Wuyuan

Wuyuan (婺源; Wùyuán) is a city in Jiangxi Province. It is the central transportation hub to the many beautiful villages in the region.

Get in

Now Wuyuan has a new-built high-speed railway station where you can get trains between Wuyuan and many cities like Bejing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Fuzhou, Xiameng, Hefei, Huangshang and Nanchang etc. The nearest city is Jingdezhen, where there are regular buses from the Licun Bus Station to Wuyuan North Bus Station (2 hours). There are also buses from Nanchang, Huangshan, Hangzhou, Quanzhou, Shanghai, and various large cities in the general region. You may get dropped off at Wuyuan's new bus station which is bigger and caters for long-distance buses, but you need to get to the old north bus station (taxi roughly ¥10 or try a local bus) for buses to some of the villages (especially the eastern villages).

If you come from Shangrao (Jiangxi) there are buses from the bus station that will take you to Wuyuan west bus station(3.5hrs, ¥54). But now the most convenient way is by train which will take only 25mins and cost ¥40.

You can also reach Wu Yuan from San Qing Shan (from Shangrao) using local transportation and guides. These methods of travel might be more expensive but the thrifty traveler can also hitch a ride on buses that pass through places like Gin Shan (a small resort town just below San Qing Shan). A good understanding of the Chinese language is necessary or knowledge of Jiangxi culture if you don't want to get ripped off.

There are regular buses from the New Bus Station to Jingdezhen nearly every 45 minutes. There are also buses to Shangrao for good rail links, every hour at least (3.5 hrs, ¥54).

There are two daily buses to Shanghai, at 9:30AM and 6:45PM, they take approximately seven hours and cost ¥180. There is a 9:20AM bus to Hangzhou, it takes approximately five hours and costs ¥103. There are also buses to Nanchang, Huangshan, and other cities in the region.

Do not let your taxi or motorcycle driver help you with accommodation (or follow you after the ride) in the villages, or else the hotel will offer you a higher charge in order to give the driver a certain commission.

Get around

Public transportation is basic around Wuyuan region. Hub for most services is Wuyuan. The only local bus service we know about goes from Wuyuan New North Station(main for long-distance between cities) to Qinghua Village (¥6, 30 minutes). You can take public bus at ¥1 from New North Station to Old North Station where you transfer for short-distance bus between villages on the eastern line such as Small Likeng (¥5-15, 15 minutes), Wangkou, Jiangwan and Xiaoqi. There are other buses from Wuyuan to western villages: Sixi/Yancun, Qinghua, and from there onwards to Dazhang Shan mountain. They can take a long time though, so a driver to take you to a few places is way more efficient.

There are swarms of motorcycle taxis throughout the area, it is also possible to rent them for the day. They should typically charge ¥1 per 2 minutes of travel, make sure of the price before the ride. A trip by motorcycle from Wuyuan to Small Likeng should cost about ¥10. There are also a few taxis that cost four or five times as much as a motorcycle.

Guesthouses (e.g. Linda at Brook Hotel, Little Likeng) can help organise a driver (¥200-250 per minivan per day) to several of the sites. Especially if going further afield, this is the best option. But be aware the driver will expect you to pay for his lunch.

If you would like you can also travel from the San Qing Shan area to Wu Yuan. It takes about an hour or so. For example: you can have a driver drive you from Gin Shan (a small town located at one of the main cable car entrances to San Qing Shan) to Wu Yuan and back for 150 yuan a person, if 3 or more people. They will take you from Gin Shan, drive you around the Wu Yuan tourists sites and drive you back to Gin Shan the same day. A hotel in Gin Shan can run you somewhere between 50-80 yuan. (You still have to pay for the entrance ticket into the tourists sites...but the price is not bad if you like the freedom to stop anywhere and escape from tour buses).

See

There are many small villages and temples throughout the region, and a number of scenic spots where it is rewarding just to stop and look around. The countryside is renowned throughout China, and if you have ever wanted to try your hand (and feet) out in a rice paddie, this is a place where you can wander up to a friendly farmer and ask to lend a hand. The people are genuinely warm, friendly, and unimposing everywhere. Even the hawkers seem not particularly bothered whether you buy or not.

Many of the villages charge an admission, with a large majority being operated by one company. ¥60 will grant only one entrance, ¥210 (5 day pass) grants entry to all the scenic spots (including Dazhang shan), except Big Likeng . Students can get half- price for the ¥210 ticket after showing identity. Almost all Chinese tour groups have left the villages by 5pm, and life begins to wind down. Dinner (and therefore food options) is eaten around 6-7pm. It can get difficult to find food as it gets later in the day. Life, and light (bring a torch) in the villages stops by 10pm.

Do

The rivers in the area have rafts that can be hired. There is also a very miniature version of this in the streams of Small Likeng.

Talk

Very little English is spoken, although most of the touristed villages will have signs in English, Japanese, and Korean, as well as Chinese. If you are not Asian expect have people constantly yell "hello" at you, and stare.

Eat

Wuyuan city does not have good restaurants. It is best to eat inside the villages. Brook Hotel, in Small Likeng, has nice food and an English menu (the only place in the whole of Wuyuan). Good food is also available at the Gunagming teahouse in Little Likeng and has a nice location with a view down the river. In other villages food can be available if you ask.

Drink

There are many teahouses dotted throughout the villages. Beer and rice wine can be bought at these or the few restaurants/guesthouse kitchens. There are no bars/cafes in the villages. And partying is definitely not an option as everything shuts down by 10PM.

Sleep

Wuyuan has a number of hotels near the Wuyuan bus stations (but Wuyuan is uninspiring, get out to the villages asap). Any of the villages have simple and cheap accommodation easily available. There are many signs, generally with English. Small Likeng's teahouses do not have signs out, but have private rooms that can be rented. Off-season prices are in the range of ¥100-120.

There is an accommodation in Small Likeng, Brook Hotel (傍溪居; Bang Xi Ju ) ,the only one in Wuyuan you can also book online from Hostelworld or Hostelbookers ,telephone 13879349519. A good place to stay and eat in Small Likeng. Friendly family, good rooms (roughly ¥120) with a patio area on the top floor. Hot showers, double with private bathroom and air conditioner, free Internet access. Clean and good value. Food is also available at a couple other places in the village, but restaurants will close by 8PM. Try the local fish, red carp, very delicious in this hotel. Food is reasonably priced. What is more, the son of the owner can speak good English and is very hospitable.By the way, they can get you a discount for the 210yen ticket at 180yen through travel agency if you contact them in advance.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.