|Name||安徽 (ān huī) ['peace' 'emblem'] Old Name Anhwei WG|
|Population||60.564 million (4.40 %) [8th] comparison table|
|Area||140,000 km2 [54,054 mile2] (1.46 %) [22nd]|
|GDP||34,425 (8.33 %) [28th]|
Anhui can claim to be at the heart of Central China as it straddles the mighty Yangzi river. The northern portion is part of the flat, fertile North China plain and is noted for wheat and rice production. There is a vast coalfield and iron industry west of Huainan. South of the Yangzi, the province is more mountainous. Economically it remains somewhat behind its neighbors Hubei and Henan.
Anhui became part of the 'recognized' nation of China over 2,000 years ago and was settled during the Han dynasty. Hefei, at the center of the province, is the provincial capital; it has developed rapidly as an industrial center since the founding of the PRC. The name for Anhui is formed from a combination of the names of two ancient cities Anqing (安庆) and Huizhou in the far south near Huangshan. The province is well known for the production of paper, ink and ink-stones. As these are the treasures of the calligrapher, it has a fine literary connections.
Famous people from Anhui include: Bao Zheng ➚, the model for selfless dedication to public office; Cao Cao the villain of the Three Kingdoms period; Zhu Yuanzhang founder of the Ming dynasty and reputably both Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi founders of the Daoist tradition.
A notable attraction of Anhui is scenic Huangshan (Yellow Mountains) in the mountainous south, a very popular mountain range to climb for Chinese as well as foreign tourists. It has rocky peaks and pine trees growing right up to the summit. A famous view is of Huan Ke Song ‘Welcoming Guest Pine’ at the base of the trail, reputed to be 1,000 years old. Many people gather at sunrise to see the sun shine through iridescent mists at the summit. The walk to the top can be spread over several days, there are ancient temples and viewing points along the way. Tang poet Li Bai labeled the mountain a ‘Golden Hibiscus’. Hot springs are found at the bottom, while near the top Jade Screen Pavilion ➚ offers panoramic views often with the mountains shrouded in mist. Tiandu Peak ➚ which can be reached by a stone walkway just 164 feet [50 meters] short of the summit ‘Lotus Flower Peak’ 6,115 feet [1,864 meters]. There are hotels, cafes and shops high up in the mountains serving the continuous flow of tourists.
Both Huangshan and Qimen are famous for their teas; Huangshan for green tea ➚ and Qimen for black tea ➚. In the mountains in Yixian county are two ancient villages Xidi and Hongcun ➚ undisturbed since Ming dynasty times and on the UNESCO World Heritage List ➚. Shexian county (formerly called Huizhou) also has Ming dynasty buildings. Jiuhuashan ➚ 九花山 (Nine Flowers Mountain) sacred to Buddhists is not far away.
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