Located in the southern part of the Anhui Province, Chizhou (Chízhõu in traditional pinyin)is the home of Mount Jiuhua, one of the four sacred peaks of Chinese Buddhism.
This quaint city is bordered by Anqing City in the northwest, Tongling and Wuhu Cities in the northeast, Xuangcheng in the east, and Jiangxi Province in the southwestern side.
Chizhou is divided into three counties (Dongzhi, Qingyang, and Shitai) and a district (Guichi).
Chizhou is one of the most historic cities of Anhui Province, and it is also known for its rich cultural scene. This prefecture-level city was founded over a thousand years ago during the Tang Dynasty, and was the destination of choice for poets, artists, and scholars. In the late Tang and early Song Dynasties, Chizhou was the subject of many a beautiful poem by numerous Chinese scholars.
It is easy to understand why this city has captured the hearts of poets and artists. Chizhou is nestled between the ranges of Jiuhua Mountain and Huangshan Mountain, with a dramatic and sweeping view of the legendary Yangtze River. From the peaks in the northwest, the terrain lowers in the southeast, with plenty of lush hills in the middle part of the city.
Chizhou is also known for its rich mineral resources, making it a great source for calcite, dolomite, and limestone in the Anhui province. Recently, many local and international companies (including ones from Europe, South Korea, and Hong Kong) are realizing Chizhou’s potential in non-metallic mineral resources and investing in the city.
When in Anhui Province, one of the best places to visit is Chizhou City, with its dramatic natural scenery as seen in numerous ancient paintings and cultural offerings that let visitors immerse themselves in the unique Chinese experience.
Like many of the other cities in Anhui Province, Chizhou has a subtropical monsoon climate, with a temperate albeit humid weather. There are four distinct seasons, as well as enough rainfall and sunshine that make this Anhui city a pleasure to visit for most of the year.
The average temperature clocks in at 16.5 degree Celsius. However, late spring to early fall (May to September) typically brings in floods from the Yangtze. Spring and autumn (avoiding the flood season) are the best times to visit Chizhou.
Chizhou is one of the centers of Chinese Buddhism, and as a result, the most famous delicacy in this city is of the vegetarian variety. Jiuhua Mountain is home to Buddhist temples, monks, and nuns, and tourists that want to pay them a visit should partake in their vegetarian dishes. The Jiuhua Mountain vegetarian diet is known as a Chizhou specialty. Although meat or poultry is not used in these dishes, they are prepared with extraordinary skill—extracting all the fresh and natural flavors of fruits, vegetables, and root crops, and presenting them in the most eye-leasing manner possible.
When in Chizhou, make sure to try not only the famed Jiuhua Mountain vegetarian dishes, but also the Jiuhua Huangjing biscuits (which are also great as presents to friends and family members) and the special dried bean curd, usually cooked in a clay pot. Maofeng tea is also a must-try for tourists visiting Chizhou.
Thanks to its unique natural and cultural resources, Chizhou is a perfect tourist resort in the Anhui region.
The most popular destination in Chizhou is Jiuhua Mountain, which is set between the Yangtze River and the Huangshan Mountain. This ideal location offers visitors with a dramatic and sweeping view of two important landmarks in the Anhui Province. Aside from the breathtaking views that the mountain offers, it is also one of the four holy mountains revered in Chinese Buddhism.
Jiuhua Mountain is home to nearly a hundred peaks, and 18 vantage points where tourists can enjoy the unique view. The climate is pleasant almost all year long, making it one of the most sought-after summer resorts in the country.
The mountain is also known as a popular destination for poets and scholars, who have been inspired by the lotus-blossom peaks of the Jiuhua, the clear blue skies, and the famous river. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, many temples in the mountain are restored, including the Huacheng Temple, the Incarnation Hall, the Longevity Hall, the Ganly Temple, and the Zhiyuan Temple.
Mt. Jiuhua is open from 8:10 AM to 6 PM, and it is ideal to spend one or two nights in the site for a complete experience.
Guniujiang National Wildlife Reserve
Known as the East Chinese Animal and plant Gene Bank, this wildlife reserve is home not only to unique endemic species of animals, but also to plant and tree life. The whole park is surrounded by lush greenery, rivers, and peaks that will give a nature lover the time of his life.
An important lake in the province and recognized as an Asian Damp Natural Reserve, Lake Shengkin is known for its extremely clear water and the mist-laden trees that line its banks.
To complete your Chizhou experience, make sure to explore the mysterious cave of Penglaixiandong and go rafting in the Quipuhe River.
Classes and Courses
There are a good number of educational institutions in Chizhou, including colleges and a university. Some of them offer short-term courses on Mandarin for foreign visitors, and it is ideal to enroll in these classes during the summer. However, most schools do not offer accommodations with their language classes.