8 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Anhui

Jul 22, 2021

Situated in central China, Anhui (meaning 'west of the lake') is one of the nine provinces that make up the country of China. A very popular stop for both tourists and locals, Anhui offers the best of both worlds: beautiful scenery, the feeling of the country, and big-city comforts.

In the mountains lie several small towns and villages full of historical charm and great views. Further west is the famous Hefei, the provincial capital. The region is a great place for hiking, with unspoiled mountain views, and historical and cultural sights.

While Anhui has a range of attractions that are well worth seeing, our picks for the best of the best are Hefei and Huangshan. To get the best views, spend at least two days exploring Hefei and at least one day hiking Huangshan.

What are you waiting for? Prepare your trip with our handy Things to Do and Places to Visit in Anhui guide.

Jiuhua Temple

Photo of Mount Jiuhua
Mount Jiuhua: en.wikipedia.org

Located just east of the provincial capital of Anqing, Jiuhua Temple is one of the largest and most beautiful pagodas in the province. The entire complex is about 270 meters long, with at least 100 buildings surrounding a small forested area, and a bamboo grove. Jiuha is one of the nine ancient wonders of China that was built in 1193, and during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) was the religious, educational, and military center for the people of Anqing. Although much of the temple has been destroyed, the site contains many large Buddha sculptures, a large stupa, and a forest of rousing stilted pagodas. Frequent buses run between Anqing and Jiuhua Temple.

Pingyao

Photo of She County, Anhui
She County, Anhui: en.wikipedia.org

This town in eastern Anhui province, about two hours south of Shanghai by train, was once an important gateway to the Yangzi River. It has remained under the strict control of the Chinese Communist Party since the Revolution. The art of weaving silk clothing and paper products is still a source of pride in this small town, and a street fair occurs once a month in the summer. Pingyao's main streets are filled with restaurants and shops, some of which are almost a century old. There are also a number of temples and monasteries. The southern part of the old town is the most attractive to visitors.

The Great Wall

Located on the border of Anhui Province and Gansu Province in China, The Great Wall is the most famous of China's impressive stone-and-brick civil engineering structures. Although the actual Great Wall stretches over 6,000 miles, there are only a few places to see it up close. The best known of these is Badaling, which was the first to be constructed and served as a military defense system for almost two millennia. Constructed over thousands of years, this remarkable structure takes its name from the first emperor of the Qing Dynasty, who referred to this area as the "best defense in the world." In recent decades it has become one of China's most popular tourist destinations, often attracting up to 4 million visitors per year.

Suzhou Museum

Photo of Suzhou, Anhui
Suzhou, Anhui: en.wikipedia.org

China's old capital was founded in AD 740. Suzhou is particularly known for its beautiful gardens and ancient cultural traditions. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. The official museum of Suzhou is the Suzhou Museum, which is open to visitors from November to April. It features four periods of history (The Suzhou Bronze Age and the Northern Song Period from the 3rd to 13th centuries; The Qing-Dynasty to the Western Chinese Revolution; The Historical Deed from the Eastern Song to the Modern Period; and the Contemporary Period), which are all displayed in halls. Culture is exhibited at the museum and it hosts many interesting events, including performances by dancers, acrobats, and musicians.

Jade Buddha Temple

Photo of Jade Buddha Temple
Jade Buddha Temple: en.wikipedia.org

Mao Zedong, the founder of modern China and first leader of the Chinese Communist Party, was a famous devotee of Buddhism, and this small temple is where he first entered the Buddhist faith. The Buddha was said to have helped Mao come to terms with the communist ideal of equality and social justice. You can take a walk around the temple grounds, where local farmers burn small incense for prosperity. Also in the complex are more than 50 stone Buddhas and two large, elaborate bronze statues of the Lord Buddha. The complex is built on a hillside near the river, and the views from the temple are especially beautiful at sunset.

Longhua Temple

Photo of Longhua Temple
Longhua Temple: en.wikipedia.org

About three kilometers from Bailu Lake is the Longhua Temple, which contains some of the oldest buildings in China. Founded in the 10th century during the Northern Qi Dynasty, the temple is dedicated to the goddess of the waters, Tiantai, which means "abundance of the waters." The main pagoda contains a priceless collection of original Chinese relics from this period, including statues, jade and ivory carvings, and sacrificial vessels, as well as the 2,300-year-old Aiyu vessel.

Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall

Photo of Presidential Palace (Nanjing)
Presidential Palace (Nanjing): en.wikipedia.org

Located in eastern Anhui Province, the modern museum at Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall remembers the slaughter of 700,000 Chinese during the 1937 invasion of the Japanese Imperial Army in Nanjing (formerly spelled Nanking). The two stories of this white, three-story museum include the graves of victims as well as rooms with details of the day-to-day life of people in Nanjing during the period of the Japanese invasion and occupation.

Lushan National Park

Photo of Huangshan
Huangshan: en.wikipedia.org

Lushan National Park (Luoshan Dafandong) is one of China's largest national parks. Home to one of the most extensive landscapes of subtropical subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest in China, Lushan National Park consists of several different areas with different vegetation types. In one of the national park's designated nature reserves, the forest is predominantly covered by Pinus yunnanensis and Pinus langbianensis. Other species present in this area include Rhododendron lutescens, Magnolia biondii, and Paeonia suffruticosa, as well as Syringa vulgaris. The majority of Lushan National Park's timber is sawtimber. For more information, see Lushan National Park.