Suggested itinerary: take a flight from Hangzhou to Wenzhou - 2 hours’ drive to Nanxi River, - return to Wenzhou to stay overnight – go to Shanghai
Brief Introduction of Nanxi River
Granted as a national key scenic area, Nanxi River is situated in Yongjia County, 23 kilometers south of Wenzhou City which is in the southeast of Zhejiang Province. It adjoins the Yandang Scenic Area to the east, covering a total area of 625 square kilometers. With the crystal, winding, elegant and beautiful Nanxi River as its major site, Nanxi River Scenic Area features clear water, bizarre boulders, dense waterfalls, ancient villages and green forests. It is a blending of natural landscape and pastoralismn, offering an ideal environment for sightseeing, relaxing as well as vacation.
The upper reach of Naxi River is deep and grows luxuriant trees. massive tract of primeval forests are flourishing with its unique charm. At the source and on the banks of middle and upper reaches of Nanxi River are more than 50 perculiar waterfalls in variations. The 30,000 hectares of forests on the two banks is the only one of its kind of all the river scenic areas in China. There are still peculiar rocks, spectacular caves with rich cultural heritages, i.e., tracks and poems of ancient literati in past ages including Xie Lingyun, Wang Yizhi, Meng Haoran, Su Dongpo, etc, ancient pagodas in the Song and Tang Dynasties. Furthermore, you’ll appreciate the pristine style by visiting the ancient bridges, ancient monumental archways and Furong (hibiscus) Village and Cangshu (green tree) Village which are laid out in the form of “Seven Stars and Eight Dou (Big Dipper)” and “Four Treasures (writing brush, ink-stick, paper and inkstone) in the Study and constructed under the conception of Feng Shui (geomantic omen of Daoism) involving Five Elements (Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth) and Yin Yang (the opposing principles in nature, Yin represents feminine and negative while Yang masculine and positive.).
Nanxi River enjoys a favorable climate. It is warm in winter and cool in summer. The simple residential houses, spectacular landscape, silvery waterfall curtain and peaks are well-received by numerous visitors. The 150-kilometer watercourse meanders with twists and turns, known as the 36 bays and 72 shoals. It runs through Yongjia County from its south to north, with a rain collection area of the river basin 2, 426 square kilometers. The stream flows from north to south, discharging itself into Oujiang River, with all the waters merging with the East China Sea.
The river stretch is of flourishing trees, high peaks and green grass on the two banks, reflected in the crystal clear water where you can distinctly see the fish and gravels. By rowing a boat on the river during the day, you’ll enjoy a good view of the natural scenery by gazing the continuous mountain chain in the distance, observing the green forests at close range and looking down the blue water surrounded, which is a happy and refreshing experience. If boating at night, you can see sparks of lights on fishing boats, hear the songs on fishing boats at dusk, listen to the gurgling of the water and enjoy the gentle river breeze, fully engaging yourself in leisure sentiment. If you take a rest at the beach forests, you’ll further enjoy yourself with tree branches interwoven over your head shading the sun.
The Cun Gu of Nanxi River
The Cun Gu refers to the ancient villages along the middle and lower reaches of Nanxi River which are well preserved with historical look and many traditional cultural relics. The best-known amongst them are the three villages of Yantou, Cangpo and Furong dating from Song Dynasty. These villages are of high values of research and appreciation, where you can get to know the evolution process of farming-reading culture and religious culture in ancient society of China as well as experiencing the appealing glamour of the art of village architecture.
Numerous waterfalls of Nanxi River
The Nanxi River basin is of steep cliffs and deep river valley, which has formed various waterfalls. Based on preliminary researches, there are up to over 50 waterfalls having certain scale and high value of appreciation, among which are the 124-meter-high “Baizhang (hundreds of meters) Waterfall”, Sanji (three-grade) Waterfall and Qiji (seven-grade) waterfalls continuous like stepladder, “Lotus Waterfall” in the shape of a lotus, “Jigu (drum-beating) Waterfall” and “Daluo (gong-striking) Waterfall” making sounds like drums and gongs, hidden “Ravine Bashful Waterfall”, “Cross Rainbow Waterfall” splashing and reflecting the blue pool in sunshine. What’s even rarer are the nine piles of waterfalls coming from the less than 2 kilometers ravine in all kinds of shapes, being called Nine Waterfall at Shimentai area. In this fantastic scenery, the ninth waterfall, 30 to 40 meters or so, falls directly into the deep pool. The surrounding stone cliffs are closed on three sides, leaving the exit only looking like the stone gate to the Elephant Trunk Cave. The pool water makes its way out of the stone gate, going three twists, and dashes down along the cliff. The grotesque peaks, sheer cliffs, galloping waterfalls and blue pools here compose a remarkable landscape of colorfulness and both dynamic and static state.
Clear water of Nanxi River
Limpidity and cleanness mark the inner beauty of Nanxi River. The river stretches up to tens of kilometers, clear and transparent. Burnished pebble stones lay on the riverbed and river bank everywhere in various sizes, with the ones on the bottom of the river especially colorful and pretty. The water of Nanxi River is of fine quality which meets national first-grade water quality standards, according to an analysis of the water sample. As the so-called”It is easy to find beautiful mountains but good water”, it is rare a natural resource in the world.
Nanxi River is of broad water surface and shallow water. The water is generally about 1 meter in depth except for some deep pools which reach several meters. In as much as the stream is rapid without turbulence, the pool is smooth without stagnation, it is suitable for visiting, admiring as well as having fun. The characteristics of Nanxi River also make it an ideal place for bamboo rafting.
Beautiful beach forests of Nanxi River
The riverbed of Nanxi River is wide, gentle and smooth. Constantly swept by floods, the river-side area has turned into tens of thousands hectares of beach. In defense of floods and windstorm, people of generations had been planting trees on beach sands deposited by floods. As the river water rises and falls, the deposited sands on the beach pile up, making the trees grow increasingly flourishing. There’re 30 thousand hectares of beach forests standing on the two banks of Nanxi River in a special manner of their own.
If the most fascinating experience on the Li River in Guilin is appreciate the hill reflections in the water on a boat, the best in Nanxi River would be take a bamboo raft to see the beach forests. The natural scene of the beach forests which last tens of kilometers in length shows differently in the four seasons as well as varying in different time periods of a day. There is a poetic painting of shepherd boys playing with water, buffalos taking a bath, village women in bright-colored dress doing washings. Taking a bamboo raft downstream, what coming into sight will be the forests on the two banks. The beach forests vary when seen from different directions, seemingly composing a dynamic movie with the surrounding landscape.
Along the middle reach of Nanxi River, Xiaonanxi River, Zhenxi River and Heshengxi River, there are about 80 tracts of beach forests at present, of which the scale and amount are far beyond that at other scenic areas.
Grotesque rocks of Nanxi River
Composed of tuff and rhyolite, the volcanic rock peaks formed spectacular scenery of grotesque peaks and sheer cliffs. Among them the Shiweiyan Peak is a unique one. Embraced by the river on three sides, the spectacular peak rises straightly from the ground in the shape of a boat mast. And the twelve peaks Daruoyan area, towering into the sky in various sizes and shapes, is breathtaking as well. Aside from the above mentioned, the picturesque peaks and rocks sparsely standing in the valley are also countless, such as the “Tianzhu (pillar towering into the sky) Peak”, “Bangchui (Hammmer) Peak” and so on.
Dongxuan Cliff is another feature of the spectacular scenery at Nanxi River area. On the high-rise cliff are inlaid with caves in various sizes and shapes. The Small Ruoyan Cave, for instance, is hanging on a 200- meters-high cliff, over 10 meters to the ground and 100 meters to the top, with only a narrow footway entering into the cave along the edge of the cliff. The cave is 20-30 meters in height and 30-40 meters in depth. The, Big Ruodong Cave, namely Taogong Cave, is a deeper and more spacious compared to the Small Ruoyan Cave, topping the cliff and overlooking the valley. Around the Big Ruodong Cave dotted many smaller caves on the cliff which add a sense of mystery to the cliffs. The Guanyin (Godess of Mercy) Cave in the cliff at the back peak, for example, can accommodate over 300 hundred people and has spring water inside, which used to be the activity center of guerrillas in south Zhejiang Province in early years. Most of the caves in the cliffs are too high to reach. The mystery of this sight no doubt arouses people’s imagination and curiosity.
Transportation route of Nanxi River
Wenzhou - Hangzhou – Nanxi River: Wenzhou is an important transportation point to Nanxi River. Visitors can take train or flight to Wenzhou, and then conveniently change to bus to Nanxi River, according to their own situation. There’re shuttle buses directly to Wenzhou at Hangzhou South Bus Station with 37 schedules every day. The earliest one is at 6:30am and the latest one 7:40pm, departing every half an hour. The fare is RMB140 / per ticket for a total distance of 366 kilometers.
Departing from Wenzhou Airport: you can a take airport shuttle bus at the airport to China Civil Aviation booking office (RMB12) in downtown, and then take a taxi to Anlanting Pier (about RMB15), ferry to Ou Bei, then rent a car (RMB60-80, maybe more expensive at night; about one hour) or take a medium-sized express bus heading towards Yantou direction at the small bus station near the pier (RMB11) to Yantou Town. Another way is to rent a car right at the airport to Yantou Town which takes about 1.5 hours, costing RMB150-200.
Departing from Wenzhou Train Station: take No.33 bus to Anlanting Pier, ferry to Ou Bei, and then to Yantou Town in the same way as mentioned above.
Shanghai - Nanxi River: At Shanghai Hutai Bus Station there are non-stop buses to Shangtang Village in Yongjia County where Nanxi River is. There’re two buses running each in the morning and in the evening (about 9:30pm). The soft sleeper fare is RMB160+2 (insurance). The evening bus arrives at Shangtang Village at around 4am, free minibus transfer to Wenzhou halfway is available. On arrival in Wenzhou, you can wait for the medium-sized bus to Yantou Town near the traffic lights on the side of road where you get off the bus.
Furong Ancient Town: RMB20 / per person; Cangpo Ancient Village: RMB15 / per person; Shiweiyan Peak: RMB50 / per person; Rafting: RMB20 / per person; Jiangxin Island: RMB20 per person.