Thursday, December 28, 2017

Travel Guide: Huangshan

The Chinese consider Huangshan as one of the most beautiful mountains and landscapes in the country. On one of my trips to China, I decided to see for myself, and I wasn't disappointed.


Up the Mountain


The picture above is a rough map of Huangshan; it is possible to explore the mountain as a day trip, but you'd have to start really early, and depending on your pace, you might have to take the cable cars going up and/or down. You may not have enough time to cover all the spots in just a day. My friend and I decided to spend at least a night in one of the hotels in the mountain.


There are two options to get up the mountain, the YunGu and Mercy Light Temple side.


My friend and I decided to go up the YunGu side and come out the Mercy Light Temple section, we did the traverse.

The 'walk' up took almost three hours, but it was mostly stairs and pavement anyway so it was relatively easy.



The view of the peaks and rock formations was nothing short of spectacular, despite the crowds. The majority of the people in the park were other Chinese, they come in large groups.




Huangshan got its name because of its yellowish color, which is more noticeable during sunrise and sunset.


Look at that REALLY long line of tourists waiting to enter a certain section of the mountain.



The weather was nice and cool, and had the beautiful colors of autumn.


You'll mostly walk on steps and pavement throughout your trip.



Sunset



Don't miss the spectacular sunsets if you decide to spend the night. You'll get to see the clouds and mist wrap the peaks and turn into an orange hue before getting completely dark.

Sunrise





The sunrise in the mountain is just as beautiful as the sunset. Get up early, around 5:00 to 5:30 AM to get a good spot and position to watch because many people are planning to do the same.

I decided to walk up and down the mountain because I want to reduce expenses, but my friend decided to take the cable car going down.

Old Town






The old town is a nice place to walk around in, pick up souvenirs, get a snack and eat local food. There's also a few foreign stores here.

Where to Stay

I stayed at Kunlun Hostel while in town, a bed in the dorm costs around CNY 40 a night. The dorm room is big and roomy, a toilet and bath, and curtains (for privacy) for each bed. They rent out tents for two, if you plan to camp out in the mountain. The tent costs CNY 80 for two days; you have to leave a deposit of CNY 200.

My friend and I stayed in Beihai Hotel's dorm room for a night in the mountain. It was overpriced (CNY 260 a night) for what you pay for, but the other hotels nearby have the same price. You won't have much choice for accommodation in the mountain. If you bring a tent, you can pitch at the camping ground just outside Beihai Hotel for CNY 30.

What to Bring

Huangshan is a developed and commercialized attraction with cable cars, stairways, hotels, shops and restaurants so you don't have to pack too much.

Here's a list of some of the things to bring:

  • Tent (ask your accommodation if they rent any out, if you don't have one)
  • Extra clothes
  • Jacket, gloves, scarf and bonnet (it can get really cold at night and early morning, but depends on the season you visit)
  • Snacks and a meal or two (restaurants and stores are expensive in the mountain)
  • Water (at least 1.5L a day)
  • Charger
  • Powerbank
  • Extra batteries

How to Get to Huangshan

Shanghai was my starting point; from this city, you have the option to take the bullet train to Huangshan or the overnight train. My friend and I took the overnight soft seat which costs around CNY 151. The fast train costs around CNY 304 one way for a 2nd class ticket.

Once in town, you have to take a bus to Tangkou, which costs CNY 19 per way; from the latter, you have to take another bus to either Yichun or Yuping, depending on the side you want to climb up. The fare is around CNY 19 per way.

Budget

*Everything's in Chinese Yuan

330.5 - Huangshan to Beijing
30 - Postcards and stamps
17 - Transportation
40 - Bus to Tangkou round way from Huangshan town
19 - Bus to Yichun from Tangkou
19 - Bus to Tangkou from Yuping
184 - Food and drinks
40 - 1 night in Kunlun Hostel
260 - 1 night in Beihai Hotel
230 - Huangshan Park entrance fee                                  

1169.5 - Total for this part of my trip



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