—–A two day’s field trip by Absolute China Tours Team
This summer was really very hot in Hangzhou. Some of us even wanted to escape out of this beautiful city which is titled as “A Paradise on the Earth” and spend a cool weekend in a resort. Indeed, we were lucky! Because we were told that we would take a Mountain Wuyi Tour. And it came even faster than was expected.
Our dream tour finally came true last weekend just after the typhoon Haikui left Zhejiang and moved to the neighbor provinces. And, our destination Mount Wuyi is just located in the junction part between Jiangxi Province and Fujian Province. Therefore, our journey was full of rain and wind on the way. However, we knew nothing could possibly stop us for our exciting mood about traveling.
I am not very good at writing traveling strategy but would like to share some feelings about this trip. We spent one day and a half in the scenic region of Mount Wuyi. The most interesting and unforgettable experience was hiking inside of the canyon or valley if more accurate.
Glance at Mount Wuyi
Mount Wuyi was inscribed into UNESCO’S list of World Heritage Sites since 1999. As a natural and cultural heritage, it enjoyed a good reputation in the south of China.
Generally, Mount Wuyi can be divided into three sections. The west part of Mount Wuyi is the key area for the world biodiversity conservation for the largest and most typical and well-preserved mid-subtropical virgin forest ecosystem is right there. The east part wins a high admiration because of the perfect match of mountains and rivers as well as the combination of humanity and nature. The highlight of the middle part is Jiuqu River (literary, a river with nine bends) which is a joint and also is our biggest expectation during this trip. But, well, continue to read then you will figure out what a “But “really means, haha!
The essence beauty of Mount Wuyi derives from Fold Mountains. Because of the crustal movement in the remote geologic time as well as synthetic action of subject to erosion by water and weathering, the mountains changed a lot: peaks and crags rose while valleys sagged; the color of the mountain assumed russet; and the whole body of the mountain leaning to the east due to extrusion. Among more than 200 Danxia Landform, it is the most typical and developed one.
Peak Tianyou is the representative peak among Mountain Wuyi. It is not very high, only 408.8 meter. It supposed to be a very ideal place for visiting cloud sea and panorama if there were not many tourists. Actually, I did not expect many people as I mentioned before we met rain. However, when we arrived at the foot of the peak, this was the first time I realized that I lived in China—-so many people, it even could be compared with the transport situation during Chinese New Year.
I thrust myself into the crowd and moved gradually with the group. Colorful umbrellas and rain capes occupied all my sight. We had to climb many steps to get on the peak and some of them were really steep.
There was a pavilion on the peak which was built at the cliff. With the excellent location, you can have all the sightseeing of Mountain Wuyi at your front. Standing there and looking far away: clouds or mist spread over the mountains; looking down, I found the Nine-bends River was winding like a dragon. If it was sunny, we might find some bamboo raft drifting on the river. What a nice landscape painting!
Our ancient famous traveler Xu Xiake even made a comment as below: although Tianyou Peak is not near the river, still, you can enjoy the fabulous scenery of the Nine-bends River. It should be the first peak in this area.”
Water Curtain Cave
If you have ever read one of Chinese Four Great Classical literary work—- Journey to the West, a phrase “Water Curtain Cave” might be very familiar to you. But do not get confused. This Water Curtain Cave among Mount Wuyi is different from the one in the novel. My first impression to this attraction was “water and curtain”. It turned out to be a huge cave but with only a small thread of waterfall.
Historically, many Chinese poets and senior monks and Taoists would like to write inscriptions on precipices to express their feelings when they met these sights. Here, easily, you also can find Zhuxi’s famous poem on the precipice” 问渠那得清如许，为有源头活水来”, means “ why is the water so clear in the ditch, for the water comes from the springhead” . Besides the waterfall, this cave is also a holy place for Chinese religion Taoism.
Da Hong Pao Tea
Just like Hangzhou is well-known for the Longjing Green Tea, Mountain Wuyi also earns good fame for Da Hong Pao Oolong Tea.
Da Hong Pao, literally, means big red robe which came from a legend. It is said that there was a young man on his way to the Beijing for the highest imperial examination in the Ming Dynasty but he got ill in Mountain Wuyi. Fortunately, the kind-hearted Buddhist abbot picked some tea leaves for him and this young man recovered. Moreover, he became the number one scholar at that year. When he came back to Mountain Wuyi, he took off his red robe which was conferred by the Emperor and put it on the tea tree. Suddenly, the tea tree got red. With a history of more than 350 years, these 6 seed tree are well-protected by the local government. For example, we were told that they have an insurance which are worth 100 million.
Da Hong Pao tea from seed tree is very rare and the last picking was July, 2007. It’s only 20 gram and now is collected in the National Museum of China.
Then for our common people, we can hardly taste the original Da Hong Pao tea from the mother tree, but a new method is used in cultivating Da Hong Pao—-grafting. Cuttings taken from the mother tea tree have been used to produce similar Da Hong Pao recently.
There was no true or fake Da Hong Pao tea but only grade different due to the soil and location of these later generations.
Hiking along Jiulong Ke & Huanggang Valley
These two nice trips were my favorite part during our travel. I asked my foreign colleague Jessica which part of the journey was her favorite, and, obviously, her answer was the same as mine. Maybe this was a proof of a Chinese old saying” Great minds think alike”. LOL!
Jiulong Ke is the must place to go to look for Da Hong Pao. It needs nearly an hour to pass this valley. Hiking along the small path, we did not feel lonely because we got butterflies, birds and some rare but not dangerous animals as our companions. Usually, we will attracted by the brooks with purl of the running water. When we were in high spirits, we jumped into the brook to catch some fishes or paddle.
Huanggang Valley is known as the natural oxygen bar due to the surrounding tree-lined, elegant environment and fresh air. Once walking into the valley, I felt my pores open wide immediately and then my lungs were full of the fresh air. Here, I saw the most beautiful scenery during this trip. Deep pools were like emeralds adorning intermountain rift. Running water flowed rapid from one rock to another which aroused white spray; or, it passed the rocks gently like green silk.Lying on the smooth rocks, enjoy the sunshine in the morning. This was a great experience!