by Jieyu Wang, iChongqing
Chongqing — Located in the center of the three gorges, Wushan county is a natural oxygen bar in the Chongqing area. In China, a natural oxygen bar is a scenic area where you can enjoy the fresh air and soak in a beautiful natural environment that you can’t see in the city.
Wushan County is renowned for the portal of northeast Chongqing. Wushan County is adjacent to Hubei province in the southeast and border to Fengjie County in the west and Wuxi County in the south.
Wushan County is known as a natural oxygen bar, which benefits from its excellent environmental protection.
In the north of Wushan river, there is a group of more than 3000 live macaques. The Wushan small three gorges scenic spot presents a beautiful scene of animals living in harmony with nature. Before the 1980s, however, Macaques were nowhere to be seen in the small three gorges scenic area of Wushan because the small three gorges area of Wushan was still a backwater town and villagers had no money to buy coal. Their only heating method was to go into the gorge and cut wood, which caused damage to the vegetation nearby.
In the early 1980s, the small three gorges were developed as a tourist attraction. It’s undoubtedly the most significant defect without rich vegetation and pleasant ape sound. To this end, the ministry of Wushan forestry hired 28 forest protectors to manage the plant and provide coal subsidies to local villagers to change their way of life from cutting wood in the mountains.
After many years of reproduction and protection, the number of macaques in the small three gorges is gradually increasing. Groups appear on both sides of the canyon to greet visitors, becoming a unique local scenery. Whenever a ship passed by, these naughty guys always jump up and down on the “natural stage” on both sides of the gorge, performing their natural rock-climbing stunts and acrobatics to the tourists. This often causes visitors to howl with laughter.
About 15 kilometers away from the east of Wushan county on the north bank of Wuxia gorge, a boulder stands in the clouds, like a graceful girl, known as Wushan Goddess Peak. There is a love legend behind the Goddess Peak. Goddess Yao Ji fell in love with a fisherman Jiangsheng and got married to him. Unfortunately, one day there was a storm on the river, and Jiangsheng disappeared after he went out to fish. From then on, Yao Ji stood at the top of the highest peak on the river bank, looking out and waiting, and at last, she became Goddess Peak.
Today, Wushan county has been built Goddess Peak scenic area, including the Goddess Peak sightseeing trail, Goddess Peak ladder, Goddess Peak cableway, attracting youth come over to goddess peak to pursue their love.
In addition to the small three gorge and Goddess Peak, Wushan red leaves is another business card to introduce Wushan tourism, Wushan’s enthusiasm and romance to Chinese and foreign friends. Wushan red leaves in the three gorges of the Yangtze River has the most characteristics, featuring the most significant area, the most species, the most beautiful landscape, the most extended viewing period, the highest viewing value and the most flexible way to visit. Besides, Wushan has held 12 sessions of Chongqing three gorges (Wushan) international red leaf festival and received a total of 40 million tourists.
More than a beautiful landscape, Wushan county also has a long history, which can trace back to the early Paleolithic Period, approximately 2.04 million years ago.
In 1985, a section of left mandible fossil with two molars and some bone fragments with artificial processing marks was excavated by a team of Chinese scientists in Longgupo (literally “Dragon Bone Slope” which is an alternate English name for it), Zhenlongping Village, Miaoyu Town of Wushan County, Chongqing.
The discovery of the “Wushan man” fossil is one of the most important archaeological finds in China in the 20th century. The fossil of “Wushan man” is the earliest human fossil found in China, which reveals the process of social development and fills the gap of early human fossils in China. It is of great scientific value for studying the origin of human beings and the development history of the three gorges valley.
The discovery of “Wushan man” is 300 thousand years earlier than the well-known “Yuanmou man.” At present, the Longgupo site is under preventive measures such as rock reinforcement and protection shelter construction. Continuous excavation will be continually carried out to build Longgupo park and apply for world cultural heritage.
Besides the Longgupo site, Daxi culture heritage site of Wushan is also telling the story of the early human story. Around 1925, Nelson, an American, discovered some Neolithic sites along the three gorges of the Yangtze river, including Daxi relic which can date back to 5300 to 6500 years ago. In 2001, Chongqing archaeological institute conducted a large-scale excavation of the ruins of Daxi, unearthed more than 1,700 precious cultural relics, collected in Wushan museum. Its discovery provides valuable materials for the exploration of the Neolithic culture in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.