Monday, December 11

Travel Destinations: Anhui Province, China

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Travel Destinations: Anhui Province, China

Anhui may be a poor province – supplying most of the domestic helpers in China – but she is the richest when it comes to scenery. This region of China is home to some of the most rugged landscape beauty in the country, as well as being the home of the fantastic Huizhou culture.

Anhui is the province you want to go to if you want to escape the continual hustle, bustle and construction noises found in other parts of China. Cut in the middle by the Yangzi River, the south is the place to visit and explore for cultural attractions, a region where the mountains are dwarfed by the culture and character of the people here.

TUNXI:

Home to 1.5 million people, Tunxi was once an old trading town and a great place for exploring the Huizhou culture in the area. The sites you can visit here include the Wancuilou Museum and the Chengshi Sanzhai as well as exploring the town on foot.

YIXIAN:

The two historic villages of Xidi and Hongcun are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and visitors will need to acquire a special permit to visit them. Visitors cannot stay overnight here. The villages are truly beautiful; Xidi itself was founded by the son of the last Tang emperor who ran here when his dynasty was coming to an end.

There are other villages in the area to explore – Nanping and Guanlu are both excellent places. Beautiful and quaint, they offer visitors the chance to relax and let your spirits rest and take flights.

SHEXIAN:

Also known in the past as Huizhou, this town was once the capital of the Huizhou Culture that flourished in this province. There are many beautiful places to visit here including the double-eaved gate Yangyhe Men, the stunning Xuguo Archway and the old residential part of town, Doushan Jie.

From here, you can explore the surrounding area. The Lian River has several historic settlements to visit including Yuliang. Come here to explore the tea shops, the Yuanhetang Chinese Medicine Shop, the Lion Bridge, the Yulian Dam and many more.

HUANG SHAN:

This is on the list as one of China’s top 10 destinatiobs. Shrouded in mist, numerous artists have drawn their inspiration from this magnificent place. This is the place that Westerners dream of when they think of China.

There are so places to visit here. Some of the best include Cloud Valley Temple, White Goose Ridge, Flying rock, Bright Summit Peak, Gleam of Sky and Lotus Flower Peak. If you don’t want to climb, you can always take the cable car.

JIUHUA SHAN:

A trip to Anhui Province would not be complete without visiting this mountain, one of the five sacred mountains in Daoism. The 99 peaks here form the home of the Lord of the Underworld, making it a highly spiritual place, especially when the peaks are covered in a shroud of white heavenly mist.

Explore the yellow Zhiyang Temple where you can light incense, and then make you way up to the peak. On the way you will pass by the Great Treasure Hall, the Huacheng Temple, Basiui Gong, the Five Hundred Luohan Hall, Huixiang Pavilion, Pheonix Pine and 10,000 Buddha Hall, plus many others. The views from here are simply spectacular.

HEFEI:

This is the capital of the province and rich in character and cultural attractions. Stop here for a day or two and visit Mingjiao Temple, Xiaoyaojin Park, Baohe Park and the magnificent Lord Bao’s Tomb before taking in the Anhui Provincial Museum.

Anhui Province is perhaps of the best provinces to go to if you only have limited time in China – big in personality, rich in cultural attractions and a land of unparallel beauty, Anhui is the China that you only dream of.

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