The UNESCO added two more sites on the map of China’s world cultural and natural heritage site, one in Hubei 湖北 and the second in Guangxi 广西 province.
Located in eastern Hubei province, north of the city of Yichang 宜昌, where many boats stop after the Three Gorges Dam, Shennongjia (神农架) is one of China’s biodiversity hub, home to rare animals like the golden or snub-nosed monkey.
In ancient Chinese mythology, Shennong (神农), literally the ‘divine farmer’ is a legendary figure who, in prehistoric times, invented the hue and the plow and taught human being how to clear up forest and cultivate land. Shennong also discovered herbal medicine. With the influence of Confucianism during the 4th century BC, Shennong became the incarnation of the political ideal of self-sufficiency.
Shennongjia is already opened to tourists (see LP link below) – who knows if adding it to the UNESCO Natural Heritage list will transform this protected site into another Jiuzhaigou (九寨沟) in Sichuan (四川).
How to get here:
First get to Yichang and from there take a bus. More information on how to get to Shennongjia on the Lonely Planet Forum.
2. Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art
Located in the southwestern part of Guangxi province, near the town of Chongzuo (崇左), not far from the border with Vietnam, the Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape (左江花山岩画文化景点) is an ensemble of 38 sites considered to be “one of the most impressive pre-historic painted rock panels in the world” (Bradshaw Foundation).
Dating back to a period ranging from the Warring State to the Eastern Han dynasty (from the 5th to the 2nd century BC) the Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art, is an illustration of the animistic religious beliefs of the Luo Yue people whose culture disappeared after extensive contact with the Han culture during the 1st century BC.
Both the UNESCO website and the Bradshaw Foundation have beautiful pictures of this interesting site. An good add-on to a Guangxi bucket-list.
How to get there:
First get to to Nanning and take a bus to Chongzuo (崇左).