The traditional way to appreciate Wuyi Shan is to take a two-hour bamboo-raft trip along the Jiuqu River (¥100). At busy times the river becomes a noisy bamboo conveyor belt, but there’s stupendous gorge scenery all the way from the first crook in the meandering river right up to the ninth, and it’s well worth the ticket. Watch out for the odd, boat-shaped coffins in caves above the fourth crook, which are are said to be four thousand years old.

During the busy summer months or at weekends and holidays, it’s essential to book tickets in advance at the tourist ticket office in Wuyi Shan. Rafts leave year-round (daily 6.40am–4.30pm) from the small village of Xingcun, accessible on public bus #6 from Wuyishan Shi and Wuyigong (daily 8am–9pm; every 15min; ¥2.5). The wharves themselves are in the hamlet of Jiuquxi (九曲溪, jiǔqū xī), down a side lane just off the main road 1km before town, so tell the bus driver when you get on and it’ll save you the trek from the station.

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