabhadra, known in as Puxian .
16th and 17th century sources allude to the practice of martial arts in the monasteries of Mount Emei. made the earliest extant reference to the Shaolin Monastery as Chinese boxing's place of origin.

A large surrounding area of countryside is geologically known as the Permian Emeishan Large Igneous Province, a large igneous province generated by the Emeishan Traps volcanic eruptions during the Permian Period.

Mt. Emei was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

The Emei Shan Liocichla, a passerine bird is named after the site.


This is the location of the first Buddhist temple built in China in the 1st century CE.
There are cable cars to top level of the mountain.

Images of Mount Emei

Mount Cangyan

Mount Cangyan is a scenic area in Jingxing County, Hebei , China, famous for its combination of natural mountain scenery with historical man-made structures. It is located approximately 50 kilometers southwest of the provincial capital Shijiazhuang and close to the border with Shanxi Province.

Mount Cangyan forms the eastern tip of the , its tallest peak has an altitude of 1,000 meters. The scenic area covers 63 square kilometers . The vegetation of the area is a forest of and Tartar Wingceltis trees.

The most famous building complex on Mount Cangyan is the ''Fortune Celebration Temple'' . It was first erected during the Sui Dynasty and is said to have been the place where Princess Nan Yang, the daughter of the Sui Emperor , practiced Buddhism. The various structures of the Fortune Celebration Temple are well integrated into the mountain topography. The central landmark of the complex is the ''Bridge-Tower Hall'' . As the name suggests, it is supported by a stone arch bridge spanning a narrow gorge. The bridge has a span of 15 meters and stands 52 meters above ground, it is constructed from 365 stone blocks. Under the bridge a stone staircase with more than 360 steps leads up to the summit.

Cangyan Shan was used as setting for filming some scenes in the movie , which according to the movie's story take place on Mount Wudang.

Lushan Quaternary Glaciation National Geopark

Lushan Quaternary Glaciation National Geopark is located in the Mount Lushan region of Jiangxi Province in the People's Republic of China, and extends across a 500 km? area to the Lake Poyang basin.

It is a favoured domestic tourist destination. It features exceptional upthrows from the Quaternary age, amidst stunning landscapes: summits and peaks, valleys, gorges, gullies, rock formations, caves and waterfalls. The area also contains large numbers of and temples, as well as several landmarks of Confucianism.

In 1996, it became a World Heritage Site. In 2004, the Lushan Quaternary Glaciation National Geopark became a UNESCO Geopark, and is included in UNESCO's International Network of Geoparks .

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Jiuzhaigou Valley is a nature reserve in the north of Sichuan, a province in south western China. It is known for its many multi-level waterfalls and colorful lakes, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. It belongs to the category V in the IUCN system of protected area categorization.

Geography and climate

Jiuzhaigou lies at the southern end of the Minshan mountain range, 330 km north of the provincial capital of Chengdu. It is part of the Jiuzhaigou County in the Aba Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of northwestern Sichuan province, near the Gansu border.

The valley covers at least 240 km?, with some protection organizations giving the area as 600 to 720 km?, with buffer zones covering an additional 400 to 600 km?. Its altitude, depending on the area considered, ranges from 1,998 to 2,140 m to 4,558 - 4,764 m .

The climate is cool temperate with a mean annual temperature of 7.2 °C, with means of -1 °C in January and 17 °C in July. Total annual rainfall is 661 mm, 80% of which occurs between May and October.


The remote region was inhabited by various and Qiang peoples for centuries, but was not officially discovered by the government until 1972. Extensive logging took place until 1979, when the banned such activity and made the area a national park in 1982. An Administration Bureau was established and the site officially opened to tourism in 1984; layout of facilities and regulations were completed in 1987. The site was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1992 and a World Biosphere Reserve in 1997.

Since opening, tourist activity has increased every year: from 5,000 in 1984 to 170,000 in 1991, 160,000 in 1995, to 200,000 in 1997, including about 3,000 foreigners. Visitors numbered 1,190,000 in 2002. As of 2004, the site averages 7,000 visits per day, with a quota of 12,000 being reportedly enforced during high season. The of Zhangzha at the exit of the valley and the nearby Songpan feature an ever-increasing number of hotels, including several polished .


Jiuzhaigou takes its name from the nine Tibetan villages along its length. Seven of them are still populated today. The main agglomerations that are readily accessible to tourists are He ye, Shu zheng and Ze cha wa along the main paths that cater to tourists, selling various handi-crafts, souvenirs and snacks. There is also Re xi in the smaller Za ru Valley and behind He ye village are Jian pan, Pan ya and Ya na villages. The Valley's no longer populated villages are Guo du and Hei Jiao.

Finally, the Penbu, Panxing and Yongzhu villages lie along the road that passes through the town of Jiuzhaigou/Zhangza outside the valley.

In 1997, the permanent population of the valley was about 1000, made up of about 130 Tibetan and Qiang families. Due to the protected nature of the park, agriculture is no longer permitted so the locals now rely on tourism and local government subsidies to make a living. This has vastly increased their living standards.


Jiuzhaigou's ecosystem is classified as temperate broad-leaf forest and woodlands, with mixed mountain and highland systems. Nearly 300 km? of the core scenic area are covered by virgin mixed forests. Those forests take on attractive yellow, orange and red hues in the autumn, making that season a popular one for visitors. They are home to a number of plant species of interest, such as endemic varieties of rhododendron and bamboo.

Local fauna includes the giant panda and golden snub-nosed monkey. Both populations are very small and isolated. Their survival is in question in a valley subject to increasing tourism. Jiuzhaigou is also home to approximately 140 bird species.

Geology and hydrology

Jiuzhaigou's landscape is made up of high-altitude karsts shaped by , and activity. It lies on major on the diverging belt between the Qinghai-Tibet and the Yangtze Plate, and earthquakes have also shaped the landscape. The rock is mostly made up of carbonate rocks such dolomite and tufa, as well as some sandstone and shales.

The valley includes the catchment area of three , and is one of the sources of the Jialing River, part of the Yangtze River system.

Jiuzhaigou's best-known feature is its dozens of blue, green and turquoise-colored lakes. The local Tibetan people call them "Haizi" in Chinese, meaning "son of the sea". Originating in glacial activity, they were dammed by rockfalls and other natural phenomena, then solidified by processes of carbonate deposition. Some lakes have a high concentration of calcium carbonate, and their water is very clear so that the bottom is often visible even at high depths. The lakes vary in color and aspect according to their depths, residues, and surroundings.

Some of the less stable dams and formations have been artificially reinforced, and direct contact with the lakes or other features is forbidden to tourists.

Notable features

Jiuzhaigou is composed of three valleys arranged in a Y shape. The and gullies flow from the south and meet at the centre of the site where the form the gully, flowing north to the mouth of the valley. The mountainous of these gullies are lined with 55 km of roads for shuttle buses, as well as boardwalks and small pavilions. The boardwalks are typically located on the opposite side of the lakes from the road, shielding them from disturbance by passing buses.

Most visitors will first take the shuttle bus to the end of Rize and/or Shuzheng gully, then make their way back downhill by foot on the boardwalks, taking the bus instead when the next site is too distant. Here is a summary of the sites found in each of the gullies.

Rize Gully

The 18 km long Rize Gully is the south-western branch of Jiuzhaigou. It contains the largest variety of sites and is typically visited first. Going downhill from its highest point, one passes the following sites:
* The '''' is a preserved ancient woodland. It is fronted by spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and cliffs, including the 500 m high blade-shaped Sword Rock .
* ''Swan Lake'' is a 2250 m long, 125 m wide picturesque lake named for its visiting swans and ducks.
* ''Grass Lake'' is a shallow lake covered in intricate vegetation patterns.
* ''Arrow Bamboo Lake'' , covering an area of 170,000 m?, is a shallow lake with a depth of 6 m. It lies at an elevation of 2,618 m, and was a main feature site for the 2002 Chinese film ''''.
* ''Panda Lake'' features curious color patterns of blue and green. It empties into the multi-stream, multi-level Panda Waterfalls, dropping 78m in 3 steps.
* ''Five Flower Lake'' is a shallow multi-colored lake whose bottom is criss-crossed by ancient fallen tree trunks.
* ''Pearl Shoal'' is a wide, gently sloping area of active calcareous tufa deposition covered in a thin sheet of flowing water. It empties into the famous Pearl Waterfalls, where the shoal drops 28 m in a 310 m wide broad curtain of water. A scene of the television adaptation of ''Journey to the West'' was filmed there.
* ''Mirror Lake'' is another quiet lake casting beautiful reflections of the surroundings when the water is calm.

Zechawa Gully

The Zechawa Gully is the south-eastern branch of Jiuzhaigou. It is approximately the same length as Rize gully but climbs to a higher altitude . Going downhill from its highest point, it features the following sites:
* ''Long Lake'' is the highest, largest and deepest lake in Jiuzhaigou, measuring 7.5 km in length and up to 103 m in depth. It reportedly has no outgoing waterways, getting its water from snowmelt and losing it from seepage. Local folklore features a in its depths.
* ''Five-Color Pond'' is one of the smallest but most spectacular bodies of water in Jiuzhaigou lakes. Despite its very modest dimensions and depth, it has a richly colored underwater landscape with some of the brightest and clearest waters in the area.
* The ''Seasonal Lakes'' are a series of 3 lakes along the main road, that change from empty to full during each year.

Shuzheng Gully

The Shuzheng Gully is the northern branch of Jiuzhaigou. It ends after 14.5 km at the Y-shaped intersection of the three gullies. Going downhill from the intersection to the mouth of the valley, visitors encounter the following:
* ''Nuorilang Falls'' , near the junction of the valleys, are 20 m high and 320 m wide. They are reportedly the widest highland waterfall in China, and one of the symbols of Jiuzhaigou.
* ''Nuorilang Lakes'' and ''Shuzheng Lakes'' are stepped series of respectively 18 and 19 ribbon lakes formed by the passage of glaciers, then naturally dammed. Some of them have their own folkloric names, such as the Rhinoceros, Unknown, and Tiger lakes.
* ''Sleeping Dragon Lake'' is one of the lower lakes in the area. With a depth of 20 m, it is notable for the clearly visible calcareous dyke running through it, whose shape has been compared to a lying on the bottom.
* ''Reed Lake'' is a 1375m-long, reed-covered marsh with a clear turquoise brook zigzaging through it. The contrast is particularly striking in the autumn when the reeds turn yellow.


* The ''Zaru Gully'' is a smaller valley that runs southeast from the main Shuzheng gully; it begins at the Zaru Buddhist monastery and ends with the Red, Black, and Daling lakes.
* The ''Fairy Pool'' lies 42 km west of Jiuzhaigou and features travertine pools very similar to those of the nearby Huanglong Natural Reserve.

Access to the site

Jiuzhaigou, compared to other high-traffic scenic spots in China can be difficult to access by land.
The majority of tourists reach the valley by a 10 hour bus ride from Chengdu along the Minjiang River canyon, prone to occasional minor rockslides and in the rainy season, mudslides that can add several hours to the trip. The new highway that had been constructed along this route was badly damaged during the May 12th 2008 earthquake. Jiuzhaigou is now accessible by an 11 hour bus journey from Chengdu via Mianyang, Pingwu and Nanping.

Since 2003, it has been possible to fly from Chengdu or Chongqing to an airport on a 11311 ft. high mountain side near Songpan County, and then take an hour-long bus ride to Huanglong, or a two-hour bus ride to Jiuzhaigou. From 2006, a daily flight to Xi'an had been opened in peak season and new flights are being added all the time from different parts of China. There are further flights from cities such as Beijing that are chartered by travel agents. There is also a new helipad near the valley. Jiuzhaigou or Huanglong National Parks did not experience any damage during the earthquake of May 2008 and never closed after the event.

NGO links

* of FAO
* of UNEP

Other links


Jinggangshan Mountains

Jinggangshan is located in the Luoxian Mountains , in the remote border region between Jiangxi and Hunan provinces of China. It lies at the junction of four counties - Ninggang, Yongxin, Suichuan and Lingxian. The mountains cover some 670 km?, with an average elevation of 381.5 m above sea level. The highest point is 1841 m above sea level.

The massif itself consists of a number of thickly forested parallel ridges. On the heights there is not much farmland and most settlements at the base of the mountains. The main settlement is at Ciping, which is surrounded by five villages - Big Well, Little Well, Middle Well, Lower Well and Upper Well - from which Jinggangshan took its name.

Base of the Red Army

Jinggangshan is known as the birthplace of the Chinese Red Army and the "cradle of the Chinese revolution". After the Kuomintang turned against the Communist Party during the of 1927, the Communists either went underground or fled to the countryside. Following the unsuccessful Autumn Harvest Uprising in Changsha, Mao Zedong led his 1000 remaining men to Jinggangshan, where he set up his first peasant soviet.

Mao reorganised his forces at the mountain village of Sanwan, consolidating them into a single regiment - the "1st Regiment, 1st , of the First Workers' and Peasants' Revolutionary Army". Mao then made an alliance with the local bandit chieftains Wang Zuo and Yuan Wencai, who had previously had little association with the Communists. For the first year he set up military headquarters at the town of Maoping, a small market town encircled by low hills guarding the main western route into Jinggangshan. In November, the army occupied Chaling, some 80 km to the west, though this was quickly overrun by KMT troops.

When pressure from KMT troops became too great, Mao abandoned Maoping and withdrew up the mountain to Wang Zuo's stronghold at Dajing , from which they could control the mountain passes. That winter the Communists drilled with the local bandits and the next year incorporated them into their regular army. In February a battalion from the KMT's Jiangxi Army occupied Xincheng, a town north of Maoping. During the night of February 17, Mao surrounded them with three battalions of his own and routed them the next day.

Zhu De and his 1000 remaining troops, who had participated in the abortive Nanchang Uprising, joined Mao Zedong toward the end of April 1928. Together the two proclaimed the formation of the Fourth Army. Other veterans who joined the new base included Lin Biao, Zhou Enlai and . The partnership between Mao Zedong and Zhu De marked the heyday of the Jinggangshan base area, which rapidly expanded to included at its peak in the summer of 1928, parts of seven counties with a population of more than 500,000. The two merged their armies form the Fourth "Red Army". Together with Yuan Wencai and Wang Zuo's forces, their soldiers numbered more than 8000. A popular story from that period recounts the hardworking Zhu De carrying grain for the troops up the mountain since agriculture was nigh impossible on Jinggangshan itself. It was also around this period that Mao Zedong formulated his theories of rural-based revolution and guerrilla warfare.

In July 1928, Zhu De's 28th and 29th regiments crossed into Hunan with plans to take the important communication hub of Hengyang. Mao Zedong's 31st and 32nd regiments were supposed to hold Maoping and Ninggang until Zhu returned. They were, however, unable to hold back the advance of the Kuomintang's Jiangxi units and lost Ninggang and two neighbouring counties. On August 30, the young officer He Tingying managed to hold the narrow pass of Huangyangjie with a single under-strength battalion against three regiments of the Hunanese Eight Army and one regiment of Jiangxi troops, thus saving Maoping from being overrun.

As the size of the Communist forces grew and pressure grew from the Kuomintang, the Fourth Army was forced to move out. From January 14 1929, the organisation moved to Ruijin, further south in Jiangxi province, where the Jiangxi Soviet was eventually set up. At the same time, the Kuomintang were executing another encirclement campaign, involving 25,000 men from fourteen regiments. Peng Dehuai was left in command of an 800-man-strong force, formerly the Fifth Army. By February, his remaining troops broke up under heavy attack from Wu Shang's Hunan troops.

After the Jiangxi Soviet had established itself in southern Jiangxi, Jinggangshan became the northwestern frontier of Communist operations. Peng Dehuai returned with a much stronger Fifth Army in early 1930, basing himself just north of Jinggangshan. In late February 1930, the bandits Yuan Wencai and Wang Zuo were assassinated by Communist guerillas, probably on orders from officials in the Jiangxi Soviet. Their men made Wang Yunlong, Wang Zuo's younger brother, their new leader. Most Communist forces left the area in 1934, when the Long March began. By the time they returned in 1949, Wang Yunlong had been succeeded by his son. He was charged with banditry and executed.


Along with Mao Zedong's hometown Shaoshan, Jinggangshan became one of the most important sites of the Communist Revolution. It was celebrated on posters, songs and operas. During the Cultural Revolution, Jinggangshan became a place of pilgrimage for young , who took advantage of a nationwide "networking movement". They often made the journey on foot to relive the experiences of their revolutionary forebearers. At its peak, more than 30,000 Red Guards arrived a day, causing terrible problems of food, housing, sanitation. Peak numbers continued for more than two months until the government began to discourage the young people.

In recent years Jinggangshan has become an attraction for domestic tourists interested in revolutionary history. Sites promoted by the local authorities include the mint of the Red Army, the Revolution Museum and the Martyrs Cemetery. In 1981 an area of 16.6 km² was designated a Natural Protection Area. The next year Jinggang Mountain was listed as a National Priority Scenic Area. In May 2004 a domestic airport was opened to attract tourists.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

The Jade Water Village is at the foot of the mountain.