A view of Yunqiu Mountain in Linfen city [Photo/shanxi.gov.cn]
Yunqiu Mountain scenic area in southwestern Shanxi province is located on the southern part of Lyuliang Mountain and faces the Fenhe River. It integrates tourism, leisure and folklore experiences.
The area is famous for its unique natural landscapes and cultural practices. The scenic area boasts karst landforms, figure-shaped mountains and verdant forests and has more than 50 fantastic natural views, including a rare group of super-large ice caves, Fairy Valley and the cloud sea.
Yunqiu Mountain is also one of the cradles of Chinese civilization and culture. At this place, Emperor Yao (c.24th-23th century BC) ordered Xihe to formulate the calendar by viewing the sky to determine the time.
It's also a holy place for Taoism practitioners, with many ancient Taoist temples and structures standing there over the centuries.
A traditional temple fair celebrating Zhonghe Festival, a traditional Chinese festival for unmarried men and women to go on a blind date, is held in Yunqiu Mountain scenic area every February. Men often hold whips, and women carry baskets of flowers at the temple fair to seek their true love.
The ancient festival started in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and has long since disappeared elsewhere, but its traditions have been passed down and maintained at Yunqiu Mountain. In 2011, the Yunqiu Mountain Zhonghe Festival was included in the national intangible cultural heritage list.
The scenic area was recently recognized as a national 5A-level tourist attraction by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Address: Wangmiao town, Xiangning county, Linfen city, Shanxi province
Best period for travel: spring and autumn
Hours of operation: 7 am – 5 pm (tourist season); 7:50 am – 3 pm (off-season)
Price of admission: 80 yuan ($12.41) per person (April 1 to Oct 31); 40 per person (Nov 1 to March 31)