- Yangtze Gorge Brief
- The River's Source
- Getting There
- Facts For The Traveler
- The Yangtze River:An introduction
- The Source to Yichang
- ZhongXian & Shibaozhai
- QuTang Gorge
- The Little Three Gorges
- WuXia Gorges
- Xiling Gorges
- The Middle Reaches
- The Lower Reaches
Lushan, in the vicinity of Jiujiang, has always been appreciated by the Chinese as a mountain of great beauty and as a haven from the intense humid heat of the Yangtze valley summers. Its views eastwards to Poyang Lake and northward across the river are spectacular. Guesthouses and sanatoriums (over 1,000 of them) abound in the Guling valley.
Since passengers from the downstream steamers usually disembark in the small hours of the morning, it is possible to enjoy the sunrise as your vehicle negotiates the hairpin bends on the 29-kilometre (18--mile) trip to the top of Lushan.
April and May are the best times to visit, when the hills are covered with wild azalea and peach blossoms, and there are many waterfalls. In the enervating months of June,July and August, the average temperature on Lushan is a comfortable 23'C(73'F), and during this peak season 35,000 tourists visit each day. In autumn the numbers drop off markedly and one is able to enjoy the changing autumnal colours of the trees at Leisure, though the waterfalls dry up.
The town of Guling was estabhshed at the end of the 19th century by foreign traders and missionaries as a summer retreat for their families from as far away as Shanghai. They built over 100 summer bungalows and an American hospital (now the Lushan Guesthouse). They would be carried by sedan chair along the narrow path up the mountainside. Today the town is almost perfectly preserved. Chiang Kai-shek's summer house--Meilu Villa--is still there near the lake Lu Lin Hu, as is his library which now houses the Lushan Museum. Beside this is Lushan People's Theatre where in 1959 the Communist Party of China held its eighth plenary session, known later as the Lushan Conference, which resulted in the dismissal of the People's Liberation Army Commander--in-Chief, Peng Dehuai. ln December 1926, the Guomindang held an important party conference at the same place to mediate between the rival Wuhan and Nanjing factions. Two more important party conferences were held there in 1959 and 1970. The Botanical Garden (Zhi Wu Yuan)was established in 1934, it has more than 4,000 kinds of flowers, trees and other plants.
Strange rock shapes, sheer peaks (the highest, Dahanyang is 1,543 metres, or 5,060 feet), steep cliffs, overhangs and caves, as well as a wide variety of lovely trees, are some of the splendors of Lushan. Its mystery is captured by Su Dongpo, who wrote:
It’s a ridge when looked at face to face,
It’s a peak when looked at sidewise;
It’s always not the same when looked at from afar or near. when looked at from above or below?
You don’t know what Lushan is really like,
Merely because you yourself are living in it.
Special Lushan dishes are the small stone fish from the Xilin River (best eaten in spring and autumn) , Stone Ear (a black fungus) , and Stone Chicken (a black skinned frog found in the damp caves on lushan , tasting rather like chicken and best eaten between June and September ) , as well as fish from Poyang Lake.
Lushan’s Misty Cloud Green tea (Yunwu Lu Cha) once sent as tribute to the emperors should be sampled. The tea leaves are processed seven times to obtain their special fragrance.
• JiuJiang and its history
• What to see in Jiujiang
• Stone Bell Hill
• Dragon Palace Cave & Poyang Lake