My Photographs: Top 5 Shu Yuan National Park – Yongjia County, China.

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Yongjia Shu Yuan National Park, November 2017. With winter finally starting to hit the southeast of China, I instinctively felt my annual hibernation period calling me after a busy few months of travel. Resolving to squeeze in one final trip before scuttling off to my man cave; I headed off to Yongjia County, a rural region in Zhejiang Province just fifteen kilometers north of the monster city Wenzhou. My first stop was this pretty national park, named after a famous Song Dynasty school.

Yongjia Shu Yuan National Park, November 2017. The park is home to an ancient library with classic Chinese texts. There’s also a small natural history museum detailing the area’s unique flora, fauna and rock formations. When you’re done exploring those, simply follow the two-hour trail that takes visitors on a loop through the park.

Yongjia Shu Yuan National Park, November 2017. I was lucky enough to time my visit for the low season. Bumping into the occasional family and hand-in-hand couple, the peace and quiet made the day all the more special. The park’s lovely waterfall sits at the side of the trail’s sharp ascent up to a huge cave tunnel.

Yongjia Shu Yuan National Park, November 2017. You’ll need to tackle this beast of a staircase to reach the tunnel, which brings you out onto the mountaintop path, with great views across the region.

Yongjia Shu Yuan National Park, November 2017. This shot shows just how far I’d come; the nearest town nestled far below like a little Lego community. From here it was a brisk forty-minute hike back down to the car park. Another day of China travel, another gorgeous national park!

My Photographs: Top 5 Xu Ao Di Village – Taishun County, China.

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Xu Ao Di Village, November 2017. My visit to Taishun County was a major highlight of my travels across southern china in 2017. I saw an array of ancient bridges, an abandoned temple, a stunning reservoir and an equally awesome three-tiered waterfall set in a remote forest-mountain park. Driving back to my Sixi Town hotel on the last evening, I thought my explorations had come to an end when we suddenly happened upon this ancient village community. 

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My Photographs: Top 5 Nanpuxi Scenic Park – Taishun County, China.

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Nanpuxi Scenic Park, November 2017. I’d started to get a little concerned that we weren’t even going to find the park. The GPS was going crazy as we tackled turn after hairpin turn on the narrow mountain road. But we needn’t have worried, because in the end the road simply stopped altogether right at the edge of the park. The trail begins outside this amazing structure, which is actually just someone’s home. An old couple sat on opposite ends of the massive porch; he sittin’ doin’ nothin, she peeling potatoes.

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My Photographs: Top 5 Nanpuxi Reservoir – Taishun County, China.

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Nanpuxi Reservoir, November 2017. “Wow!” I exclaimed suddenly, as our little smart car turned a corner onto a narrow stone bridge. We’d been driving through the heart of Taishun County on the way to Nanpuxi Scenic Park when this majestic reservoir came into view. Needless to say we got out to have a look!

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My Photographs: Top 5 Wenchong Bridge – Taishun County, China.

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Wenchong Bridge, November 2017. There are said to be around seven hundred covered wooden bridges scattered around Taishun County. But not all of them are as ancient or stunningly beautiful as Xi Dong and Beijian bridges. We were driving from Sixi Town to Xiaochun Village looking for the highly recommended Wenxing Bridge when we stumbled upon this modest structure, visible from the main road.

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My Photographs: Top 5 Bao Family Ancestral Hall – Taishun County, China.

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Bao Family Ancestral Hall, November 2017. “There should be a temple or something down here!” said Amy, her finger running across the little map we’d picked up from the hotel. We’d just finished checking out Nanyang Bridge on the outskirts of Sixi Town and hadn’t realized there was something else of note nearby. Hidden away from the main road down a wild country trail, we initially thought it was closed when we saw the padlocked gate.  

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My Photographs: Top 5 Nanyang Bridge – Taishun County, China.

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Nanyang Bridge, November 2017. Visitors to Tai Shun County’s Sixi Town can treat themselves to the sights of Xi Dong and Beijian, two of the region’s most impressive ancient wooden bridges. For most people that’s enough, but I’d gotten a real taste for bridge-hunting and was also keen to track down Nanyang, a third structure located out on the main road exiting Sixi to the northeast.

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