• Majestic Anhui
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  • Anhui Traditional Opera

Explore Anhui

Majestic Anhui

(1)Mount Huangshan Scenic Area

>>> Mount Huangshan Scenic Area

Mount Huangshan is crowned as a World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Global Geopark, and World Biosphere Reserve internationally, and a National Scenic Area, National Civilized Scenic Area, and National 5A Tourist Attraction domestically. It is recognized as an outstanding icon of China's magnificent landscapes and splendid culture, together with the Yangtze River, the Great Wall, and the Yellow River. Enjoying the reputation of "A Wonderland on Earth" and "The No. 1 Mountain of Wonder in the World", Mount Huangshan is famous for its "Five Wonders", that is, strangely-shaped pines, fantastic rocks, sea of clouds, hot springs and winter snow. It boasts a great many beautiful peaks and strange rocks, of which 88 peaks are over 1,000 meters above sea level, especially the three main peaks, i.e. the Lotus Peak, the Bright Summit Peak and the Tiandu Peak, which are all over 1,800 meters above sea level. Xu Xiake (1587-1641), a great traveler of the Ming Dynasty, visited Mount Huangshan twice and acclaimed: "Mount Huangshan tops all the other mountains." The quote was revised by later generations to a new version, which goes: "The landscape of the Five Great Mountains belittles those elsewhere, and the landscape of Huangshan tops that of the Five Great Mountains".

Located in Huangshan City in southern Anhui Province, Mount Huangshan is about 40 kilometers long from north to south and 30 kilometers wide from east to west, covering a total area of about 1,200 square kilometers, of which 160.6 square kilometers are developed as Mount Huangshan Scenic Area. Mount Huangshan was originally named Yishan Mountain for its dark green peaks and rocks, which appeared even grayer in the distance. Legend has it that this is the place where the Yellow Emperor collected herbs for refining elixirs, and finally became an immortal. The mountain was renamed Mount Huangshan in the sixth year of the Tianbao reign (AD 747) by Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty for his belief in Taoism. Over the past thousand years, Mount Huangshan has accumulated a rich culture themed on the Yellow Emperor, with many of its attractions named after his legend, including Xuanyuan Peak, Liandan Peak, Rongcheng Peak, Fuqiu Peak, Danjing Well, Xiyao Stream, and Shaiyao Terrace.

Mount Huangshan is the quintessence of 800-million-year geological development, integrating peak forest landforms and glacial relics, and featuring rich typical geological landscapes, such as shaped granite stones, granite caves, springs, ponds, streams and waterfalls. In addition, it boasts a stable and balanced ecosystem, with complete and vertically distributed plant communities, and especially an alpine swamp and an alpine meadow, thus winning the reputation of the "Treasure House of Plants in East China" and the "Natural Botanical Garden". The scenic area is covered by forest for up to 98.29%, reaching a greening rate of 98.53%. With crisscrossed ravines and dense vegetation, Mount Huangshan is an ideal place for wild animals to dwell and breed, so there are rich species of wild animals.

Thanks to the dense forests and numerous streams and waterfalls, Mount Huangshan Scenic Area retains Class I in terms of its air quality all year round, with the concentration of negative oxygen ions in the air permanently at above 20,000/cm3, thus known as the "Natural Oxygen Bar".

Location: Huangshan District, Huangshan City

Transport: Accessible by direct public Transport from Huangshan Bus Station and High-speed Railway Station.

(2)The Ancient City of Huizhou

>>> The Ancient City of Huizhou

The Ancient City of Huizhou is a scenic area located in the downtown of Xixian County, a National Historical and Cultural County. It is one of the four well-preserved ancient cities in China, the seat of the ancient Huizhou government, and an important part of the Ancient Anhui Cultural Tourism Area, a national 5A tourist area. The ancient city presents fascinating landscapes contributed by five beautiful peaks and six zigzag rivers. The scenic area is home to elegantly-arranged ancient residential complexes, with plain ancient bridges, towers, streets, alleys, dams and archways, just like a historical museum of great magnificence. This is the birthplace of "Anhui Culture", one of China's three major regional cultures, and is known as the "Sea of Cultural Relics", "State of Culture", "Capital of Anhui Ink", "Hometown of Xixian Inkstones" and "Southeast Cultural City". The attractions here include: the Barbican Entrance, Nanqiao Tower, Huizhou Government Office, Anhui Huizhou History Museum, Ancient City Wall, Xu Guo's Stone Stele, Huiyuan Garden, Cao's Residences·- Hui Combo Memorial Hall, Tao Xingzhi Memorial Hall, Doushan Street, Yuliang Scenic Area, boating tours and so on.

Location: Huicheng Town, Xixian County, Huangshan City

Transport: Take Route 6001 at Tunguang Zhuanpan bus stop to transfer at Fengle Xiyuan to Xixian Route 2 to reach Huizhou Fuya, and the ancient city is within a walking distance.

(3)Hongcun Village

>>> Hongcun Village

Hongcun Village is known as "A Countryside out of Chinese Paintings". During the Shaoxing reign of the Southern Song Dynasty (1131-1162), Hongcun villagers pioneered in a bionic design with their unique ingenuity to have built a village based on an artificial water system centered on the shape of a cow, which becomes a wonder in China. The design includes Leigang Mountain as the cow's head, the two ancient trees at the entrance of the village as the cow's horns, the moon marsh dug next to the spring as the cow's stomach, the South Lake as the cow's tripe, the zigzag water system as the cow's intestines, the residential buildings as the cow's body, and the four ancient bridges are the cow's feet. The layout becomes lifelike this way. Meanwhile, thanks to delicate construction by many businessmen and scholars in the past dynasties and generations, the whole village has been refined like a leisurely buffalo lying peacefully among the green mountains and waters.

Hongcun Village is home to more than 140 well-preserved residential buildings of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Chengzhi Hall with exquisite and magnificent "three carvings" is known as the "Folk Forbidden City". Other famous attractions include: the spring dawn by the South Lake, the reading in the academy, the lotus in the Moon Marsh, the cow intestine-shaped water system, the green reflections on the two streams, the ancient trees in front of the pavilion, Leigang sunset, etc. There are a large number of well-preserved ancient residences of the Ming and Qing Dynasties featuring unique design and meticulous craftsmanship, such as Shuren Hall, Taoyuan Mansion, Jingxiu Hall, Deyi Hall, and Biyuan Garden. In addition, Hongcun Village is known for its beautiful landscapes, splendid culture, ancient lifestyles and simple folk customs.

It was inscribed on the World Cultural Heritage List in 2000 and was rated as a national 5A tourist attraction in 2011. It is also National Key Cultural Relics to Be Protected, Famous Historic Village in China, one of the Top Ten Charming Towns in China, the Most Beautiful Villages/Towns in China, and one of the first National Ecological Cultural Villages.

Location: Hongcun Town, Yixian County, Huangshan City

Transport: Accessible by taking buses of Routes 1, 6, 9, and 12 from Huangshan City.

Anhui Tea

>>> Anhui Tea

Renowned mountains produce extraordinary herbs; the renowned tea producer Anhui is known for its hospitality. As the aromas of tea spreads, spring has also arrived. Let us sample a cup of quality tea and appreciate its aromas before setting out on a tea journey to Anhui.

Huangshan Maofeng: The fresh tea leaves are picked from the peaks of Huangshan, hence the name. The slightly curved leaves resemble a sparrow’s tongue and exude a subtle yellow hue amid the lush greenness. With fine long hair and golden blades, they are thus commonly referred to golden blades.

Around the 5th and 6th solar terms each year, which usually begin around 4 or 5 April and end around 5 May in the Gregorian calendar, the freshly sprouted buds are picked from the peaks of Huangshan. Manually stir-fried, they taste rich and sweet, pure and refined and are highly aromatic.

Lu’an Guapian: A top-grade green tea. Due to the thick blades, it is the only Chinese green tea to keep only the blades and remove the stalk and buds.

After pouring in the boiling water, the leaves dance about like butterflies with refreshing aromas that linger.

Taiping Houkui: A rare gem among tea, it is produced in Houkeng Village of Huangshan in Anhui Province.

The tea strips are straight and flat, with two thick leaves wrapping around a bud. The tea has a light and clear green hue that is highly transparent and stable.

Keemun black tea: Keemun black tea boasts exceptional quality. The unrivalled local ecological environment has given birth to its unique and intense aromas.

The repeatedly improved Keemun black tea is world renowned for its four exceptional qualities, namely pronounced aromas, pure flavour, beautiful appearance and stunning colour. It is revered as “the queen of black tea” and is well loved by tea drinkers at home and abroad.

Anhui Traditional Opera

>>> Anhui Traditional Opera

The local environment nurtures its own art culture. Anhui, a province in China famed for the diversity of its traditional opera, has countless time-honoured and widely popular operas that have accompanied many through ordinary yet memorable times. Let us go on a trip and discover the intangible cultural heritage. Find a theatre, sample a pot of tea while listening to some age-old tunes.

Huangmei opera: sprightly and expressive rhythms

Where to appreciate it: Anqing City, Anhui Province

Nurtured by its natural landscape and culture, a popular tune of Huangmei opera from Anhui vividly tells the local customs and practices and daily life. Huangmei opera has been praised as “China’s country music” and has come a long way over the last two centuries, from being performed on rural stages to shooting to international fame. And from being a form of folk art to gaining national and international popularity, Huangmei opera has come to represent the culture of Anhui.

Hui opera: the origin of Peking opera that appeals to both refined and popular tastes

Where to appreciate it: Huizhou, Anhui Province

Amid the whitewashed walls and black tiles and by the winding rivers and colourful bridges, if you happen to come across throat singing, dramatic facial expressions and lively looks, you would probably think that you have stumbled upon a never-ending Hui-cultural festival. As the curtains draw back, the loud and sonorous music of string instruments accompanied by the sweet and expressive wind instruments reverberate across the theatre; it is hard to tell play and reality apart. In the fifty-fifth year of the reign of the Qing Emperor Qianlong (AD 1790), the four major Hui-opera groups travelled to the capital and enjoyed temporary prominence. This later gave birth to Peking opera, the quintessence of Chinese culture, and in turn consolidated the status of Hui opera in opera history.

Nuo opera: steeped deep in history and for both gods and mortals

Where to appreciate it: Cizhou

There is a kind of ancient opera performed behind colourfully painted wooden masks in Cizhou, which is known as Nuo opera. It is an ancient form of opera performed by clans to pray for blessings and bring in good fortune. Characterised by the wearing of wooden masks decorated with coloured patterns, the opera is pure and rustic. The exquisitely created masks and the unusual costumes complemented by the simple singing reflect the longing for a better life and are the secrets to the unwaning popularity of the ancient and mysterious Nuo opera.

Opera carries with it too many unforgettable years and affectionate memories. In the years when there was a lack of entertainment, opera was the only pastime. In the age when everything develops so fast, opera remains the entertainment of the older generation but also the familial bond of the younger ones.

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