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The traditional way to appreciate Wuyi Shan is to take a two-hour bamboo-raft trip along the Jiuqu River. Rafts leave daily between 7.30am and around 4pm all year round, from the small village of Xingcun. On arrival, locals will happily point you towards the river where boatmen wait to pick up tourists. Be prepared to be pushed, tugged, shouted at and generally cajoled into taking the final seat on a raft that is waiting to leave – even if you are travelling in a pair. At busy times the river becomes a noisy bamboo conveyor-belt, but, although it is hardly the tranquil experience it may once have been, from the first crook in the meandering river right up to the ninth, you’ll still have stupendous gorge scenery all the way. Watch out for the odd, boat-shaped coffins in caves above the fourth crook; they are said to be four thousand years old, and appear similar to those in Gongxian and along the Little Three Gorges in Sichuan.

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