Fifteen kilometers south of the Chong'an County seat in Fujian Province, and isolated from the outside world by streams and ravines, the Wuyi Mountain area is often called the "number one scenic wonder in Southeast China." An ancient legend says that in prehistoric period, there was an eight hundred-year-old man named Peng Zu who came to live in Chong'an, where the people suffered because of serious flooding. Peng Zu had two sons, Wu and Yi, who offered to dredge the waterways and finally conquered the floods. To commemorate the Peng brothers, the mountain was named Wuyi Mountain, and a palace was built in their memory. The river they dredged now called the Nine-Bend River (Jiuquxi) winds for several miles in the mountain. Today, tourists can travel down the river on bamboo raft excursions.
It is said that when the noted scholar Zhu Xi (1130-1200) of the Song Dynasty came to the Nine-Bend River, he was so attracted by its beautiful scenery that he wrote a poem in praise of the place and ordered a school built by the river-the Ziyang Academy of Classic Learning. Many Buddhist and Taoist temples, palaces, and pavilions were also built on the mountainsides during the Tang and Song dynasties, and inscriptions by celebrated scholars were left on the stone cliffs.
To the west of Wuyi Palace stands the highest peak of Wuyi Mountain --Great King Peak (Dawangfeng), so named because of its stately majesty. In the opposite direction is Jade maiden Peak (Yun\feng), which is another scenic attraction of Wuyi Mountain. With its smooth rock cliffs and luxuriant vegetation, it looks like a slender maiden. There is a beautiful story connected with the Jade Maiden Peak. It is said that the Jade Maiden in Heaven admired the beauty of Earth and decided to live on Wuyi Mountain. Her love, the Great King, also came down and joined her there. But their whereabouts were found out and reported to the Jade Emperor by the Iron Slab Demon, who was then ordered to spy on them. The Jade Maiden and the Great King loved each other so much that they decided never to return to Heaven. With his magic powers, the Iron Slab Demon turned them into stone mountains. The demon himself also became a mountain because of his evil doings. Today, Iron Slab Peak (Tiebanfeng) stands between the Great King and the Jade Maiden peaks.
Other scenic spots on Wuyi Mountain include the Little Peach Blossoms Garden (Xiaotaoyuan), Water Screen Cave (Shuiliandong), Floating Fragrance Valley (Liuxiangjian), and A Shot of Sky (Yixiantian).
The Wuyi Mountain area has a pleasant climate with plenty of rainfall and moderate temperatures. Because of the many rare animals and plants that are found here, the area has been designated by the state as a special nature preserve. Among the fine teas grown here, Dahongpao (Big Red Gown) tea is considered one of the best.
How to get there:
To get to Wuyi, you can either take the train running on the Zhejiang - Jiangxi Rilway and get off at Shangrao station, or take the train on the Yingtan - Xiamen Railway. Getting off at Shaowu or Nanping, where you can change for a direct bus to the Wuyi scenic area.
(China.org.cn January 23, 2008)