Travel

Pingnan - a mountain City in Fujian with plenty of Surprises

Updated: 2008-04-09
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Pingnan is in Mindong of Fujian Province. Mindong or eastern Fujian like many parts of Fujian Province is mountainous. These mountains over time have been gradually tamed by people living in the areas, making many once inaccessible spots reachable by roads and time taken is very much shorten.

 

Hence tourism is gradually on the increase. Many more convenient infrastructures are now in place to provide for tourists comfort.

 

Using Ningde as a touring hub, Taimu Mountains near Fuding, Sanduwan, and Future Water World in Ningde, Yuanyangxi and Baishuiyang in Pingnan, and Ziulong Waterfall and Batcave in Zhounin are all within reach in one day tour.

 

Ningde is a coastal city bordering Zhejiang and is only a few hours drive from Wenzhou in Zhejiand, the dress shoes capital of the world and Xiamen in Fujian, the coziest island city in China.

 

Pingnan is a located to the north of Ningde city. It used to take 3-4 hours drive on the winding road from Fuzhou city, however, now the trip has become more convenient and comfortable by the new built highway between Ningde and Pingnan. The journey from Ningde to Pingnan takes only 1.5 hours. This provincial highway is specially built along the picturesque landscape to promote Pinnan’s tourism. Along many parts of the highway, the wilderness which hid in deep mountains for years is now a feast for motorists who venture into this part of Fujian.

 

Pingnan was built on mountains. And hence many bridges were constructed in ancient China to make this mountain town accessible by roads linking to outside world. Pingnan is well known as a town of romancing bridges.

 

There are many famous and well kept ancient timber arch bridges in Pingnan County. Qiancheng Bridge is located near Tangkou village. It is the 2nd longest bridge in Pingnan. It was built during South Song Dynasty (1225-1264 ) and restored in 1820.The length of the bridge is 62.7 metres and 4.9 metres wide.

 

Wan’an Bridge is located in Longbridge village. It’s the longest timber arch bridge in China. Measuring 98.2 metres long, 4.7 metres wide and the height of 8.5 metres, it was built in South Song dynasty (1090) and has been destroyed and rebuilt many times in history. Watching it from a distant, it looks like a rainbow hovering over the water, the scenery generated is absolutely magnificent.

 

In Pingnan, it is all nature intended for its best beauty. The romance of flower watching unique to the area can be seen in Tianping Mountain. Rhododendron is found in abundant in the wilderness of the area.

 

In spring, there is ocean of rhododendron blossoming, the mountain peak looks like patches of huge pinky rosy cloud from a distant. Bird eye view from the top of mountain is breath taking, but the challenge is to make it to the top of the peak at 1528 meters above sea level. It will be an amazing experience to do that.

 

 

However, if you miss the spring blossom, there is an all season rhododendron (四季云锦杜鹃花) near Longyuan village. It blossoms whole year round and is regarded by the local as the “holy plant”. The tree is 1.4 meters tall and more than 400 years old.

 

Waterfalls, spring water streams, mountain ponds, lakes and many others are water features common to Pingnan. Yuanyangxi is one of them. There are also plenty of peaks, rocks, caves and mountains in Yuanyangxi tourism area.

 

Yuanyangxi gets its name from a type of wild duck from Siberia. Yuanyang is Chinese name for this mandarin duck. They move thousands miles from cold Siberia to this stream in winter each year to bathe in the warmer water here.

 

 

In Chinese, Yuanyang means two people who are loyal and deeply in love. So this stream is also known as “the paradise for lovers” It is believed that those lovers who stroll along the stream will bond like the birds, and forever in love.

 

At Yuanyangxi tourist areas, Baizhangji Water Curtain Cave is another must visit tourist attraction. It is one of the four great wonders of the Pingnan tourist spotsand is ranked at the "Top of Five Largest Water Curtain Caves in whole of China". 

 

The magnificent waterfall is over 150 meters high and 20 meters wide. It is characterized by a wide coverage, a big drop, a long travel distance, ample runoff, being at half way up the mountain.

 

The cave is big enough to hold over one hundred people at one time. Tourists can enter the cave from the edge without getting wet. Once in the cave, he or she will feel like being in the Sea Dragon Palace.

 

 

 

 

 

Baishuiyang (white water Ocean) is another scenic highlights of Pingnan County.and in Yuanyangxi tourist areas. Baishuiyang Water Square is one of the Four Great Wonders of Yuanyangxi tourist areas. It is also known as Xianpa Stream, It’s called: The miracle of the universe” .The modern geologists can not accurately explain how this is formed geologically. Hence, Baishuiyang is regarded as the work of God.

 

It contains three water squares, the biggest one stretches 40,000 square meters which the bottom formed by one entire rock. The water is shallow and crystal.

 

There is an even distribution of water on the riverbed running over the stone plates. The water is knee high. The glistening and billowing waves of the stream are white in the sun, so it has got the name of "Baishuiyang Water Square".or White Water Ocean.

Baishuiyang Water Square is flat and spacious, where you can ride a bike or drive a car through it. There is a natural waterslide of nearly 100 meters long in the middle of the square. And it goes by the name of "Natural Surfing Pool".  The rock surface is smooth. You will not be scratched even if you slip and fall.

 

Besides the wonderful natural landscape, the local performing drama (Siping xi), sports events and martial arts performance are being conducted here right in the middle of the square. Baishuiyang is host to athletic competitions. It even had bicycle and truck races on the lake.

 

Tourists cross the lake wearing socks provided for them by the ticket sales counter. The socks helps keep from slipping.

 

Baishuiyang is also China's largest reserve for Rhesus monkeys, and locals claim that the Monkey King lived in one of the caves further upstream in a vast scenic area that is still under development.

 

Where to eat and stay

 

You can either stay in Ningde at Meilun Hotel at 28, Zhanqian Road, Ningde or in Pingnan at Tian Wai Tian International Hotel. Meilun Hotel Nigde is a 4-Star hotel in Ningde, superbly located by the exit of the Freeway. Apple Travel at www.appletravel.cn has the hotel booking system to take your requests.

 

You can eat at the hotel recommended here or you can venture to the local restaurants in Pingnan town. You need to find a bright and clean restaurant. Usually, the food will not disappoint. The safest way to order if you are not familiar with the ingredients is to order vegetarian food. Some Pingnan restaurants can cook some really delicious vegetarian dishes. The Pingnan cooking is that of Mingdong cuisine. Being common to Fujian, the cooking here is not too distant from Minan cuisine found in Xiamen.

 

 

The vast mountains provide some rich resources of food. Mushrooms of all kinds are grown here. Pingnan is one of China’s mushroom capitals. Also, many fresh herbs and vegetables from the wilderness found their way to the dinner table. Pingnan people add herbs to their dishes which not only help them improve health but also bring unique flavor to the food .

 

Apart from vegetarian dishes, Wonton (扁肉), Ciba(糍粑)which is made by using glutinous rice are local favourites. Ciba is normally served as the last dish in a banquet as a symbol of good luck. Pancake with meat and spring onion are favorite snacks of the local people also.

 

Tian Wai Tian International Hotel

屏南天外天大酒店

1, Gong Yuan Lu, Pingnan, Fujian

福建屏南县公园路1

Phone: +86-593-3330888

 

How to get there

 

The easiest and most comprehensive way to learn how to get to Pingnan is to consult Apple Travel. You can call them on +86-592-5053122 or visit the website at www.appletravel.cn. Apple Travel can provide vehicle rentals and transports with and without driver and guide.

 

Pingnan is to the east of Xiamen in Fujian Province. There are national highways linking Xiamen to Ningde, and provincial highway linking Ningde to Pingnan.

 

From Xiamen to Ningde by car, the road toll costs about 200rmb using Shenhai Expressway and it takes about 4hours. From Ningde to Pingnan, it takes about 1.5hours via Ningping provincial highway. There is no toll charged on this section of highway.

 

The author is from Pingnan, currently resides and works in Xiamen.

 

Written by Cassie Tang (Tang Yan), Choi LEE contributes to the article

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