From the joint of Lianjiang River and Jianjiang River at Pukou Town in Shexian County, the river is called Xin'an River.
By linking Huangshan at its headstream and Qiandao Lake at its lower reaches, the river winds among high mountains and dingles, merging water and sky in one color. Due to its phantasmagoric and splendid landscapes, the river is reputed as a gallery of water and mountains.
The upstream section of the Xin An River is clean and the ancient villages and fields along the riverside make the scenery beautiful and charming. Tourists are attracted by the natural landscape and hiking there has been become popular in recent years.
The most beautiful part of this hiking trail starts from Nanyuankou Village to Kengkou Village, where hikers can take a car to Huangshan City. The hike is about 10 kilometers long and hikers will pass through a number of ancient villages on the way to the destination. This is an easy level hiking route.
Xin'an River is famous for its clear water, plenty of ponds and beaches. Whether in summer or winter, the water can be seen through to the bottom.
With its source at Shuaishan in Anhui Province and running through the northwest part of Zhejiang Province, the river is a tributary of the Qiantang River. Many scenic spots scatter along the beautiful river, such as White Sand Bridge (Baishaqiao), Red Pond (Zhuchi), Phoenix Alighting Hill (Luofengshan), Plum City (Meicheng) and Double Pagodas Piercing Clouds (Shuangtalingyun).
The stone White Sand Bridge is 362 meters long, 11 meters wide and 24 meters high. Its major section is erected on six arches, each spanning 50 meters. There hundred and forty stone lions of different sizes and postures are carved along the two balustrades .
The Xin'an River is a major waterway of vital importance to the local economy, shipping out timber and local agricultural products and transporting in salt and manufactured goods. Tunxi, Yuliang Town and Shendu in Shexian County along the river used to be bustling river ports in the old days. There are still in Yuliang Town a one kilometer long Old Street that used to be the marketplace.
In Tunxi and Shexian County, the river embraces ancient pavilions and bridges as well as clusters of lakes. Further down the river, one can see the busy rural and urban scenes.
There are numerous scenic spots along the Xin'an River. At Bingtan that is close to the river source, there is the mausoleum of Wang Youdun, an imperial minister in the Qing Dynasty who was a native of Xiuning. Standing around the mausoleum are carved stone human figures, horses, tigers, sheep and lions with graphic features. In Tunxi and Shexian County, the river embraces ancient pavilions and bridges as well as clusters of lakes. Further down the river, one can see the busy rural and urban scenes. On the lower reaches of the Xin'an River there is the pearl-like Qiandao Lake. It has never failed to impress the visitors with its breathtaking beauty. The travel route from the West Lake in Hangzhou to Qiandao Lake, Shexian and finally to Huangshan has become a hot tourist line.
In the evening, both the banks are colorfully lit accompanied, occasionally, by the bright moon hanging in the sky. Full of passengers the beautifully decorated pleasure boats, luxurious stylish double-decked yachts and speed boats shuttle to and fro on the river, like playing happy melodies all together.
Hiking along the Xinan River Xinan River in She County, Anhui Province is formed by the junction of the Lianjiang and Jianjiang Rivers. Due to its splendid landscapes, this a-hundred-kilometer long river is reputed as a gallery of water and mountains. All along this river, there are the ancient buildings of the local people; white-painted with the black tiles, these buildings are surrounded by bamboo groves and lush plant life. On the other side of the river, there are fishing boats leisurely gliding down the river, and cormorants can be seen diving into the river to catch fish for their keepers. It looks like a Chinese painting come to life.
The best times to take a Xinan River Hiking Tour are: 1. In March, the peach blossom and fields of rape seed blossoming along the river are particularly beautiful. 2. During April and May, the harvest season of loquat, is the best time to visit to pick tea. Visitors can purchase newly picked tea from tea growers along the way. 3. In August when the oranges and other fruits ripen. Visitors can enjoy the freshest fruits while on their tour. 4. In November, when the snow-white blossoms of the Huangshan Gong Chrysanthemums cover the landscape. When dried, this flower's blossoms make a wonderful tea. They were a tribute tea during the Qing Dynasty.
Xinan River is famous for its clear water, and beaches. The water is so clear that the bottom of the river can be seen at all times. No matter what the season, a visit to the Xinan River will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. The best way to enjoy this picturesque landscape is to take a hiking tour along the Xinan River's bank. Normally, a hiking tour along the Xinan River begins at the Taohua Dam and travels to the town of Shendu in She County. The most beautiful section is approximately ten kilometers long and begins at the Nayuankou ferry, passes through the villages of Kengkou Pond, Zhang Pond, and Mian Pond and crosses the Sanqiao Bridge, to finally arrive in the town of Shendu. Nanyuankou is a ferry which people can use to get to the opposite bank of the river. Hikers walking along the mountain pass along the river bank will reach Kengkou Village through Yue Pond Village. In Kengkou Village, there is the Ruobian Ferry. This area is the hometown of the famous musician Zhangshu. Along this 8 kilometer-long section, hikers will need to hike up and down the mountains. In Kengkou Village, behind the local middle schools is a giant camphor tree. With the diameter of 10.5 meters and covering an area of over 1,850 square meters, this camphor needs more than four people holding hands to encircle its trunk. According to the local folklore, the famous politician Zhangliang was buried under this thousand year old camphor tree.
Zhang Pond is a larger village. Houses there are constructed close to each other, so visitors walking through it feel as though they are walking through a labyrinth. It is difficult to get to the river's north bank at Shendu ferry. Most visitors travel to Mian Pond Village by taking in a boat in front of Zhang Pond Village's middle school. Once getting to the north bank, visitors pass through Mian Pond Village, "the village of the loquat", to Sanqiao Bridge. The 2 kilometer section from Zhang Pond Village to Mian Pond Village is scattered with loquat trees and visitors traveling in May will get to see local villagers harvesting the loquats. The geography of the Sanqiao Bridge area is low, so during floods, the bridge is often beneath the water level. During this time, the only way to cross the river is by boat. Starting from Mian Pond Village, the paths are rough and choked with weeds and bamboo in some sections. Most local people go to the town of Shendu by boat. From Sanqiao Bridge to the town of Shendu is a distance of approximately 8 kilometers. Beginning in Fengzhou Island, this section will take 2.5 to 3 hours if visitors take the mountain pass, and half an hour if the paved road is taken. Traditionally, nearly all the merchants in Huizhou took this route by boat to get down to Zhejiang or Jiangsu Province for business. Once arriving in Shendu Town, there are several options to choose from. Visitors can choose to go to Jiekou Town on foot, or by boat which could allow them to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Xinan River. Cruising down the river, visitors will pass numerous loquat and orange orchards. The loquat and orange trees blossom during different times of the year. When they blossom, the area is filled with their sweet fragrance.
The town of Shendu, which located on the banks of the Xinan River, has been the distribution point for Huizhou for centuries. In the past, merchants in Huizhou would use this as their starting off point for business trips to the south of China. This section of the river is particularly beautiful. It is surrounded by verdant mountains and green water. An ancient scholar named Yao Zhizhong in 979 Ad chose to live in this area because of the beautiful scenery. In 1159 an official of Huzhou City, whose surname was also Yao made his home along this river, making the town of Shendu one of military importance since the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is interesting to note that in Chinese; "two Yao's" has the same pronunciation as "rowing" in Chinese, a fact often discussed by the local boatsmen. All along the river, there are many small villages located at the base, as well as up in the mountains. The buildings of these villages are painted white, and can be seen from quite a distance away, but to get to them takes a lot of work because visitors must climb up the small mountain paths to get up to them. In the spring, the fields of rape seed blossom and their golden blossoms seem to cover the mountainside.