Anhui Province, the landlocked province in Eastern China, has inspired a number of artists to create artistic masterpieces. These range from tragic ballads and classical paintings to YouTube short films and Instagram blogs. Anhui province sprawls against the range of mist-cloaked Huangshan Mountains. It boasts villages doused in an olde-worlde charm in striking contrast to otherwise busy China provinces. Also, it has dense pine and bamboo forests strewn with autumn-kissed greenery, traditional Huizhou architecture in a form ivory white houses with black-tiled roofs and of course, some spectacular mountain scenery that will leave you awestruck.
As you backpack through the Chinese provinces, make sure to stopover at Anhui to explore its villages and quaint attractions. Here are the top sights that you can’t miss in Anhui Province.
Climb the Huangshan Mountain (Yellow Mountain)
Legend says that the mountain is named after Huang Di; a renowned Chinese emperor who ascended to heavens. The place is no less than heaven itself. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Huangshan is a famous tourist destination with peaks that rise up to 1,864 above sea level. Known as the Yellow Mountain, this mountain range is one of the most beautiful sights in China’s region. It has landscapes that look straight out of the storybook. Additionally, the towering granite peaks with their bizarre shapes are a must-see. This includes the tallest ones; Lotus Peak, Bright Peak, and Celestial Peak.
People flock from all over the world to witness the glorious sunrise and sunset from the mountain. Here, as you gaze at the sun bursting from or melting into the horizon, you will understand its popularity. The scenery is wildly stunning with cloud-shrouded tree lines of mesic forests, centuries-old pine forests, and bubbling hot springs known for their curing properties. The Yellow Mountains are also punctuated with ‘fur peak’ tea leaves. These leaves are picked and turned into China’s most popular green tea.
Additionally, there are about 60,000 stone steps carved into the mountain. It is said to be more than a thousand years old. You can climb the mountains through one of the pathways. Moreover, car cables are available too. On the top, there are several eateries, lodges, and facilities for tourists.
Explore Hongcun Town
Dating back to almost 1000 years, Hongcun is an ancient village lying at the foothills of Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province. Even though the village is quite small in size, it is landscaped beautifully with remarkable historical sights and architecture.
The town has a Feng Shui planned layout with old Ming and Qing courtyards, a supreme network of canals, and gorgeous houses. Built during the Song Dynasty, the city follows the traditions to this date. Here, the water passes through every house. So, if you ever get lost, trust the channels to lead you to the right path. Also, two ponds are a must-see; the Moon Pond and Reflecting Pond. The countryside is picturesque with wildflowers and trees. Whenever you are in the China region, explore the Hongcun Town to learn its history and observe preserved buildings.
Explore The Rustic Beauty Of China At Jinhuashan
Translated into ‘the Mountain of Nine Lotuses’, Jinhuashan is located in Qingyang County in Anhui province. It is one of the four sacred peaks of Chinese Buddhism where the Lord of the Underworld, Bodhisattva Dizang, resides. The rustic mountain is enclosed in a mysterious fog with startling pathways, dizzying ridges and steep temples built on cliffs where devotees come to pay their respects. You will be amazed to see a large number of temples where about 500 monks and nuns live.
You should also try to visit the Tiantai Temple; the highest temple where one can enjoy scenic views of the village from the top. Additionally, pay a visit to the beautiful park named ‘Great Vow Culture Park’ which has been recently opened. Due to the moderate rate of tourism, the mount is gradually being commercialized with lively hawkers selling goodies and souvenirs such as flickering candles and incense. Additionally, its gripping fountains and cascading waterfalls only add to its lyrical beauty.
Visit The Ancient Village Of Xidi
Listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the ‘Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui Province’, Xidi is a small village in Xidi Town, Huangshan City. The remarkable village offers a perfect retreat if you are looking to escape urbanized problems and the usual hustle and bustle of China’s cities. The streets are narrow, absolutely free of noisy vehicles, where you will often spot a group of tourists strolling around. As the sun goes down, the entire town becomes completely silent. The village’s architecture and street plans are reminiscent of Ancient China with about 124 preserved Huizhou buildings that still bear their prestigiousness.
Also, there are several interesting hole-in-the-wall eateries. This is where visitors can go directly into the chef’s kitchen to choose ingredients of their own liking. For sleeping, you will find a handful of lodges with amenities as well. Take some time to explore the nearby villages of Nánpíng, Guānlù, and Bìshān which are largely secluded.
Walk The Timeworn Streets Of Shexian
She County, or Shexian, is a quiet and historically rich town lying southeast of Anhui Province, China. The museum-like town is set against the backdrop of Huangshan Mountain. Here, there’s a plethora of ancient relics, timeworn bridges and streets, preserved architecture and temples, and unparalleled scenic beauty. It is a perfect place to get an insight into Chinese history and culture.
However, the highlight of your trip would be a visit to Tángyuè Memorial Archways; a complex of unique arches built by different dynasties that have ruled in the past. For some good food and whimsical ambiance, walk the archaic lanes of the historic heart of Shexian. Nearby, there is port by the name of Yuliang which is also a history-packed visual delight for history enthusiasts.
As you backpack through the quaint villages, you will stumble upon Hefei; a prefecture-level city that is also the largest as well as the capital of the Anhui province. Being the cultural center of Anhui, Hefei is home to several memorial temples, beautiful parks, and crystal-clear lakes. Take a break from your adventures and spend a calm day by the picturesque Chao lake. It’s one of the five largest freshwater lakes in China provinces. The fan-shaped park, Xiaoyaojin Park, is also a treat for tourists. It is divided into portions with a natural water body. Add the Memorial Temple of Lord Bao to your list, a stunning temple located in Bao River Park.
Wander through Tunxi District
Located within the heart of Huangshan city, Tunxi District is a trading town enclosed by a circle of hills. It is a place where time seems to stop, and you can explore the town at your own pace. Compared to nearby villages, Tunxi is a bit louder and busier. The famous Ancient Street of Tunxi, that dates back to the Song Dynasty, transcends time with its culturally rich ambiance.
Take a long walk on the street paved with maroon flagstones and surrounded by Anhui-style buildings. The street has a couple of museums filled with a number of medieval relics and artwork. Also, if you want authentic Chinese cuisine, the street also offers a wide variety of bars and restaurants. There are several gift shops where you can buy souvenirs from which includes ink slab stores.
Gaze At The Mountains From Chengkan
Chengkan is a verdant village in Tunxi, Anhui Province ringed by eight mountains. It is well-noted for its remarkable architecture from Ming Dynasty, yin-yang waterways lined with blooms and archaic bridges looming over them. Compared to its neighboring villages, Chengkan is more of a slow-paced destination. It is interlaced with numerous winding lanes and streets where you can wander around.
Also, there are a few famous landmarks such as China’s largest ancestral temple, Luo Dongshu Temple. Additionally, in Anhui, there’s a 600 hundred-year-old building called Yànyì Táng and pristine white houses with black roofs. Fall brings a dash of eye-catching colors in scenery and backpacking through the maze-like walkways in a cool breeze brings great joy.
Enjoy Every Sort Of Activity In Wuhu
Lying on the southeast bank of the Yangtze River, Wuhu is yet another prefecture-level city in Anhui province of China. Many tourists feel there is hardly anything to do here, and they are somewhat right. However, its seclusion is actually its plus-point. From adventure parks and food streets to ancestral temples and lavish resorts, this city has it all to entertain backpackers. Some of the must-visit sights are Wuhu Guanji Temple, Zheshan Park, Fantawild Adventure, Tianman Mountain, ZhongShan Lu BuXingJie and Juizi Square.
Visit The Classical City, Suzhou
Largely rural and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Suzhou lies at the northern border of Anhui Province, China. It is famous for where emperors once resided. The city is brimming with marvelous canals passing through traditional whitewashed houses with black-tiled roofs. There are also pagodas with their tiered towers and eaves, and spectacular gardens flourishing with beautiful scenery.
It is also one of the China provinces with a number of silk factories. Visit the various gardens and parks of Suzhou such as Lion Forest Garden, Humble Administrator’s Garden, Tiger Hill, and the Classical Gardens of Suzhou. When in Anhui, also explore the historical Tongli Town, and spend an idyllic day by Jinji Lake.