Wudang Mountain, No.1 Sacred Taoist Mountain in China

Wudang Mountai (Wudangshan), also named Taihe Mountain, has long been a sacred mountain in China, not only because it is the No. 1 Taoist Mountain in China, but also the “original cradle of Tai Chi” that is also called the Chinese shadowboxing. Situated in Shiyan in Hubei Province, spreading about 312 square kilometers, Wudang Mountain is now a large tourist scenic area to marvel at the reputable ancient building complex which shows completely the wisdom and effort of human being and beauty of architecture, to sightsee the various appealing sceneries from spring, summer to autumn and winter season. With the thick culture representing China nationality and top class views to enjoy, Wudang Mountain has been listed as the “World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site” by the UNESCO in 1994, and one of the “Top 10 Chinese Tourist Areas Favored by Europeans”. Besides, it also has won a series of reputations such as National AAAAA Tourist Area, the most beautiful “National Geopark”, and so on, which is contributed by its profound culture and history, brilliant constructions and rich numbers of essences to see.

Wudang Mountain History & Culture

Wudang Mountain has already been an important site for religious activities from the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC) to the end of Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) in ancient China. During the reign of Emperor Tang Taizong (627-649 AD), the Wulong Shrine (Five Dragon Palace) was constructed under order. And in later periods, as Taoism developed prosperously, this mountain gradually got its reputation among people under the praise of the emperors and was regarded as the No. 1 Famous Taoist Mountain in Ming Dynasty and the royal temple for the emperor and his family, since which it became the largest Taoist rite nationwide. Under the imperial order of Emperor Zhu Di in Ming Dynasty, Wudang Mountain began its expansion. 33 architectural complexes including 9 palaces, 8 temples, 36 abbeys, 72 rock temples, 39 bridges, 12 pavilions were completed during 12 years. At present, there remain 53 ancient constructions left and 5,035 pieces of cultural relics all over the mountain.

For thousands of years, the Wudang Taoism has always been a key school of Chinese Taoism, and has the same religious doctrine and dogmata with Chinese Taoism. This religion put emphasis on the faithful filial piety ethics and the harmonious combination of three religions, namely the Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. Besides, Wudang Mountain is preferred for its Wudang martial arts. The famous Tai Chi also called shadowboxing, Eight Diagrams Palm, Xing Yi Quan, etc. were originated there. Therefore, so many martial arts likers visit Mount Wudang from different countries and regions to feel its charm and the benefits to their bodies and minds.

Wudang Mountain - Wudang Kung Fu Essential Martial Art at Wudang Mountain

Ancient Building Complex in Wudang Mountain

Wudang Mountain has thousands of ancient buildings of high artistic beauty, royal magnificence, brilliant design of strength, and the praised respect and balance with nature. You could visit Golden Palace, Nanyan Palace, Purple Cloud Palace, Prince Slope and many other constructions in Wudang Mountain to know more about the perfect combination of architecture, Taoism, landscape, folk culture and imperial charm together.

Golden Palace (Palace of Harmony)

Golden Palace or Golden Peak (金殿) on Wudang Mountain is also named Taihe Palace (太和宫) which means Palace of Harmony, and is located on the highest peak in Wudang, Tianzhu Peak which is about 1,613 meters high. This sacred place in Wudang Mountain is the soul and symbol of Wudang Mountain, so it is the must-visit place for visitors and pilgrims reaching there. And it is commonly said that one really visit Wudang Mountain only if stepping in the Palace of Harmony. Built about 600 years ago under the order of Ming Emperor Zhu Di who stressed the respect to nature without any change of the mountain itself, Golden Palace was featured with royal magnificent charm and looked authentically harmonious with nature. With the impressive natural sea of clouds, sunrise and sunset, lush forests and rocks, the Palace of Harmony is like a heaven on earth. Moreover, with so many compliments, Wudang Mountain has attracted groups of specialists to feel its buildings, and they from fields of World Heritage Site, chroreutics, and architecture all marveled at Palace of Harmony and praised it as an excellent work never seen before.

Wudang Mountain - Golden Palace Golden Palace - Symbol of Wudangshan

Nanyan Palace

Nanyan Palace (South Rock Palace) was first built in Yuan Dynasty and rebuilt in 1,413 on Wudang Mountain. Later, the whole palace building group was expanded into 460 rooms during Qing dynasty and presented a new look in 1,862 with lots of temples. At present the whole construction and site covers about 61,187 square meters wide. Also, Nanyan is the most beautiful among all the 36 Rocks in Wudang Mountain. Passing the Liangyi Palace, you could see the famous “leading incense” at the “dragon head” reaching in the air. When you walk in Nanyan Palace, you could see four red Chinese characters on the cliff, which are “longevity (寿)”, “fortune (福)”, “health (康)”, and “peace (宁)”. Although those four words are so simple, they express the fair wishes of people on earth, which indicates the theory of Taoism not only in the cultivation of oneself but also on the best wishes to the world. Therefore, you could have a photo with the words when visiting Wudand Mountain and take the best wishes back home.

Wudang Mountain - Nanyan Palace Four Characters at Nanyan Palace

Purple Cloud Palace

Purple Cloud Palace or Zixiao Palace (紫霄宫) is one of the best preserved palaces on Wudang Mountain, and was first built during 1,119-1,125 AD. For several times of repairmen, the whole palace building group remains its original appearance. And till now, there are 182 rooms. Looking from the axle wire, the constructions locate there symmetrically along the mountain, splendid and gorgeous. In Wudang Mountain, you could find a lot of worth-seeing items that please your eyes and also are filled with the outstanding skills of ancient Chinese people. In the Purple Cloud Palace, there are not only countless carvings and paintings of dragon, phoenix, sun, moon, clouds, thunders, sea, sky, birds and beasts, floras and plants, but also statues of Taoist immortals, which are full of colors and lifelike vigor.

Wudang Mountain - Purple Cloud Palace Charming Purple Cloud Palace in Autumn

Prince Slope (Fuzhenguan)

Prince Slope or called Taizi Po (太子坡) or Fuzhen Guan (复真观) was built in 1,412 AD under the order of Ming emperor Zhu Di and later repaired three times in Qing dynasty. At present, 105 rooms remain covering 1600 square meters. According to the legend, the prince of Jingle State came to Wudang Mountain to cultivate himself and lived there on the slope, so it was called Taizi Po. Leaning the Lion Mountain, facing deep valley, near natural pool, Prince Slope looks beautiful but mysterious from afar. The winding red wall covered with green tiles climb along the rocky road up to the higher place, like rolling waves. You could walk there to feel the majesty of the royal styled architecture. Besides, in the Five Clouds Pavilion, there are 12 girders that are put on only 1 beam in the middle part. For hundreds of years, this pavilion still stands so steady, which is a big creation of Chinese history of ancient architecture on mechanics and a famous human landscape in Wudang Mountain.

Wudang Mountain - Prince Slope Winding Wall at Prince Slope

Apart from the above top ancient building complexes in Wudang Mountain, there are also other palaces, temples, and so on deserve your visit, such as Yuxu Palace, Qiongtai Palace, Five Dragon Palace, Grind Needle Temple, Jingle Palace, Gutong Palace, and so forth. Take your time to feel the beauty of each construction and the harmonious coexistence with the wonderful nature.

What to See at Wudang Mountain

In Wudang Mountain, a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site, you could enrich your knowledge about the Wudang Martial Arts, appreciate the widely different authentic views to purify your eyes and mind.

Wudang Martial Arts

Wudang martial art is a gem of Chinese martial art. The world well-known Tai Chi was actually created there on Wudang Mountain by Master Zhang Sanfeng (张三丰) during the end of Ming and beginning of Qing dynasty, and he was regarded as the earliest founder of Wudang martial art. Here on Wudang Mountain, you could find some Taoist priests practicing Tai Chi and other martial arts like Xing Yi Quan, Eight Diagrams Palm, and so on before some palaces or temples.

Check more about Tai Chi Experience in Wudang Mountain

Natural Sceneries

Wudang Mountain as a World Natural Heritage site is beautiful as a fairyland, characteristic in mystery and intangibility. There you could see the 72 uprising peaks with lush old trees, 24 turbulent ravines, 10 strange stones and 9 platforms. The peaks stand irregularly but elegant, and you would be amazed at the so excellent skill of nature. Besides, Wudang Mountain is surrounded by clouds frequently, so there you could see different views due to the changeable weather. The spring flowers emitting refreshing fragrance, summer emerald forest and cool crystal clear spring for retreating from the summer heat, autumn red leaves decorating all over the mountain like a brightly costumed performer, winter white snow highlighting the tranquility and solemnity of Wudang Mountain, endless sea of clouds soft like marshmallow, brilliant sunrise and sunset with the splendid colorful clouds surrounded by, romantic night sky full of stars, exciting thunders and lightings with the mysterious flame before the heavy rain, and so forth. The whole Wudang Mountain is like a magical box to offer much natural sightseeing for you from the whole universe.

Wudang Mountain - Wudang Tai Chi Foreign People Learning Martial Art at Wudang Mountain
Wudang Mountain - Wudang Shan Tranquil and Solemn Wudang Mountian in Winter

Wudang Mountain Map & Best Travel Route

To visit Wudang Mountain, there are many different arrangement of the route, and among all, there are 1 day route covering the most highlights for people have limited time and the 2 days route for travellers to enjoy a classic discovery at Wudangshan. You could check them at below for your reference.

1 Day Wudang Mountain Travel Route

Take the sightseeing bus to Qiongtai to visit the Golden Palace to worship for good fortune. After that, go to Nanyan Palace for peace and to Purple Cloud Palace for luck of making money. Next, take the bus to Prince Slope for education. Then back to the mountain foot.

2 Days Wudang Mountain Travel Route

Day 1: Take the sightseeing bus to Prince Slope, and go to Grind Needle Temple to know about the nice story. Then, transfer to Purple Cloud Palace to know more about Taoist culture, and stop at Nanyan Temple to enjoy its beauty.

Day 2: Take the cable car to the Golden Palace to have an overview of Wudang Mountain, and visit Palace of Harmony, and other sites along the way. Next go to Carefree Valley and enjoy the martial art performance if time is good. After that, back to the foot of the mountain.

>> 3 Days Wudang Mountain Highlights Tour

Wudang Mountain Tourist Map Click to Enlarge the Tourist Map of Wudang Mountain

How to Get to Wudang Mountain

Wudang Mountain is situated in Danjiangkou (丹江口), in the region of Shiyan City (十堰市) at the Northeast part in Hubei Province in China. It has a driving distance of about 38km for about 45mins to Shiyan downtown, and about 410km for about 4.5hours to Wuhan downtown. As a famous mountain tourist area, Wudang Mountain is easy to get to by air, train, coach, and car. Let’s see the detailed way of transfer to Wudang Mountain.

By air

The nearest airport is Shiyan Wudangshan Airport which is about 29km driving distance from Wudang Mountain Scenic Area and needs about 35 minutes to drive. At present, there are about 11 domestic cities have flights to and from Shiyan Airport. And for your Wudang Mountain tour, you could take a flight from Wuhan (daily flights for 1hr 10mins), Beijing (on Tue., Thur., Fri., Sat., Sun., for 2hrs 20mins), Guangzhou (on Mon., Wed., Fri., for 2hrs 10mins), Lanzhou (on Tue., Thur., Sat., for 1hr 25mins), Kunming (on Tue., for 2hrs 15mins), and so on.

Wudang Mountain China Map Click to Enlarge the Location Map of Wudang Mountain

By train

To get to Wudang Mountain, the most convenient way is to go by train. You could take a bullet train from Wuhan to Shiyan for about 3.5-4.5 hours. The trains are D5211 at 08:00, D5206 at 12:36, D5286 at 14:41, and D5216 at 17:19. After arriving at Shiyang Railway Station, you could take a taxi to Wudang Mountain for about 50 minutes. Besides, there are 6 K-trains every day from Wuhan Wuchang Railway Station and Hankou Railway Station to Wudangshan Railway Station for about 6-7 hours. Also, there are some K-trains, running through Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing, Zhengzhou, etc.

By coach

There are also long distance coaches to Wudangshan. You could take the daily coach at Wuhan Huangpi Coach Station (黄陂汽车客运中心) or at Xinzhou Coach Station (新洲区中心客运站) for about 4.5 hours. Besides, there is one daily coach from Xian Sanfuwan Coach Station (西安三府湾客运站) to Wudangshan for about 6 hours.

Travel with China Discovery (Top Recommended):

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Wudang Mountain with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

Tickets of Wudang Mountain

Wudang Mountain Tickets: 243 RMB/person = 140 RMB (Scenic Area Entrance Fee, not including the Golden Palace and Purple Cloud Palace) + 100RMB (Sightseeing Bus) + 3RMB (Insurance Fee)

Rope Way: 90RMB for up, 80RMB for down in peak seasons; 70RMB for up, 60RMB for down in off seasons;

Golden Palace: 27RMB;

The Purple heaven hall: 15RMB;

Note: 1) if you accommodate out of Wudang Mountain Tourist Area and would enter the scenic spot again on the second or third day, you need to pay the extra entrance fee for about 50RMB / per time for one person. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask our professional Travel Consultant for help!

Useful Tips for Visiting Wudang Mountain

1. Eating at Wudang Mountain

Purple Cloud Palace and Taihe Palace offer the special flavored Taoist vegetarian dishes. Also, if you want to taste the local snacks, you could go to the ancient street at Yuxu Palace area where opens many restaurants.

2. Accommodating at Wudang Mountain

Various kinds of hotels, inns, and other hostels could be found at Wudang Mountain. You could choose to accommodate in the tourist area to get close to the beautiful sceneries and have a chance to enjoy the sunrise, stay in Shiyan City to enjoy good facilities and more restaurants surrounded. Among all the choices, Wudang Argyle Baiqiang Grand International Hotel, Wudang International Hotel of 5 star in Shiyan City, Wudangshan Jianguo Hotel and Wudang Mountain Hotel of 4 star at the entrance of Wudang Mountain Scenic Area, and Wudang Mountain Taichi Hotel at the entrance is a frequently chosen 3 star hotel by our guests. You could check more detailed address, facilities, services and advantages of each hotel for planning your accommodation at Wudang Mountain.

3. Wudang Mountain Weather & Dressing Code

Wudang Mountain belongs to the subtropical monsoon climate zone, and temperature there gradually changes lower from the foot to the peak, with usually a difference of 8℃-10℃. Therefore, thick clothes like sweaters and coats are needed in spring and autumn, long-sleeve coats are advised if you stay the night on the mountain. And in winter, the lowest temperature is around -6℃~8℃, which might be very cold, so you are suggested prepare your warm clothes, such as gloves, scarves and sweaters. Since weather there frequently changes, it is better to bring your rain gears in case of rains. Moreover, since there are many mosquitos in the mountain areas, especially in summer, you’d better take your mosquito repel when visiting. Besides, a pair of comfortable shoes for hiking is of course highly recommended.

4. Best Travel Time

Wudang Mountain is suitable to visit at any time of a year, however, spring (March - May) and autumn (September - November) have the most comfortable weather. In spring, you could see the jubilant temple fair in March 3rd, and the pilgrimage to Wudangshan. Also, when the lightning flashes and thunder rumbles, you could witness amazing wonder if you are lucky. In summer, Wudang Mountain is one of the best summer retreats with the cool ravines, lush forests over the mountains. During autumn season, the whole mountain would be dyed into a colorful painting, and with the clear weather, you could have a better view of more natural sceneries. If you come in winter, Wudang Mountain is usually capped with white snow, and the temples and palaces would book more solemn and magnificent. As there is snow on the road, please pay attention during your walking.

5. Visiting Temples

Please keep quiet or speak in a low voice in temples and do not point at the statues of immortals. If there are Taoist activities holding, you could stand aside quietly or just leave. Most temples require no photographing, please respect that.

Recommended Wudangshan Tours

Top 3 Wudangshan tours chosen by most customers to explore Wudangshan in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Golden Palace
3 Days Wudang Mountain Highlights Tour

Wudang Mountain

Wudang Kung fu
5 Days Wuhan & Wudangshan Tour by High Speed Train

Wuhan / Wudang Mountain

Yellow Crane Tower
9 Days Best of Hubei Tour from Wuhan

Wuhan / Wudangshan / Wuhan / Jingzhou / Yichang / Shennongjia / Yichang

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once enquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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