The Peach Blossom Spring
The Peach Blossom Spring, a scenic area 15 km southwest of the county seat of Taoyuan and 43 km from the city of Changde, is well-known throughout the county mainly because of the literary A Visit to the Peach Blossom Spring, which is familiar to all literates. In his idyllic prose, Tao Yuanming(365-427), a Homer of the Jin dynasty(265/420), describes a heaven of solitary peace secluded in peach woods. Surely it caters to the strong desire of people for a quiet and happy life that is absolutely free from the turmoil of the earthly world. Thus, the Peach Blossom Spring has since been a fairyland on earth which all generations long to tour and explore.
Standing north and south of the highway respectively, the Peach Spring Mountain and the Peach Blossom Mountain are the two major sections of the tourist resort. The former is mainly dotted with historic sites that date back to the Jin dynasty(265-420), including the Backdoor Cave, the Peach Blossom Stream, the Peach River Palace, the elixir-making Terrace and the Marvellous scenery Stela. On the Stela is inscribed, in the hand writing of a Ming(1368/1644) calligrapher, with the essay The Marvellous Scenery of Mt. Peach Blossom by Liu Yuxi, a renowned poet of the Tang dynasty(618-907).
The latter is marked by a grand archway towering over the peach woods. It bears the three Chinese words for “Peach Blossom Spring”, which are written in vigorous strokes. The couplet flanking it reads: “An ancient path shadowed by pink woods at the foot of the green mountain in the setting sun: a fairyland blessed with perfect happiness in the embrace of the peach blossoms by the purling Behind the archway is the Peach Bossom Stream, which flows babbling out of the depth of a vast peach wood at the foot of the Peach Blossom Mountain. Strolling through the pink world late in spring, any literate sightseer will unexceptionally associate the fascinating scene with the wonder-land Tao describes.