While the desolation of winter has already arrived in northern China, those living in the south can still enjoy the splendor of autumn. Here are three places around Shanghai with the "most" opportunities to enjoy the last of autumn.
Netizens claim Tachuan Village boasts the most famous autumn scenery, Xichang Dafo Temple boasts the fall landscape with the most zen flavor, and Badujie boasts the most romantic autumn view. So for those living in the south, take some time out to enjoy the beautiful scenery before winter comes. Catch the end tail of autumn.
The most famous autumn view
Chinese netizens were once asked to pick four of the most beautiful autumn views in China, and Tachuan Village is one of them. The other three are the Fragrant Hill in Beijing, Kanas in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Miyaluo in Sichuan Province.
Tachuan Village is located in Yixian County in Anhui Province. The layout of the village aligns with the mountains to create a pagoda shape. Clear creeks wind their way through the village lighting up the whole village in the mountains. The combination of the pagoda shape and the tinkling creeks give the village its name "Tachuan", meaning "pagoda and creek" literally in English.
Each autumn Tachuan is a favorite place of photographers with its colorful views. It boasts many old trees, including maples and camphors. The autumn colors create a land of wonder.
Ticket: 20 yuan
How to get there: Take Huhang highway first, then switch to Hanghui highway, then Hehuangtong highway. Take Tunxixikou exit and head for Xiuning until you arrive at Yixian County. Follow the signs leading to Hongcun. Tachuan Village is just next to Hongcun.
The most romantic autumn view
A typical scene in romantic movies is when lovers walk hand in hand walk through a road lined by trees and covered by fallen leaves. If you also want to experience this romance, go to the Ancient Gingko Corridor in Changxing County, Zhejiang Province.
This place is located at Xiaopu Badujie and it is 12.5 kilometers long. Thirty thousand gingko trees line this corridor and some of these arbors are thousands of years old.
Besides the golden gingko trees, Badujie also has a strong cultural and mythical flavor. It's said that Liu Xiu, the founding emperor of East Han Dynasty, once hided here to evade enemies. Wuzhan Mountain at Badujie is a dreamy place made famous by an ancient astrologist.
How to get there: Take Huqingping highway to reach Jinze Township. Then take 318 National Way and drive past ancient towns like Lili, Luxu, Zhenze, and Nanxun to get onto Shensu Zheyuan highWay. Then switch to Hangning highway and head towards Nanjing. Get off at Changxing exit and then head for Xiaopu. It's a 20-minute drive from there to the Ancient Gingko Corridor.
The most zen Buddhist autumn view
Dafo Temple or Grand Buddha Temple, is located in Xinchang County, Zhejiang Province. The temple has a history of 1,600 years and it hosts a Buddha statue crowned as the number one Buddha in southern China. The 16-meter tall Buddha is carved into a mountain and is surrounded by red maple leaves.
At Dafo Temple visitors can also find the longest lying Buddha in Asia. The statue is 37 meters long. About 300 meters west of Dafo Temple is Qianfoyuan, or House of a Thousand Buddhas hiding in the woods. It houses 1,000 normal-sized Buddha statues, 1,000 small-sized Buddha statues and a single large Buddha statue.
At the gate of Dafo Temple, tourists may also find a clear pond for devoted Buddhists to free captive animals.
Ticket: 80 yuan
How to get there: Take Humin highway, then switch to Huhang highway. Continue to Hangzhou Ring Road, then to Hangyong highway. Drive past Shaoxing and get off Hangyong highway at Guzhu exit. Then take Shangsan highway and head towards Shengzhou. It takes around three hours to get there. Finally take 104 National Way and follow the Wozhou Lake Scenic Spot signs to reach Tianmushan Scenic Spot.
(China Daily December 14, 2007)