We spent the last couple of days on Huangshan, or Yellow Mountain. I came in 2008 with my mom, but it was a pretty brief stay and Mike and I wanted to really experience the whole mountain. Huangshan is the real life version of all those magical mountains in Chinese brush paintings. We had 3 days and 2 nights on the mountain to give us more than one shot at the famed sunrise. Last time I came, we woke up insanely early and it was too cloudy for the sunrise. It really has to be perfect conditions.
Ala Hotel in Tangkou was great at giving us pointers for the mountain so we felt prepared. The hotel and food costs really are expensive as porters have to carry everything up the mountain. We saw them painstakingly carry up food and construction materials every day and the loads look extremely heavy, at least 100 lbs! The ramen definitely was key for dinner both nights and we got small breakfast and lunch items at trail-side stands. Tea eggs and instant milk tea for breakfast every day!
Huangshan is known for crazy granite rock formations, one of which is called Feilaishi, or translated roughly into Rock that Flew Here. The trails are all extremely well maintained and it’s like the stairmaster from hell climbing up and down the peaks! We did almost the entire mountain during our stay and our legs were so sore by the end.
At the top of many peaks, people come and put locks on the chain links that are engraved with their names and the date. They’re called lovers’ locks and usually you put two locks together and you’ll stay together forever (or if you separate, you have to come back up and take off your lock).
One really cool granite formation we experienced was called Yi Xian Tian, or translates into “A Gleam of Sky.” It’s a crazy narrow crevice in a boulder that you can walk down. Super steep and slick steps made for a dangerous descent!
Okay, so you’re waiting for the magnificent mountain pictures, right? Okay, I’m getting to them!