Qingyuan is an ancient town, first founded as a county in the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) and Qingyuan County again in the Han Dynasty. It was recognized as a prefectural city in 1988.
Under its jurisdiction there are one urban district (Qingcheng District), three counties (Fogang, Yangshan and Qingxin), two autonomous counties (Lianshan Zhuang & Miao Autonomous County and Liannan Yao Autonomous County) and two cities at county level (Yingde and Lianzhou).
Occupying a green hilly land of 18 676 sq km, Qingyuan has a population of 1.626 million including 120 000 Yaos & Zhuangs, mainly living in the two autonomous counties. Here lives the largest community of the Pai Yao in China, with their long-lasting tradition and culture. Now ethnic tourism is booming here. Urbanites would like to come here to enjoy the natural scenery, Yao dishes and specialties.
Visitor can also go shopping here, for there is a variety of local specialties, such as bamboo shoots, dried river fish, free-range chickens, honey and fresh vegetables without chemical contamination. Green food is plentiful here and economical as well. Life is as cheap as a banana, but comfortable.
Located on the Beijiang River at the northern tip of the Pearl River Delta, Qingyuan is only 70 km away from Guangzhou connected by Beijiang waterway, No. 106 and 107 national highways and Beijing-Guangzhou Railway. The Beijiang River, as the main tributary of the Pearl River, is navigable all around the year, linking Qingyuan to Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
Qingyuan is an important hub of communications in Northern Guangdong, which links to the northern provinces in Central China. Qingyuan urban construction has been going well with an excellent urban blue print. T
here are four parallel avenues with the Beijiang River meandering in the middle, with the Anti-Poverty and Pilot Development Zone and the other four industrial zones in the suburbs.
Qingyuan is the most priority of the future development of Guangdong Province according to the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-05) of the province. It is regarded as the green backyard of the province, especially Guangzhou City.
There are green hills, hot springs, green waters, fresh air and unpolluted environment. What do you want after you become rich when the environment around you is very much polluted? Qingyuan offers a solution to you a get-away from bustling urban life.
With an urban population of about 600 000, Qingyuan has been an important city as the gateway to Northern Guangzhou. With adulating green mountains in the north and facing the vast Pearl River Delta in the south, Qingyuan is regarded as the green backyard of Guangdong Province, a summer resort and a holiday campsite especially for Guangzhou urbanites. It only takes one hour to drive from Guangzhou to Qingyuan along the national highway No. 106 and 107. With an average annual temperature of 12°5 in January and 28°8 in July, it has a mild subtropical weather with a rich rainfall of 2 200mm annually. So forests and agriculture thrive here.
Qingyuan is an important productive base of grain, timber and minerals. What is more attractive is its nature-friendly environment and balanced ecosystem with a lot of scenic spots. Local specialties include Qingyuan chicken, mahuang chicken, wuzong goose, Sankeng fish, Bijia tea, Yingde black tea, Yuantan tobacco, Yangshan chestnut, jujube, dried bamboo shoots and Shatian pomelos.
Qingyuan has made steady progress in urban construction, improvement of tourist facilities and star hotels, as well as in industrial development. It has formed a system of local industries: knitting, clothing, chemical fiber, toy making, food processing, cosmetics and metallurgy.
With the advent of the development of Northern Guangdong according to the 10th five-Year Plan of Guangdong Province, Constructing Qingyuan as the green backyard of Guangdong is put in the first priority of the province in the next five years' blue print. There are quite a few natural scenic attractions, such as Feilaixia Valley, Feifengshan Scenic spot, Yinzhan Hot Spring and Qingxin Hot Spring, beautiful Beijiang waterway and its valley.
1) Qingxin Hot Spring Tourism & Holiday Resort lies in Sankeng Township, which is known as the Town of Hot Springs in Guangdong Province. Covering an area of 5.6 sq km, it consists of dozens of hot springs, large grass skiing hillsides, over 30 football courts, a lot of hotels and villas. The Football Training Center is the largest in Asia with all sorts of sports facilities and a gymnasium. It is only 50 km away from Guangzhou and just on National Highway 106.
2) Feilaixia Valley is the beautiful section of the Beijiang River, where sheer cliffs soaring into the blue sky on the both sides of the river with the white water rushing forward. It is said that there are 72 peaks along the twisted 9-km-long valley. It is 23 km away from Qingyuan. So it is also called Qingyuan Valley. Down in the valley and on the western bank stands Feilai Temple with a long history of 1 400 years, as one of the three ancient ones (Nanhua Temple and Qingyun Temple) in South China.
3) Huangchuan Three Gorges is located on the upper reaches of the Beijiang River, full of natural scenic spots. Visitors can drifted down in a rubber boat in summertime to enjoy the sights along the river valley.
4) Seven kilometers southwest of Yingde City, Baojinggong Palace is a karst cave, consisting of 7 stone chambers and a 200-meter long corridor, covering an area of 20 000 sq meters in total.
5) 18km northwest of Yingde City, Xianqiao Underground River is 13km long, made up of two underground sections and one section above the ground. Visitors can enjoy the natural wonders by boat on the underground river.
6) The Stone Peak Corridor is about 10 km long with 100 karst peaks standing in a line along the valley in Yingde City, which is marvelous and amazing in sight.
7) Buddhist Inscriptions on Xianling Hill is just off Yangshan County Seat, where Han Yu, a renowned poet of the Tang Dynasty, left behind his calligraphy carved on the cliff here.
8) Nanling Forest Park is situated on the southern side of Mt.Nanling, where evergreen arbor trees thrive in thickets. It is said that this is the largest green belt along the same longitude on earth. It is the largest and well-balanced natural eco-system in Guangdong Province.
9) Lianzhou Underground River is found in a 3-km-long karst Cave eroded by underground water. For millions of years, a valley is formed in the karst cave. Visitors can walk along the riverside deep into the cave, enjoying the wonder of nature. When they reach the end, they can come by boat.
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