文 By: 曾智勇
Danxia landform has been known for being truly stunning and beautiful!
Mount Wuyi boasts of seventy-two intriguing caves, ninety-nine spectacular crags and one hundred and eight scenic spots, making it a fine example of Danxia landform.
The emerald-green Jiuquxi (Nine-Bend Creek) meanders over 20 kilometers in the deep gorge of Mount Wuyi. Flanked by colossal cliffs, the river offers numerous picturesque scenes of rocky outcrops with interesting shapes and tell-tale names such as the Turtle Rock, Twin Peak, Maiden Peak and Great King Peak. The river cruise I took was leisurely and relaxing.
The myths behind these hills and peaks are fascinating; no less captivating is the boat-shaped stone coffin high up the cliff. The inscription on the rocky surface, a priceless piece of cultural heritage, is awe-inspiring. When one admires the natural wonders deep in the mountain at a leisurely pace, time flies. The crisp cool water of the Fairy’s Pool at the foothill is perfect for visitors to freshen up. Walking uphill, there is pleasant sight and scenic beauty at every turn. Jiuquxi is way down, reflecting the vast expanse of the azure sky.
From a distance, I caught a glimpse of the place where the tea plant cultivar Ban Tian Yao is located. Going down, I was mesmerized by the chirping birds and fragrant flowers at the other side of the mountain. Water bounced off the rocky outcrop gives an invigorating splash. In this tranquil haven, stalks of bamboo leaves rubbing against each other in the breeze orchestrate a melody that Nature knows best.
I decided to explore further. Making my way to the Matou Yan (or Horse Head Crag), I strolled along the quiet ancient paths, hoping to visit the Ban Tian Yao cultivar. Instead, I chanced upon a plot of dark-green ‘cinnamon’ Shuixian tea plants. The cliff was rather steep and dangerous, and I decided to abandon the search. At this juncture, I noticed a monastery below the crag.
Mount Wuyi is blessed by rich biodiversity. I took shelter from the rain at the Huiwan Temple and was served tea. The old temple offers a wonderful view of the splattering raindrops and drifting fog. It was the first time I got up close with dense fog which was damp and chilly. Driven by curiosity, I followed a monk who was on his way to search for Leigongchao (Grass of the Thunder God). The soft and fleshy fungi, smaller than black fungi, are a delicacy in the mountain. Light in taste, it is a special treat to go with tea.
Then there is the Shuilian Cave (Water Curtain Cave), though no Monkey King lives here. During rainy season, the full height of the spring water from the top of the cap rock to the bottom resembles a white dragon plunging down the deep pool. I came at a time when there wasn’t much rain. I could actually feel the water when I stretched my hand, as I went up the hill along the rocky wall of the Shuilian Cave. The water flowing down the protruding cap rock hangs like a water curtain, creating the impression that one is bathing in the rain.
All the streams and creeks in Mount Wuyi flow from west to east, with the exception of the Liuxiang Stream (Fragrant Stream), which heads northwest making its way back to the mountain, hence its old name Daoshui Gully (The U-turn Gully). There were a lot of small fish and shrimps; it was such fun catching fish and shrimps barefooted in the deep pool! Da Hong Bao, dubbed the King of Tea, grows defiantly on the steep cliff of the Jiulongzhao Canyon. The ‘King’ stands tall overlooking all the tea trees underneath. Sipping Wuyi crag tea at the classic-styled pavilion by the cliff is a truly enjoyable experience.
For a foodie like me, Mount Wuyi is a treasure trove, with delicacies such as different varieties of wild mushrooms and fresh fish from the creek.
What an amazing journey it was – sipping Wuyi tea and snacking on the delicacy from the mountain, and admiring the poignant scene of mountain trees in the rain shrouded by the dense fog.
Mount Wuyi, truly stunning and beautiful!