Besides the popular Xiamen and Mt Wuyi, Mt Guanzhai with her charming Danxia landscape, strange peaks and lake, is a perfect place to go for a weekend retreat away from the crowd of tourists. We spent the weekend in Liancheng, Fujian, where Mt Guanzhai is.
We began our hike after disembarking from the boat. Although there were some 700 steps upwards and another 900 steps downwards, it was not as difficult as it sound. We walked between the peaks, some were narrow enough for one person to pass through at a time.
The hike took around 4 hours, including the boardwalk and the boat cruise. Unlike many other tourist destinations in China which are noisy and packed with tourists, the morning hike is a place off the beaten track. There were no busy tour guides talking noisily on microphones, or excited visitors pushing or those who cannot wait to talk loudly over their mobile phones to share their findings with their friends. What’s accompanied us were only chirping of the birds and cicadas.
We returned to our hotel, the Tienyi Spa and Resort, a five star local hotel with villas and hot spring, to enjoy and relax in a hot spring.
The next day, before we returned to Hong Kong, we made a stop at Yonglong Bridge which was built some 400 years ago, and the Hakka Village Peitian.
The Yonglong Bridge is where local celebrations are held. It is one of the most elegantly built bridge which linked up the village separated by the river. The noble wooden structure is seldom seen in local village.
Our next stop was the Hakka Village Peitian. The village is deep in the mountains, but the visit indeed worth the travelling time. It belongs to the Wu Clan. A few of their ancestors were awarded positions in the government during the Ming and Qing dynasties, and this honor was reflected in the architecture – there were halls and ancestor halls built for these officers. The architecture is distinctively Hakka. Today, there are still some 1,000 Hakka, all named Wu, living in the village. The grand halls, the paved cobble stones roads, the theatre -you can imagine how wealthy and powerful these Hakka clan was in ancient time. A stroll along the village will take you down the memory lane of the peaceful, happy and self-sufficient life in a local village.
Liancheng is only 4 hours by train from Shenzhen. The spectacular landscape, the Hakkanese heritage and the hike offers a rich programme. What’s more, you’ll pass through paddy fields and duck farms along the way which many city dwellers miss.