It’s not often that I will remember a trip for a lifetime. However, my trip to Huangshan, which literally translates to Yellow Mountain, I will never forget. Before coming here, I didn’t know what to expect at all. I soon realized that this is one of the most spectacular places in the world.
Huangshan in China is a natural wonder of this world and a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The stunning landscapes, unique rock formations and surreal views make it one of the most beautiful places in China, if not the world.
What’s even better, is that it’s not too far from Shanghai. If you ever have the chance, definitely visit this magical place. In this article, we’ll explore the highlights of the Yellow Mountains and provide tips on how to make the most of your trip here.
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Where is Huangshan located?
Huangshan, also known as the Yellow Mountains, is located in the southern part of Anhui province in eastern China. It’s a mountain range that features unique rock formations, hot springs, waterfalls and stunning views that attract thousands of visitors every year.
The mountain range is made up of 36 peaks, with the highest peak reaching 1,864 meters (6,115 feet) above sea level.
It has been a source of inspiration for Chinese artists, poets, and writers for centuries. It’s considered one of the most important sites in Chinese culture and has been the subject of countless works of art, literature, and music.
When you visit Huangshan you can easily see why. I had never witnessed anything like the Yellow Mountains before.
How to get to Huangshan?
Huangshan is easily accessible by air, train, or bus. The nearest airport is Huangshan Tunxi International Airport, which is about an hour’s drive from the mountain.
Alternatively, you can take a high-speed train from Shanghai or Beijing to Huangshan North Railway Station, which is located about 30 minutes from the mountain.
Personally, I took the high-speed train from Shanghai while I was studying at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. I can highly recommend taking this route. It takes about 3 hours to reach Huangshan from Shanghai.
You can take a direct train from Shanghai Hongqiao Train Station to Huangshan North. From here you can take a taxi to Huangshan.
The best time to visit Huangshan
The best time to visit Huangshan is from March to November, when the weather is mild and the skies are clear. However, be prepared for crowds, especially during the peak travel seasons of May and October.
If you prefer to avoid the crowds, visit during the off-season months of December to February. And make sure not to visit during a national Chinese holiday.
How many days in Huangshan?
Around 3 days will be perfect for your stay in Huangshan. In this way, you will have enough time to go hiking and you can also explore nearby villages or the hot springs.
Where to stay in Huangshan?
There are several options for accommodations in the area, depending on your preferences and budget. Here are some popular options I highly recommend:
Cheng Jin Hotel
Tangkou Town is the most popular area to stay when visiting Huangshan, as it’s the closest town to the mountain. There are many hotels, guesthouses, and hostels to choose from, ranging from budget to luxury.
A hotel which I highly recommend staying at is Cheng Jin Hotel. This hotel is located next to Huangshan Mountain Scenic Area Tourist Transfer Centre, which is very convenient for getting to the mountain.
Huangshan Paiyunlou Hotel
Huangshan Paiyunlou Hotel is definitely one of the best choices in Huangshan. It’s located in Huangshan Scenic Area and Buxian Bridge is reachable within 700 meters. Bright Summit Peak is 10 km away from the hotel. Click here to view their latest prices and more.
Another highly recommended stay in the Huangshan Scenic Area, is Yunshan Villa. Especially the service is good and the rooms are comfortable. It’s located 90 meters away from Emerald Valley and 7.1 km away from Bright Summit Peak. Find more information over here.
Mild Spring Boutique Hotel
If you want to experience the charm of a traditional Chinese town, consider staying in Tunxi Old Street. The area is known for its historic buildings, street food, and local handicrafts, and there are many guesthouses and hotels to choose from.
One of the best hotels here is Mild Spring Boutique Hotel, which has a 24-hour front desk and where the service is very good. It’s only a six minute walk from Tunxi Ancient Street. Click here to view its prices.
Where does the name Huangshan come from?
Huangshan, or Yellow Mountain, is named so because of the yellowish color of the granite rock formations that make up the mountain range. The yellow color is caused by a type of rock called granite gneiss, which contains high levels of iron and other minerals that give it a distinctive yellow hue.
In addition, the mountain range is often shrouded in mist and clouds, which can create a yellowish haze that adds to the mountain’s unique beauty. The name “Huangshan” was first used during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and has been in use ever since.
Things to do in Huangshan (Yellow Mountains)
There are several things to do here, these include the following:
Huangshan is famous for its hiking trails that offer stunning views of the mountain range. Keep in mind that some of the trails can be pretty steep! This is something I was a bit surprised about. Make sure to wear good walking shoes and bring water.
The most popular hiking route is the Western Steps, which takes you through narrow passes, stone steps, and stunning vistas.
The Yellow Mountains offer many different walking routes for visitors to explore. Here are some of the best walking routes:
West Sea Grand Canyon
This is one of the most popular walking routes in Huangshan, and for good reason. The canyon is known for its unbelievable scenery, including deep valleys and peaks. The walk takes around 5-6 hours and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
Xihai Grand Canyon
Another popular walking route in Huangshan is the Xihai Grand Canyon, which is known for its breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The walk takes around 4-5 hours and includes several steep climbs and descents.
If you’re looking for a challenging hike, the Eastern Steps might be for you. This route includes steep staircases and narrow pathways, but rewards hikers with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.
Hot Springs to White Goose Ridge
Another scenic walking route in Huangshan is the Hot Springs to White Goose Ridge. This walk takes hikers through beautiful forests and past picturesque waterfalls, and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The walk takes around 5-6 hours and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels.
These are just a few of the many walking routes in Huangshan. Depending on your interests and fitness level, there are many other options to choose from.
Yuping Cable Car to North Sea Grand Canyon
For those who want to enjoy the scenery without too much physical exertion, taking a cable car to the top of the mountain and then walking the North Sea Grand Canyon is a good option. This route is relatively easy and takes around 3-4 hours.
Watch the sunrise and sunset
Watching the sunrise and sunset from the top of Huangshan is a must-do activity. It’s definitely one of the best things to do here. The best spots to watch the sunrise and sunset are the Purple Cloud Peak and the Bright Summit Peak. I also highly recommend stargazing at night.
Visit hot springs
After a long day of hiking and trekking, relax in one of the many hot springs located on the mountain. There are several hot springs near Huangshan, but the most famous one is called the Huangshan Hot Spring (黄山温泉).
It’s located at the foot of the mountain and offers a range of hot spring pools and spa facilities for visitors to relax in after a long day of hiking and exploring the mountain. The Huangshan Hot Spring is known for its mineral-rich water that is said to have therapeutic properties.
The Huangshan Hot Spring is located at the foot of Huangshan Mountain and is easily accessible by public transportation or taxi.
If you’re coming from Tunxi (the main town near Huangshan), you can take bus line 9 from the Tunxi Bus Station to the Huangshan Hot Spring Station. The journey takes about 30 minutes and costs around 4 CNY (less than $1 USD) per person.
You can also take a taxi directly to the Huangshan Hot Spring. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Tunxi, and the fare should be around 30-40 CNY (around $5-6 USD) each way.
Once you arrive at the hot spring, you can purchase tickets to enter the hot spring resort. The tickets typically cost around 200-300 CNY (around $30-45 USD) per person, depending on the time of year and which facilities you want to use.
Take pictures of the unbelievable scenery
Huangshan offers some of the most stunning views in China, making it a true photographer’s paradise. Capture the unique rock formations, the sea of clouds and the stunning sunrises and sunsets.
Huangshan has to be one of the most incredible places in the world. Just looking at the scenery and the hundreds of pine trees feels surreal. Whether you’re a nature lover, adventurer or photographer, Huangshan will be an unforgettable experience for you.
Therefore, Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) is a must-visit for anyone traveling to China and I would highly recommend including it in your China itinerary.
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