Shaoguan is a prefecture level city located in the north of Guangdong province in the Republic of China. To the northwest it borders Hunan and to its northeast is Jiangxi. It is also home to the remains of the sixth Zen Buddhist patriarch Huineng. It is very famous for its surrounding nature and the hot springs. This is the major reason to attract the tourists. It has a long standing history of more than 2100 years. Initially Shaoguan was called ‘the famous county of south of five ridges’. Also due to its unique geographical position and a very well developed transportation system it has been the key land passage of North China and the lower and the middle reaches of the Changjiang River. With beautiful mountains and the numerous scenic spots that this city has to offer it makes it a must visit.
HOW TO GET THERE?
You can take a flight to the Guangzhou Baiyun Airport which is the closest to Shaoguan. And from here you can take an intercity bus which will further help you to reach Shaoguan. There are also trains available to reach Shaoguan. You can take a train ride from Guangzhou which takes about three hours. There is also a bullet train which takes about fifty minutes to an hour but is a bit more costly than the other trains.
The Nanhua temple is a very popular Buddhist site located about 22 kilometres away from the city downtown area in the northern part of Guangdong Province. Hui Neng, the sixth Patriarch of the Chan School of Buddhism used to live here and also teach. This temple has a history as old as 1500 years and keeps some of the many national treasures, the body of Han Shan and is also a very important pilgrimage site for the practitioners of Zen Buddhism. There is a hall of Heavenly Kings which was initially built by the Ming Dynasty in 1474 and later rebuilt during the Qing Dynasty. And in the centre of the temple is the Grand Hall which has a few Buddha Statues.
The Danxia Mountain boasts of the largest scenic area and has some of the most beautiful scenery. It is also a very famous Geopark of the world. It is formed from fresh reddish sandstone which has eroded now over time and turned into a series of mountains which are surrounded by curvaceous cliffs and has some of the most unusual rock formations. There are many temples located on the mountains and there is an old monastery too. There is a river which flows through the mountains where boat trips are allowed. It was also marked as UNESCO marked World Heritage Site in the year 2010.
Nanling National Forest Park
This National Park is situated in Ruyuan Yao Nationality Autonomous County. The park is spread over an area of 27300 hectares. This is the core Zone of Nanling Mountain and it is also the only virgin forest in Guangdong that is preserved. It is also the only forest which has an oasis with the largest area in the areas that have the same latitude in the world. The park also has some scenic spots like the number one peak in Guangdong with an altitude of 1902 meters, the Water Loving valley, a small yellow mountain and the numerous waterfall groups.
Guangdong Grand Canyon
This canyon is situated in Guangdong Ruyuan Yao Autonomous Dabu Town. The Grand Canyon is of up to 15 kilometres and is more than 300 metres deep. It has a number of splendid waterfalls and waterways. The largest waterfall here is about 200 metres in height. There is a place called ‘Heavenly Stairs’ having 1386 stairs where you can ascend from the bottom to the top of the canyon. This is one of the top tourist destinations in Guangdong as rated by foreigners. Although it is a little tiring to get to this place as compared to others but it is definitely worth it. The timings of this canyon are from 8 am to 5 pm and it is open every day.
This district is situated approximately 30 minutes away from Shaoguan. You can take a city bus from Shaoguan East Train Station to the last stop. This place is stretched along a river valley and has two hot springs. At one of the hot springs you can also take a bath. There is a small traditional village here which you can visit. There are also many trekking opportunities available in the side valleys. You can walk along the main road in Jiangwan and then cross the Mountains to reach Dabu town and also go to Guangdong Grand Canyon.
Thus, Shaoguan has a lot of tourism resources among which the major attractions are the once mentioned above and apart from that there are many more sights which are worth a visit like Zhuji Alley which is also a hometown to the millions of overseas Chinese, Maba Man Ancient Ruin, Shixia Cultural Remains, Nanxiong Dinosaur ancient living creation fossil, the beautiful Hakka Buildings and the Fengcai Buildings. Thus with the beautiful mountains to the scenic sights and temples, this city has too much to offer for every tourist.