A Pleasant Sojourn in Mystical Wuyishan
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A Pleasant Sojourn in Mystical Wuyishan

Wuyishan is customarily referred to the “Wuyi Mountain Scenic Area” located in the northern part of the Wuyi Mountain chain, 15km from the city in northern Fujian Province. It has an area of about 60 sq km.



A. Introduction

Wuyishan is customarily referred to the “Wuyi Mountain Scenic Area” located in the northern part of the Wuyi Mountain chain, 15km from the city in northern Fujian Province. It has an area of about 60 sq km.

Wuyishan has 36 peaks, all less than 600m high which skirt along a meandering river called Jiuqu (Nine Bends). Each rock and peak has a name that describes its shape or which is derived from a legend.

This naturally endowed landscape of water and hills, clustered in a small area, is reputed to be the most scenic in Southern China. This has attracted a lot of scholars, poets and travelers, since ancient times. Though Wuyishan city now has a population of about 200,000, the annual tourist arrivals have surpassed four million in recent years.

The areas we visited during our sojourn in Wuyishan are: 9-bend river, Longchuan Gorge, Da Hong Pao Tea Scenic Zone and Tianyou Peak.

B. 9-Bend River Rafting


The 9-bend stream, a meandering brook running through scenic mountain valleys, is about 9km long and has 9 bends along its course.

It takes 1 & 3/4 hours to drift down the stream, starting from the 9th Bend, by means of a bamboo raft.

Each raft consists of two smaller ones strapped together. Two pole-men, one in front and one at the rear, steer the raft with a long bamboo pole each. Each raft can accommodate six passengers.

The front pole-man would give commentary and description of every bend, rock and peak all along the journey in poetic and rhyming couplets.

Each bend, peak and rock has a name bestowed upon it based on its shape or a legend.

At the end of the cruise, the rafts are dismantled and hauled back upstream by trucks.

Below are some photos of rocks, peaks, caves and cliffs taken along the journey.

Lion Mouth Rock                                             Sydney Opera Hs Rock

Dawan Feng (Great King Peak)

Yu Nu Feng (Jade Maiden Peak)


Yu Nu Feng symbolizes the beauty of Wuyi scenery. It looks different depending on the direction it is viewed. On the left it shows a traditional girl standing gracefully deep in thought. The rock surface appears skin-smooth while the shrubs on top represent a girl’s hair.

On the right, the same peak looks completely different. It represents three girls standing close to each other. According to the local legend, the girl on the right loves flowers, the middle one loves to make-up whereas the one on the left is pregnant.

More on these two most popular peaks: See “Folklores of Wuyishan”.

Tianyou (Heavenly Tour Peak)
(See Section on Tianyou Peak)

Caves where ancient people used to put their dead


A Picturesque scene

The three musketeers after the cruise with Da Wan’s backing


The cruise is one of its kinds, unique and memorable. The raft moving in clear water, passing rocks and cliffs and combines with exotic peaks covered with green groves presents a real-life traditional Chinese painting.

C. Long Chuan (Dragon Gorge)


Guanyin Waterfall

This gorge meanders through two steep mountains. It is famous for its waterfalls. The most beautiful one is the Guanyin Waterfall. The topmost part of the waterfall looks like the Goddess of Mercy sitting on a rock.

D. Da Hong Pao (Big Red Rope) Scenic Zone

Walking along in a picturesque narrow valley with a flowing creek to see the planet’s sole source of Da Hong Pao tea plants is most pleasant. The valley is grown with Da Hong Pao tea all supposedly derived from the three plants half way up the mountain, claimed to have been there for centuries. (See Folklores of Wuyishan on Da Hong Pao Tea)

The three Da Hong Pao tea plants can produce only a pound of tea each year. And in year 2004, 20gm of it was auctioned for over RMB200,000! In olden days the tea leaves were reserved for the Emperors but now the political leaders in Beijing are the beneficiaries. The plants have never been watered and they have thrived on the soil’s rich nutrients all these years.

We stopped for tea at the tea house directly opposite the three Da Hong Pao tea plants and were completely mesmerized by the beauty and sanctity of the environment.

Besides the attraction of the three Da Hong Pao tea plants, we were also enchanted by the beautiful sceneries of rocks, mountains and creeks along the whole journey.

At the end of our journey we came to a renowned tea house where at one time an Emperor used to frequent. He used to sit along the veranda facing the mountain, enjoying the Da Hong Pao tea and took pleasure in admiring the twin peaks!

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