Baili Azalea Nature Reserve of Guizhou Province
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About the Baili Azalea Nature Reserve of Guizhou Province
The Baili Azalea Reserve,which lies in Bijie county in the northwest of Guizhou province,is in an area of natural rhododendron forest. It is one of the best preserved,biggest and long-established areas for rhododendrons at this latitude.
Because this scenic area lies in a warm temperate zone at high altitude and low latitude, it is not cold in winter or hot in summer. The Baili rhododendron belt extends over 50 x 1-5 km, with a total area of 125.8 square km. Preliminary observations show that there are 42 species of Rhododendron,including R. delavayi, R. irroratum, R. x agastum, and R.decorum.Six out of the nine subgenera of the genus are represented in the Reserve.
The average rhododendron plant is 3-5 m high, but some may be up to 10 m. The aesthetically pleasing old trunks and extensive root systems,shaped by centuries of wind and snow, support a plethora of leaves and flowers.
The flowering period extends from early March to middle of May. The different colours and the shapes of the flowers are displayed in the sunlight.As you walk through the groves of rhododendrons you will experience the crimson flowers of R. delevayi, the bright red flowers of R. anthosphaerum,the white to cream flowers of R. irroratum and the many shades of pinks of the hybrids. Each one of the many different species has a lyrically sounding Chinese name, such as Dabaihua (R.decorum), Xiuye (R.siderophyllum), Zhoupi (R. wiltonii). The different kinds of the wonderful flowers dazzle the eye;you can find them all over the mountains and wilderness layer upon layer. Looking down on them from above and afar,like rosy clouds they illuminate the sky.
If you hold a branch in your hand, it does not seem to be made on earth, but in heaven.It is the most beautiful of flowers; even lotus and peony fade into insignificance by comparison. The famous poet of the Tang dynasty, Bai Juyi, expressed this sentiment in a famous poem over 1000 years ago. The magic of these bright red, white, pale violet, creamy yellow and pink flowers, illuminated as far as the eye can see, expresses a unique delicacy of line and beauty of form.
It is difficult to describe the rich tapestry of colour in words because its beauty is beyond language.
The difference in elevation, climatic conditions and soil composition, has led to the creation of a truly unique and unforgettable landscape.
When the wind blows the hillside vibrates, the red ones like rolling dragons and rising flames, the waving pure white clouds of the white ones, the violet ones shine like the proud plumage of a peacock, the yellow ones add a touch of nobility and the creamy ones speak of luxury.
The Baili Rhodendron Reserve has been praised in words such as “The Coloured Ribbon over the Earth”, “The Garden of the World”, “The Land of Health and Summer Paradise”, both at home and abroad. The Reserve, is known as “a State Forest Park”, “The Home of Chinese Rhododendrons”, “one of the top 10 scenic areas in Guizhou province” and “a nature reserve in Guizhou Province”. Bailidujuan is thus a world-class, unique and exclusive tourist attraction.
This is a fertile area in which several ethnic minority tribes live, including the Yi, Miao, and Man people. Each holds a festival to venerate flowers. The Yi hold their Torch Festival, offering rhododendron flowers to their Flower God. The Miao people hold a Dancing Flower Festival. The Man people have a horse-racing Festival. The singing and dancing festivals reflect the rich ethnic customs, attracting and amazing the eyes of the world. Every year, at the height of the rhododendron flowering season, the minority people will put on their holiday costumes, light a fire, sing and dance, and warmly welcome all the guests.
The Baili Rhodendron Reserve is not only the world of flowers; it is also a famous and ancient district with towering trees, mountains and water, a habitat for rare birds; a tourist area with rich traditions. These celebrate China’s cultural heritage and modern revolutionary history.
There are many magical stories about the Karst limestone of South China. The Bailidujuan landscape has many ridges and undulating hills and numerous craters. Looking around you, you can see more than 40 peaks of varying shapes. After rain, in the morning, looking eastward, you can see the distant hills clearly. As the sun sets it sprinkles its glow over the vast landscape. The sky, the earth, the people and animals are all suffused by the rosy, seamless, poetic and picturesque afterglow.
The Bailidujuan Lake, which covers an area of more than 400 acres, is clear and pure, and dotted with islands. Everywhere you can feel and smell the nature. If a breeze blows, the waves of the lake shimmer magically, leaving one spiritually refreshed. In the summer, the lake looks green, reflecting the verdant mountains, while in the fall, the water assumes a red tinge from the reflection of the autumn foliage.
The magical Midi River tumbles for 60 meters over Triassic rocks. The river has an intimate association with the rocks, sometimes flowing over them, sometimes flowing through the mountains, passing through limestone and finally forming caves, waterfalls and canyons. These are an integral part of the landscape of Northwest Guizhou.
At Renhe there is a sturdy specimen of a rhododendron that is over 1000 years old. Its dense branches obscure the sky as if it were an enormous natural bonsai. In the flowering season, the tree with its thousands of red flowers, is a breathtaking harbinger of spring. Known as the 1000 year-old king of the Maying (R. delavayi), it is the oldest known rhododendron in the world.
The Dakeng Cave, naturally formed from Karst limestone, lies hidden, deep under the ground of the Jin Po area. The crater is about 30 meters in height, and the length of the cave is about half a kilometer. Inside there are stalagmites and stalactites in various shapes such as a stone curtain and a stone mantle, and others like people or animals.
The Ruins of Huangjiaba are of historical interest. It was here that the second and sixth legion of the Red Army held off enemy advance, enabling the advance of the Red Army to the North.
The diversity of the natural landscape, general and specific, in which the natural scenery and cultural landscape co-exist,is the foundation-stone for Bailidujuan tourism.
In 2007, with the aim of developing the Baili district and its abundant tourism resources, the Guizhou Provisonal Party Committee and the Guizhou Provincial Government decided to establish the Party Working and Management Committee. Since then, following natural laws, they took advantage of the natural resources, while at the same time protecting them. They have been guided by the goal set by the Guizhou Provincial Party Committee to build a unique Rhododendreon Forest Eco-leisure Resort fit to be considered as a level 5A scenic area on the national scale. Tourist infrastructure is now much improved, tourist marketing is much more developed and the quality of tourist services is at a much higher standard. As a result it has received a level 4A Scenic Area Award, and has a number of national and international accolades that have helped to enhance the reputation of this scenic area.
Bailidujuan is unique nationally and on a world scale. It seems like a Green Pearl in the Northwest of Guizhou Plateau and it welcomes guests and friends from all over the world.
Baili Azalea Nature Reserve of Guizhou Province
Yongfeng Village, Pudi Township, Baili Azaleas
Guizhou 551518 China
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