World Natural Heritage Sites in Guizhou


World Natural Heritage Sites in Guizhou

by Live in Guizhou

PUBLISHED August 12, 2021 • 5 MIN READ

Guizhou is proud to have four World Natural Heritage sites listed, more than any other province in China. The four sites are Libo Karst, Chishui Danxia Landform, Shibing Karst and Fanjing Mountain in Tongren.

1.Castle in the Sky – Fanjing Mountain

The US National Geographic short-listed 28 best places to visit for 2019, and the Fanjing Mountain (Fanjingshan) in Guizhou, China, was ranked No. 3 in the list and topped the Nature category. The presentation is as follows: Fanjingshan, China’s newest UNESCO World Heritage site is worth the climb; a sacred Buddhist site (48 temples once stood on this mountain), Fanjingshan also rewards hikers with bizarre rock formations and above-the-clouds views of China’s Wuling mountain range. The steepest climb is to the 7,664-foot Red Clouds Golden Summit, two temple-topped peaks linked by a bridge. You could skip the climb by taking the cable car to the summit, but hiking offers a close-up look at Fanjingshan’s rich biodiversity, which includes endemic and rare species, such as the gray snub-nosed monkey.

2.Fanjing Mountain, An Ecological Island

Dr. Jim Thorsell, an assessment expert of IUCN from the United States, was awed during his on-site research in Fanjing Mountain in Guizhou Province. “Fanjing Mountain is like an isolated ecological island, where many species coexist and develop,and is therefore protected from human activities.” The rare and precious dove trees, tulip trees, Fanjingshan fir, beech forest, ancient tea trees are over 600 years in age,the tallest crape myrtle trees in the world, macaca thibetana, presbytis francoisi, Andrias davidianus, Trimeresurus stejnegeri, Tragopan temminckii, golden pheasants, white-collared yuhina, crested kingfishers… all of them have contributed to the biodiversity of Fanjing Mountain. Guizhou is now changing rapidly. To better protect this “island” of lives, we still have a long way to go.

3.Ten Excellent Views of Fanjing Mountain

Bizarre rocks, peculiar-shaped trees, heavenly wind, sea of clouds, beautiful springs, rare animals, precious birds, Buddha halo, snow scenes, elevated roads.

4.Sea of Clouds in Fanjing Mountainn

Fanjing Mountain is one of the ten famous summer resorts in China. The sea of clouds, a marvel in the scenic area, comes into being as a result of the variable wind directions in the sheer mountains. The “waterfall cloud”, in particular, is breathtaking, where the clouds seem to drop vertically down to the deep valley.

5.The Red Clouds Golden Summit

The Fanjing Mountain has two main peaks: one is Mount Phoenix which stands at 2,572-meter high and the other one, which has been developed into a scenic area, is the Red Clouds Golden Summit at a height of 2,494 meters. The narrow ridge, near the top Fanjing Mountain, had cracked due to weathering and erosion, and as a result the golden summit was split into two parts connected together by a heaven bridge. Two temples were built on the peaks, one worshipping Sakyamuni while the other has a shrine to Maitreya. At sunsets and sunrises, the summit is surrounded by red clouds, thus earning the name Red Clouds Golden Summit. Viewing from whichever angle, you’ll be amazed by its striking appearance!

6.The 10,000-Meter Long Sleeping Buddha

An amazing view in the Fanjing Mountain Scenic Area in Guizhou Province is the 10,000-meter long Sleeping Buddha. The mountain range, extending from the highest Phoenix Summit towards the east, resembles the bellied sleeping Buddha. As can be seen from the picture, the Phoenix Summit on the right is the Buddha’s face, and the middle is the belly. Both the two summits on the left, named Red Cloud Golden Peak and Old Golden Summit also look like sitting Buddhas. The sight, stretching for ten thousand meters, is the longest in the world. For thousands of years, Fanjing Mountain has been worshiped as the “Mountain of Buddha” by local residents who see the Mountain as Buddha and the Buddha incarnated in the Mountain.

7.The One and Only Habitat of the Gray Snub-Nosed Monkeys

The gray snub-nosed monkeys, measuring 60-70 centimeters, have a long thin tail, like that of cattle. They belong to the same genus as the golden snub-nosed monkeys and black snub-nosed monkeys. The three kinds once all lived in tropical rainforests, but then began to differentiate among themselves as they migrated. Currently, Fanjingshan Scenic Area in Guizhou is the sole habitat for the gray snub-nosed monkeys, where around 800 can be found. They live at an altitude between 1,300 and 2,000 meters above the sea level and feed on burgeon, leaves, flowers and fruits of plants. They fall under the state first-grade protection.

8.Dove Tree

Davidia Involucrata Baill, also known as “Chinese Dove- tree”, is a relic species dating back to the Cenozoic Era ten million years ago. In the Quaternary glaciation, this species became extinct area after area, and only those growing in south China survived. Now, there are more than 12,140 acres of Dove trees in Fanjing Mountain, Guizhou Province, the only concentrated area of the species in the world.

9.Wild Azaleas

In addition to the dove trees, a wide range of azaleas also grow in large scale in Fanjing Mountain. The vast sea of wild azaleas is located along the ring road in the west area of the Fanjing Mountain, partly in Ziwei Town and partly in Muhuang Town. Every year in May, more than 60 types of azaleas bloom at the same time.