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Explore Beautiful Ancient Villages in Wuyuan

 2014-01-14    Ada    Tours    Shangrao    846  

With a landscape dotted with strange caves, deep secluded rocks and numerous historic sites, virtually every village in Wuyuan has something special to offer. Wuyuan, on the boundary of three provinces in Jiangxi's northeastern corner, is home to some of the best-preserved ancient architecture in China, to which its remoteness and inconvenient transportation contribute much. Wuyuan's structures were built in 740 during the Tang Dynasty. There are many small villages and temples throughout the region, and a number of scenic spots where it is rewarding just to stop and look around.

Small Likeng, an impressive old village with narrow pathways built around several creeks that intersect, is One of the best places to stay in the area. There are Buddhist temples, active farms, traditional homes, and teahouses. A new edition seems to be a long gauntlet of tourist stalls that you have to walk through from the entrance, to the village itself. Having no hair does not seem to be a disincentive for the sellers to try and sell you the ubiquitous sandalwood combs. That aside once in the village, it earns its reputation as one of the nicest villages in Wuyuan. There are also a couple of decent places to eat with some great views down the little river.

Take the bus between Wuyuan and Qinghua and get off in the middle plus a ten minute motorcycle ride past a village, you’ll be able to reach Sixi Yangcun. A strange claustrophobic duet of villages with tall gray walls and narrow maze-like streets and tumble-down buildings. With the tourist entrance set further away from the town, these villages manage to preserve their living identities better, and, especially towards the end of the day, it really does seem that time stopped in these villages many years ago.

Rainbow Bridge is another noticeable spot. A nice if underwhelming bridge, inside a small hamlet. More beautiful are the larger bridges nearby - from the Rainbow Bridge entrance, walk alongside the river, turn right when you have to, past the row of shops and dentists, and make a left at the first intersection. After a few minute's walk, at the bend in the road, is an amazing look over a valley, it is easy to go down and explore. This is also the place to get a bus back to Wuyuan.

Though main spots are able to seen from the guidebooks, there is still a truly beautiful location strangely absent from some guidebooks - Dazhang Shan Mountain. Soaring mountains, and green and crashing waterfalls at every turn. It has dreams of being number 1 extreme sports area in China, but at the moment it's quiet. It claims the highest waterfall in China (240m) and it is really spectacular even if the claim is exagerated.

The countryside is reknowned throughout China, and if you have ever wanted to try your hand (and feet) out in a rice paddie, this is a place where you can wander up to a friendly farmer and ask to lend a hand. The people are genuinely warm, friendly, and un-imposing everywhere.

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