The Yellow Mountains of Huangshan is one of the most famous and beautiful mountainous areas in China named after the legendary Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) in 747 AD. The park is fantastically beautiful, with vistas of pine and mountain peaks drifting above clouds and mist with many waterfalls. It has abundant resources and a great variety of zoological species, for which it has been listed as a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site.
To reach the Huangshan mountain/yellow mountain we took a bullet train to Chongqing and stayed there for a night to catch a flight for the town of Tunxi, which is a base point to reach the Huangshan mountains, as it is the most feasible route from Chengdu.
In Chounquing, we stayed there for a day and the hostel was in the front of the Yangtze River which is the longest river in Asia and 3rd largest in the world. It was raining the whole day, so we explored the beauty of the Yangtze river in the evening and went straight to try the famous hot – pot of Sichuan.
Hot–pot is a big boiling oil- vessel with lots of dried red chilies, in which you can cook/fry your vegetables/meat on your dining table as they fix the gas stoves on the table. After having a lavish meal, we wondered aimlessly on the streets of Chongqing checking some souvenirs and reached back to the hostel late night.
Next day we took our flight for Huangshan Mountains and reached Tunxi only at night. Tunxi is the old heritage town of Huangshan City of Anhui province, where you will still find the houses made in the old ways all wall attached to each other and the stores on the first floor, the alleys of the old Tunxi market takes you back in time.
The Following morning we took a bus for the Huangshan Mountain, which took us for about an hour to reach the base from where you can take a cable car to reach the half way. We had no idea that many people can come to see the yellow mountains, we were surprised to see the number of people waiting in the queue for the cable car. We waited for 3- 4 hours in a queue for our turn to reach the cable car to go up to the mountains.
The best thing you can do is to book your hotel on the half way to the mountain where the cable car drops you so that you can see the early sunrise from the Huangshan Mountain as it is said to be one of the best sunrises in the world. We booked the Behai Hotel for our stay on the Huangshan Mountain, from where all the points of interests were accessible.
We had a good time in the evening chatting and having some hot cup of coffee. we got up early in the morning at around 4:00 to see the sunrise and to book a good spot from where we can see it perfectly, but to our surprise when we reach the sunrise point at around 4:30, the place already full of people, waiting to catch a glimpse of the first rays of sun, not only the young crowd but the people as old as 80 years old. I really appreciate the Chinese for being so healthy and energetic at such an old age. We managed to get a place for us anyhow but unfortunately, we were able to see only a fraction of the sun, then the sky was full of clouds so it was a sort of failed attempt to see the sunrise. (And I being unlucky in watching the sunrises as it was my 3rd failed attempt after the Borobudur (Indonesia) and Sagada (Philippines).
With all the people disappointed and sad starting coming down from the Shizi Peak. We had our breakfast and starting climbing once again to reach the top of the Yellow/Huangshan Mountain. If you guys are planning a trip to Huangshan be well prepared to climb more than a thousand steps to reach the top (I don’t know the exact number but yes they are in thousands: D). it is absolutely one of the most beautiful Treks I have ever seen in the life with the clouds coming down, absolutely stunning meadows, spectacular sceneries where you can spend hours and hours by looking at it.
You will feel, you are climbing through a fairytale place where everything has come into life.it was a tiresome climb, but it was worth it, as every stream, every pine tree, plants, herbs the whole place was so amazingly beautiful, with the seas of clouds coming down on you. Huangshan Mountain is a mountain range of 72 different peaks which are named according to their shapes and sizes.
There are different treks to reach the top of the mountain, we choose the one with the cable car. There is a different route from where you can see and enjoy a bath in the hot springs and it is also called the Springs of Youth because the Chinese believe that the Yellow Emperor took a bath in this spring and became younger.
We had a marvelous time at the top by looking at the oddly shaped peaks/rocks of the yellow/Huangshan mountain range. They take various and vivid shapes resembling human, birds, animals etc. It took me back in time when in my childhood in a train journey I used to see different trees and mountain ranges which I imagined is an animal or a human being and knit a story around it in my dreams.
While coming down the Huangshan we took the cable car to come back to the base and the bus for the Tunxi town. We don’t want to leave the Tunxi on the same day as we wanted to explore the old town. We decided to stay one more night in Tunxi to explore the Tunxi Ancient street.
Tunxi Ancient Street is an old alleyway where you will have the opportunity of buying different types of souvenirs, teas, calligraphy, paintings, silk and artifacts. We bought different types of tea, sand art bottles, and pickles for home. Tunxi Ancient Street dates back Song Dynasty (960-1279) with centuries-old history. A lot of architects and works were hired to make this beautiful ancient street and gradually it developed into the distribution center for materials in and out of the Anhui Province in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
There are few stores which are more than hundred years old. There are so many heritage restaurants and coffee shops to explore where you can eat delicious food and refreshing coffee. You can spend your whole day roaming around and see the old beautiful buildings aligned with each other peacefully from so many centuries. This was our last night in Tunxi town and next morning we headed towards our last destination in China (Shanghai).
In Chongqing, Huangshan, and Tunxi I got good options in vegetarian food and it was delicious as well.
Yangtze River Hostel (Chongqing): - Vegetarian curry with Rice.
Ancient youth Hostel (Tunxi ) : - Vegetarian Dumplings / Momos.
Behai Hotel (Huangshan ) : - Shredded Potato fry with Rice
Bok – chu (Green Leafy Vegetable) in garlic Sauce with Rice.
In Chongqing, you can still find few Indian Restaurants(enter link ). But in Tunxi and Huangshan there are none but the local food is equally delicious and trusts me you can always survive.
How to reach Huangshan
You can take flights from the different parts of the world to reach the town of Tunxi which is only one hour away Huangshan Base. The budget airlines provide good cost saving options to reach tunxi.