Related News

Home » Feature

Exploring Wuyi County - lotus to hot springs

THE 10-Mile Lotus Pond in Zhejiang Province's Wuyi County has become an attraction for both locals and tourists. The lotus, with its large pads and colorful, heavily scented flowers, usually blossoms from late June to mid-September.

Xinhe Village in southern Wuyi has a 333-hectare water garden where more than 320 species and varieties of lotus bloom.

Chinese people love the lotus, because it represents purity. This natural wonder grows from the mud and slime, its stems rising through the water and its flowers opening pristine like "the morning dew from heaven," as Chinese poets say.

In Buddhism, the growth of the lotus is said to be like that of the soul, from primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the sunshine of enlightenment.

This thinking can be seen in naming the exquisite lotus as "Buddha's Seat." It is said the heart of human beings is like an unopened lotus. When the virtues of the Buddha develop within, the lotus blossoms. That is why the Buddha sits on a lotus bloom.

Xinhe Village started cultivating lotus in 2006. It set up a 200-mu nursery for quality seeds from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the China Lotus Flower Research Center. Today, new varieties with improved seed production and prolonged flowering period have been cultivated through grafting. Colors range from reds and purples to pinks, pale yellow to creamy white.

Every weekend in August, visitors to Xinhe can also enjoy outdoor shows staged by villagers, featuring She-ethnic wedding ceremonies with tea, wine and traditional couples singing and dancing.

For those who would like to stay overnight, a mountain resort is just four kilometers away. The mountain is called "Little Yellow Mountain" because its dramatic scenery is similar to that of famous Yellow Mountain in Anhui Province. The romantic little version, like the original, has waterfalls, misted pines, strange rock formations and deep gulfs.

Villagers have built guest houses in distinctive She-ethnic architectural style. Guests can enjoy local cuisine, help villagers harvest lotus roots and help collect seeds.


All parts of the lotus are edible. The immature seeds can be eaten raw, and the ripe seeds are roasted and grounded into flour, or boiled to extract oil. The roots are cooked as vegetables and the young unrolled leaves are pickled as an appetizer.

In traditional Chinese medicine, lotus (roots, seeds) is considered to have yin (cool) energy, so it helps cool the body, benefits the lungs, acts as a diuretic and has many other benefits.

Wuyi County, in the center of Zhejiang, is also rich in hot springs, ancient villages, and original forests.

In Wuyi town center stands a stone arch bridge dating back more than 800 years. The Shuxi Bridge over the Wuyi River was built in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), 140 meters long and 4.8 meters wide. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a wooden roof was added to make it a covered bridge with 49 houses along both sides for rest and entertainment.

It was renovated over the years, mostly recently in 2000, and the fine design and workmanship are preserved.

Four kilometers from Wuyi, scenic Qingshuiwan Hot Spring opened in 2002 and is considered by some the No. 1 hot spring in East China. The annual temperature averages 41 degrees Centigrade.

Every day more than 4,000 tons of water from 330 meters underground, rich in sodium, sulfates and other minerals flow through the area.

The spot is surrounded by mountains on three sides.

Ten kilometers south is the beautiful Guodong Village, dating back to the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). It is a perfect example of the harmonious blend of nature and manmade structures, following the principles of fengshui.

It was built by He Shouzhi, son of a high-ranking Yuan Dynasty official stationed in Guangdong Province. Always remembering the beautiful place where he grew up, He returned and settled in Zhejiang. He named the village Guodong, literarily meaning "wall and cave," because it was surrounded by mountains like the natural walls of the village and ancient trees with spreading branches formed the cave-like entrance to the village.

A cluster of buildings dates back to the Ming and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

Sixty kilometers southwest of Wuyi, Niutoushan National Forest Park is a cool and pleasant summer retreat in the center of Zhejiang Province.

The highest mountain is 1,560 meters, the natural forest covers more than 13 square kilometers. The forest is a subtropical garden with waterfalls, cliffs, ancient trees, lakes and beautiful plants and flowers.Beautiful Wuyi County has it all - expanses of extravagant lotus blooms, east China's top hot spring resort, ancient villages and a primeval subtropical forest. Xu Qin pays a visit.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend