Although named as a mountain, this is actually a series of protruding rock formations along the Tunxi River (泸溪河). The Guyue ancient people buried their dead in coffins in hollows in some of the cliffs from 2500 years ago, and this is one of China's four sacred Taoist mountains, so the spectacular natural scenery isn't the only reason to visit. However, almost every old or historic building is an obvious modern reconstruction.
Flora and fauna
- 1 Yingtan North Railway Station (鹰潭北站). A major station on the high-speed rail line between Shanghai and Kunming, this is probably the easiest way for tourists to arrive in the vicinity of Longhushan. Bus 23 connects this station to Yingtan station in 15-20 minutes for 2¥ (frequent), from which you can catch a bus to the park's 1 visitor centre.
- 2 Yingtan Railway Station (鹰潭站). A major stop for low-speed trains, with lines running out in several directions, this station serves sleeper trains from most major cities in China. One line actually skirts the back of the park and Shangqing, but doesn't stop there. From the small city bus terminal near the street in front of Yingtan Station, bus K2 reaches the park's visitor centre in about 30 minutes (4¥, every 20 minutes or so).
The most convenient airport is in Nanchang, which serves a good selection of predominantly domestic destinations.
- 3 Yingtan Bus Terminal (鹰潭客运站). Long-distance buses to Yingtan arrive at this bus terminal. Bus K2 stops in front on its route between Yingtan Railway Station and the park visitor centre.
Fees and permits
Admission costs 120¥, plus 60¥ for the park shuttle bus network. The admission ticket can be used for two consecutive days, but two days' use of the shuttle bus network costs 70¥ (an extra 10¥).
Use of the park shuttle bus network is purchased together with the entry ticket. The bus network extends as far as Shangqing Temple, but it may be necessary to transfer at Zhengyiguan. A raft ride along the river is also popular (separate charge of 80¥).
- 2 Xianshui Rock (仙水岩). Cliff looming over the river, with ancient coffins stuffed in holes. It is possible to visit a small temple built into the cliff, and the trail also winds around through a gap in the rock to the lower end of the rafting, then up to an eye-level viewpoint of another 15-20 ancient wooden coffins.
- 3 Elephant Trunk Hill (象鼻山). A hill that resembles an elephant, with a huge gap between trunk and body. From here, a boardwalk attached partway up the cliff runs north several kilometres to 4 Fairy Pool (浴仙池). This popular trail is most commonly walked from Fairy Pool to Elephant Trunk Hill. A shorter but much less flat hiking trail that is definitely not on the tourist circuit continues south, winding its way under rocks and over hills and through valleys to the bus stop for Xianshui Rock.
- 5 Coffin acrobatic show. Daily on the even hours, there is a show on the front of Xianshui Rock where a coffin is lifted into a hole in the cliff in an artistic interpretation of how this may originally have been done. The show includes acrobatic performances, people rappelling down the cliff, and cormorant fishermen on bamboo rafts.
- 6 Shangqing Ancient Town. A tourist district of Shangqing town with old-style storefronts along two streets. While this area has been almost entirely reconstructed in concrete, two or three of the buildings are actually old.
- 7 Zhengyiguan (正一观). Rebuilt ancient Taoist temple with a large rock outcrop looming behind it. Aside from the view from its front gate, the main attraction is probably a famous well to the right of the main hall. An attendant will serve you a cup of water, which is considered both potable and good for various illnesses.
- 8 Shangqing Temple (大上清宫). Former site of a very famous Taoist temple, now an archaeological site with concrete drum and bell towers and gate. The site contains a few old trees and a small memorial mound.
- 9 Shuhan Tianshifu (嗣汉天师府). Taoist temple in Shangqing town, former home of Taoist masters.
- 1 Hiking. The park has few trails open for hiking, but there is a boardwalk partway up the cliff from Fairy Pool to Elephant Trunk Hill maybe 4km), and a hiking trail from there to the bus stop for Xianshui Rock (2-3km). The latter hiking trail includes a loop to access 10 viewpoints of Elephant Trunk Hill and other hills in the park, and winds its way through cracks between the rocks. It is very seldom used.
- 2 Rafting. The scenery along the river is probably best seen from the raft ride, which starts south of No Mosquito village and ends near the burial cliffs. Rafts are PVC motorboats designed to resemble bamboo. The ride takes under an hour, and is very tame but not completely placid.
- 3 Dream of Tao. A large outdoor performance called Dream of Tao, inspired by Taoism, lights up the cliffs in the middle of the park nightly on the hour. This show is ticketed separately and includes shuttle bus access. The audience moves along the river with the performance.
There are a number of famous local specialties, including Shangqing tofu and small river fish. Restaurants inside the park and in Shangqing old town are significantly more expensive than outside the north entrance or further out into Shangqing.
- 1 No Mosquito Village (无蚊村). Most of the houses in this village have been converted into restaurants.
Outside the north entrance, there is a village of hotels. Prices here are higher because of their proximity to a major park entrance, but not as high as might be encountered near similar park entrances in China.
Not allowed in the park.
This park doesn't really offer backcountry options.
- Similar scenery can be found at Wuyishan.
- Sanqingshan with its rock pillars is also not far away.
- The nearest large city, Nanchang, is very easy to reach by high-speed train.