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Taining World Geopark

The scenery farest from the hustle and bustle of the secular world and closest to your soul.

A place where you can see the most ancient and complete Danxia terrain wonders along water edge in Southeast China.

The Paradise for hikers and adventurers.


In Fujian Province’s Northwest area sits a world renowned geopark: Taining World Geopark. UNESCO’s experts praise it as “the Sample of Chinese Geopark” while geologists label it as “the Museum of Valleys and Caves” and “Garden of Grand Mountains and Winding Rivers”.

This 492.5 km2 geopark is composed of five scenic areas include Shiwang ( Stone Net) Scenic Area, Dajin Lake Scenic Area, Eight Fairies Cliff (Eight Fairies Cliff) Scenic Area, Mt Jinraoshan Scenic Area and Taining Ancient Town. Its magnetic charm is originated from the typical Danxia terrain complemented by ancient towns, profound local culture, fascinating customs and geological relics such as lava rocks, granite and structure terrain. The fantastic 270 km2’s Danxia terrain along water edge, the largest and the most diversified one in Southeast China, featuring deep and tranquil gorges, crooked streams, mysterious Danxia Caves, grotesque peaks, stone columns and precipitous granite rock landscape imbued with primitive flavor which make Taining World Geopark renowned worldwide.

It is the indispensible component of Chinese Danxia Terrain’s evolution chain from primary to advanced stage. Scholars home and abroad deem it as “the place where the story of Chinese Danxia Terrain begins." In 2005, Taining World Geopark is honored as world geopark.

Taining World Geopark

Main Terrains of Taining World Geopark

Taining World Geopark mainly features Danxia terrain, complemented by lava terrain and granite terrain. Among its main scenic areas, Shiwang Scenic Area, Dajin Lake Scenic Area and Longwang Rock, Dayading of Eight Fairies Cliff Area belong to Danxia terrain, while Mt Jinraoshan Scenic Area belongs to granite terrain and the Mt Baiyashan of Eight Fairies Cliff Scenic Area is typical lava terrain.

“Danxia Terrain along Water Edge” in Taining World Geopark

The 166.88 km2 Danxia Terrain Area in Dajinhu Lake(大金湖), Taining World Geopark include Shangqing Stream(上清溪), Gold Lake(金湖), Longwang Rock (龙王岩)and Eight Fairies Cliff(八仙崖), which is mainly distinguished by cluster of valleys, wonderful caves, special Danxia terrain along Water edge, primitive ecological landscape and geological culture(cave culture). Over 1100 cliffs and 470 gorges in this geopark compose a maze which is famed as “The Garden of Danxia Valleys”. The density of gorges, the winding curves of rivers, the bewildering beauty of valleys and the rich primitive flora and fauna species are rare seen in the world. The red cliffs, pointed peaks and the misty Dajinhu Lake add beauty to each other. Paddling along this area, you will be astonished by the verifying scenes of numerous grotesque caves embedded along the red cliffs or deep valleys, some are spectacular, some are mysterious and some are delicate.  The grand and massive cave clusters with most innovative combination ways are honored as “the Natural Caves Museum”

Features of Dajinhu Lake’s “Danxia terrain along Water edge”

Daijinghu Lake’s Danxia terrain is 240-907m above sea level, featuring labyrinth of valleys, crooked rivers, abundant bizarre peaks and the largest as well as the most complete types of its own, can be classified into six categories according to different formation reasons such as water erosion or collapse. The unique Danxia terrain featuring deep valleys and winding rivers is formed along water edge, the most ancient and highest Danxia terrain in Southeast China.

Dajinghu Lake boasts over 200 Danxia terrain peaks with various shapes. Mt. Shangqingshan, Gold Lake, Longwang Rock and Eight Fairies Cliff are formed 4.3, 7.6 , 11 and 11.9 million years ago respectively. Dajinhu Lake’s Danxia terrain featuring caves with the largest number, the grandest scale and the most complete types, is famed as “Danxia terrain cave Museum”. Mt Shangqingshan and Gold Lake in particular have the best developed caves. The over 80m high and 30m width Ganluyan Dong (Spring Cave甘露岩洞) was shaped by wind erosion, water dissolution and collapse of rocks. The Ganlu Temple(甘露寺)built over one thousand years ago is the masterpiece of ancient architecture.

 Danxia Terrain

 Two strips of Sky(两线天)


 Danxia Terrain

 Danxia Terrain


 Ganlu Temple(Sweet Dew Temple)


Main Sites of Taining World Geopark

Gold Lake

Taining Gold Lake (Jinhu), the national key scenic site, 4A tourism destination, national forest garden, is located in Sanming City, Fujian Province. Gold Lake is one of the most beautiful parts of Tainning World Geopark with Taining ancient town adjoining to it. The 36km2 Gold Lake zigzags its way among the numerous precipitous cliffs gracefully, with beauty beyond description. The Danxia terrain wonders formed billions of years ago is really splendid. Gold Lake once belonged to Gold Stream, after a dam was constructed in 1980, it expands to an area of 36km2. Danxia terrain scenic sites include “Thin Strip of sky along Water edge”, “Grand Cliffs along Water edge”, “Lover Peak”, “Cat Mountain” and “Jade Column Peak” which are rare seen wonders in China.

Shangqing Stream: the Drifting Adventurer’s Paradise

Shangqing Stream Scenic Area is the most representative Danxia terrain in this world geopark. The depth and winding of valleys here are enticing and the bamboo raft drifting draws tourists like magnet. Cultural scenic sites include temples, villages and suspending tombs along the cliffs ,etc.

Located Northeast of Taining county, Fujian Province, the upstream of Gold Lake, the over 50km long Shangqing Stream with heartbroken beauty and thrilling fun is definitely an ideal place for those adventurers and nature admirers. Valleys here measure 170m averagely, with 250m as the deepest. The Shangqing stream ranges from 1.53m to 10m in width. From Wanchang to Xiamatou, the 7.5km long river course only has 2km belongs to straight line, and there are nine abrupt turns. From Chongji to Changxing, the 15km ‘s distance is dotted with deep valleys and the most crooked stream, whose widest part is just 20m and the narrowest part just allowing two bamboo rafts passing by.

Though there are three rainy seasons in Sanming city( Spring Rain Season from March to May, Plum Rain Season from May to June and typhoon season from July to September), it has long summer and short winter and suitable of travel all year around. Main sites include Wulong Valley and Luoxia Wall, etc. Besides, you can cross ways with mandarin duck and wild duck which will not feel shy to greet you.

Wulong Valley(乌龙峡): it is over 130meters’ long, with even flow deep water, along its shiny black cliffs grow clusters of orchid flowers, which omitting enduring fragrance, thus is called Orchid Valley.

Luoxia Wall(落霞壁): This is the most splendid scenic site of Shangqing Stream. The cliff stretches six to seven hundred meters long and measures fifty to sixty meter in height. Its background is red like the burning clouds of sunset. Luoxia wall is a natural giant fresco composed of varies patterns, you can find the icons of twelve Zodiac animals here.

Drifting along the valley with bamboo rafts is the biggest fun. The 16.5km drifting activity will last two hours. In sunny days you can indulge in the intoxicating scenery along both sides, and when rains pour down, the level of stream will rise up abruptly and water will plunge along cliffs like waterfalls, making the drifting more exciting and adventurous. You will pass 99 curves of stream, 88 shoals, 77 turns, 66 peaks, 55 rocks, 44 scenery sites along the way. In the rainy season, the rubber boat drifting is also available.
 Fairy Sail Rock: also called Spiritual Sail Stone. It looks like a sail ready to embark on a long journey, greeting friends from all over the world.Shark Rock:legend has it that a shark sails with eight immortals to Taining World Geopark. It was so distracted by the enticing scenery here that it runned into the sail and damaged it, the eight immortals were so angry that they knocked out its jaw and  turned the shark into rocks, under the supervision of the Sail Rock.
 Spiritual Rain Valley: it is over 600 meters long, the longest part of Shangqing Valley. Drops of spring fall down like drizzles, and there is a saying goes: one or two drop will bring your good luck, three or four drops will bring you fortune, five or six drops will make you feel like immortals, more than that, well, be careful not catch cold. Wanggui Valley: literally means an enchanting valley where one find it hard to leave. Entering this part by bamboo raft, one will feel like enter a wonderland, the bewildering scenery here will cast a spell on the beholders and they will be reluctant to leave.
 Luoxia Wall: This is the most splendid scenic site of Shangqing Stream. Eagle's Residence Rock: this cliff's holes are home to many eagles

the Thrilling Shangqing Stream Drifting

Cat Mountain(猫儿山)

Located in Taining County, Sanming City, Cat Mountain Forest Garden with altitude spanning from 1000m to 3000m is a very serenity place which shelters precious tree species include Chinese Yew and Metasequoia Glyptostroboides. Cat mountians’ charm lies in its steep cliffs, beautiful waterfalls, pleasant weather, mysterious legendaries and even lakes. One of its eye-catch is three peaks of various shapes piece into the sky, among which Gold Cat Mountain overlooks the lakes, Fairy Peak cranes her neck waiting for her husband, which are the masterpieces of Danxia terrain. Ascending to the mountain peak, you will be overwhelmed by the stunning scenery composed of precipitous mountains, winding lakes, crooked paths, exuberant forests and the vibrant wild flowers.

Cat Mountain

Zhuangyuan Rock (状元岩)

"Zhuangyuan" is a Chinese term, which means the scholar who wins the first place in National Exam in ancient China. This place is famous because it was the study area of several scholars who won the title of Zhuagnyuan in South Song Dyansty(1127AD-1279AD). Since then, people visit this place imbued with Confucianism culture background.

Zhuangyuan Rock

Jiulong Pool: the Longest “strip of sky” in China

Jiulong Pool derives its name from nine winding mountain streams which lead to a pool. This place is composed of the forest of steep cliffs, the most winding brooks with hundred of turns and the longest “strip of sky”(一线天) in China, and the singing of insects highlight its tranquility. Jiulong Pool area’s Danxia terrain develops very well, among them, Jiulong Wall is the most typical and splendid one.

 Jiulong Pool has the Longest “strip of sky” in China

Taining Ancient Town: Feast of Ancient Architecture and Baptism of Oriental Culture

Located in Taining County, the over 1340 years’ old Tianing Ancient Town stretches an area of 226.5km2 and distinguishes itself by the best preserved residence of Ming Dynasty: Shangshudi Architecture(尚书第建筑群), the most intact architectures of Ming and Qing dynasty in Southeast China and numerous relics. Zhu De and Chairman Zhou Enlai’s Residence and newly built antique architecture co-exist with ancient architectures. In this town where ancient time lingers and shakes hands with modern life, you can walk along its ancient streets to feel the heartbeat of history and baptism in the ancient Chinese culture with the most original flavor. This weathering town has accumulated too much stories, customs and mysteries, waiting for you to approach it, to unveil them. You can shop around and buy snacks or local specialties, or take a raft and drifting along the river, free your mind to enjoy the romantic night view and indulge in the reverie, to explore the remotest corner of this ancient town, and to unveil its deepest secrets.

See China In Ming and Qing Dynasty in the Taining Ancient Town

Zhaixia Grand Valley: The Kingdom of Valleys

Zhaixia Grand Valley was discovered on June, 2004. Located in Zhaixia Village, 15km from Taining County. This triangle-shaped valley comprises three gorges formed by water erosion, collapse and tectonic movement separately. UNESCO’s experts praise it as a world level scenic site regarding geological landscape and ecological environment. Boasting typical red cliffs, caves, valleys and volcanic lakes, Zhaixia Grand Valley is a top choice to appreciate the Danxia Terrain. Zhaixia Grand Valley is a kingdom of valleys, some like spacious avenues, some like dark and crooked valleys and some like narrow strips, thus it is famed as the camp of valleys. Just as the saying goes: “after one visit Zhaixia Grand Valley, there is no need to visit other valleys in China.”

In Tongtian Gorge(通天峡),there is one narrow rift valley cut into two mountains vertically, whose bottom looks like an abyss with unknown depth. And one mountain is eroded by wind and resembles a giant monument erected vertically by human.

Yitian Gorge(倚天峡)has a scenic site called“Time Tunnel”which is composed of two rocks formed 400 and 80 million years ago respectively. Flanked by steep cliffs, this valley is an occlusive space where sunshine struggles to find a way.

Tianqiong Rock (skyline rock天穹岩) is the most attractive part of Zhaixia Grand Valley. On the ceiling of a dangling red cliff, there is a natural cave sheltering hundreds of small caves, just like the heaven dotted with stars, or the sacred church’s dome, which is elegant and magnificent. Yanqi Lake(雁栖湖)sits at the foot of a prestigious cliff among Zhaixia Grand Valley, like a slim and romantic girl nestles on the shoulder of the cliffs.

 Tianqiong Rock (skyline rock天穹岩) is the most attractive part of Zhaixia Grand Valley.

Taining Museum

Tainig museum, one of the largest geological museums in China, comprising two parts: the interior area composed of seven exhibition halls and the exterior area embodies the garden landscape, mini Danxia Landscape and sculptures,ect. The seven exhibition halls illustrate the overview, history and formation of this geopark and exhibit representative Danxia landforms through videos, words, samples and models. The layout of this museum absorbed the concept of Taiji, and the museum is a Taiji pattern, water is yin, architecture is yang. Yin and Yang complements each other and live in harmony, indicating earth is human beings’ eternal homeland.

Travel Tips:

Shangqing Stream

Tickets:95 RMB per person

Open Hour: Summer: 07:00—15:30, winter: 7:30—14:00

Gain your Tickets at the Tourist Service Center in Shangqingxi’s Door

Taining Museum

Tips: 1 kilometer from west Taining City

Tour fee: RMB 12 yuans per person, including 2 yuans for guide’s explanation.

Cat Mountain Forest Garden

Entry Ticket:34RMB per Person

Traffic: take taxi or bus330、332、333、362、375 from Sanming City

Orchid from Wulong Valley( Orchid Valley)

 Taxus chinensis

 Chinese Yew

 Bretschneidera Sinensis

Author: Sophia   Posted on April 15, 2013
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