Anhui Province is located at the hinterland of East China, crossing the Yangtze River and the middle and lower reaches of the Huaihe River. To the east, it links with Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces; to the west, it adjoins Hubei and Henan provinces; to the south it borders Jiangxi Province; and to the north it backs on Shandong Province. It is the cradle of Chinese civilization, and home to the famous Huaihe River culture and Hui culture.
Here originated the Jian’an Literature, the Tongcheng Literary School and Xin’an Culture. Furthermore, Anhui is known as the land of traditional drama and opera represented by Hui Opera. Huangmei Opera and Flower Drama Dance which are shining points in Chinese traditional culture. It brought up Hui Merchants that had been acclaimed in the business field for 300 years and China’s first steam engine, mechanical ship and telephone were produced in Anhui. All the achievements opened a new page for China’s commercial and modern industrial civilization. Anhui ancient cultural masters had exerted a far-reaching influence on the course of Chinese cultural development, such Lao Zi, founder of Taoism, Huatuo, a magical doctor of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220AD), and Cao Cao, an excellent strategist, politician and poet of Three Kingdoms (220-280).
Anhui province is such a place combining natural landscapes with cultural heritages. It is like a garden gathering magnificent mountains and rivers and fascinating cultural relics throughout the province. The plain on the north of Anhui is vast and fertile, while in the middle area between the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River lies the network of rivers and lakes and the chain of undulating hills. The Dabie Mountain area maintains good eco-environment. The mountain area in South Anhui boasts beautiful mountains and lush plantation. In Anhui, there are two world cultural heritage sites, five national historic cultural cities, 10 national scenic and historic interest areas and 31 national scenic areas rated above AAAA level. The recommended sightseeing list in Anhui would include Mt. Huangshan, a world cultural and natural heritage and world geopark, the Buddhist mountain, Mt. Jiuhua, Mt.Qiyuo, one of China’s famous Taoist immortal mountains. Tianzhu Mountain, the ancient Nanyue (one of the famous Buddhist holy mountains), the Xin’an River reputed as a gallery of beauty on water, and the ancient villages in southern Anhui, Xidi and Hongcun. The rich tourism resources of Anhui are described by two old sayings clearly as “The Wanjiang River surges 800 li (1 li=0.5 kilometer) the Huaihe River has a history of 5,000 years, and “Nowhere can be called dreamland once you come Huizhou, no mountain is worthy of being visited once you travel to Mt. Huangshan”.
Former Residence of Li Hongzhang
Li Hongzhang (1823-1901) is an important military and political minister in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). His former residence lies in the middle section of the pedestrian street at current Huaihe Road in Hefei. The mansion was built in the late 19th century, to date only about one twelfth is well preserved, Facing the south, the complex consists of a gate, archway, middle hall and a building where his family lived, representing the typical style of local officials’ mansions. A lot of pictures, references and objects related to Li Hongzhang are displayed in the mansion.
The Baogong Park, located in the Baohe District, was constructed to commemorate Bao Zheng (999-1062), a famous official of the Song Dynasty. Main tourist attractions include Baogong Ancestral Shrine, Baogong Grave, Qing Feng (Qing Feng means smart and just governor in ancient China) Pavilion and Baogong Museum. The Baogong Ancestral Shrine, with a history of 1,000 years, is for people to pay their tribute to this upright official from generation to generation.
Huangcangyu Scenic Area
Lying in the southeast part of Xiaoxian County, northern Anhui Province, the Scenic area brings together many types of landscapes as well as historical and cultural heritage protection area. It boasts precipitous peaks, glorious ridges and peaks, numerous caves and springs, peaceful mountains and lush forest and towering old trees. Famous for its fascinating, beautiful and precipitous sceneries, it is reputed as “Lesser Mt. Huangshan in North Anhui Province”. Major scenic spots include Suolong (Locking Dragon) Bridge, Bajian (Drawing Sword) Spring and Tianmen (Heavenly Gate) Temple, etc.
Historic Relics of Huajia Temple
The site is located seventeen kilometers south of Huajia Temple Village, southeast of Xlaoxian County, Suzhou City. Many cultural relics have been unearthed here, such as stone axes, stone chisels, bone needles, pottery spinning wheels, pottery vases, scrapers, cracking tools, fishing and hunting tools and net sinker. The shapes and patterns of these excavated objects show that the historical site is from the late New Stone Age.
Xiangshan Mountain Park
Xiangshan Mountain Park locates in the south of Xiangshan Mountain. Xiangshan Mountain is well-known for grotesque peaks, cloud caves, forest sea, green cypress, ancient temples and the steles of the Han Dynasty. Its main peak is the high- est peak in northern Anhui Province. Many cultural attractions can be found here such as the stele inscription of Qing Emperor Qianlong (1736-1795), Buffalo Graveyard, Sonata Terrace and Drinking Pool, Apart from that, Xiantong Temple (also known as Xiangshan Temple), Children’s Park and Xiangshan Mountain Heavenly Pond are ideal places for sightseeing.
Close to Yingzhou Road, Fuyang City, the tower served as a fengshui tower in old times. The 7-story ctagonal tower is built with bricks. Each story has a room at center and spiral staircase leading to the top. Its top is decorated with pitched roof and flying rafter which gives it a simple and sacred touch. On the tower, many rock carvings can be found, such as longevity deer, magic fungus, dragon, phoenix, carp jumping over the dragon gateway, representing ancient people’s concept and aesthetics.
Located at junction of eastern and southern old city walls in Fuyang, the tower is also called “Corner Tower”, with the popular name “Three Awning Tower”. The 3-story brick tower is hexagon shaped, with pitched roof and flying rafter. Its roof is decorated with iron dancing phoenix and hexagon bronze bells (when reconstructed in 1981, they were replaced with iron bells). In ancient times, the tower was the place for people to pray for a situation that local man of letters could come forth in large numbers, and a prosperous literary atmosphere.
Five kilometers north of Woyang City, the temple inside Zhengdian Village is surrounded by Woshui River on the south and Mount Dragon on the north, with tranquil surroundings. It was built to commemorate Lao Zi, the great thinker and founder of Taoism who lived in Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BC). The Tang Dynasty respected Lao Zi as the holy ancestor therefore named the temple “Ancestral Temple”. The original structure was ruined by flames of war, and the existent one was rebuilt with donations from domestic and overseas Taoist followers.
As a key cultural relics under state protection, the main theater is also known as Shanxi-Shaanxi Guild. The main hall was built to commemorate Guan Yu, and the theater is mainly for performance purpose. Its gate is covered by brick carvings showing the literary quotations, folklores and legendary stories. The theater is decorated with colored wood carving themed on 18 Three Kingdoms (220-280) drama episodes.. The exquisite brick carving, together with splendid painted wood carving and the 6,000-kilogram coiled dragon iron casting flagpole are reputed a uniqueness” and “treasures in central plains”.
Longzi Lake Scenic Area
Inside Bengbu Economic Development Zone, it is a national AAAA scenic area. Longzi Lake is surrounded by mountains on three sides. On its east bank there are Mt. Caoshan and Mt. Zhuizi, on the south Mt. Plum Blossom and Mt. Xilu, on the west Mt. Xuehua. These mountains have various touch and enchanting scenery. Major scenic spots include Huaihe Folk Customs Park, Water Park, Longzi Lake Bridge and the park at the end of Longzi Lake Bridge.
Bagong Mountain Scenic Area
The national AAAA scenic area is located inside Bagong Mountain Area in Huainan City, consisting of over 40 peaks covered with lush pines. It adjoins Huaihe River to the north where it winds its way to the East. Major scenic spots include Qinglanggan Hall, White Pagoda, Wangqing Valley, Stone Forest, Stone Gate Pond and Shanchong Mosque, etc.
Maoxian Cave Resort
Mount Langya National Forest Park
Lying three kilometers in the southwest of Chuzhou City, the park is a key national scenic and historic interest area, and one of the first group of national AAAA scenic area. The park combines both cultural and natural attractions, among which the Zui- weng Pavilion tops China’s four famous pavilions and enjoys both domestic and international reputation.
Located in the east of Fengyang County, the village is well- known for taking the lead to divide communally owned farmland into individual places called household contracts, thus inadvertently lighting the torch for China’s rural reform. To date the village has implemented water changing and lavatory changing and forestation and beautification projects in an all-round way. They built the exhibition room, villager reading room, archives room, clinics, wired broadcast and TV, farmer’s science and technology cultural school and a primary school with kindergarten.
Tomb of Li Bai
Lying at the foot of Mt. Qingshan and facing the Qingshan River, the Tomb of Li Bai (701-762), a great poet of the Tang Dynasty, is in the shade of ancient pines and willow trees. The tomb, together with Caishiji (Colorful Stones Rock) and Mt. Tianmen form the Li Bai cultural tour itinerary. Buildings in the tourist area are mainly Hui style architecture of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and major attractions are archway, Taibai Stele Forest, Tiaoqing Pavilion, the Memorial Temple of Li Bai, Li Bai Tomb, Qinglian Academy, Shiyong Pavilion and Potted Landscape Park.
Putang Scenic Area
Zheshan Scenic Area
The national AAAA scenic area is in the city proper of Wuhu, covering an area of 630,000 square meters. It is a comprehensive and public welfare scenic area combining leisure, entertainment, religious and dining. Major attractions include Zheshan Park, Luhe Village Tea Etiquette Museum and Guangji Temple.
Wuhu Fantawild Adventure Theme Park
Wuhu Fantawild Adventure Theme Park is located in Yangtze River Bridge Development Zone in Wuhu City. It is composed of 15 theme attractions as the Sunshine Plaza, City Walk, Fish Market, The Space, Mysterious River Valley, Vesuvius, The Lost Empire, Dwarf Kingdom Hill, Wild West. It is a happy feast, a magic dreamland and a Kingdom full of adventures.
Tianjing Lake Scenic Area
Lying at north of Changjiang West Road, the lake is divided into East, South, West and North lakes by Dishan Hill. In the lake there is a well called Tianjing Well. The lake is named after the well and the park is named after the lake. Major attractions include Bronze Culture Garden, Long Corridor and Waterside Pavilion, the Nine-bend Bridge, Tongtian (Reaching the Sky) Pavilion, Mountain Valley Stele Forest and Peony Garden.
Huating Lake Scenic Area
The national AAAA scenic area lies at the south of the Dabie Mountain, consisting of Huating Lake, Longshan Palace, Haihui Temple, Xifeng Temple, Fotu Temple, Lion Mountain, Tangwan Hot Spring Rehabilitation Resort as well as 6 surrounding tourist attractions. The Huating Lake dotted with islets is the major attraction. Specialties here include tea, chestnuts and tangerines.
Tianzhu Mountain Scenic Area
Tianzhu Mountain, lying in Qianshan County, Anhui Province, is located at the northern bank of the Yangtze River. Granite peak for- est landform leaves the mountain numerous geological relics. The highest peak with an altitude of 1,488.4 meters is called “Tianzhu Peak” because it’s like a giant pillar soaring into the sky, which is the literal meaning of “Tianzhu” in Chinese. The natural landscape of Tianzhu Mountain is stunning, with towering pines, verdant bamboo, grotesque rocks, secluded caves, running waterfalls and springs, and ponds. Tianzhu Mountain Annals described it as “every peak is odd, every stone is queer, every cave is tranquil and ever river is elegant”.
Mount Huangshan Scenic Area
It is a national AAAAA scenic area. Called Mount Yishan in ancient times, Mount Huangshan is sixty-nine kilometers from Tunxi, the center of Huangshan City. It is characterized by the four wonders, namely, odd-shaped pines, grotesque rock formation, seas of clouds and crystal-clear hot springs.
Each of the grotesque pines on Mount Huangshan has its romantic charm. The oddly shaped rocks are natural and vivid, The ever-changing cloud sea is spectacular. And the clear hot spring is drinkable. Sceneries in each seasons on the mountain are distinctive. In spring, the mountain is as new, fresh and tender as a maiden. In summer, the charm of the cool green mountain sides is hard to resist. In autumn, the mountain is colorful, and the winter snowy Mount Huangshan is like a crystal palace.
Qiyun Mountain Scenic Area
Qiyun Mountain is situated in Xiuning County. Its reputation not only comes from the beautiful mountain scenery, but also for that is used to be a mecca for Taoist believes. From here we can obviously feel the combination of Buddhism and Taoism. It also features Danxia landform which is characterized by its red cliff scarp as well as cliffside inscriptions which are of high calligraphic, religious and historical value.
Ancient Dwelling Houses in South Anhui
Most dwelling houses in South Anhui adopts the traditional style of two terrace roof characterized by black tile, white wall and horse-head eaves, with simple appearance but the delicate interior decoration. The exquisite carvings and decorations represent typical garden style in South China. Famous local dwelling houses are mainly located in Xidi Village and Hongcun Village of Yixian County, Doushan Street of Shexian County, Chengkan and Qiankou of Huizhou District, Fengcun Village and Shangzhuang Village of Jixi.
Tangyue Memorial Archways and Bao Family Garden
Located in Shexian County, the group of Tangyue Memorial Archways is the No. 1 among China’s memorial Archway relics. The seven archways are arranged in order representing loyalty, filial piety, chastity and charity”. Behind every archway, there is a touching story which leaves a deep impression on visitors. The Bao Family Garden beside the Tangyue Memorial Archways was originally a private garden combining typical ancient Hui style garden and Hui style bonsai, which is reputed as “mother of Eastern gardens”.
Tiantangzhai Scenic Area
It is a key national scenic and historic interest area and is well-known for the grotesque pines and rocks, lakes and springs and flying waterfalls. It boasts 25 peaks which are 1,000 kilometers above sea level. The main peak Tiantangzhai, 1,729.13 meters above sea level, is a main peak of Dabie Mountain. With unique natural conditions and ecological landscapes, it is reputed as “botanical kingdom, animal’s paradise, cool world, cloud sea, azalea’s territory and giant salamander’s hometown”.
Located at the north suburbs of Chaohu City, the 1,500-meter-long cave, with its spacious interior, various structures and amazing scenery, is reputed as the “No.1 Cave in North of Yangtze River. The cave attracts visitors with “four marvels” and “three wonders” represented by Jade Snail Tent, Flying Waterfall from the Sky, Iron Chain Bridge, etc.
Jiuhua Mountain Scenic Area
Guniujiang Scenic Area
Mount Jingting Scenic Area
Recommended Tourist Itineraties
Magnificent Mountains Tour
D1 Arrive in Shanghai.
D2 Fly to Mt. Huangshan, visit Tangmo Village in Shexian County and stele forest, stay in Shexian County for the night.
D3 Visit Hongcun Village in the morning, go up to Mt. Huangshan after lunch, stay on the mountain for the night.
D4 Visit the muntain the morning; go down the mountain by cable car in the afternoon, and stay in Taiping for the night.
D5 Drive to Mt. Jiuhua and visit the mountain afterwards.
D6 Visit Mt. Jiuhua in the morning and drive to Hefei in the afternoon.
D7 Tour Hefei in the morning; Depart in the afternoon.
Hui Culture Tour
D1 Arrive in Shanghai.
D2 Fly to Mt. Huangshan, visit Tangmo Village in Shexian County, stele forest and She inkstone workshop, and stay in Shexian County for the night.
D3 Visit Hongcun Village in the morning; go up to Mt. Huangshan after lunch, stay on the mountain for the night.
D4 Tour the mountain in the moring; Go down the mountain by cable car and drive to Xuancheng City in the afternoon.
D5 Learn about Xuan paper’s production process in the moring and drive to Jingxian County for Peach Blossom Pond sightseeing and drifting.
D6 In the morning, learn about Xuan writing brush’s production process, then return to Tunxi for Hu Kaiwen Inksticks Factory and Ancient Street tour.
D7 Leave Tunxi for Hangzhou by bus.
Hefei, Mt. Jiuhua and Mt. Huangshan Tour
D1 Leave Hefei for Mt. Huangshan by bus. Visit the Shixing Peak Scenic Area, Beihai, North Sea Scenic Area (Beihai), West Sea Scenic Area (Xihai), Fallen Rock from Sky (Feilai Shi) and Bright Summit Peak. Stay in a hotel on the Mt. Huangshan for the night.
D2 Visit the Lotus Peak, Tiandu Peak, Jade Screen Peak and Guest-Greeting Pine in the morning. Take a bus to Mt. Jiuhua, and visit Huacheng Temple, Longevity Palace, Corporeal Body Hall, Qiyuan Temple and Jiuhua Street, stay in a hotel on the Mt. Jiuhua for the night.
D3 Visit the Phoenix Pine, ancient Worshiping Terrace, A Shot of Sky (Yixiantian) and Tiantai Temple. Drive back to Hefei in the afternoon.
Festivals and Celebrations
Chaohu Phony Festival
Time: Every April (subject to florescence)
Venue: Chaohu City
Vhat’s on: The festival integrates peony appreciation, tourism (red tourism), entertainment and business activities. Apart from peony viewing, over 20 activities are held like “Peony Lantern Show” and “10,000 People Mountain-Climbing and Peony-Appreciation Contest”.
China Chuzhou Zuiweng Pavilion Culture and Tourism Festival
Time: Before May 1 or October 1
Venue: Chuzhou City
What’s on: Sponsored by Chuzhou Municipal People’s Government and Anhui Provincial Tourism Administration, the festival features art performance, flower car parade, banquets and tourism promotions.
Mt. Jinhua Temple Fair
Time: 30th day of the 7th lunar month (around August)
Venue: Mt. Jiuhua
What’s on: The temple fair, jointly sponsored by Buddhist believers and the local industrial and commercial circles, lasts one month. During the temple fair, many Buddhist services are held, such as the installation ceremony of the Buddhist statues and the statue mould of the clay-covered dead body of Eminent Monk Wu Xia at the Grand Hall in the Baisui Palace; the prayer festival of water and land; the meeting to commemorate the 1294th birthday of Jin Qiaojue (696-794), a Tang monk; the lecture on the three-altar commandments at the Zhiyuan Temple; and the meeting to prove the platform of Master Hui Ke, second founder of the Chan sect of Buddhism.
Ma'anshan International Festival of Poetry Recitations
Time: 9th day of the 9th lunar month (around October)
Venue: Ma’anshan City
What’s on: Sponsored by Ma’anshan Municipal Peopled Government, the festival attracts lots of visitors gathering here to chant poems. Other activities include seeking Li Bai’s whereabouts, Caishi Rock tour, visit Li Bai’s Tomb, art performances and specialty exhibitions.
China Huainan Toufu Culture Festival
Time: September 15
Venue: Huainan City
What’s on: This is an international business tourism culture festival in which culture, economy, trade and tourism activities involved. The festival is full of rich ethnic and local characteristics, consisting of activities like art performance, economic and trade exchange etc.
Anhui Tourism Festival
Time: September to November
Venue: Anhui Province
What’s on: Co-sponsored by China National Tourism Administration and Anhui Provincial People’s Government and organized by Anhui Provincial Tourism Administration, the festival includes a series of activities like tourism promotion, art performance and flower car parade aiming to forge Anhui’s brand.
China Mt. Huangshan International Tourism Fair
Time: early November
Venue: Huangshan City
What’s on: Jointly sponsored by the China National Tourism Administration and the Anhui Provincial People s Government, organized by Anhui Provincial Tourism Administration and Huangshan Municipal People’s Government, the event consists of activities including business activities, large art performance and tourism promotion.
China Tongling Bronze Culture Festival
Time: Latter half of the year
Venue: Tongling City
What’s on: Reputed as Ancient China’s Bronze Capital, Tongling is the cradle of China’s bronze culture. The festival integrates cultural and academic seminars, tourism and business activities, serving as a key window to promote bronze culture and boost regional economic development.
Huangmei Opera Art Festival
Venue: Anqing City
What’s on: Seminars, performances and contests on Huangmei Opera are organized during the festival, while economic and trade negotiations and Huangmei Opera’s history exhibition will be held.
Located in China’s hinterland, Anhui has formed a relatively developed three-dimensional network with water, air and land transportation, among which railway is the most developed and the mileage has reached more than 2,500 kilometers.
Anhui has a developed aviation network with Hefei being the hub. Its Luogang Airport has opened 23 domestic air routes to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shantou and the regular chartered flights to Hongkong. Huangshan City, Fuyang and other cities within the province could be reached by air as well. In addition, airports for civil and China United Airlines are also built in Huangshan, Anqing, Fuyang, Wuhu, Bengbu and other cities.
The province now has 15 railway lines, including three backbones, namely, Beijing-Shanghai, Beijing-Kowloon and Lianyungang-Lanzhou railways. On Aug. 1, 2008, the Hefei-Nanjing-Shanghai Inter-City Express Railway was open to traffic. The inter-regional railway network combines Huainan-Yuxi Railway, Nanjing-Tonglig Railway, Wuhu-Yingtan Railway, Suixi-Fuyang Railway, Fuyang- Huainan Railway, Luohe-Fuyang Railway, Hefei-Jiujiang Railway, Xuancheng-Hangzhou Railway, which makes easy access to major cities in Anhui like Hefei, Bengbu, and Fuyang.
The 9 national highways and 66 provincial highways constitute Anhui highway network with Hefei as the hub, connecting Huainan, Fuyang, Bengbu, Suxian, Wuhu, Anqing, Xuanzhou and Huangshan. The province has 5 expressways including Hefei-Nanjing Expressway, Hefei- Wuhu Expressway, Hefei-Tongling-Huangshan Expressway, Hefei-Wuhan Expressway and Hefei-Jingdezhen Expressway, and Tongling Yangtze River Bridge and Wuhu Yangtze River Highway and Railway Bridge.
The waterways in Anhui mainly belong to the Yangtze and Huaihe river systems. Along the Yangtze waterway there are ports of Wuhu, Tongling, Ma’anshan, and Anqing, while Huaihe waterway starts from Sanhejian in the west, goes through Zhengyang Pass, Fengtai, Huainan, Bengbu, Wuhe, Hongshantou and joins Hongze Lake. Huaihe waterway is navigable throughout the year, with Bengbu and Huainan being the main ports for mainstream transport.
Xuan writing brush, Hui ink-stick, Xuan paper and Shexian inkstone have been the famous brands of China’s four treasures of the study since the Tang Dynasty (618- 907). Besides, Wuhu iron painting, Shucheng sleeping mat, Gujinggong Liquor are also best gifts.
On the plain along Yellow River in the north and Huaihe River in the south, Anhui is located at the place where two cradles of Chinese civilization join. The province boasts various local operas with long history. Among the 20 local operas, the most influential and popular are Huangmei Opera, Hui Opera, Lu Opera, Sizhou Opera, South Anhui Flower Drama Opera, Huaibei Flower Drama Opera and Huaibei Bangzi Opera.
Anhui’s northern area has a temperate monsoon climate, while the southern area a subtropical monsoon climate. The moderate annual temperature is 14°C-17°C. Besides owning the characteristics of rain and heat at the same period as well as the continental monsoon climate as the typical Chinese climate does, Anhui climate features moderate temperature, ample rainfall, distinctive four seasons (warm spring, hot summer, cool autumn and cold winter) and remarkable intermittent drizzle.