Huangshan, a stunning landscape in eastern China


  • Asia & Oceania
  • Monday, 13 Jan 2020

To enjoy Mount Huangshan, you need to look down to the valley. — Vientiane Times/ANN

China’s Huangshan, which means yellow mountain in Mandarin, takes its name from the scenic landscape which covers much of the city’s vast geographic expanse.

Huangshan occupies the southernmost part of Anhui. It is bordered by Chizhou, Xuancheng, Jiangxi province and Zhejiang province.

Huangshan’s history dates back to the time of the first emperor. The city’s current jurisdiction covers much of the historical and cultural region of Huizhou, which together with Anqing forms Anhui province.

Huangshan is home to two Unesco World Heritage Sites – Mount Huangshan and Hongcun, and Xidi, the ancient villages of southern Anhui – and is a leading tourist destination in China.

We visited the city recently as part of a Lao media group that explored aspects of China as part of Visit Laos-China Year 2019.

The trip was organised jointly by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of Laos and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and was supported by the China Cultural Centre in Laos, Lao Happy International Tourism and the Shanghai Yueke Tourism Group Company Limited. Our group would like to thank the organisers and sponsors of this fantastic trip.

We stayed in the city from October 20-22 and visited many places of interest. It was my first visit to Huangshan and it made a great impression on me, especially the dramatic landscape and other tourist attractions.

We visited the Huangshan mountain range and tea gardens and saw a traditional tea production house. We also toured some world heritage sites and spent time in old towns and villages.

We enjoyed both the natural landscapes and the city’s booming development, and had plenty of opportunities to observe the local way of life.

On the Huangshan range vegetation is thickest below 1,100 metres, with trees growing up to 1,800 metres. The area is well known for its sunsets, peculiarly-shaped granite peaks, pine trees, hot springs, winter snow, and the view of the clouds from the mountain peak.

Huangshan is a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literature, as well as modern photography. The mountain range has many peaks, some more than 1,000m high. The area has diverse flora, being home to one-third of China’s bryophyte families and more than half of the fern families.

The Huangshan pine is considered an example of vigour because the trees thrive after growing straight out of the rocks. Many of the pine trees in the area are more than 100 years old. The pines vary greatly in shape and size, with the most crooked being considered the most attractive.

Huangshan’s moist climate facilitates the growing of tea leaves, and the mountain has been called one of China’s premier green tea growing areas.

The mountain top offers a view of the clouds, known as the Sea of Clouds or “Huangshan Sea” because of the clouds’ resemblance to an ocean. Many vistas are known by names such as “North Sea” or “South Sea”.

To enjoy the magnificence of a mountain, one has to look upwards in most cases. To enjoy Mount Huangshan, however, one has to look down. The area is also known for its sunrises.

Watching a sunrise is considered a “mandatory” part of visiting the area. In addition, Huangshan has multiple hot springs, most of them located at the foot of the Purple Cloud Peak.

It takes an hour by bus from the city to Huangshan range’s ticket office. There are buses that take visitors to the top of the range. Beyond this point, visitors have to get to the peaks by foot which can take hours, so to save time one can take a cable car.

Huangshan range is popular with photographers as there are many viewpoints – each stunning in its own right.

But visitors should be careful when they get to the top of a peak as all climbs are dangerous. The possibility of accidents is high while walking and photographing, especially when taking selfies. – Visith Teppalath/Vientiane Times/Asia News Network

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