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Wuyi Mountain — Biodiversity and Mysterious Millennial Culture

Wuyi Mountain, also known as Mount Wuyi, is a UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site renowned for its rich biodiversity and breathtaking scenic views.

Moreover, it holds sacred significance in Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, featuring valuable ancient buildings, the ruins of an ancient city, and mysterious wooden boat coffins embedded in cliffs.

Mount Wuyi or Wuyi Mountain in Fujian and Jiangxi Provinces of China

Wuyi Mountain Facts and Important Data


  • Wuyi Mountain is on the border of Fujian and Jiangxi Provinces, the southeast of China.


  • It is about 1000 square kilometers large.


  • The highest peak of the Wuyi Mountains is 2158 meters.


  • It has rich biological resources, with over 3728 vegetation and 5110 types of animals.


  • Wooden boat coffins on the cliffs date back over 3000 years ago.


  • There is a city relic from about 2200 years ago.


  • There are over 35 Confucian Academies and 60 Taoist Temples from the recent millennium.

Peaks of Mount Wuyi

Peaks of Wuyi Mountains.

The Ancient Boat Coffins Inserted on Cliffs


Dating back to 3750 to 3295 years ago, some boat-shaped coffins are lying on caves or stakes on the grand cliffs of Wuyi Mountain.


This burial form of the ancient local Minyue Culture was believed to be a privilege of the nobles.  

One of the most significant mysteries is how those heavy coffins were placed on such high cliffs with ancient technology, which is still unclear.

Ancient Wooden Boat Coffins in the Cliffs of Mount Wuyi

Ancient Wooden Boat Coffins in the Cliffs.

As to the reasons for this particular burial form, there are some speculations:


  • To show nobles' authority.


  • It's closer to the sky, which makes it easier for their spirits to go to heaven.


  • Beautiful Wuyi Mountain was believed to be a holy place where deities reside.


  • To protect their bodies from beasts and insects.


  • It relates to ancient bird worship.


  • The boat shape presents their water lifestyle or ancient witchcraft that could take the dead's spirit to the other side.

History and Importance of the Two-millenary City Relics

At the foot of Wuyi Mountain, there's a city remains over 480,000 square meters large. 


This was the city of the King of Minyue, a vassal state built at the beginning of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC — 8 AD). 


Decades later, a king rebelled and was defeated in 110 BC, when his state was perished by the army of Emperor Wu of Han


Within this city's ruins, tens of thousands of valuable relics were unearthed, including bronze wares, potteries, weapons, farm implements, bricks, tiles, etc.


Together, they show great archeological values of the Minyue culture in the early Western Han Dynasty. 

Eaves Tile Unearthed from this City Ruins

Eaves Tile Unearthed from this City Ruins — Minyue Imperial City Museum (Photo by Ding Liqing)

Important Cultural Sites of Wuyi Mountain

Wuyi Academy or Ziyang Academy


The great Neo-Confucianist Zhu Xi built it in 1183, where he taught and finished many of his masterpieces.  


Zhu Xi's Neo-Confucianism became the dominant ideology in the following centuries, making Mount Wuyi an influential place for Confucianism. 

The Wuyi Academy Built by Great Philosopher Zhu Xi

The Wuyi Academy Built by Great Philosopher Zhu Xi

Wuyi Gong or Huixian Guan


Firstly built between 742 to 755, this temple was the place to worship the Deity of Wuyi (Wuyi Jun) by emperors.

Wuyi Gong or Huixian Guan on Mount Wuyi

Wuyi Gong or Huixian Guan, Photo by Chanjuan.

Xiamei Ancient Dwellings


Xiamei is a village at the foot of Wuyi Mountain, consisting of well-preserved Ming and Qing Dynasty buildings (1368 — 1912). 


Those ancient buildings and architectural decorations contain extremely valuable information about the local inhabitants' history and culture, including brick, stone, and wood carvings.

Xiamei Ancient Dwellings at the foot of Mount Wuyi

Xiamei Ancient Dwellings at the foot of Wuyi Mountain.

Cliff Dwelling


Those big dwellings on the cliffs were believed to be shelters for people from the Song Dynasty (960 — 1279). 


The wooden components outside were supporting frames for their "Tianche", a wooden cart to transport people and their daily supplies up to the cliff. 

Ancient Cliff Dwelling of Mount Wuyi

Ancient Cliff Dwellings, Photo by Xiujian. 

Ancient Stone Inscriptions Throughout History

Ancient Stone Inscriptions of Mount Wuyi

Ancient Stone Inscriptions, Photo by Minghu Shuishan. 

Impressive Natural Scenic Views of Wuyi Mountain

Nine Bend River, or Jiuqu Xi of Mount Wuyi

Nine Bend River or Jiuqu Xi of Wuyi Mountain

Sunrise View of Mount Wuyi

Sunrise View

Peaks and Danxia Landform of Mount Wuyi

Peaks and Danxia Landform

Cloud Sea of Mount Wuyi

Seas of Cloud

Yixiantian Canyon of Mount Wuyi

One-Line-Sky or Yixiantian Canyon

Autumn of Mount Wuyi

Autumn View of Wuyi Mountains

Houyuan Villiage of Mount Wuyi

Houyuan Villiage, Photo by Wuying.

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