Located on the north-east side of Fujian Province, close to Zhejiang Province and 45 kilometers from Fuding, Tailao Mountain can offer pretty much everything to the traveler:
limestone picks and lush greenery, fading atmospheric temples and castles, crystal clear streams and lakes, small islands, scenic beaches, waterfalls and ancient legends. Facing East China Sea, it is also know as “Fairyland on the Sea” (or “Immortals Mountain on the Sea”); legend has it that it was the place where Immortals had their annual gathering, which makes it pretty clear where these names come from.
Things to do
Tailao Mountain is divided into 5 main sight-seeing sections: Tailo Shanyue, Juili Stream and Waterfall, Qingchuan Seaside, Fuyao Islands and Mulberry Fields and Emerald Lake. In addition to the above come two more isolated sights, Lecheng Ancient Castle and Ruiyun Temple.
Tailao Shanyue sits in the centre of the Tailao Mountain area and occupies a space of 24.6 square kilometers in total. This place flourished during Tang and Sonγ Dynasties and came to the point of housing 36 temples, most famous of which were Guoxin Temple, Xiangshan Temple, Baiyun Temple and Tianmen Temple. Sadly most of them were destroyed, only their fading remains standing still.
However, 360 columns from Guoxin Temple still stand proudly taking us back to the temple’s glorious past. The visitor has also a chance to admire Lengjia Pagoda, some figures of Buddha placed on cliffs, various carvings and stone tablets showing flower, fish and beasts and Chinese inscriptions that describe the area, such as “World of Immortals”. Other sights in Tailao Shayue are Calabash Cave and Yipianwa.
Juili Stream and Waterfall covers a total area of 25 square kilometers and is also known as “Nine Carps Facing the Sky”. That name refers to 9 huge limestone rocks, which were sculptured by nature into the shape of carps, embraced by a waterfall, making it look like the water is coming out the carps’ mouths. Juili Stream is 25 kilometers long and has 13 smaller branches; the sight-seeing area is laid out along a 15 kilometer route.
Fuyao (which means “a place of happiness and fine jade”) is a cluster of islands among which Yin Island, Bird Island, Yuanyang Island, Niao Island, Xiaoyushan Island and Dayushan Island, with the last being the highest and most famous. Dayushan Island has a surface of 25 square kilometers, 36 natural bays, 20 hills, coastline of 32 kilometers and two lakes, with the one being large enough to encourage sailing.
Its natural beauty inspired locals to refer to it as the “Magic Island in the East China Sea”. Dayushan can be reached by ferry; the ticket costs between 15 and 23 Yuan. Summer time is to be avoided as the weather turns rainy in May and June, while July and August are very likely to storms, or even hurricanes.
Tailao Mountain is heaven on earth and no heaven is known for its thousands of western tourists; thus it is pretty rare to find someone who speaks English or any other foreign language around the area. Book an organized tour from Fuding or Ningde, or take the risk and start your big adventure on your own!