Anqing travel guide

Anqing Tourism | Anqing Guide

You're Going to Love Anqing

One of the tourist gems of China's Anhui province, Anqing is an elegant port on the mighty Yangtze river with a long history. But its major attraction is Mount Tianzhu - an incredible landscape of caves, falls, and hiking paths.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Anqing

1. The Tianzhushan Geopark

A UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, Tianzhushan is unlike anywhere else in China. Its caves, waterfalls, and paths are great fun to explore, and there are sights to see too, like the thousands-of-years-old Sanzu Temple.

2. The Chance to Watch Some Hui Opera

Anqing is the home of a distinctive opera style, characterized by flamboyant costumes and spectacular shows. Be sure to book tickets when you're in town.

3. There Are Some Impressive Historic Temples

The city of Anqing is dotted with temples that date back over a thousand years. The most impressive of all is the 240ft-high Yingjiang Temple - a truly remarkable achievement.

4. Climb Yellow Mountain

Venerated as one of China's sacred mountains, Yellow Mountain (Huangshan) is a beautiful spot, particularly at dawn. Take tours to viewing spots like Dawn Pavilion for some of the most gorgeous sunrises you will ever witness.

5. Attend Lively Festivals

Anqing has a hectic festival calendar. Check out local cuisine during the Soy and Tofu Festival (September), visit the Temple Fair at Mt Jiuhua in August, or make a date to attend the Huangmei Opera Festival (also in September).

What to do in Anqing

1. A Park With Real Tao-Factor

One of the most beautiful spots in Anhui province, Tianzhu Mountain astonishes visitors with its otherwordly rock formations. One of the holiest sites in Taoism, the 1,500 meter high mountain is surrounded by mile upon mile of protected scenery. Paths lead to hidden grottoes, idyllic waterfalls and - most intriguingly of all - the "Mystery Valley". Here, rockfalls have created a tangle of paths through a valley that overlays a network of tunnels. If you have a good sense of direction, it's a magical place to explore, and guides are also available to help you out.

2. Ancient Scholars And Romantic Ruins

Located around 50 miles north of Anqing, Tongcheng is more ancient than its larger neighbor, and repays time spent wandering around its venerable temples and ruins. The highlight here is the Ancient City, which dates back thousands of years to the Confucian era. But you can also climb Longmian Mountain for views that would have confronted Han farmers when Christ was alive, and see Confucian temples which incubated the famous (in China) Tongcheng School - a band of neo-Confucian scholars who sought to curb the excesses of Qing-era literary culture. Hardcore history, yes, but well worthwhile.

3. Anqing's Beloved Yangtze Lighthouse

Anqing's most iconic structure was first built in 1570 as a lighthouse for boatmen on the Yangtze River as it wound its way through the islets around the city. You can still see the notches used to store hundreds of lanterns which, presumably, saved countless lives over the centuries. Nowadays, it has become a major Buddhist shrine, housing thousands of statues. It soars 72 meters into the sky, with seven heptagonal storeys, and 168 stairs. The climb is arduous, but the views make it all worthwhile.

4. The Birthplace Of Chinese Buddhism

One of the great historical centers of Chinese Buddhism, Sikong Mountain is around 40 miles southwest of Anqing. In Buddhist lore, Sikong was where Bodi Damo - the founder of Chinese Buddhism - first settled down after arriving from India. Bodi Damo dwelt in a very un-luxurious cave as he spread the word about dharma and nirvana, but these days his story is remembered in fitting fashion, with a holy shrine and some beautiful traditional architecture. And, for tourists, the stunning scenery of the mountain backdrop makes for some exceptional shots.

5. The Well-Spring Of Peking Opera

Anqing is famous in Chinese culture as the birthplace of the Peking Opera, a style of dramatic performance which fuses folk music with epic tales. Modern day Peking Opera sounds quite different to the real thing, which can still be heard at Anqing's leading venues. The Huangmai Opera Hall is the pick of the bunch (a little like the Grand Ol' Opry for Chinese opera). You'll find it on Yingjiang Road near the center of town, but go with an open mind. Even if the language is incomprehensible, and the music is an acquired taste, the spectacle is unforgettable.

1. A Park With Real Tao-Factor

One of the most beautiful spots in Anhui province, Tianzhu Mountain astonishes visitors with its otherwordly rock formations. One of the holiest sites in Taoism, the 1,500 meter high mountain is surrounded by mile upon mile of protected scenery. Paths lead to hidden grottoes, idyllic waterfalls and - most intriguingly of all - the "Mystery Valley". Here, rockfalls have created a tangle of paths through a valley that overlays a network of tunnels. If you have a good sense of direction, it's a magical place to explore, and guides are also available to help you out.

2. Ancient Scholars And Romantic Ruins

Located around 50 miles north of Anqing, Tongcheng is more ancient than its larger neighbor, and repays time spent wandering around its venerable temples and ruins. The highlight here is the Ancient City, which dates back thousands of years to the Confucian era. But you can also climb Longmian Mountain for views that would have confronted Han farmers when Christ was alive, and see Confucian temples which incubated the famous (in China) Tongcheng School - a band of neo-Confucian scholars who sought to curb the excesses of Qing-era literary culture. Hardcore history, yes, but well worthwhile.

3. Anqing's Beloved Yangtze Lighthouse

Anqing's most iconic structure was first built in 1570 as a lighthouse for boatmen on the Yangtze River as it wound its way through the islets around the city. You can still see the notches used to store hundreds of lanterns which, presumably, saved countless lives over the centuries. Nowadays, it has become a major Buddhist shrine, housing thousands of statues. It soars 72 meters into the sky, with seven heptagonal storeys, and 168 stairs. The climb is arduous, but the views make it all worthwhile.

4. The Birthplace Of Chinese Buddhism

One of the great historical centers of Chinese Buddhism, Sikong Mountain is around 40 miles southwest of Anqing. In Buddhist lore, Sikong was where Bodi Damo - the founder of Chinese Buddhism - first settled down after arriving from India. Bodi Damo dwelt in a very un-luxurious cave as he spread the word about dharma and nirvana, but these days his story is remembered in fitting fashion, with a holy shrine and some beautiful traditional architecture. And, for tourists, the stunning scenery of the mountain backdrop makes for some exceptional shots.

5. The Well-Spring Of Peking Opera

Anqing is famous in Chinese culture as the birthplace of the Peking Opera, a style of dramatic performance which fuses folk music with epic tales. Modern day Peking Opera sounds quite different to the real thing, which can still be heard at Anqing's leading venues. The Huangmai Opera Hall is the pick of the bunch (a little like the Grand Ol' Opry for Chinese opera). You'll find it on Yingjiang Road near the center of town, but go with an open mind. Even if the language is incomprehensible, and the music is an acquired taste, the spectacle is unforgettable.

Where to Eat in Anqing

If you want to try fine Anhui cuisine, Anqing's best restaurants won't let you down. Standouts include HouWei XiaoChu in Yingjiang and Xiao ChengDa Ai Shi Shang on Renmin Road. Meals will cost about ¥50 per head.

When to visit Anqing

Anqing has a pleasant climate, and you can expect good weather from April through November. September is ideal though, with mild temperatures and plenty of festivals going on.

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How to Get to Anqing

Plane

Anqing Tianzhushan Airport (AQG) has good connections to Beijing and Shanghai. Expect a taxi into town to cost around ¥50.

Train

Anqing is around four hours from Shanghai by train (fares start at around ¥200), and six hours from Beijing (around ¥440).

Car

From Shanghai, take the G50 straight to Anqing. The G2 or G35 run south from Beijing (expect the journey to take around eight hours).

Bus

Anqing has good bus links to most northern Chinese cities, including Suzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, and Wuhan.

Where to stay in Anqing

Yingjiang - Anqing's largest neighborhood, Yingjiang boasts a stunning temple and some of the city's liveliest shopping areas as well.

Popular Neighborhoods in Anqing

Daguan - in the west of the city, Daguan borders on the picturesque Qili Lake and is a good place to stay, being outside the busy city center.

Baizehuxiang - a little to the north, Baizehuxiang has two huge shopping malls, and is a great place to bargain hunt.

Where to stay in popular areas of Anqing

How to Get Around Anqing

Public Transportation

Anqing's public bus network covers most of the city.

Taxi

Expect taxis to be fairly cheap, with a meter drop of ¥10 and a charge of around ¥3 per mile after that.

Car

Car rental options in central Anqing include 668 Auto Rental, and you should find deals for around ¥40 per day.

The Cost of Living in Anqing

Shopping Streets

Shopping malls can be found all over Anqing, including the Gaotang and Huibai malls in northern Anqing, and the Wanjiawang Shendun center in the middle of town.

Groceries and Other

Grocery shopping options include Tesco and Wellcome, where you can expect to pay about ¥10 for 12 eggs.

Other popular cities in Anhui