"Seeing off Hermit Wen Back to Former Residence White Goose Peak in the Yellow Mountains"
Thousands of feet high towers the Yellow Mountains
Located in the southern part of Anhui Province, the Yellow Mountains extend across four counties - Shexian, Yixian, Taiping, and Xining. They rose above the earth surface as a result of movement of the earth's crust over a hundred million years ago. Later they underwent the erosion of Quaternary glaciation and have gradually become what they are today. Magnificent and charming, the mountains have been a famous scenic spot full of wonderful sights.
The Yellow Mountains, also known as Yishan during the Qin Dynasty (211-207 B.C.), got its present name in 747 A.D.(the 6th year of the Tianbao reign of the Tang Dynasty), when Li Bai (701-762), the great Tang poet, wrote about them in these lines:
The Yellow Mountains change their colour and appearance with the alternation of seasons. In spring, blooming flowers decorate the slopes in a riot of colour and fill the valleys with fragrance; in summer you see verdured peaks rising one upon another and hear the springs gurgling merrily;
From ancient times the mountains have been frequented by tourists seeking their mystery and admiring their scenery. They come to the conclusion that the fantastic pines, the grotesque rocks, the sea of clouds, and the hot springs are the four major attractions of the Yellow Mountains. As a matter of fact, there are marvels almost everywhere, especially in the following scenic areas:
Owing to the peculiar terrain, the Yellow Mountains' climate is marked by a vertical change, and the vertical distribution of vegetation is also distinctive: plants on the summit, on the middle levels, and at the foot belong to the frigid, temperate, and subtropical zones respectively. There are more than 1500 species of plants, of which trees comprise one third. Hence the Yellow Mountains occupy an important place in China's botanical research.
The Yellow Mountains also provide the natural habitat for a wide variety of fauna. Among the animals there are monkeys, goats, and deer. There are rare birds such as the red-billed leiothrix, the silver pheasant, the octave-tone bird, and the oriole, all good singers.
The temperature in the Yellow Mountains is agreeable all the year round. It is cool in summer, averaging 20° C at the North Sea Guest-house (1,630 meters above sea level) and 25° C at Hot Springs (630 meters above sea level). As clouds often shut out the sun, hot weather never stays long, and this makes the Yellow Mountains an ideal summer resort.
Though looking fresh and young, Yellow Mountains have a long history to which ancient books, poems, and paintings as well as carved inscriptions all bear witness. Li Bai was not the only poet who sang in its praise; Tang poets Jia Dao (779-843) and Du Xunhe (846-097) also came here and wrote poems. Xu Xiake (1586-1641), the great geographer and traveller of the Ming Dynasty, devoted two of his travel notes to Yellow Mountains.
Inscriptions of the past generations meet one's eye here and there among the Yellow Mountains: "Clouds in a Myriad of Forms", "Peaks Piercing the Sky", "A Cool World", "Fantastic and Beautiful", and "Scenery of Exceptional Charm" to mention just a few. Such poetic phrases in handsome calligraphy are not only decorative; they are themselves part of the fascinating scene.
© 1998 Thinkquest Team 20443
All rights reserved