Facts about Wuyi Mountain
Wuyi Mountain, a mountain range located in the prefecture of Nanping, in northern Fujian province near the border with Jiangxi province, China, famous for its beautiful water and mountain scenery, have been included into the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Relics List for its cultural, scenic, and biodiversity values since 1999.
Wuyi Mountain Scenic Area is located in the southern suburbs of Wuyishan City, Fujian Province, the northern section of the East Wuyi Mountain, is a famous tourist attraction in China. Wuyi Mountain is the first mountain in Fujian, typical landform, which known as "top beauty southeast" and is one of the first batch of national key scenic spots.
The world heritage site has a total area of 999.75 square km that is divided into four core parts: the Nine-Bend Stream Ecological Protection Area in the center, flanked by the Wuyishan National Nature Reserve to the west and the Wuyishan National Scenic Area to the east. The fourth part, the Protection Area for the Remains of Ancient Han Dynasty is located in a separate area about 15 km to the south-east of the others.
Origin of the Name
The name of the mountain comes from a story about a legendary person called Qian Keng who lived during the Shang Dynasty (c.16th century-11th century B.C.), believed to be the eighth generation descendant of Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor. Because of Qian Keng's outstanding achievements, King Yao gave him the title of lord of Pengcheng (present-day Xuzhou in Jiangsu) and thus he became known by the surname Peng. His descendants referred to him as Peng Zu (Ancestor Peng). To escape from wars occurring at that time, Peng Zu took his two sons, Peng Wu and Peng Yi, to a scenic mountain area in northern Fujian. They settled down there, worked the land and lived as farmers. Later, in memory of these first settlers to the region, people name the mountain range after the two sons, Wu and Yi, and thereafter also used the name Wuyi to refer to Peng Zu. Later Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty (r.140-87 B.C.) sent out envoys that travelled long distances in order to confer on Wuyi the honorific title of Master.
The region is part of the Cathaysian fold system and has experienced high volcanic activity and the formation of large fault structures, which were subsequently subject to erosion by water and weathering. The landscape is characterized by winding river valleys flanked by columnar or dome-shaped cliffs as well as cave systems. Peaks in the western portion of the Wuyi Mountains typically consist of volcanic or plutonic rocks, whereas peaks and hills in the eastern area are made up of red sandstone with very steep slopes but flat tops (Danxia landform). The Nine-bend Stream (Jiuqu Xi), about 60 kilometers in length, meanders in a deep gorge among these hills. The highest peak in the area is Mount Huanggang at 2,158 meters on the border of Fujian and Jiangxi, making it the highest point of both provinces; the lowest altitudes are around 200 meters. The Yunnu hill is the "symbol" of Wuyi Mountains.
The Wuyi Mountains act as a protective barrier against the inflow of cold air from the northwest and retain warm moist air originating from the sea. As a result, the area has a humid climate (humidity 80 to 85%) with high rainfall (annual average 2,200 millimeters in the south-west and 3,200 millimeters in the north) and common fogs. Lower altitudes experience annual temperatures in the range from 12 to 18 °C.
The area is relatively pollution free. The Chinese government set up its first air quality monitoring station in the area on January 31, 2005.
Human History and Culture
Human settlement on the slopes of Mount Wuyi can be traced back 4,000 years by archeological remains. During the Western Han Dynasty, the ancient city of Chengcun was the capital of the Minyue kingdom. In the 7th century, the Wuyi Palace was built for emperors to conduct sacrificial activities, a site that tourists can still visit today. The mountains were an important center of Taoism and later Buddhism. Remains of 35 academies erected from the era of the Northern Song to the Qin Dynasty and more than 60 Taoist temples and monasteries have been located. However, most of these remains are very incomplete. Some of the exceptions for which authentic remains are preserved are the Taoyuan Temple, the Wannian Palace, the Sanqing Hall, the Tiancheng Temple, the Baiyun temple, and the Tianxin temple. The area is the cradle of Neo-Confucianism, a current that became very influential since the 11th century.
Wuyi Mountain also has significant cultural and historical value. It is home to many world famous historical and cultural relics. The Wuyi Mountains has a long history of tea cultivation and Wuyi tea has an especially good reputation. Da Hong Pao tea in the region is considered the king of teas. It was the earliest Chinese tea introduced into Europe and America. The four most widely known varieties of Wuyi tea are referred to as the "four famous bushes" - Big Red Robe, Iron Arhat, White Cockscomb, and Golden Turtle. Lapsang souchong also originates from the area.
Mount Wuyi is representative of biological evolution and the prominent examples of the relationship between humans and the natural environment. It saves the most complete, the most typical, the largest subtropical native forest ecosystems at the same latitude of the world, including almost all of the native Chinese subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest and rock nature vegetation communities. It is a key area of global biodiversity conservation and a habitat for remaining rare and endangered species. Wuyi Mountain is rich in plant germplasm resources, and is the gene pool of rare and endemic wildlife.
Nature gave Wuyishan a unique and superior natural environment, attracting many ascots, generals came here for exploring, seclusion, or writings, leaving many cultural relics. Among them, the Ancient Min ethnic culture, ruins of ancient Han City, Taoist, and Wuyi Palace are with very high historical and cultural value.
Tianyou Peak, Jiuquxi, Dahongpao Scenic, Water Curtain Cave constitute the well-known natural scenery of Wuyishan. They are unique; each owns their unique charms, allowing you to enjoy the perfect combination of mountains and water.
Mount Wuyi is famous mountains for three religions. Since the Qin (221 BC-206 BC) and Han dynasties (206 BC - AD 220), Wuyi Mountain was the habitat of Zen, leaving a lot of temples, monastery and nunnery. Wuyishan was also the land of Confucian scholars to give lectures.
In the 70-sq-km Wuyi Mountain Scenic Area, tourists can enjoy many special and unique natural features, including steep cliffs, fantastic mountains, winding rivers, quiet valleys, dangerous gullies, deep caves and strange stones. It has many well-known scenic spots, including the Nine-Bend Stream, Liuxiang Ravine, Jade Maiden Peak, Great King Peak, Sanyang Peak, Tianxin Rock, Tiger Howling Rock, Eagle Beak Rock, Water Curtain Cave, Peach Blossom Land, Lair of Clouds, Huiyuan, Heavenly Tour Temple, Wannian Palace, Thin Strip Sky, Jiulong Village, Wolong Spring, Furong Beach and Wuyi Palace.
Mount Wuyi is also an ideal place for green plants and animals. It is home to a nature protection area covering 567 square kilometers. It is one of the best-protected ecosystems compared to other regions along the same latitude. It is home to about 2,527 plants and 5,000 wild animals.
In addition, it is also very famous for its tea culture and Wuyi tea has an especially good reputation.