Last weekend we decided to head to the Yellow Mountains in Anhui province, quite close to Nanjing and Shanghai. The area is well known for its scenery, sunsets, Huangshan Pine trees, hot springs, winter snow, and views of the clouds from above. Huangshan is a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literature, as well as modern photography. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of China's major tourist destinations.
Going around the village you can peep inside some of the old buildings which are filled with antique furniture & well kept garden. The village was constructed in harmony with the lake surrounding it thus it becomes one with nature.
To get there, we got the train from the Zhuhai train station (珠海站) towards Guangzhou South Railway Station. This is only a 70 minute ride and really convenient as you can go anywhere across China from there. Our high speed train from 广州南站 to 黄山北站 took 7 hours and was really comfortable and pleasant!
We managed to book a really cheap hostal where the entrance was peculiarly inside an old tea shop but the service was spectacular. They even had a pool table and a foosball table free of charge! This hostal is located in the ancient street of Tunxi (屯溪老街）, which is a night market which is well worth to go shopping and trying uncanny food.
Next morning we got a really early bus that took us to the entrance of the yellow mountains national park. We decided to get the cable car for 12 minutes up the west area of the park and walk up from there. It took us around 3 hours to get to the top but as it is the winter season, some parts of the mountains were closed due to dangerous paths and slippery paths.
There are a few hotels situated right at the top of the mountains which is essential to be able to wake up early and see the sunrise. The most surprising thing about hotels on the top of the mountains is that every day they send out staff up and down the mountain to pick up goods and deliver it to the hotel. Impressing isn´t it?
Next morning we woke up really early to try to catch the sun rise but due to the season there was more mist than anything but the views were still spectacular. We walked around 20km appreciating the breathtaking views and walked down the Eastern part of the mountains.
After a huge walking and hiking trip like this one, there is nothing better than heading to the hot springs which were located 30 minutes away in a bus ride (黄山温泉). In this hot springs, there were different warm pools with different kind of leaves and ingredients that is perfect to recover from a big hike like this one.
After the hot springs, we stayed over in the same hotel which was a pleasant experience and next morning we headed to the old village of Hongcun (宏村). This is a very picturesque village that is really difficult not to keep on clicking the camera to capture scenes of nature. Entering the village we went up a charming concrete bridge which in the distance the circular shape of the bridge comes in full circle as its image reflects the water. Lotus plants are floating on the lake seeing a flower or two during our visit yet it was a lovely sight.
Surrounding the lake you can see lots of students with their easel & paint, capturing the landscape on paper on how it appears on their artistic mind. Looking at the clear serene lake water, you can see the reflections of the tall gigantic centuries old trees, like a clear mirror it captures the colors of the leaves as if trees are growing on the surface of the lake.
The HongCun village is 1 hour bus ride away from the yellow mountains and should be definitely a must see place within this trip.
After our day trip, we got the train from 黄山北站 to 合肥站, in Hefei, the capital of Anhui. This is a really well developed city and the first thing you´ll notice is the amazing landscape of sky scrapers. We didnt spend much time here as we had to head to the airport and fly back to Zhuhai.
Overall this hiking experience and sailing through the ancient times in China was a spectacular experience that is really well recommended!