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DRAGON PALACE CAVE


  Sixty-seven kilometers (42 miles) east of Jiujiang, this 1,700-metre (1,860-yard) long naturalYangtze River cave is in the scenic surroundings of Dark Dragon Hill (Wulong Shan), in pengze County, Jiangxi province. This natural beauty spot comprises eight adjoining caverns with interior limestone formations resembling palace lanterns, dragon thrones, boats and other objects. ONE section is called the East Sea Dragon Palace after the classic 16th-century Chinese novel pilgrimage to the West (sometimes known as Monkey). Colored lighting heightens the effect.


PPYANG LAKE


  Yangtze RiverThe surface area of China’s largest freshwater lake is around 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles), increasing in size during the flood season and shrinking in winter. Five rivers flow into the lake and eight counties border it. The Yangzi, Poyang Lake and the Gan River flow into the lake and eight counties border it. The Yangzi, Poyang Lake and the Gan River form a link, via the Meiling Pass on the border between Jiangxi and Guangdong provinces, as far south as Guangzhou. From ancient times, this fertile region has been one of the’ rice-bowls’ of China. The Poyang teems with fish, such as mandarin, anchovy and whitebait. It continues to fulfill its age- old-function as a transport link for local produce-grain, tea, silk, bamboo, and particularly the porcelain from the kaolin (white clay) potteries of Jingdezhen, which have been producing since the second century BC, and supplying the imperial court from the fifth century on.

  A 22,000-hectare (54,000) nature reserve has been established in the vicinity of Wucheng on the western side of the lake. It hosts Asia’s greatest bird spectable in winter, when over 4,000 cranes, 40,000swan geese and around a quarter of a million ducks flock here. Over 90 per cent of the world’s population of the Siberian Grance winter at the reserve. Numbers have increased dramatically since the area becomes a protected reserve, with 1,700 birds counted in 1988.
Owing to the lake’s strategic importance, numerous naval encounters took place on its waters. Emperor Wudi (reigned 420-23) was embattled here. It was the site of a decisive battle in the Yangtze Riveroverthrow of the Yuan dynasty in the 14th century. Another naval battle was fought between the Taiping rebels and the Qing imperial forces in 1855. Today, only graceful fishing boats in full sail occupy the lake.

  Local fairy tales connect a small island in the lake, Shoe Hill or Dagu Shan, with the stories of Xiaogu Shan further downstream. It seems that Xiaogu Niang Niang and her betrothed escaped from her Emei Shan prison with the help of a precious umbrella. The pursuing Immortal, confronting them at Poyang Lake, threw his flying sword at the precious umbrella and, in her confusion, Xiaogu Niang Niang lost one of her embroidered slipper’s, when fell into the lake and was transformed into a shoe-shaped island.



JiuJiang and its history

What to see in Jiujiang

Lushan

Stone Bell Hill

• Dragon Palace Cave & Poyang Lake