Tuesday, November 24, 2009

HUANGSHAN, the mysterious Chinese "yellow mountain"

Huangshan, with an elevation of 1,864 metres, means in Chinese Huang=yellow and Shan=mountain. The yellow mountain is situated in the southern part of Anhui province in eatern China (about 6 hours bus-drive from Shanghai or 1 hour by plane). The mountain range is very famous for its mysterious scenery: the particular shaped granite peaks, the thick clouds standing constantly next to the mountainside, the so called Huangshan pine tree and the amazing view of the sunset and sunrise. The scenery of the yellow mountain is one of the main subject in the Chinese art, in fact it is frequently found on traditional Chinese paintings and literature. In 1990 Huangshan was entitled as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site becoming one of the most popular Chinese tourist's destination. To fully enjoy the mysterious Huangshan experience, you have to climb or descend the mountain from either entrances. If you are really into an extreme challenging adventure, then you should choose the North or West entrance where the path is amazingly scary but an unbelievably gorgeous scenery will be surprising you!
The closest city to the mountain is Tunxi or also known as Huangshan city. From Tunxi you can take a bus that would bring you directly to the starting point station of the mountain. Remember that the bus station in Tunxi is not located in the city centre and so it is recommended to reach it by taxi (it will not cost more than 10 yuan).
If you wish to obtain a full experience of the Huangshan scenery then I would suggest you to overnight on the mountain; there are many hotels and hostels which are often overbooked if you do not reserve at least a few days ahead. Also you could overnight in the closest biggest village called Xiuning, from where you can explore Huangshan (max 45 mins by bus), the Qiyunshan mountain (25 mins by bus) and the two UNESCO villages Hongcun and Xidi. The Scholars Conference Hotel in Xiuning is a new brand hotel that opened during summer 2007 and offers a fabulous combination of oriental and western interior design. The hotel's concept is based on the philosophie of Confucius Analects. The staff are mostly local and they are very friendly people.

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