Wuyuan County is a bucolic paradise, lying in the northeastern part of Jiangxi Province, 150 kilometers east of Quzhou in Zhejiang Province, 80 kilometers west of Jingdezhen (the Porcelain Capital of China) and 120 kilometers north of Huangshan. With more than 50 villages dotted around its green pastures, Wuyuan is a mecca for photographers and acclaimed by many media at home and abroad as the “most beautiful countryside in China”. These villages have remained almost unchanged for centuries and each village has something unique to offer to its visitors.
Some Famous Tourist Attractions in Wuyuan
Likeng Village (理坑)
Likeng, located in Tochuan Township in Wuyuan County, came into being toward the end of the Northern Song Dynasty. The villagers have a special fond of reading. In the past several hundred years, the remote mountain village has produced many famous scholars and imperial court officials. Many houses built during the Ming and Qing dynasties have been preserved in the village. The village can be called an expo park of ancient Chinese architectural art.
Likeng Village (李坑)
Likeng is an ancient village inhabited mostly by people of the Li Clan. It is a typical water country village south of the Yangtze River as regards to the village’s layout and architectural style. Outsiders are always attracted to the charming scenery in the village.
With the first house built here around 900 years ago, Wangkou is one of the oldest villages located in the northeastern part of Wuyuan County. This village is mainly inhabited by people of the Yu Clan, and the main attraction of the village is the ancestral temple of the Yu Clan. Containing some of the most detailed woodcarvings, this ancestral temple is considered to be a treasure house of architectural art and has been regarded as the “Number One Shrine South of the Yangtze River”. The bas-relief carvings adorn every beam, archway and window in this captivating site, often depicting scenes from the lives of the ancestors of the Yu family.
Xiaoqi is the native place of Jiang Renjing who served as the imperial transport supervisor to the areas south and north of the Huaihe River during the Qing Dynasty. Places of interest include former residences of imperial court ministers, the Jiang Clan Ancestral Temple, a grove of maple and camphor trees and double pavilions towering aloft.
Sixi-Yancun actually refers to two villages, namely Sixi village and Yancun village, which are very close to each other.
Although small, this village has some of the largest surviving houses in the whole of Wuyuan. Built by ancient tea merchants to parade their wealth, these houses often had 3 stories and over 20 rooms. An interesting characteristic that is common to most of the residences is that the decorations, carvings and paintings were all specific to the house owner’s trade and their expectations for their children. If the house belonged to a tea merchant, then the bas-reliefs would show scenes of tea-picking; if it was a government official’s house, then the carvings would often depict scenes of educating the masses or waging war.
Less than 500 meters away from Yancun is another small village named Sixi, built by the Yu Clan in 1199. More than 30 residences of the Ming and Qing dynasties have been well-preserved in the village. Among them, the Jingxu Hall is one of the most impressive buildings, covering an area of 664 square meters. Today, the fourth generation of the Yu family still lives in this grand house.
Built in the Song Dynasty, this covered structure, with a history of more than 800 years, is still in use today. This bridge is 140 meters long and is a great example of the skill and imagination of China’s ancient engineers who managed to construct a structure that has survived countless floods.
The area has given birth to many celebrities. The Jiangwan Ancestral Temple, an ancient mansion with six courtyards, the Sansheng Hall, Dunchong Hall and the Peixin Hall testify to the rich cultural connotation in Jiangwan.
Mandarin Duck Lake
It is the largest habitat of wild mandarin ducks in Asia, with a water surface of nearly 160 hectares. The lake is surrounded by lush woods and the lake water is as clear as emerald jade. In winter more than 2,000 pairs of wild mandarin ducks make the lake their home. News media call it a “marvelous ecological sight”.
Lingyan Scenic Area
It is a famous scenic zone in Jiangxi Province, well known for its magnificence and deep seclusion and the 2,000-plus inscriptions written by prominent scholars through the history. Once a riverbed, these karst caves have been formed over many thousands of years, as water has eroded and dissolved the rock, forming the most bizarre and outlandish shapes. From flowers to dragons, these caves, which change constantly with moving shades and different angels of the light, will be a colorful feast for your eyes.
The best time to visit Wuyuan is in early spring, when nature is renewing its cycle of life. The period between late March and early April is a particularly opportune time to visit, as it is the time of the Rapeseed Flower Festival and no other place celebrates it as well as Wuyuan.
You should not leave Wuyuan without trying its famous green tea, which is considered to be one of the best green teas in China.