Explore the Area
About Lishui

Lishui (Simplified Chinese: 丽水;Traditional Chinese: 麗水; Pinyin: Lí Shuǐ; Literal meaning: beautiful waters)is a booming and fairyland-like prefecture-level city that lies in the southwest of east China’s Zhejiang Province. It is a city with both a bustling,prosperous urban area and tranquil,beautiful rural regions. The city is the political, economic and cultural center of southwest Zhejiang. It is two and a half hours from Shanghai City and one and a half hours from Hangzhou City——the provincial capital of Zhejiang by train. It is an hour’s drive from Wenzhou Airport.

Within the territory of Lishui are 1 county-level district, 1 county-level city and 7 counties, namely, Liandu District, Longquan City, Qingtian County, Jinyun County, Yunhe County, Qingyuan County, Suichang County, Songyang County and Jingning Autonomous County of She Ethnic Minority. 

The total land area of Lishui reaches 17,928 square kilometers, which accounts for 1/6 of the total land area of the province. Forests cover nearly 82 percent of the land within its territory. As the source of six rivers and dotted by mountains, rivers, lakes, fishing and farming villages, Lishui boasts its many national scenic regions and national parks. Its top ecological environment in China and its rich tourist resources make it a famous tourist destination in east China for both domestic and international tourists. 

Owing to its beautiful scenery,the best preserved ecological environment and ancient farming villages of China, Lishui has been awarded the honorary titles  such as the National Ecological Demonstration Area of China,the National Demonstration Area of Ecotourism of China as well as the National All-for-One Tourism Demonstration Area of China by competent ministries of the central government, and is widely recognized as a paradise for photographers, painters and the like. Various bases for artistic creation have been set up within its territory through the combined effort of some prestigious universities of art and the local government. The International Photography Culture Festival, co-sponsored by China Photographers Association and the local government, is hosted in Lishui every year and has become an important event of international photography art with global influence, attracting artists from every part of China and over 140 countries world-wide. 

The total population of Lishui reaches 2,606,600. While the majority of its population is of Han ethnic group, there are in Lishui nearly 80,000 people falling within 36 minor ethnic groups of China, with the population of She ethnic minority group being the largest one. The age-old lifestyles and cultural traditions of She people inhabiting their own autonomous county and 6 autonomous townships scattered in Lishui add to both the cultural diversity and tourist attractions of Lishui. 

As elsewhere in China, Buddhism, Christianity (both Protestant and Catholic), Taoism, and Islam are the four major religions practiced by the local residents of Lishui, with Buddhism and Christianity being the most prevailing ones. The diversified population composition and religious traditions contribute to the diversity of the religious beliefs of the local residents. 

Lishui is a famous city of many overseas Chinese in east China as well. According to the latest statistics, apart from those returned overseas Chinese, more than 415,000 Chinese nationals from  Lishui are now living and working in over 130 countries and regions across the world,  mostly in western, southwestern, southern, middle and eastern European countries like Spain, Germany, Italy, France and so on. They contribute greatly to the social, economic and cultural development of both their homeplace and the countries in which they are now residing. The gourmets including both the local food lovers and the tourists with enthusiastic passion for food can have an extraordinary experience of trying, within Lishui, the food of various cuisines like Spanish, Italian, French and so on, besides Chinese food of different styles.

Lishui is a place heavily imbued with cultures. It was acclaimed as the Hometown of Chinese Folk Culture and Art by the State Ministry of Culture of China in 2007. Longquan Celadon, whose traditional firing technology was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, an intergovernmental committee of the UNESCO in 2009, remains the only ceramic representative on the list so far. The celadon wares produced in Longquan City have, to date, helped to relate Lishui with the world since they were first exported via the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road in Yuan dynasty (1206-1368) . And this can be testified by the collections of celadon wares in almost all the large museums scattered across Europe and those discovered through the salvage of ancient shipwecks in the Pacific Ocean; Qingtian Stone Carving used to be a principal livelihood for the first generation of overseas Chinese nationals from Qingtian county to survive in Europe and North America during the reign of the late Qing dynasty’s Kuang Hsu Emperior (1875-1908). The masterpieces of the stone carving have been selected as national gifts for distinguished state guests including the state leaders of the former Soviet Union and president Nixon of the U.S, since the mid 1950s; Longquan Swords, the traditional symbols of Chinese Kongfu — the age-old Chinese martial art, as well as an important element in Chinese Kongfu fictions and movies — were originally forged in Longquan by Ou Yezi, a legendary sword-forging master during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C) of ancient China and are well-known even in Chinese communities abroad. The three kinds of exquisite cultural products together are nicknamed the Three Treasures of Lishui. Besides these, in Lishui there are other well-known Chinese intangible cultural heritages like Heyang Paper-cutting of Jinyun County, fish lantern dance of Qingtian County, black pottery of Suichang County, hugging wedding of She ethnic minority group and others too many to mention.

Lishui is a place worthy of your exploration!