Hefei, capital of Anhui Province, was a battlefield of the Three Kingdoms Period, hometown of the upright Song official Bao Zheng, and a bone of contention among warring strategists. Surrounded by wooded mountains and tucked away under the shadows of green trees, Hefei is also a garden city with a pleasant environment. Major attractions: the temple and tomb of Bao Zheng, the battlefield at Xiaoyaojin, Jiaonu (Archery Drilling) Terrace, Xinghua (Apricot Flower) Park, and Chaohu Amusement Park-on-the-Water. Shouxian, a famous historical and cultural city, and the picturesque Chaohu Lake are also in the tourist zone.
A major international tourist city in south Anhui, Huangshan is noted for its statuesque mountains and rich cultural heritage. It was also the cradle of one of China’s three local academic schools, the school of Anhui studies. Under the jurisdiction of Huangshan are the national scenic resorts Mount Huangshan and Mount Qiyun, the famous historical and cultural city Shexian, and four key cultural relics under state protection (Xu Guo’s Stone Archway, dwelling houses at Qiankou, the group of archways in Tangyue, and the temple dedicated to Luo Dongshu), and such scenic resorts as Xin’an River and Taiping Lake.
Mount Huangshan Scenic Zone
Lauded as “No.1 Mountain under Heaven”, Mount Huangshan is one of 10 major scenic resorts of China. In 1990 the UNESCO put Mount Huangshan on its list of world natural and cultural heritages. The beauty of Mount Huangshan lies in its “four wonders”: pine tees with shapely foliage, rocks in a hundred and one images, an ocean of clouds, and hot springs. Eight tourist zones with 400 scenic spots have been established in the mountain, and a number of star-rated hotels and other facilities (including three cableways) built for sightseers and holidaymakers. Huangshan Airport operates flights to many cities. The annual Huangshan International Tourist Festival takes place in October.
Old Street in Tunxi
The 1.5-km-long Old Street in Tunxi, the seat of Huangshan City Hall, emerged in the Southern Song and took its present form during the Ming and Qing. Paved with bluestone, the street is lined on both sides with building in an unmistakable Anhui style of architecture. Housed in those buildings are traditional stores selling souvenirs and local specialties such as Shexian County’s ink slabs, Mount Huangshan’s maojian tea, and the Hukaiwen-brand Anhui ink sticks.
Shexian, a Famed Old City
Shexian, lying on the southern foot of Mount Huangshan, used to be the seat of government of Huizhou in bygone days, the cradle of the unique Huizhou culture, and hometown to such great men as Cheng Yi, Chenghao, Zhu Xi, Huang Binhong, and Tao Xingzhi. local merchants had dominated Chinese commerce for four centuries during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Shexian is the site of 7 Shangyue archways built by the Bao clan in front of their ancestral temple, and Xu Guo’s stone archway erected in 1584 as China’s only archway with 8 pillars.
Dwellings of Huizhou
More than 300 ancient buildings are preserved in Huizhou District, Huangshan City, including 35 Yuan and Ming structures in Chengkan Village. None of these are better known than the dozen or so Ming dwelling houses that have been moved to Qiankou and put under state protection as national treasures.
Taiping Lake, lying between Mount Huangshan and Mount Jiuhua as “loving mates of Huangshan”, features a sparkling 100-square-km water surface that harbors a series of isles and bays suitable for holidaymaking and water sports.
Mount Jiuhua, soaring to 1,342 meters high in Qingyang County and extolled as “No.1 Mountain in Southeast China”, is one of the four major Buddhist mountain sanctuaries in China. All its major scenic spots and famed temples are found within an area of 100 square km. These include 86 temples that are enshrined with 6,800 Buddhist statues and peopled by 700 or so monks and nuns. On the 30th day of the 7th lunar month, a traditional temple fair is held up Mount Jiuhua to mark the passing away of Ksitigarbha.
Anqing, a city in the southwest of Anhui, was the cradle of the Tongcheng culture. The famous huangmei opera originated in Anqing, on whose outskirts there are such tourist mountains as Tianzhu, Xiaogu, and Dalong.
Famous Men’s Birthplaces
Woyang County in west Anhui was hometown of the ancient Chinese thinker Lao Zi. A local temple is dedicated to him, and Huagu Pavilion was built during Kangxi reign of the Qing. Haozhou was the birthplace of such famous Three Kingdoms men as Cao Cao and Hua Tuo. The tombs of the Caos, and the temple in honor of Hua Tuo, are still there. The tomb of Li Bai, the celebrated Tang poet, and the Taibai Pavilion dedicated to him, are found in Ma’anshan, where he died during a visit. Ouyang Xiu, a major Song, writer, wrote his immortal “Accounts of the Drunkard’s Pavilion” at Langya Mountain in Chuzhou. Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding father of the Ming, was born in Fengyang County, where ruins of his tomb can still be found.