First Impressions

We arrived at Jiujiang in the late-evening after we rushed to catch our train from —Nanchang— After arriving at the Jiujiang train station, we hopped on a taxi to head to my friend’s grandmother’s house. Fortunately, the taxi driver was also a tour guide and offered a compelling price for a day tour of multiple tourist destination at Mt. Lu for 200RMB per person. The package included 5 destinations and private car transportation. It was a smacking deal. Sleeping over at my friend’s grandmother’s place was a challenge, mainly communication wise due to language and cultural barriers, in addition, I had to share a bed with my friend. Not that I am it, however, personal space and comfort was the compromise, nevertheless, I was very willing to pay that price. It was a wonderful experience looking back.

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Background

The city of Jiujiang is situated near the northern border of Jiangxi Province. It borders the Yangtze River to the north, Poyang Lake to the east and picturesque Mt. Lushan to the south. Jiujiang in Chinese means ‘nine rivers’.

Owing to its location at the geographical intersection of Hunan, Hubei and Jiangxi Provinces, Jiujiang was a strategically important city. Because it was virtually at the center of so many bodies of water, the city has been one of the four largest rice markets and one of the three largest tea markets in China.

With a history of over 2,000 years, this is an attractive city boasting of grand mountains and numerous waterways.  Cultural relics of Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and Confucianism can be found on nearby Mt. Lushan. The mountain also features captivating rock formations, natural springs, temples and stone inscriptions. Most of its 99 peaks rise over 1,000 meters above sea level.

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Lu Mountain Waterfall

“Mount Lu’s highest peak is Dahanyang Peak, at roughly 1500 meters above sea level. Another renowned peak on Mount Lu is Five Old Men Peak, so-named because the five peaks in question all sit side by side, as it were, forming an almost straight line.

Today, not only Taoism and Buddhism are represented on Mount Lu, there are many sites on the mountain that are revered by Confucianists, while Christian (Catholic and Protestant) as well as Islamic places of worship are also to be found on the famous mountain.

The most famous waterfall on Mount Lu is Three Step Waterfall, which name is a reference to the fact that the waterfall spills over three glaciation-formed, natural terraces, enroute to the pool below. The Yuan (CE 1279-1368) Dynasty painter, Zhao Ziang recorded the following description of Three Step Waterfall:

Flowing like a jade curtain,
it falls a thousand feet.
The crescent moon is the curtain hook,
hanging high in the night sky”

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庐山瀑布

“庐山瀑布历史悠久,历代诸多文人骚客在此赋诗题词,赞颂其壮观雄伟,给庐山瀑布带来了极高的声誉。最有名的自然是唐代诗人李白的《望庐山瀑布》,已成千古绝唱。
庐山耸峙于长江中下游平原与鄱阳湖畔,多峭壁悬崖,瀑布飞泻。余邵诗云:“长江南岸鄱湖畔,拔地庐山风景妍;峭壁陡崖飞瀑布,奇峰秀岭绕云烟”,瀑布是庐山的一大奇观。
瀑布最著名的应数三叠泉,被称为“庐山第一奇观”,旧有“未到三叠泉,不算庐山客”之说。三叠泉瀑布之水,自大月山流出,缓慢流淌一段后,再过五老峰背,经过山川石阶,折成三叠,故得名三叠泉瀑布”

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Sky Bridge of Lu Mountain 庐山天桥

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White Deer Grotto Academy

“The academy had its beginnings as a place for the pursuit of learning by the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bo (李渤 Lǐ Bó, d. 831, not to be confused with the more famous Tang poet Li Po or Li Bai) when he was living in retirement. As Li Bo kept a white deer, he was known as the White Deer Teacher and the school premises themselves as the White Deer Grotto. Between the years 937—942, when the area was under the control of the Southern Tang, a school was officially established here under the name “Lushan Guoxue” or “Lu-san Goet-hok” (廬山國學, meaning “Mount Lu National School”).”

白鹿洞书院

“书院的创始人可以追溯到唐朝的李渤。南唐升元四年(940),南唐政权在李渤隐居的地方建立学馆,称“庐山国学”,又称“白鹿国学”。这是一所与金陵(今南京)国子监相类似的高等学府。北宋初年,江州的乡贤明起等,在白鹿洞办起了书院,“白鹿洞书院”之名从此始,但不久即废。直到著名理学家朱熹重修书院之后,白鹿洞书院才扬名国内。朱熹不仅重修了白鹿洞书院,而且还建立了严格的书院规章制度”

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Xunyang Tower

“Xunyang Tower was originally mentioned in the poem of Wei Yingwu, Cishi (feudal provincial or prefecture governor) of Jiangzhou in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). Later, Poets like Bai Juyi, Wei Yingwu and Su Dongpo visited here and left their poetries and inscriptions, but what made it widely known owes to the vivid description of the famous classical Chinese novel ‘the Water Margin’ (Shuihu) by Shi Nai’an”

浔阳楼

“浔阳楼因九江古称浔阳而得名,初为民间酒楼,至今已有1200多年历史,雄距江畔的浔阳楼也历来是名人云集之地。如:白居易、韦应物、苏东坡等等,都曾登楼题吟。留下许多脍炙人口的佳话,更因施耐庵写下一部《水浒》,其中一位主要人物——宋江浔阳楼醉酒题反诗,随着名人名著流芳百世,浔阳楼也蜚声海内外。它是一座仿宋模式建筑,显得古色古香。原楼是座酒楼,始建于唐,宋朝重修,以后屡经兴废。宋时楼的题书“浔阳楼”三个字传为苏东坡所写,如今匾额三个苏体金字出自赵朴初的笔端”

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Good Bye Lu Mountain!

Final Thoughts  

Although the weather wasn’t the most cooperative, however my friends and I still had a good time climbing the mountain in the gloomy weather. Good memories.

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*Majority of contents are derived from the sources provided in the hyperlinks. Thus, the credit goes to the original authors of those links.

*These experiences were made possible by the Gilman Scholarship 

九江 10-4-15