Danfen Ditch 2 Wanxian Mountain Scenic Area zhenzhou henan——Southern Taihang Mountains
Wanxian Mountain Guoliangcun
Guoliangcun is a small village, home to around 300 people. It is nestled away on the cliff top high up on the Wanxian Mountains (Ten Thousand Immortals) in the north of Henan Province. This pretty little stone hamlet has been a delight to find, being hidden away from the rest of the world due to inaccessibility and anonymity. It has risen to fame in the last few years as the breathtaking backdrop to movies set in ancient times and in mythology.
Today, Guoliangcun draws masses of tourists and artists who come here for inspiration – the simply stunning beautiful scenery gives poets, painters and writers all the inspiration an artist could ever want. Recently, hotels have been established at the foot of the village, but the original and traditional buildings have remained, climbing the slopes of the mountain.
As soon as you enter Guoliangcun, you will be amazed by the simple prettiness of this village. The houses are decorated with the yellow bangzi (sweetcorn cobs), and are made with the same stone that has been used for the streets, alleyways, bridges and the gates that decorate the village. The villagers are used to seeing visitors, but you will see the old people watch you from their doorways and children run around in the streets.
Guoliangcun offers some lovely sights to see. Taihang Precipice (Taihang Juebi) is the first thing you see as you draw closer to the village but you can go back down to see it more clearly. These cliffs have some incredible and dramatic views from the tunnel carved from the face of the rock itself.
For a long time, the Sky Ladder (Tian Ti) was the only way in or out of the village. You can now go via the road behind the hotel strip away from the Sky Ladder; this is a hair-raising 5km loop through the mountainous valley and through the wonderful Shouting Spring (Huan Quan). According to the old legend, the flow of the spring’s water responds to how loud your shouts are. You will also see the Old Pool (Lao Tan) and the Red Dragon Cave (Honglong Dong) and the White Dragon Cave (Bailong Dong). From here, take a bottle of water and head for one of the smaller trails into the hills and relax and enjoy the incredibly and awe-inspiring natural beauty of this remarkable place.
360-degree panorama photography by yunzeng liu
Asia is the biggest continent on Earth, a darling little gem floating around in space.
Hm, what is Asia? Who's in on it?
China and India are safe bets for Asian nations. Korea, Japan, Thailand, you're fine.
Europe? No. Europe would sort of be on the "Asian continent" if not for those pesky Ural mountains dividing things up in the middle, and then also the whole lineage of kings and wealth and nations and the EU and all that "give me my respect" stuff.
Russia would probably be happiest as its own continent, so for now we'll leave it in "Eurasia" and just hope the natural gas supplies keep flowing.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are dang close to Asia, but politically they show up in "Middle East" news stories an awful lot. Verdict: Eurasia.
I guess we'll actually have to consider everything from Turkey on eastward to be "Eurasian", although the moniker seems overlappitory of the territory.
The Asian economy is now officially raging like a wild furnace of lava that consumes everything in its path. Japan has had the largest individual economy in Asia for decades, but it is forecast that both India and China will outstrip Japan within twenty years.
China is the largest holder of United States debt and is positioned to become the world's next superpower, provided that Godzilla doesn't return and decide to stomp everybody back into the Shang Dynasty.
Text by Steve Smith.