HuangShan peaks - one of the most surreal places you have visited
Ganshou Huang shan, tian xia wushan. That year this advertisement was often heard on the CCTV channel. Which more or less translates once you experience Huangshan there is no (other) mountain below the heavens.
I squeezed my time but it was hell of a hectic rush. Don’t do as I did on that sunny day. If my memory serves me well you have to take one bus to the city TangKou and then transfer to a second which will bring you exactly to the needed starting point. Early morning my intend was to start the hike from the foot (not taking the cable car) and then going clockwise to my final destination – western steps on the other side of the mountain. You will have to decide which direction you will go for. My plan was to go from the more popular to the less trodden road.
I would advise you to buy a map (check out these useful materials - www.china-mike.com/china-travel-tips/tourist-maps/huangshan/) or use your smartphone because the path has a lot of twists, you may lose the direction if not so experienced. The small terraces and scenic spots tend to be overcrowded and you will have difficult time to find some privacy. Despite that fact, wait till the chosen small area is empty and enjoy the nature’s splendour in silence. Sometimes the path crosses stone bridges and narrow staircases so you will have to be in good shape. At one place you have to literally pass through the rock – the Bridge of Immortals.
Huangdi – the famous Yellow Emperor is said to dwell in this place in ancient times, according to the legend. He is the mythical ancient emperor to whom the Chinese attribute most of their civilization – medicine, writings, Daoism and he was known to have found the elixir of the eternal life.
Close to the famous Flying-Over Stone scenic spot where all people gathered to take snaps of the
majestic, foggy carpet of cotton I the dusk started to conquer the land. Well, I did not have camera, back then. Don’t judge me – everything is embedded in my mind. So it was time to find a place to sleep, lucky as usual I saw a small stone bench - Paiyun Pavilion and a tent in front. After a brief word exchange with a young fellow, working in the hotel nearby, I was invited to take the bench. Ask a person who is traveling more “hippy” style but even lying on your shoulder has its own charms.
By the way there is an option to sleep in the tents outside in some of the hotels if the time of the year allows it.
Thanks to the negligible chill in the morning, I was up early enough to conquer more land and carry out the mighty plan set on the previous day. I stole a few moments to enjoy the gorgeous scenery which attracted people with professional cameras early in the morning and I believe even during harsh winter time.
The descent from the peaks is not so popular route and was definitely worth taking. Even a few Ni haos along the way won’t spoil the feeling of something reserved entirely for your own self. I had the chance to enjoy the fresh, cascading water along the way, as well.
There are multiple scenic spot notorious for catching the perfect angle of this surreal mountain – Lotus Peak, Refreshing Terrace, Bright Top, and Flying-Over Stone. Throughout all the seasons people are drawn to this place, looking for inspiration. Always book in advance because the HuangShan mountain is attracting many visitors both from China and abroad.
What to bring:
- Food and plenty of water
- Warm clothes
- High walking shoes (trekking)
- Jacket or hoodie in case of rain