Mount Wuyi

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Mount Wuyi (武夷山 Wuyishan) is a very popular scenic area in Nanping prefecture, Fujian Province, China.

Understand[edit]

Wuyi Palace

Attractions include mountains much like those at Guilin, temples and other historic buildings, and raft rides down a sensational river canyon. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site both for its natural environment and for its culture.

History[edit]

Various court officials, poets and scholars have lived here. It was a famous retreat for such folk.

Landscape[edit]

Ancient volcanic landscape that millions years of erosion has transformed into a maze of gorges, precipes and caves. Unearthly.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Lots of snakes, including many preserved in restaurants or pharmacies in town — snakes pickled in wine are a traditional Chinese medicine. You may notice that bird song is less common than in other places in China; this is mainly due to snakes. Going off the beaten path in forest areas without a guide is not recommended.

Get in[edit]

There are trains, overnight from Xiamen and several hours from Fuzhou.

Wu Yi Mountain has an airport with regular flights to major Chinese cities.

There is one train from Beijing, it takes 15 hours, leaving Beijing in the afternoon and arriving at Wuyishan early the next morning.

From Shanghai to Wuyishan is 9 hours.

Hard Sleeper: +/- 150 Hard Seat: +/- 80

Fees/Permits[edit]

To get into the main body of the park costs ¥140 for 1 day, ¥150 for 2 days and ¥160 for 3 days. There is a ticker counter near the (closed) middle entrance, in the downtown Wuyi. This is operated by a tour operator, and they charge ¥25 extra for tickets. You get a voucher that you need to change into an ordinary ticket at the south (main) entrance, so this does not avoid any trouble there. The extra hassle and cost is worth only if you need to be absolutely sure to get a ticket for rafting the next day, which might be useful during the peak season.

Get around[edit]

The local tourist agency can provide a guide and driver for a fee. You will get to see much more. Otherwise you can try the local buses if you are up for adventure.

Use Bus number 6 (¥2-3): It'll get you everywhere. From the station to the hotel, to the north and South entrances of the Wuyishan reserve. From the station you have to walk into the main street that you look into when you are in front of the station, until you hit a T-crossing. There you can just flag down any bus 6 on the opposite side of the road, because you need to go the south (the left) on the T-crossing. Don't get a taxi, because they are ¥30 and don't use the meter.

To use the bus service within Wuyishan Park, you used to have to pay ¥85, which is not necessary because you can walk to all the main sights and use the local bus service (bus 6) for only ¥2-3 to bring you to each entrance. However, in May 2011, at least one traveler reported that bus service in the park was free with an entry ticket.

See[edit]

  • Nine-bend river - There are really nice places along this river. Don't miss the lookout rock between Wuyi palace and Shuiguangshi, that is probably the best view in the area. It is also worth to climb some peak for lookout to other bends.
  • Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) - This magical and enchanted valley produces the best tea in Wu Yi Shan and is a tranquil and beautiful place. This is an absolute must.
  • Heavenly Tour Peak - Big stone peak with breathtaking views on the nine-bend river and surrounding peaks. If you feel fit you can climb several peaks in the area. Other peaks will be almost without tourists and the views are really worth it.
  • Horse Head Rock - Great scenery, which includes tea fields, rocks and rural buildings. This spectacular area is almost completly omnited by local tourist. As of may 2011 you do not need to pay entry fee to go here.
  • Tiger Roaring Rock - Great view on surrounding rocky area.

Do[edit]

Ride a raft down the Nine Bend Stream (九曲溪). The "rafts" are long tied bamboo rafts with about six seats. Life jackets are provided, although the water is very calm and this does not require any rafting experience or effort on the part of the riders. The river is quite shallow and not very wide. Two drivers use long poles to steer the craft down the water. The landscape is sensational, with sheer cliffs and tall mountains. Look out for the caves with very old coffins in them on the sheer cliff at the fourth bend. A "cruise" down all nine bends takes one and a half hours and is highly recommended. The price of the raft ride is regulated at ¥130 and tickets are obtained at the official ticket office (behind the new Best Western Hotel) at Xincun town at the start of the ride. You do not need to pay an "entrance fee" to do this trip.If you understand Chinese, you can pay 10 each to listen to the explanation by the drivers.

Do not necessarily follow the crowds. Local tourists (lots of them) seem to follow each other, overlooking alternative paths. In consequence, a few steps may bring you away from the crowds, on an almost deserted but perfectly fine path. There are paved paths which take you into the mountains away from the river,through ancient cave dwellings and along the sides of cliffs as well as through tea gardens and sub-tropical forest. You can go for a whole day and see not another soul on the path.

Go to the Lotus Peak entrance. There is no one there! The park officials will say it is not possible, because there are no official busses from the reserve that go there, but you can simply walk take a taxi or motor. Aside from avoiding the masses at the other main sights, you get an amazing view or rural China.

  • Da Hong Pao. A 70-minute show about tea. Very nice. 100s Actors, Beautiful Lightshow. Audience turns 360 degrees. Awesome Mountain-View in the Dark. from 160 to 600.

Buy[edit]

The area is famous for tea. Prices for tea in China are rather like prices for wines in the West; there is plenty of reasonable stuff at decent prices, but something that is both top-quality and rare can cost a phenomenal amount. The record is held by some tea off a few bushes halfway up a cliff on Wu Yi Mountain, bushes whose product was once reserved for the Emperor. It fetched over $1000 US a gram at an auction in Shanghai!

If you play the game of Go (wei qi in Chinese), look in the shops downtown for wooden bowls to hold the go stones. These are under ¥50 a set and look more-or-less identical to bowls sold in the West for several hundred US dollars. Be careful, however, to get bowls that are large enough. Some of the ones sold here will not hold a full set of stones.

Eat[edit]

Try the tea eggs. These are eggs hardboiled in tea, a nice cheap snack found anywhere in China. At Wu Yi Mountain, they are particularly good.

Don't eat the pheasant! It's charged by the pound and is extremely expensive! Restaurants in Wu Yi Shan are terribly expensive and the choice is limited. Some restaurants serve bear, which you will see proudly displayed with hair still attached, in front of the restaurants.

Ask the price before you order if you eat in any restaurants without menu given to you.

Go into town around 20h00 when the local foodstands make amazing Fujian dishes for just a few ¥.

Drink[edit]

The area is famous for tea, in particular an oloong (lightly feremented as opposed to unferemented green tea or thoroughly fermented types with their stronger flavour) called Da Hong Bao, Big red Robe.

Sleep[edit]

Andi Youth Hostel (安邸青年旅舍) Tel: 0599 5231369, 13375031369. Address: Wuyishan jingqu sangu lan tang 16 (武夷山景区三菇兰汤16号)Website: www.ad-513.com . A lovely youth hostel located on the west side of the river opposite the resort area. Right at the foot of the mountains and within walking distance to the wuyi palace and Great King Peak. Very close to the Wuyi Villa Hotel. Dorm beds from 40rmb, twins from 88rmb and big doubles from 110rmb. The small bar serves beer, coffee, juice and tea. No food but a 5 minute walk across the bridge brings you back to the resort area where there are plenty of restaurants. Very quiet and peaceful and the only place that doesn't have those annoying motorcycle touts. Also They have a small selection of decent bicycles for hire.

Dragon Resort. ¥238 for a double bed room. The staff is very friendly and the quality of the hotel is top! (A great) breakfast is included.

  • Home Inn (Wuyishan Dawangfeng)Beijing Villa, No.18 Yinpingfeng Road, Resort Area. Good location, simple but clean rooms. Restaurant inside. But no English menu. From 150.

Camping[edit]

Backcountry[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

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