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                        Yandang Mountain

Fascinating as the landscape is in such a frame, the splendeur of the Yandang Mountain has been noticed since the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Located by the East China Sea and infused in a natural as well as cultural climate, the charisma of the mountain can by no means be framed in photos.

It's immensely large-- a large natural reserve named Mt. Yandang National Scenic Zone (Yandang literally means the wild goose and marsh). Situated in the southeast of Zhejiang Province, China, Mt. Yandang extends an area as large as 450 square kilometers. High rocks, fascinating caves, a good deal of waterfalls are specked everywhere in the zone thai defines the Chinese scroll painting.The Yandang Mountains are one of the ten famous mountain ranges in China, located in the coast northeast of Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province. It is composed of North Yandang, Middle Yandang  and South Yandang.

The mountains, the largest among the 44 key scenic resorts of the country, cover an area of 450 square kilometers. The mountain range was formed 120 million years ago, and belongs to a complete and typical rhyolitic palcovolcano dating from the Cretacceous Period of the Mesozoic Era, in the edge of the volcanic belt of Asia surrounding the Pacific Ocean. The belt is older than the Andes and the western part of the United States. From 1984 to 1986,almost 200 pieces of cultural relics of the New Stone Age were unearthed, including teeth, horns, and bones of ancient animals and polished stone implements, jade and bronze wares. As the result of textual research, they belong to the cultural type of “HeMu du-BaiXiang bin-Liangzhu”. In the 1930s , a German geologist brought this area to the world’s attention by describing the Yandang mountain as beautiful as the mountains of Switzerland.

Large as it be to a many ancient travelers, such as Xu Xiake, a famous traveler-geographer in the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) who paid three visits to Mt. Yandang in his life time. "l would have seen all the wonders in the mountain if I were a flying celestial."

"The beauty is beyond description," said a poet in the same way. "Yes, it denies words", a prose writer could hardly disagree. However, it's become the very reason to attract people to Mt. Yandang generation after generation.

The earliest visitor known to the Yandang Mountain was Xie Lingyun, a poet-governor of Yongjia Prefecture in the Southern Dynasties (385-433). As a matter of fact, he learned very little, if any, he had possibly seen only a small portion of the mountain.

Yandang's early reputation owes much to the following three men, or actually three monks in the Tang Dynasty (618-960). One was an Indian monk called Nuojuna, the founder of the first Buddhist temple in the area, who came settled here with his 300 disciples. The second was the well-known Master Yixing, who left behind with a painting of the mountain named "the Landscape And Its Two Borders". And the third was Guan Xiu, a poet-monk whose poem depicting Mt. Yandang is still remembered. I reads: "Strolling along the path of the Yandang Mountain, I felt the peaks crowned with a misty gauze; while drinking tea by the side of the Dragon Waterfall, I myself was imbued in a drizzly cloud."

Mt. Yandang came to be widely known during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Though it's too late to be made famous as those of the Five Mountains in China, but it's her fortune: being better preserved, and absolutely natural.

Well, we might have to feature it in some way if necessary: It's magnificent with no lack of tender; it's loosely simple but with no short of greenery; it's deeply dense but also has broad views, and it appears steep and sharp where the very charming remains... Yet, whatsoever it should be, two words simply put by Shen Kuo(1031-1095), a Northern Song Dynasty scientist are mostly quoted: It's "uniquely fascinating".


Regarded as the First Mountain of Southeast China, Yandang Mountain is one of the ten most famous mountains in China, rising 1,150 meters high in Leqing, twenty-five kilometers from Wenzhou City in Zhejiang Province. In Chinese, Yandang means "reed marsh for wild geese" and in autumn wild geese do gather in the marshes around the lake at the top of the mountain. Composed of North Yandang, Middle Yandang and South Yandang, the mountain was formed some 120 million years ago, and is regarded by scientists as a natural museum of great historic and scientific significance.


Nature is such a genius to create this wonderful scenery that the beauty of the mountain is beyond description and denies words. Lakes, bulrushes and grasses adorn the mountain, and in autumn migrating geese stop here to rest. The mountain is divided into eight scenic areas that comprise Spiritual Peak, Spiritual Crag, Great Dragon Waterfall, Three Steps Waterfall, Geese Lake, Victory Gate, Goat Horn Cave and Fairy Bridge. The first three on the southeast part of the mountain are considered the "three wonders of Yandang". The most famous peaks are Sharp Pen, Unique Beauty, Jade Girl, Two Fabulous Birds, Golden Roosters and Double Bamboo Shoots. As their names indicate, the shapes of these peaks vividly resemble animals and other objects, and some change their look completely, according to the angle from which they are viewed. For example, Spiritual Peak looks like two palms closed in prayer when viewed from the left, but at nightfall like a closely entwined couple, while from a different angle again, like an eagle poised for flight. There are waterfalls on the mountain all year round, and the 190-meter high Great Dragon Waterfall is probably the most famous scene.


The mountain's early reputation owes much to the three monks in the Tang Dynasty. One was an Indian monk, who found the first Buddhist temple in the area. The second left behind with a painting of the mountain named "the Landscape And Its Two Borders". And the third was a poet-monk, whose poem depicting the mountain is still remembered. The mountain came to be widely known during the Song Dynasty, when many temples, pavilions, and other buildings were put up. By the Ming Dynasty, hundreds of grotesque peaks had got their names. Through ages after the Tang and Song dynasties, scholars traveled there and left behind many Cliffside Stone Carvings, making the mountain a great historical treasure house. Large as it be to a many ancient travelers, such as Xu Xiake, a famous traveler-geographer in the Ming Dynasty who paid three visits to the mountain in his lifetime and said "l would have seen all the wonders in the mountain if I were a flying celestial."

Spirits Peak (Lingfeng)

Towering behind Spirits Peak Temple (Lingfengsi), this 270-meter-high peak is also called Husband and Wife Peak (Fuqifneg) because at night it looks like a couple in each other's arms. The Goddess of Mercy Cave (Guanyindong) down the slope is among the most famous of the Yandang Caves. Spirits Peak is surrounded by grotesque peaks and cliffs, which are particularly striking at night.

Spirits Crag (Lingyan)

This screen-shaped crag is otherwise named Screen Clouds Peak (Pingxiazhang). Spirits Crag Temple (Lingyansi) at the base of the cliff, one of the eighteen ancient Yandang temples, was built in 979 in the Northern Song Dynasty. The temple faces two peaks, the Heavenly Pillar (Tianzhu) and the Fluttering Flag (Zhanqi), and to its left is Heavenly Window Cave (Tianchuangdong). Behind the temple are Dragon's Nose Cave (Longbidong) and Little Dragon Pond Cascade (Xiaolongqiupubu). Among the other peaks surrounding Spirits Crag are Double Eagles (Shuangying), Jade Maid (Yunv), and Solitary Beauty (Duxiu).

Three-terraced Falls (Sanzhepu)

Beside Orchid Terrace (Lanhuatai), the falls consist of three levels. Water from the upper and middle levels pour down the rock to a pond; you can observe the falls from behind by following a path built around the pond.
The grandeur and captivating beauty of the mountain draw an endless stream of sightseers every year. On Spiritual Crag, folk acrobatics are performed at a height of more than 260 meters along a 256-meter-long tightrope between two peaks.

Known for its unique character, Mount Yandang has been praised as 'a famous mountain in the sea', 'an unsurpassed wonder in the world'. Peaks and water, caves and volcano, nature is such a genius to create this wonderful scenery.

Tips:
'Flying person' performance shows at 3 P.M., every afternoon.
The Spiritual Peaks are even more dazzling at night, don't miss it!

How to Get There: You can take a bus at Ningbo South Station and get off at Yandang Town (Baixi) (Estimated time: four hours). Take a travel bus at Wenzhou New South Staion is also a good choice (Ticket: CNY 27). If you are in Hangzhou, you can also take a bus at East Station 07:00 or 14:00 (Ticket: CNY 85; Time: 5 hours) Once you are in Shanghai, you can take a train to Wenzhou first, or take a bus at Zhiqing Bus Station at 2 P.M. directly (Bus ticket price: CNY 130 in low season, CNY 150 in peak season).

Admission Fee
The Spiritual Peaks: CNY 30 (you should buy tickets separately if you want to visit it both in day and night)
The Spiritual Rocks: CNY 30
The Big Dragon Waterfall: CNY 30
The Wild Goose Lake: CNY 10
The Wonder-displaying Gate: CNY 10
The Goat-horn Gate: CNY 10
The Three-step Waterfall: CNY 10
Recommended Time for a Visit Two days
Recommended Accommodation Chaoyang Village (3 stars); Yandang Hotel (3 stars); Yinyuan Hotel (3 stars)

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