Mount Tianguishan Scenic Area
Mount Tianguishan is a typical place of karsts, where there are odd rocks, caves, and springs. Belt of mists surround the peaks. The landscape here resemble that in Guilin, therefore people refer to Mount Tianguishan as “Guilin in North China”. The stone forest on the top of the highest peak is a wonder, the altitude of which is above 1000 meters. The stones there are in the shape of different things, swimming dragon, frog, elephant, screen, and so on.
Mount Tianguishan Scenic Area is divided into eight scenic spots, including Xuanwu Peak, Wanghai (Sea-watching) Peak, Yinghe (Milky-way) Cave, with Qinglong Taoist Temple as the central scenic spot. Qinglong Taoist Temple was firstly built as a temple, but a temporary palace for Emperor Chongzhen (the last emperor in Ming Dynasty) in case of war. However, the emperor never had chance to live there because he died by hanging himself in Meishan Hill in the north of the Forbidden City when the Manchu troops occupied Beijing. On hearing the news of the emperor’s death, the court eunuchs in charge of constructing the temporary palace converted it into a Taoist temple and they became Taoist priests. The Taoist temple includes 30 ancient buildings, including Zhenwu Palace, Yuhuang (Jade Emperor) Palace, Cangyan Palace, Kuixing Palace. All these buildings were well laid-out on the top of the high and vertical cliffs. Another human sight is the inscription of the Chinese character “gui” (return) on a steep cliff, which is in memory of the historical event of Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997. The inscription listed in the Guinness World Record measures 97.7 meters high and 49 meters wide and is the largest Chinese character in China.
Mount Tianguishan is also known as the setting for the folk tale of White-haired fairy. During the period of anti-Japanese war, the tale was taken by the artists at Yan’an Luxun Art Institute as the material for the famous opera White-haired Girl and the opera became the artistic symbol in the liberated zone. The film White-haired Girl was also shot in Mount Tianguishan Scenic Area, which has left behind some sights of interest, such as the White-haired Girl’s Cave and White-haired Artistic Museum. The museum consists of five halls, i.e., the Huang Shiren’s house (Hang Shiren is the landlord), Yang Bailao’s house (Yang Bailao is the father of the white-haired girl), Dachun’s house (Dachun is the boyfriend of the white-haired girl), exhibit hall, and the village.