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Mt. Lushan in Jiangxi Province

Towering beautifully and majestically above the waters of Lake Poyang, with the Changjiang(Yangtze)River flowing by lust to the north, stands Mt. Lushan its peaks rising 1400 meters above sea level, shrouded in mist and with its natural form obscured. At the foot of this cluster of peaks which covers a total area of 250 square kilometers is the city of Jiujiang. From here the bus follows a winding mountain highway climbing to the “city in the clouds”, Guling. Here, at an altitude of 1100 meters, the temperature is generally l0℃(50F), cooler than in the valley below. Even in the heat of July the average temperature is a comfortable 22.6℃. Guling is the ideal summer vacation spot with hotels and restaurants. Shops and theaters to serve the visitor to Mt Lushan. It ls at Guling that the highway ends and the real exploration begins.

At times, strolling down the streets of this garden city, one sees the sky suddenly darken, while clouds wrap the streets and houses in a blanket of mist. In a short time however sunlight reclaims the city, and the clouds are gone. The guide will explain to you that Mt Lu shan is misty six months out of the year. The masses of water vapor rising from the Changjiang River and Poyang Lake meet the cooler mountain air and condense into Clouds and mists.

“The Flowerpath”, so named for the many blossoms along its way, 1eads you to an elegant umbrella shaped pavilion with vermilion pillars. In the pavilion is a stone tablet with the Inscription “The Flowerpath”, which is believed to have been done by the noted poet of the Tang dynasty Bai Juyi. It is said that nor far from this pavilion he wrote his widely read poem expressing his admiration for the peach blossoms on the mountain. More than a thousand years ago Bai Juyi was an official in jiujiang. One day in the late spring he ascended Mt Lushan And was surprised to find the peach blossoms in fulI bloom when those at the foot of the mountain had already withered. In his delight he wrote‘‘The Flowerpath”.

A park here has a greenhouse where over 500 kinds of flowers are cultivated. Among the more unusual species is“A Touch Flagrance”, a blossom that does not emit perfume. But touch its leaves and you will find your hand has been scented. The“Itch Tree”is another botanical curiosity. it quivers when you touch the bark as though you had tickled it. Nor far away from Guling, on a cliff 1050 meters above sea level, is Immortal’s Cavern where, according to legend Lu Dongbin cultivated himself and became one of the Eight Im_ mortals who displayed his prowess by crossing tile sea. Walk through a round stone gate near the cavern, descend a stone staircase and you came to a rock in the shape of a toad. Beside it stands a lone pine tree venerable in its old age. A trail along the cliff will lead you to the cavern which is twenty meters high, eight meters wide and seven meters deep. The top of the cavern is cone-shaped and a part of the rock resembles a hand. This is “Buddha’s Hand”. Inside Immortal’s Cavern air becomes Cooler,,and near its lowest point you hear the sound of water dripping from crevices in the rocky wall. This water forms a pool which is called “One Drop of Spring”. For ten centuries this water has dripped into the pool, but it never overflows. Nor will this crystal clear water overflow from a cup even if filled to the brim. A coin placed on the surface will float.

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