Jiangjin, Home of Waterfalls Hidden in Mountains

Located in Jiangjin City, 140 kilometres from the central part of Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, Simian Mountain is an area of natural beauty, featuring flourishing forests, lakes, rivers and waterfalls.

With the help of a favourable climate and sufficient rainfall, the region is covered with luxurious forests. The mountain is covered mainly by sub-tropical virgin forests of evergreen broadleaf trees.

There are more than 1,500 kinds of plants in these forests, including 19 kinds of rare plants such as the thorned cyathea spinulosa, the Chinese double-fan fern, the Chinese goose-palm catalpa and the yinque tree.

Among them, the thorned cyathea spinulosa is the only living plant in the world that existed 350 million years ago, while the Chinese double-fan fern existed at the time of the dinosaur.

The forests are inhabited by 207 kinds of animals, with 16 protected as rare animals under the law. Therefore, the area is called "the bank of special genes". The densest forest area is at Dawopu, which is a sea of thick woods.

Magnificent mountains often exist side by side with beautiful bodies of water. In the forest area in Simian Mountain, there are quite a number of streams, waterfalls, lakes and arenaceous red rock topographic features.

The Chaba River and the Feilong River snake their way through the forest area, dividing to form waterfalls, or lying still to form lakes.

In the area, there are more than 40 streams and seven lakes. The largest lake is Honghai Lake, consisting of the Greater Honghai and the Lesser Honghai Lake, extending as far as Guizhou Province.

The best part of the journey is taking a boat along the lake hidden in the mountain. The scenery changes with the motion of the boat. Dense forests, colourful flowers and a blue sky cast shadows on the lake. Visitors are indulged in the beautiful scenery and tranquility.

Jiangjin is also the home of waterfalls. There are more than 100 waterfalls in this area, among which 23 are quite famous.

The Wangxiangtai Waterfall, the highest waterfall in China, is 152 metres high and 40 metres wide. The Yuanyang (loving-bird) Waterfall is a twin waterfall, the "male" on the south is 110 metres high, and the "female" on the north, 90 metres. This type of waterfall is very rare in China. The Shuikousi Waterfall, 94 metres high, is well known for its great scale. The waterfall pours down from a natural cave high above in the cliffs, presenting a very special scene.

Travel tips

Train k71 departs Shanghai Railway Station at 4:38pm and arrives Chongqing at 10:52am. Frequent long-distance buses commute between Chongqing and Simian Mountain daily. Transportation is convenient between scenic spots in Simian Mountain. Hotels can be found easily in Jiangjin City at about 50 yuan (US$6.00) per person.

( Shanghai Star August 1, 2002)