Mar 232012
 

In every city, I post a collection of photos that I think capture the everyday magic of the place.  Here are the shots from Huangshan, I hope you enjoy them!

 

Huangshan Pine

Raindrops Clinging to a Pine

Huangshan Lovers Locks

Lovers Locks

Huangshan Baboon

Baboon at trail side

Huangshan Stairs

Stairway Up to Lotus Pavillion

Huangshan Porters

Porters Carrying Daily Vegetables Up Huangshan

 

 

Mar 232012
 

The weather varies so much on Huangshan and it’s really hard to predict.  Many times the entire mountain will be shrouded in clouds that you can’t see a thing.  This was most of our Day 1.  We would huff and puff to the tops of all these peaks and then get rewarded a blank gray-white sky.  Perfect weather on Huangshan means there are still clouds, but clear enough in some patches to see the mountains peeking through. Too much sun means no clouds, which is a lot of the beauty.  We got the whole range during our stay.  Complete white-out on Day 1, almost perfect weather on Day 2, and then bright sun, no clouds on Day 3.

Luckily on Day 1 when we got to the top, we were instantly rewarded with an amazing view right off of the cable car.

Huangshan Mist

Huangshan Mist

Huangshan Now I Believe Viewpoint

Not bad, huh?  It only looked like that for 30 minutes on Day 1.  Most of the time, we saw a lot of gray and white outlines, which still is beautiful in its own way.

Day 2, we were extremely lucky and got this:

Huangshan White Cloud Creed

White Cloud Creek

Amazed by the perfect weather

White Cloud Creek Gorge

Perfection!  It really was breathtaking.  We chatted with some professional photographers at the scenic point above called White Cloud Creek and they gave me some great pointers on how best to shoot on the mountain.

We woke up at 5am to catch the much-anticipated sunrise both mornings.  First morning we didn’t see a thing and the second morning we were rewarded with an amazing sight!  Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

Huangshan Sunrise

Blessed by the Sunrise

Day 3 was all sun, which was better than all clouds, but you’ll see that the clouds make for a much more magical sight.  We had climbed Purple Cloud Peak three times: Day 1 – all white, Day 2 for sunset – nada again, and Day 3 – success!

Huangshan Purple Cloud Peak

Purple Cloud Peak - Third Time's a Charm!

Legs shot, we rode the cable car back down and hopped on a flight back to Shanghai to get to Xian the next day.

Huangshan Waterfall

Last view from the cable car down

 

 

 

 

 March 23, 2012  Posted by at 1:10 pm Attractions, China, Huangshan Tagged with: , , , , ,  1 Response »
Mar 232012
 

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 Breakfast

Our daily breakfast for 20 RMB

Huangshan Lunch

Spicy Tofu and Fish Balls for Lunch

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.

Huangshan Feilaishi

Mike at the top of Feilaishi

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).

Huangshan Locks

Lovers' Locks

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!

Huangshan A Gleam of Sky

Mike Walking Down Yi Xian Tian, or A Gleam of Sky

Okay, so you’re waiting for the magnificent mountain pictures, right?  Okay, I’m getting to them!

 

 

Mar 182012
 

Today we took the long distance bus from Hangzhou to Tangkou, which is the small town at the base of Huangshan (or Yellow Mountain). It went pretty smoothly. The hostel we were staying at in Hangzhou was extremely helpful (spoke great English) and bought us bus tickets which were 105 RMB each with a 10 RMB service charge. Definitely recommend Hofang Hostel in Hangzhou.
The bus ride took about 3.5 hours and was overall nice and scenic. We did pick up and drop off people along the way and we wondered if these were “side passengers” that the bus operator arranged to take advantage of empty seats.
Our hotel in Tangkou was a good deal and really clean and modern! Ala Hotel–a nice surprise. We’ll store our bags here for the two nights we’re going to stay up on the mountain and just carry day packs up. They had a guide explain everything during a dinner orientation of sorts tonight which was very helpful. Food is going to be really expensive up on the mountain, he warned us, so we just stocked up on dry ramen to haul up with us! Don’t judge. 🙂
We may not have Internet for the next few days, so I’ll post more when I get access!

 March 18, 2012  Posted by at 1:03 pm China, Huangshan Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »