Earth : Asia : East Asia : China : Southeast China : Fujian : Inland Fujian : Mount Wuyi
Attractions include mountains much like those at Guilin, temples and other historic buildings, and raft rides down a sensational river canyon. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site both for its natural environment and for its culture.
Various court officials, poets and scholars have lived here. It was a famous retreat for such folk.
Ancient volcanic landscape that millions years of erosion has transformed into a maze of gorges, precipes and caves. Unearthly.
Flora and fauna
Lots of snakes, including many preserved in restaurants or pharmacies in town. Here you may notice that bird song is curiously absent, unlike many other places in China.
Wu Yi Mountain has an airport with regular flights to major Chinese cities.
The G trains from Beijing leave in the morning with the last one at noon. The travel time ranges from 6 hours 45 minutes to 8 hours 25 minutes on the G train. The trains from Shanghai take about 3.5 hours and leave throughout the day. From Xiamen the ride is about 3 hours. There are also slower trains as well connecting Wuyishan to Beijing and Shanghai: the overnight Z train from Beijing taking 15 hours, and two slow trains from Shanghai that take 9 hours.
Shanghai/Wuyishan, G train First Class: +/- CNY 443 Second Class: +/- CNY 267 Business Class: +/- CNY 830
Beijing/Wuyishan, G train First Class: +/- CNY 1089 Second Class: +/- CNY 646.5 Business Class: +/- CNY 2041.5
Beijing/Wuyishan Z train
Soft Sleeper: +/- CNY 623
Hard Sleeper: +/- CNY 404
Hard Seat: +/- CNY 80
To get into the main body of the park costs ¥140 for 3 days. Tickets sold at both the North and South gates. Do not buy a shuttle bus pass for the park, because once you get pass the initial ticket check entrance noone checks tickets for the shuttle buses, thus just hop on one. There is a ticker counter near the (closed) middle entrance, in the downtown Wuyi. This is operated by a tour operator, and they charge ¥25 extra for tickets. You get a voucher that you need to change into an ordinary ticket at the south (main) entrance, so this does not avoid any trouble there. The extra hassle and cost is worth only if you need to be absolutely sure to get a ticket for rafting the next day, which might be useful during the peak season.
The local tourist agency can provide a guide and driver for a fee. You will get to see much more. Otherwise you can try the local buses if you are up for adventure.
Use Bus number 6 (¥2-3): It'll get you everywhere. From the station to the hotel, to the north and South entrances of the Wuyishan reserve. From the station you have to walk into the main street that you look into when you are in front of the station, untill you hit a T-crossing. There you can just flag down any bus 6 on the opposite side of the road, because you need to go the south (the left) on the T-crossing. Don't get a taxi, because they are ¥30 and don't use the meter.
To use the bus service within Wuyishan Park, you used to have to pay ¥85, which is not necessary because you can walk to all the main sights and use the local bus service (bus 6) for only ¥2-3 to bring you to each entrance.
Ride a raft down the Nine Bend Stream (九曲溪). The "rafts" are long tied bamboo rafts with about six seats. Life jackets are provided, although the water is very calm and this does not require any rafting experience or effort on the part of the riders. The river is quite shallow and not very wide. Two drivers use long poles to steer the craft down the water. The landscape is sensational, with sheer cliffs and tall mountains. Look out for the caves with very old coffins in them on the sheer cliff at the fourth bend. A "cruise" down all nine bends takes one and a half hours and is highly recommended. The price of the raft ride is regulated at ¥100 and tickets are obtained at the official ticket office (behind the new Best Western Hotel) at Xincun town at the start of the ride. You do not need to pay an "entrance fee" to do this trip.If you understand Chinese, you can pay 10 each to listen to the explanation by the drivers.
Do not necessarily follow the crowds. Local tourists (lots of them) seem to follow each other, overlooking alternative paths. In consequence, a few steps may bring you away from the crowds, on an almost deserted but perfectly fine path. There are paved paths which take you into the mountains away from the river,through ancient cave dwellings and along the sides of cliffs as well as through tea gardens and sub-tropical forest. You can go for a whole day and see not another soul on the path.
Go to the Lotus Peak entrance. There is no one there! The park officials will say it is not possible, because there are no official busses from the reserve that go there, but you can simply walk take a taxi or motor. Aside from avoiding the masses at the other main sights, you get an amazing view of rural China.
The area is famous for tea. Prices for tea in China are rather like prices for wines in the West; there is plenty of reasonable stuff at decent prices, but something that is both top-quality and rare can cost a phenomenal amount. The record is held by some tea off a few bushes halfway up a cliff on Wu Yi Mountain, bushes whose product was once reserved for the Emperor. It fetched over $1000 US a gram at an auction in Shanghai!
If you play the game of Go (wei qi in Chinese), look in the shops downtown for wooden bowls to hold the go stones. These are under ¥50 a set and look more-or-less identical to bowls sold in the West for several hundred US dollars. Be careful, however, to get bowls that are large enough. Some of the ones sold here will not hold a full set of stones.
Try the tea eggs. These are eggs hardboiled in tea, a nice cheap snack found anywhere in China. At Wu Yi Mountain, they are particularly good.
Don't eat the pheasant! It's charged by the pound and is extremely expensive! Restaurants in Wu Yi Shan are terribly expensive and the choice is limited. Contrary to what some believe restaurants in Wuyishan do not serve bear nor are they terribly expensive outside of tourist areas (downtown and Sangu area is safe from price gouging).
Ask the price before you order if you eat in any restaurants without menu given to you.
Go into town around 20h00 when the local foodstands make amazing Fujian dishes for just a few yen;.
The area is famous for tea, in particular an oloong (lightly feremented as opposed to unferemented green tea or thoroughly fermented types with their stronger flavour) called Da Hong Bao, Big red Robe.