Provinces of China: Anhui - Famous for its beautiful mountains and rivers


China Territory  Updated: Sat, Jul 21, 2012 09:00 AM   By HugChina


Provinces of China,Anhui


Anhui province 安徽 is located in East China across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River. Tourist attractions of Anhui include Huang Shan Moutain, Jiuhua Shan Moutain, etc.

General information

Area: 139,000 square km

Population: 60 million (2007)

Capital City: Hefei

Nationalities: Han (99%), Hui (0.6%) and She (0.4%)

Average temperature: -In January around -10C-20C north of the Huai He, and 00C-30C south of the Huai He. in July,270C or above.

Rivers: Yangtze in South Anhui and Huaihe Rivers in North-Central Anhui

Lakes: Chaohu Lake in the center; Longgan and Pohu Lakes in the southwest; Nanyi Lake in the east.

Administrative divisions: 16 cities and 65 counties.

Neighboring areas: Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hubei, Henan, and Shandong Provinces.

Major cities: Hefei, Huainan, Bengbu, Wuhu, Tongling, Anqing, Ma'anshan, Huaibei, Tunxi.

Tourist attractions: Huangshan Mountain; Jiuhua Mountain; Mount Tianzhu.

Anhui (Chinese: 安徽; pinyin: Ānhuī) province is located in east China across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huaihe River, it borders Jiangsu to the east, Zhejiang to the southeast, Jiangxi to the south, Hubei to the southwest, Henan to the northwest, and Shandong for a tiny section in the north. The capital of the province is Hefei.

The name "Anhui" derives from the names of two cities in south Anhui, Anqing and Huizhou (now Huangshan City). The abbreviation for Anhui is "皖" (Wǎn), because there were historically a State of Wan, a Mount Wan, and a Wan river in the province.

Geography of Anhui

Anhui is quite diverse topographically. The north of the province is part of the North China Plain while the north-central areas are part of the Huai He River watershed. Both of these regions are very flat and densely populated. The land becomes more uneven further south, with the Dabie Mountains occupying much of southwestern Anhui and a series of hills and ranges cutting through southeastern Anhui. The Yangtze River finds its way through south Anhui in between these two mountainous regions. The highest peak in Anhui is Lotus Peak, part of the Huangshan Mountains in southeastern Anhui. It has an altitude of 1873 m.

Major rivers include the Huai He in the north and the Yangtze in the south. The largest lake is Lake Chaohu in the center of the province, with an area of about 800 km². The southeastern part of the province near the Yangtze River has many lakes as well.

Climate of Xinjiang

As with topography, the province differs in climate from north to south. The north is more temperate and has more clearcut seasons. January temperatures average at around -1 to 2°C north of the Huai He, and 0 to 3°C south of the Huai He; in July temperatures average 27°C or above. Plum rains occur in June and July and may cause flooding.

Economy of Anhui

Agriculture in Anhui varies according to the climate zones that the province crosses. North of the Huai He river wheat and sweet potatoes are grown, while south of the Huai He it is rice and wheat instead.

Natural resources of Anhui include iron in Ma'anshan, coal in Huainan, and copper in Tongling. There are industries related to these natural resources (e.g. steel industry at Ma'anshan). One of the famous Anhui-based corporations is the automobile company Chery, which is based in Wuhu.

Compared to its more successful neighbours to the east, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, Anhui has lagged markedly behind in economic development, with a GDP per capita around one third the level of those two provinces. There is great regional disparity as well, and most of the wealth is concentrated in industrial regions close to the Yangtze River, such as Hefei, Wuhu, and Ma'anshan.

Anhui's nominal GDP for 2009 was approximately 1.005 trillion yuan (US$147 billion), up 12.9% from 2008 and a per capita of 16,391 yuan (US$2,400). It is considered a mid-size economy in terms of economic output.

History of Anhui

The province of Anhui was formed in the seventeenth century. Before then, there was no coherent concept of "Anhui". Northern Anhui was firmly a part of the North China Plain in terms of culture, together with modern-day Henan province. Central Anhui constituted most of the fertile and densely-populated Huai He River watershed. Southern Anhui, along the Yangtze, was closer to Hubei and southern Jiangsu provinces in culture. Finally, the hills of southeastern Anhui formed a unique and distinct cultural sphere of its own. The creation of the province of Anhui has not eroded these distinctions.

The Ming Dynasty drove out the Mongols in 1368. Due to a short stint as the capital of China by the city of Nanjing in nearby Jiangsu province, the entirety of Jiangsu and Anhui kept their special status as territory-governed directly by the central government, and were called Nanzhili (南直隸 "Southern directly-governed").

The Manchu Qing Dynasty, which conquered China in 1644, changed this situation by establishing Nanzhili as Jiangnan province; in 1666 Jiangsu and Anhui were split apart as separate provinces. This was the beginning of the contemporary Anhui province, which has since kept almost the same borders as today. The one significant change that occurred was the move of the provincial capital from Anqing to Hefei in 1946.

Administrative divisions

Anhui is divided into seventeen prefecture-level divisions:

# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Administrative Seat

— Prefecture-level city —

1 Hefei 合肥市 Héféi Shì Luyang District

2 Anqing 安庆市 Ānqìng Shì Yingjiang District

3 Bengbu 蚌埠市 Bèngbù Shì Longzihu District

4 Bozhou 亳州市 Bózhōu Shì Qiaocheng District

5 Chaohu 巢湖市 Cháohú Shì Juchao District

6 Chizhou 池州市 Chízhōu Shì Guichi District

7 Chuzhou 滁州市 Chúzhōu Shì Langya District

8 Fuyang 阜阳市 Fǔyáng Shì Yingzhou District

9 Huaibei 淮北市 Huáiběi Shì Lieshan District

10 Huainan 淮南市 Huáinán Shì Tianjia'an District

11 Huangshan 黄山市 Huángshān Shì Tunxi District

12 Lu'an 六安市 Lù'ān Shì Jin'an District

13 Ma'anshan 马鞍山市 Mǎ'ānshān Shì Yushan District

14 Suzhou 宿州市 Sùzhōu Shì Yongqiao District

15 Tongling 铜陵市 Tónglíng Shì Tongguanshan District

16 Wuhu 芜湖市 Wúhú Shì Jinghu District

17 Xuancheng 宣城市 Xuānchéng Shì Xuanzhou District

Places of Interests and Tourist Attractions of Anhui

Tourists are attracted to Anhui mainly because of its beautiful mountains, rivers, and landscape. The world-famous Huang Shan (Yellow Mountains), Jiuhua Mountain, Qiyun Mountain, and Taiping Lake are all located in this beatiful region of China. Among these, Huangshan Mountain and Jiuhua Mountain are listed as one of the world's best natural and cultural relics. There are some other scenic spots reputed for their excellent scenery, such as the Tianzhu Mountain (also known as "the South Mountain"), Langya Mountain, and Chaohu Lake, one of the five largest fresh-water lakes in China.

Anhui does not lack cultural relics either. Hexian county, Shouxian county, and Bozhou are listed among China's most famous historical and cultural cities. The main tourist cities and scenic attractions are Hefei and the Yellow Mountains.

The capital of Anhui is Hefei. Numerous wars were fought over this strategic location. Here, there is the Archery Training Terrace, where Emperor Caocao trained his troops to use crossbows. Also in Hefei is the Temple to Lord Bao, which was built in honor of the outstanding official of the Song dynasty. One of China's best universities, the China University of Science and Technology, is also located here.

Huang Shan

Situated in southern Anhui is Huang Shan, the Yellow Mountains, that covers an area of over 154 square kilometers. Designated as a national park, it has all the grandeur and beauty of the five most famous mountains of China:Mount Tai, Mount Hua, Mount Lu, Mount Heng in Hunan, Mount Heng in Shanxi, and Mount Yandang. There is a saying that no mountain can match these five, yet a visit to the Yellow Mountains will prove otherwise and even save trips to "the Big Five". Its graceful pine trees, grotesque rocks, sea of clouds, and hot springs have won the reputation of "four unique views". The scenic attractions here include two beautiful lakes, three magnificent waterfalls, 24 streams, and 72 peaks, 1,800 meters above sea level. In 1990, Huang Shan was declared a World Natural and Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO Hertiage Committee.

Lao Street

Lao Street is an old street in Tunxi, an important city in southern Anhui. The street is 1.5 kilometers long, running along the northern bank of the Xin'an River. It was built more than 700 years ago during the Song Dynasty, and the present street took shape during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). The street itself and the houses along it were built in local styles which were popular in the period of the Song, Ming, and Qing Dynasties. It is paved with stone slabs, flanked by small and exquisite houses with grey tiled roofs and white walls, and lined with more than 40 old shops, helping the street retain its old tradition and atmosphere. This beautiful landmark is also called the "Song City" or "Song Street".

Jiuhua Shan

Jiuhua Mountain is southwest of Qingyang County, covering 120 square kilometers in area. It is one among four mountains that are well-known for containing Buddist temples, earning the mountain the fame of "the Immortal City of the Buddhist Kingdom". Worship services to honor the God of Earth are conducted here. Designated as a national park of China, the mountain holds 82 temples and monasteries with more than three hundred monks and nuns as well as over 3,000 Buddhist statues. The most famous temples are Huacheng, Baisuigong, Zhiyuan, and Ganlu. Inside the Baisuigong Temple, there is a statue of the monk Wuxia who was believed to have become a Buddha after his death.

Anhui Cuisine

Anhui cuisine (Hui Cai for short), one of the eight most famous cuisines in China, features the local culinary arts of Huizhou. It comprises the specialties of South Anhui, Yanjiang and Huai Bei. The highly distinctive characteristic of Anhui cuisine lies not only in the elaborate choices of cooking materials but also in the strict control of cooking process.

Most ingredients in Anhui cuisine, such as pangolin, stone frog, mushroom, bayberry, tea leaves, bamboo shoot, dates, games, etc., are from mountain area. Huangshan Mountain has abundant products for dish cooking. Huangshan Chukka has tender flesh and a sweet taste. It can be boiled in clear soup or braised in soy sauce. The dishes help relieve internal fever and build up vital energy. The white and tender bamboo shoots produced on Huangshan Mountain can be made into very delicious food. Xianggu, a kind of top-grade mushroom grows on old trees, is also very tasty.

Transportation of Anhui

Transportation in this province depends to a great extent on its railways, but roads and waterways are also quite convenient. The Beijing-Kowloon Railway runs through the province, with Fuyang and Hefei serving as its major transition hubs. Wuhu, Ma'anshan, Tongling and Anqing on the Yangtze River have all established first-class port where ships can go to Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. The province has six airports situated in Hefei, Huangshan, Fuyang, Wuhu, Anqing, and Bengbu, from where flights go to 29 cities in China. From Hefei and Huangshan, one can take a direct flight to Hong Kong.
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