Away in Fujian’s northeast, 370km from Fuzhou and close to the Jiangxi border, the sixty-square-kilometre Wuyi Shan Scenic Area contains some of the most impressive scenery in southern China. It’s about the only part of inland Fujian regularly visted by tourists, and consists of two principal parts: the Jiuqu River, which meanders at the feet of the mountains; and the Thirty-Six Peaks, which rise up from the river, mostly to its north. The river runs its crooked course for some 8km eastwards between Xingcun village (腥村, xīng cūn), and the main village in the area, Wuyigong. The scenery is classic Chinese scroll-painting material and the park, dotted with small, attractive villages, can be a tremendous place to relax for a few days, offering clean mountain air and leisurely walks through a landscape of lush green vegetation, deep red sandstone mountains, soaring cliff faces, rock pools, waterfalls and caves. Despite the remoteness, Wuyi is surprisingly full of tourists – especially Taiwanese – in high summer, so a visit off-season might be preferable, when you’ll also see the mountaintops cloaked with snow.

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