By Chen Zhiying
“Thousands of mountains stand towering around and a river winds its way to embrace the city.” With most of its land occupied by Jiuwan Mountain and nurtured by the Hongshui River, Hechi, a city in the northwest of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, is endowed with many breathtaking natural sceneries. Unlike other cities that use busy and bustling atmospheres to showcase the vitality, Hechi is tranquil and primitive but exudes an inherent power of vigor. It is like the untouched pure land in the poem of Tao Yuanming, sitting quietly to witness the vicissitudes of the outside world.
Sanmenhai: Tinges of green hidden in the cave
Sanmenhai Scenic Area in Fengshan County could satisfy all your imaginations of a fairyland. It is hidden in some seemingly inconspicuous mountains that if you are not guided by local people, you may miss such a wonderland. When trudging up the rugged road and going through the dense forests to meet such blue and green water, you probably have nothing to say but exclamation. It is like a delicate jade, transparent and smooth, giving a sense of calmness and sobriety. The surroundings here are so peaceful that you can hear the murmuring of the water, the chirp of the birds, and even the gentle blow of the wind. Perhaps it is where the magic of nature lies: the more primitive and quiet it is, the more desirable and attractive it is. Taking a boat and passing through the dark caves and encountering all the twists and turns all the way, you will not only have the excitement of exploring the secret land but also will be amazed when seeing the crystal blue water and the movie-like scenery along the way.
Tips: 1. Sanmenhai has a total of seven sinkholes, three of which are open to tourists, and the river here is ocean blue, for which it is called Sanmenhai (Three-access Sea).
2. There are public buses about every 30 minutes going to Sanmenhai Village from Fengshan County. It takes nearly 45 minutes to get to the place and costs three yuan.
Dahua Qibainong National Geological Park:Stunning karst landforms
If you are seeking wild-looking karst landforms, then a trip to Dahua Qibainong National Geological Park is the right choice. The park features a unique karst landscape with mountain ranges, low-lying lands, valleys, caves, underground rivers, and fossils. There are countless rock mountains standing nearly 800-1000 meters above sea level, forming an endless dense cluster of pyramid-shaped peaks — a marvel to behold. The scene becomes even more splendid when you take the view from above. On the ranges of the mountains zigzags a slate path leading to the highest point decorated with an antique pavilion. Looking down from the pavilion, winding roads run around the hillside like a belt. As you drive along the path, steep rocks and cliffs keep passing by the car window, and you will be awed by the power of nature. On rainy days, the park takes on a new look — all of the mountains are wreathed in a thin mist to form a subtle and reserved ink-and-wash painting.
While heaven bestows Qibainong with a magical and fascinating natural view, it also steals the water and soil that people depend on for survival. It is only between the mountains that scatter some low-lying lands that are arable. Although Yao people work hard in farming, they still have several months of food shortage in a year.
Tips: 1. Qibainong literally means 700 habitable valleys or villages in the local language.
Nongxiang Sinkhole: A mysterious world
Nongxiang Sinkhole is another masterpiece left by nature. As you descend in the sinkhole, you are stepping into a new world. Strange vegetation grows luxuriant all around and fresh green mosses leave their footprints about, making you feel like having been transported to a small rainforest. If the day you visit happens to have sunshines in the hole, the amazing Tindal phenomenon willoccur. Inside the hole where the sun cannot reach, stalactites are forming gradually. After years of erosion, they begin to present human-like faces, resembling patron gods. Deeper is broad darkness, adding a sense of mystery and surprise to the sinkhole.
Here, the bustle of humans have been replaced with silence. As you make your returned journey, do indulge yourself in the quietness longer and take with you the peace found in this isolated landmark.
Hechi is a land of natural endowment. Many fascinating scenic spots are waiting for your exploration!
Tips: 1. Nongxiang Sinkhole is located in Du’an Yao Autonomous County in Hechi. It takes nearly one and a half hours to drive from downtown and is free of charge.
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