- Yangtze Gorge Brief
- The River's Source
- Getting There
- Facts For The Traveler
- The Yangtze River:An introduction
- The Source to Yichang
- ZhongXian & Shibaozhai
- QuTang Gorge
- The Little Three Gorges
- WuXia Gorges
- Xiling Gorges
- The Middle Reaches
- The Lower Reaches
Though the capital of Jiangxi Province is Nanchang, Jiujiang, with a population of 355,000, is the main port for distributing products from Poyang Lake and the surrounding counties as well as much of the chinaware produced at the porcelain capital of Jingdezhen. It has the reputation of being the hottest port on the Yangtze,with extremely oppressive summers. Though once an important tea-buying centre in its own right, it was gradually superseded by Wuhan, and tea grow-n inJiangxi was shipped either upstream to Wuhan or downstream to Shanghai. Today, cotton textiles form Jiujiang's main industry.
Jiujian is the main access city to one of China's most famous mountain beauty spots, Lushan, lying only a short distance to the south, which attracts 2.5 million tourists a year. Jiujang no Ionger has an airport. The closest airport is Nanchang.
HISTORY OF JIUJIANG
In ancient times, nine rivers were said to have converged at this point, hence the nameJiujiang--'Nine Rivers'--though it was also called Jiangzhou and Xunyang. In its long history it has seen many upheavals, in the last century it was a Taiping stronghold from which the rebels held out against the imperial Qing armies for five years.
The area holds many memories for lovers of Chinese poetry. Tao Yuanming(365-429) lived at the foot of Lushan and was appointed magistrate of nearby PengzeCounty. This post was so poorly endowed that, rather than work 'for five pecks of grain to break one's back', he resigned after 83 days, preferring to eke out a living as a recluse in his home village. His essay Peach Flower Garden depicts his idea of a perfect society. Li Bai (70l--62), implicated in the An Lushan Rebellion, was imprisoned briefly in Jiujiang in 757. BaiJuyt (772--846) also spent a period of official disgrace here as a middle-ranking official and is affectionately remembered. His poem The Lute Song tells of his sadness at his isolation in this small town. Su Dongpo was a frequent visitor to the area.
When Jiujiang was thrown open as a treaty port in 1862 it had suffered terribly as a consequence of the Taiping Rebellion (1850--64). A British member of Lord Elgin's mission noted in 1858:
We found it to the last degree deplorable. A single dilapidated street,
composed only of a few mean shops, was all that existed of this once
thriving and populous city: the remainder of the vast area, composed
within walls five or six miles in circumference, contained nothing
but ruins, weeds, and kitchen gardens.
Jiujiang was once one of the three centres of the tea trade in China, along with Hankou and Fuzhou. There were two Russian factories producing brick--tea, but these ceased to operate after l917. The British concession in Jiujiang was given up in 1927 after looting by mutineering garrisons and mobs. Economic recession set in by the 1880s with greater competition from tea producers in India and Ceylon. With the military advance downriver from Wuhanled by the Guomindang in 1927, the remaining foreign community fled on British and American warships to the safety of Shanghai, never to return. Jiujiang was surrendered officially by Britain in 1927.
• JiuJiang and its history
• What to see in Jiujiang
• Stone Bell Hill
• Dragon Palace Cave & Poyang Lake