We love outdoors, we love to hike. Recently I hiked Huangshan, the Yellow Mountain, in Anhui Province in Southern China. Let me tell you, there is nothing like it, nothing!
In China there is a well-known saying: 五岳归来不看山，黄山归来不看岳. Chinese people like ranking things, here five famous mountains are collectively called the “Five Mountains” with Mt.Tai in the East, Mt. Heng (衡) in the South, Mt. Hua in the West, Mt. Heng (恒) in the North and Mt. Song (famous for Shaolin Kongfu) in the Center. The saying boasts that after touring these Five you can forget about the rest of the mountains in China; however if you come back from Huangshan, the Yellow Mountain, you can skip the big Five all together!!!
Really?!! I was skeptical. I had hiked to the top of Mt. Tai, the head of the Five Mountains, years ago when I was in college. There was no cable then, I climbed the total 7,200 steps with my dad and my brother. Talking about steep and strenuous!! There were temples dotted along the way which left the footprints and calligraphy of emperors and poets from various dynasties of past two thousand years. Talking about history! And we saw sunrise at the top of the mountain next morning. Talking about glorious reward!!
Well, I spent three days in Huangshan with my college classmates at the recent college reunion. I have to admit I am a new convert. Huangshan blew me in every way! Check out my photos, if you are still not convinced, make your own visit! 🙂
We average hiked about nine miles or 15 km, 152-floor high, in a day. To release the muscle spasm, I feed on ibiprofen three times a day! Many thanks to my sister Wendy who brought pain med for everybody.
This is 西海大峡谷 the Grand Canyon of the West Sea. Down down down, it took us a whole morning to go down. Thankfully there was a cable ride to bring us up!!
Huangshan is famous with 奇松，怪石，云海，温泉. The #1 attraction is the unique pine trees.
The #2 is the rock formations in all shapes and sizes.
The #3 is the sea of clouds. We were extremely fortunate with the weather. The first two days were sunny, then cloudy, it rained on our last morning.
If you have extra time, the #4 attraction is the hot springs.
The below chart (L) is our hiking path, it proved to be a very wise design. Thanks to my brother Chaoyang we did not waste energy on overlapping hike; and the chart on the right lists the hiking time between each sight.
If you want to reserve energy, take the cable up which drops you right in the middle of action, there is still lot of hiking once you get off.
Pack LIGHT. A pound might feel like a ton after carrying it for eight hours uphill!! I was extremely grateful for my sister Lin who challenged me to a simpler mountain life without makeup and other accessories that I thought were “unpartable”. You can leave your luggage at the train station or the hotel at the bottom of the mountain, start hiking early in the morning. If I can live three days and two nights on a light backpack, you can too! And a hiking stick is a must!
We stayed at Xihai Hotel西海饭店 on top of the mountain roof, an excellent choice both for the service and the location, highly recommended!
Go and conquer the most beautiful mountain in China!! Enjoy!!!