Taoyuan Cave Scenic Area
The Taoyuan Cave Scenic Area is made up of five parts, including the Taoyuan Cave, the Baizhang Cliff, the Xiuzhu Bay, Geli, and the Palm Lake. All these scenic spots are along the Shaxi River. The Palm Lake got its name because there were once lots of palm trees growing on the nearby mountain which as a result was called the Palm Mountain. Buddhist monks began to settle down here as early as in the Tang Dynasty (618－907) and later a Palm Temple was built there. During the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty (1605), a local official named Chen Yuanchen donated money to have pavilions, viewing platforms and other structures built on the mountain, and named the cave Taoyuan (the name Taoyuan, which is a secluded and peaceful safe haven undisturbed by outside turmoil, first appeared in a famous essay by Tao Yuanming of the Easern Jin Dynasty.) and had four huge characters “Tao Yuan Dong Kou” (entrance to the Taoyuan Cave) engraved in the 120-meter-high cliff. Li Gang, who later served as Prime Minister of the Southern Song Dynasty, once lived and studied here, and Xu Xiake, the great Ming dynasty traveler and geographer, had also left his footprints here, and both of them had written poems about the beautiful scenery. The Taoyuan Cave, which covers an area of some 0.74 square kilometers, is the highlight of the whole Scenic Area. Here people can enjoy magnificent cliffs, dense natural forests and fantastic rocks.