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How to plan your tour to Mt. Huangshan and its nearby villages

2018/6/3 17:55:57295 People viewed this article

Located around 600 km to the west of Shanghai, Mt. Huangshan (or “Yellow Mountain”) is a mountain range in southern Anhui province in eastern China, measures 40 kilometers long from north to south, and 30 kilometers wide from west to east. It occupies a total area of 1,200 square kilometers with a core area of 160.6 square kilometers. The mountain is a landform typical of Mesozoic granite and renowned for its magnificent mountainous landscape made up of many granite peaks and numerous grotesquely-shaped rocks emerging out of a sea of clouds and ancient, gnarled pines, hot springs, winter snow, and views of the clouds from above.

 

Gnarled Pines

 

Grotesquely-shaped Rocks - This is the famous Fling Stone

 

Sea of Clouds

 

Hot Springs 

 

The Mt. Huangshan is famed for its Four Wonders: Gnarled Pines, Grotesquely-shaped Rocks, Sea of Clouds, Hot Springs. 

 

(Watching-Sea Monkey)

 

(The Turtle-Fish Bearing a Tortoise on its Back) 

 

(The Mouth of the Turtle-Fish)

 

(Immortal Guiding)

 

(Flying Stone) 

 

(Immortal Sunning Boots)

 

(Immortal Playing Chess)

 

(Dreaming of Flowers Blooming at One's Pentip)

 

(The Golden Rooster Calling at the Heaven Gate)

 

(Boy Worshiping Guanyin (Godness of Mercy, or  Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara in Sanskrit)) 

 

(Old Monk Collect Chinese Medicinal Herbs)

 

The above is the Ten Most Famous Grotesquely-shaped Rocks in Mt. Huangshan. 

 

Mt. Huangshan is commonly regarded as the most spectacular mountain in China. There is a popular saying in China: "Trips to China's five great scared mountains render trips to other mountains unnecessary, and a trip to Mt. Huangshan renders trips to the five great scared mountains unnecessary." 

 

The Mountain has inspired the influential Shanshui (“Mountain and Water”) school of landscape painting, and literature, as well as modern photography, providing a fundamental representation of the oriental landscape in the world’s imagination and art. Mt. Huangshan features numerous imposing peaks, 77 of which exceed an altitude of l,000 m. The three tallest and best-known peaks are Lotus Peak (Lianhua Feng, 1,864 m), Bright Summit (Bright-Top Peak or Guangming Ding, 1,840 m), and Celestial Capital Peak (Tiandu Feng, literally Capital of Heaven Peak, 1,829 m). It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of China's major tourist destinations. The World Heritage Site covers a core area of 154 square kilometres and a buffer zone of 142 square kilometres. 

 

The mountaintops often offer views of the clouds from above, known as the Sea of Clouds because of the cloud's resemblance to an ocean, and many vistas are known by names such as "North Sea" or "West Sea."

 

Huangshan's moist climate facilitates the growing of tea leaves, and the mountain has been called "one of China's premier green tea-growing mountains. Mao Feng Cha ("Fur Peak Tea"), a well-known local variety of green tea, also one of the 10 best tea varieties in China, takes its name from the downy tips of tea leaves found in the Huangshan area.

 

Sunrise Time on Mt. Huangshan

 Month

 Date

    Time  

 Month

 Date

   Time   

 Month

 Date

   Time    

Jan.

1

0730

May

1

0524

Sep.

1

0544

11

0740

11

0516

11

0549

21

0730

21

0511

21

0555

Feb.

1

0658

Jun.

1

0507

Oct.

1

0600

11

0650

11

0505

11

0606

21

0642

21

0506

21

0612

Mar.

1

0633

Jul.

1

0510

Nov.

1

0621

11

0623

11

0514

11

0629

21

0610

21

0519

21

0637

Apr.

1

0557

Aug.

1

0526

Dec.

1

0646

11

0545

11

0532

11

0653

21

0535

21

0538

21

0659

 

The Annual Temperature on the Top of Huangshan 

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May.

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Average(oC)

-3.0

-1.6

2.6

7.8

11.7

14.8

17.6

17.4

13.8

8.8

4.1

-0.8

Highest (oC)

0.6

2.0

6.2

11.3

14.9

17.8

20.5

20.5

16.9

12.1

7.4

2.6

Lowest (oC)

-6.2

-4.8

-0.6

4.7

9.1

12.5

15.3

15.3

11.5

6.2

1.1

-4.0

 

Hotels on the Mountains — most hotels are very basic, but some are with the 4-star standard.
The price is higher for hotels on the mountains than at the foot hill or in Huangshan City proper, but you pay for the location not the quality of the hotel. 

 

For most of the hotel on top of the mountains, the accommodation is very basic. Due to the moist weather on the mountains, the rooms are sometimes humid, even moldy. The furniture may be a bit worn. Room facilities/supplies are simple: a bed (which may be a bit hard), a water heater (for limited hot water), and a bar of soap. So please bring a toiletries kit with toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel, etc. 

 

But there are still some luxurious hotels on top of the mountain which can meet 4-star standard: 

Baiyun Hotel (White Clouds Hotel) in Tianhai Scenic Area, Beihai Hotel (Nortern Sea Hotel) in Beihai Scenic Area, Xihai Hotel (West Sea Hotel) in Xihai Scenic Area, Huangshan Shilin Hotel in Beihai Scenic Area where is the best place to enjoy the sunrise, Yupinglou Hotel in Yuping Scenic Area, Paiyunlou Hotel in Xihai Scenic Area.

 

Please note that everything used in the hotels is carried by porters, including furniture, food, and bottled water. Then all trash, recycling, and discarded materials are also carried down the mountains, so everything is more expensive. Laundry is carried down for cleaning and up again daily!

 

How to get to Mt. Huangshan 

Located 90km to the south of Mt. Huangshan, Huangshan city proper (Tunxi Town) is the gate to Mt. Huangshan. There are airport, railway station and expressway in Huangshan city proper which links with many big cities such as Shanghai and Hangzhou. By flight, from Shanghai to Huangshan city only takes around 1h15m. There are overnight berth trains from Shanghai to Huangshan city and it takes around 10 hours. But if taking the fastest express day train , it only takes around 4 hours from Shanghai to Huangshan city. The Long Distance Bus from Shanghai to Huangshan city takes around 5 hours. Tourists can take car or bus from Huangshan city to Tangkou Town (汤口镇) at the foot of Mt.Huangshan, it would take 1 hour and offers great views of the rural Anhui Province.

 

From the town of Tangkou, at the foot of the mountain, the shuttle service operates every 20minutes to the Hot Springs Area; Ci Guang Ge Cable Car Station and Yun Gu Si Cable Car Station. Tangkou is quite walkable but taxis are available to scenic spots around the foot of the mountain. You cannot go direct to the mountain entrance by taxi: only the National Express buses are allowed into the scenic area.

 

Getting Up the Yellow Mountains

There are an estimated 60,000 steps along with paved/concrete paths leading to all the main points of interest (a common feature on China's popular mountains). 

 

There are three cable cars (cableways with enclosed cars) to take the time and effort out of the middle part of the climb to the summits, and minibuses that will take you as far as the cable car stations from the gates. The prices for the 3 cableways (Yungu, Yuping, and Taiping) are the same. The one way price is: 105 yuan per person one way. Every year during the low season from November till January of the next year, the three cable cars will take turn to stop operation for annual maintenance.

 

But during the high sightseeing season (April-first half of October), maybe tourists would stand in line for around 3 hours to wait for the cable car at the cable car station. So in order to avoid the long time waiting, tourists should leave Huangshan city proper (Tunxi Town) for Tangkou Town at the foot of the mountain at around 6 o'clock for around one hour car ride, then to change the local transportation car at the shuttle bus service center at Tangkou Town to get to the cable car Station.

 

How to arrange your itinerary at Mt.Huangshan area

1. Tourists can take one day tour from Huangshan city proper (Tunxi Town) to Mt. Huangshan:

Get up early to get to Tangkou Town at the foot of Mt. Huangshan, take the shuttle bus at the Shuttle Bus Service Center in the town for the Yun Gu Si Station to take the Back Mountain Cable Car up to Bai'e Station on top of the mountain. Walk along Bai'e Lodge, Bright Peak (Guangming Ding, 1,840 m), Tianhai Scenic Area, pass Lotus Peak (Lianhua Feng, 1,864 m to the Front Mountain Cable Car - Yuping Station, to down the mountain.

 

This itinerary would save time and save the expensive accommodation on top of the mountain. But it is in a little bit hurried and no way to enjoy the stunning sunrise and sunset on top of the mountain.

 

2. Taking 2 Days Tour from Huangshan city proper (Tunxi Town) to Mt. Huangshan. Stay one night on top of the mountain.

Get to Tangkou Town at the foot of Mt. Huangshan, take the shuttle bus at the Shuttle Bus Service Center in the town for the Yun Gu Si Station to take the Back Mountain Cable Car up to Bai'e Station on top of the mountain. Walk along Bai'e Lodge to the hotel you have booked on top of the mountain. Stay overnight at the hotel. 

 

Tomorrow morning, walking along Bright Peak (Guangming Ding, 1,840 m), Tianhai Scenic Area, pass Lotus Peak (Lianhua Feng, 1,864 m to the Front Mountain Cable Car - Yuping Station, to down the mountain.

 

This itinerary would make tourists have more time in the mountain to explore more places and enjoy more scenes, have opportunities to appreciate the stunning sunrise and sunset on top of the mountain. But it would cost more money because the accommodation on top of the mountain is more expensive. 

 

Tips for a Visit to the Yellow Mountain 

1. Weather on top of the mountain is notoriously unpredictable so be prepared. 

2. Remember to wear comfortable waterproof shoes when you are on the mountain. 

3. Do not bring too many unnecessary things with you as there is a lot of stairs to climb to tire you out. Or you can also leave your luggage at the Left-luggage Office at Tangkou Town at the foot of the mountain.

4. We recommend taking a raincoat instead of an umbrella as quite often lightening accompanies the rain. 

5. Band-aids and mosquito-repellent are also useful things to take.

6. For the sake of safety, please don't sightsee while walking and don't walk while sightseeing. Don't miss beautiful scenes and don't linger around insignificant scenes. Don't hurry while taking photos, you should see backward and check it firstly.

 

Huangshan city proper (Tunxi Town) 

The Huangshan city proper, originally the ancient Tunxi Town, is also famous for its charming scenery. The Shuaishui River from west to east and the Henjiang River from Mt. Huangshan in the north to south converge in the center of Tunxi Town (the Huangshan city proper). From the place of conjunction, the river is called Xin'an River, which is really an enchanting river which runs right through the city proper. And the Ancient Tunxi Street by the side of the river is also a deserving place for tourists to stroll and do some shopping. If you take train to or leave Huangshan at the town, you can take one hour or so to walk in these places.

 

Ancient Villages near Mt. Huangshan

With commercial activities as their primary source of income, and the family and clan-based social organization, the ancient villages are well known for their regional culture. Their street plan, landscape, architecture and decoration, construction techniques and the integration of houses with comprehensive water systems all retain the original features of Anhui villages in ancient time.

 

There are many ancient villages in this area, such as Tangmo (唐模), Memorial Archs near Famil Bao's Garden in Tangli (棠樾牌坊群 鲍家花园), Tachuan (塔川), Nanping (南屏), Qiankou (潜口), Lucun (卢村), Guanlu (关麓), Chengkan (呈坎), Shitan (石潭), Yuliang (鱼梁) …, among them, Hongcun (宏村) and Xidi (西递) are the 2 most representative ones and among the most must-see native destinations in China for they are the unique surviving examples of the original features of Anhui Province villages between the 14th and 20th centuries. 

 

Hongcun (宏村) and Xidi (西递) preserve an abundant tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Characterised by rhythmic space variation and tranquil alleyways; and with waterways, the whole reflects the pursuit of coexistence, unity and the harmony of man and nature. The unique and exquisite style of Anhui buildings is conveyed in plain and elegant colors, their gables decorated with delicate and elegant carvings, their interiors filled with tasteful furnishings. These surviving villages bear scientific, cultural and aesthetic values with their 600-plus-year history. So these two villages are near the southwest slope of Mt. Huangshan and also placed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. 

 

How to arrange your tour to these 2 ancient villages 

So if you have no much time, only visiting one or both of Hongcun and Xidi village is enough. 2 villages would take one full day. We suggest you can visit Hongcun at first, taking your lunch at a local family owned restaurant to enjoy the local family type dishes on the Leigang Hill right to the north of Hongcun village. Then drive for around 30 minutes to Xidi Village. From Xidi Village to Huangshan city proper is around 60 km/55 minutes drive. You can enjoy the night view by the side of Xinanjiang River and Tunxi Old Street at Tunxi Town (Huangshan city proper). 

 

Hongcun Village is located at the foot of a hill next to a stream which forms two pools, the Moon Pond in the centre of the village and the other to the south. The village is arranged in the shape of an ox with the nearby hill (Leigang Hill, right to the north of the village) interpreted as the head, and two trees standing on it as the horns. Four bridges across the Jiyin stream can be seen as the legs whilst the houses of the village form the body. Inside the “body”, the Jiyin stream represents the intestines and various lakes such as the “South Lake” (Nanhu) form the other internal organs. The architecture and carvings of the approximately 150 residences dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties are said to be among the best of their kind in China. Tourists can enjoy the local family-style-dishes in a family owned restaurant on the Leigang Hill.

 

It is around 40 km/1h15 minutes from Huangshan city proper (Tunxi Town) to Hongcun by car. 

The distance between Hongcun and Xidi village is around 20km/30 minutes drive. 

 

Xidi Village is surrounded by mountains and built along and between three streams running east-west, which converge at the Huiyuan Bridge to the south. Now 124 well-preserved wooden residences from the Ming and Qing dynasties with beautiful carvings form the major attractions. Many of these residences are open to the public. 

 

It is around 60 km/55 minutes from Huangshan city proper (Tunxi Town) to Xidi by car.
The distance between Hongcun and Xidi village is around 20km/30 minutes drive.