The province of Anhui in eastern China lies between 114°43' and 119°38'E and 29°25' and 34°39'N.Two large rivers, the Huaihe and the Changjiang (Yangtse), flow through Anhui from west to east.
The province can be divided into three different zones - the plain to the north of the Huaihe, the hilly region between the Huaihe and the Changjiang, and the mountainous country south of the Changjiang.Summers in the province are hot and humid and the winters generally cool but colder and drier in the north. Rainfall amounts are less in the north than in the south.Commencing with the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC), Anhui was the first region of southern China to be settled by the ethnic group known as the Hans. It suffered considerable hardship and distress when the Huanghe river changed its course in the mid-18th C. The province was occupied by the Japanese during the Second World War.After 1949 the province's economy developed through the mining of coal and iron and copper ore, and it became a center of heavy industry.There are some 4.4 million ha/11 million acres of agricultural land, more than a half of which is irrigated; the main crops are rice, grain, soya beans, sweet potatoes, cotton and tea.
Wuhu lies in some beautiful countryside in the center of Anhui province, at the confluence of the Qingyijiang and Changjian rivers.It is 130km/80mi from Nanjing and 140km/87mi from Hefei, the provincial capital, and is linked by rail, road and water to these and many other Chinese towns and cities.Wuhu has a history going back more than 2000 years. There was a major settlement here back in the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BC), and it was given its present name during the Han dynasty (206 BC-AD 220). From the Ming era (1368-1644) onwards it was one of China's richest trading towns and during the Qing period (1644-1911) it became one of the country's four largest centers for the transshipment of rice (the other three being Changsha, Jiujiang and Wuxi). The port was opened to external trade in 1876.Today Wuhu, with its shipyards, iron foundries and many textile and engineering factories, is an important industrial center.
Lake of Mirrors
The crystal-clear waters of the Lake of Mirrors cover an area of 18ha/45 acres. In the second half of the 19th C the lake was for a number of years the very hub of Wuhu's social life, and its banks were studded with dozens of tea-houses, inns, restaurants and theaters. Today it is still a popular spot for excursions and a leisure center for the local people, with a library, exhibition building and restaurants.
Park of the Reddish-brown Mountain
The Park of the Reddish-brown Mountain stretches over an area of some 4 sq.km/1.5sq.mi in the northwest of Wuhu. Two hills of shimmering red give the park its name. The higher of these (86m/282ft) is dominated by a 16th C pavilion from which there is a wonderful view over the town. The park also has a small zoo.
Temple of Universal Well-being
The Temple of Universal Well-being (Guanghi Si) was built in the 9th C on the southwest slope of Reddish-brown Mountain. It comprises three halls in an echelon formation on the hillside. The present buildings date from the Qing period (1644-1911).Prior to climbing the Mountain of the Nine Blossoms, pilgrims would rest in this temple and light joss sticks.
There are numerous attractions worth visiting in the areas surrounding Wuhu.
Yellow Mountain, often portrayed in paintings by Chinese artists, has 72 peaks, the highest of which stands at 1860m/6104ft. It is known for its varied terrain and numerous natural features.
The Mountain of the Nine Blossoms is one of the Four Holy Mountains and has for centuries been the site of Buddhist monasteries. Today over 50 such buildings still exist, and house important Buddhist documents.