Wuyuan(婺源), on the boundary of three provinces in Jiangxi’s northeastern corner, has a landscape dotted with strange caves, deep secluded rocks and numerous historic sites. Wuyuan County is home to some of the best-preserved ancient architecture in China.
Wuyuan, known as the “most beautiful countryside in China,” with at least 50 old villages, is located northeast of Jiangxi, and near Mt Huangshan and Jingdezhen.
Wuyuan is home to a few of the well-preserved ancient architecture in China. Each of those ancient structures has a unique appearance as well as structure. They emerge from among the emerald green mountains and trees, clear rivers along with the crisscrossing paths between the fields. Those structures were built in 740 during the Tang Dynasty; its remoteness and inconvenient transportation protecting its villages’ beauty from a large amount of tourists. Local people there can enjoy the pure, clean brooks, seemingly delicate wooden buildings, unique bridges as well as the tranquil lifestyle, etc…
This village has turned into a ecological, cultural as well as tourist demonstration center of China. The ancient Architectural complexes,caves, blue water, trees as well as rural sceneries; all these form a typical Chinese countryside scene.
Wuyuan has become a well known town in the world features in famous Huizhou local culture as well as charming idyllic scenery. Beijing Opera, Hui Opera, the Luo Dance known as the “Dance Live Fossil” as well as the charming tea performance, all these make Wuyuan fascinating tourism destination.
This judgement is based partly on Wuyuan County’s well-preserved, ancient Hui-style architecture, partly on the county’s breathtaking natural beauty that is characterized by emerald-green mountains (over 80% of the county is covered in woods), blue lakes and clear rivers and brooks, and partly by the spirit of tranquility which continues to define this area, linking it to its unhurried, ancient past. Indeed, others have called Wuyuan County China’s last genuine Shangri-La, though there are other localities in China which vie for that title.
Wengong Hill, Yuanyan (“Mandarin Duck”) Lake and Linyan Cave are known as ecological wonders. There are also many well-preserved ancient villages such as Jiangwan (the ancestral home of the former President of the PRC, Jiang Zemin), Likeng, Sixi, Wangkou and Yan. The ancient Hui-style buildings with pink walls and black tiles, only faintly visible here and there amid the green hills and the blue waters, paint a picturesque landscape of harmony between man and nature.
The Hui-style architecture of Wuyuan – its delicate wooden buildings and unique stone bridges – dates from the middle of the 8th century during the Tang (CE 618-907) Dynasty. The area’s relative remoteness and its rugged, albeit beautiful, terrain, which made transportation difficult, has, more than any other factors, helped to preserve the pristine beauty of Wuyuan County.
The idyllic scenery, both the manmade as well as the natural landscapes, are preserved in Wuyuan County, thanks in no small part to the continued tranquil lifestyle of the local inhabitants. Virtually every village has something unique to offer, if only a small detail that catches the visitor’s eye and causes one to stop up and photograph it – or be photographed by another bypasser with you or your party in the foreground. The preservation of Wuyuan’s distinctive and original architecture and its pristine nature will surely be the challenge to confront in future, as tourism increases in the area.
The village of Wuyuan itself is the natal village of two distinguished individuals: the Southern Song (CE 1127-1279) Dynasty philosopher, Zhu Xi, and the more recent Zhan Tianyou (1861-1919), China’s ‘Father of Railroads’.
In spite of its remoteness, Wuyuan County has always been defined by its culture. For example, the official records indicate that after the institution of the imperial examinations*, over 550 candidates from Wuyuan County completed these exams successfully. As for art, Wuyuan County is known for its traditional Luo Dance, said to be a living fossil from the ancient past. In addition, Hui Opera, which characterizes the area (note that Wuyuan County was formerly part of Anhui Province, and continued to preserve its Hui culture even after it became an official part of Jiangxi Province), is the origin of modern-day Beijing Opera.
The Imperial examinations, or Keju, were introduced during the Han (BCE 206 – CE 220) Dynasty in an attempt to weaken the existing – and often corrupt and injust – feudal system whereby office was held in hereditary succession by local tribesmen rather than being held on the basis of merit. The hereditary system led to incompetence and abuse of power, and served the populace at large very poorly. Following certain progressive principles espoused centuries earlier by Confucius (BCE 551-479), this system was thankfully changed with the introduction of the Keju.
A corollary of the Imperial-examination – based appointment of public servants is that those officials who did not perform as they were expected to could be removed from office without risking a power struggle between the Imperial court and the local elite. Chinese society was far ahead of its time in instituting such a system of accountability; in Europe, the system of feudal lords, based principally on hereditary succession, continued far beyond the end of the feudal era.
Main Attractions to Visit in Wuyuan
Likeng Village is a cluster of houses constructed along a brook. It is said to be the most scenically beautiful village in the town. The brook is two to three meters wide spanned at different points by makeshift bridges. A rolling stream through the village lived by 260 peasant households along with ancient buildings with its pink walls, black tiles as well as beautiful girls who are washing laundry reflecting from the stream look like a natural scenery.
Shangxia Xiaoqi is a village built in the Song Dynasty. A few special ancient buildings with magnificence and precise craftsmanship can be seen here. The roads of village were made of small stones. A lot of well known ancient trees can be found all over the village.
The Rainbow Bridge is said to be the most beautiful covered bridge in the country. Though the bridge was built 800 years ago, it stands as sturdy as ever. It is used by the local people every day. In order to get to this bridge, tourists need to pass through the oldest lane in Wuyuan.
Dazhang Mountain is the northern protective screen of Wuyuan. It is really a distinct mountain as well as a gorge scenic spot with total original natural views. A lot of waterfalls can be seen in the gorge. From a distance, these waterfall look like a jade dragon diving from the sky, shining brightly in the sunlight.
Yuanyang Lake is found in the western town of Wuyuan County. In winter, this lake has attracted numerous mandarin ducks to inhabit to escape the cold season. In 1997, it had been listed as “Provincial Nature Reserve”. Along the Lake is the region of natural vegetation full of evergreen broad-leaved forest, mainly pine. Here, the 24 families as well as the 185 kinds of woody plants cover more than 95% of this area.
Popular Things to Do in Wuyuan
【Watch Rape Flowers and Taste Spring Tea】
Wuyuan is famous for a perfect mass of rape flowers. Rape flowers in Wuyuan are usually in full bloom in late March and early April. The top of terraces around Jiangling Village or the Moon Bay is the best place to get a panoramic view of the vast expanse of golden yellow rape flowers. Qingyuan Village, Shangxia Xiaoqi Village, Wangcha Village is also a good place to watch the Rape flowers sea.
Wuyuan green tea has been famous in Wuyuan for long, especially the spring green tea. If you go there in Spring, you may visit Changxi Village to experience tea culture, where is famous for producing high mountain green tea in Wuyuan.
【See Beautiful Autumn Leaves】
Wuyuan is also very beautiful in late autumn. From October to late November is the best time to water red and yellow leaves, as well as morning mist. When you see villages deep in the mountains are shrouded in mist, a large area of red maple and ginkgo silhouetted against the white walls and black tiles in countryside, looming in the mist, you will find the view is truly fascinating and worth the trip. Shicheng Village, Huangling Village, Sixiyan Village and some other villages are good places to enjoy the autumn view.
【Visit Local Ancient Village in Hui-style】
Wuyuan is the birthplace of the Huizhou culture. Villages around are must go, and you will be attracted by the quiet and simple countryside life there. noticeable Huizhou-style architecture can be found in these old villages, such as, arches, stone tablets, stone bridges, ancient stages, etc.
Bus from Jingdezhen to Wuyuan
Every half an hour, there is a car to Wuyuan at Jingdezhen bus station which is very close Jingdezhen train station. The first bus departs at 6:30 a.m. and the last one departs at 16:30 p.m. at Jingdezhen. It takes 2 hours from Jingdezhen to Wuyuan (85 km).
From Jingdezhen Airport to Wuyuan
Visitors can go to Jingdezhen by plane. Taking a taxi to Licun village bus station costs about 15 yuan.
Next, taking a bus to Wuyuan costs about 30 yuan.
Or visitors can take a taxi from airport to Wuyuan. But we do not recommend for the taxi fare may reach to 300 yuan.