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Mt. Huangshan

Mt. Huangshan, China

Centering all the beauty of the Chinese famous mountain on itself, Huangshan enjoys great fame in the saying 'Trips to China's five great mountains render trips to other mountains unnecessary, and a trip to Huangshan render the trip to the five great mountains unnecessary'. It is a masterpiece of the ingenious hand of nature, and also a symbol of the beautiful country of China.

Located in the south of Anhui Province, Mt. Huangshan is 40 kilometers (25 miles) long from north to south, and 30 kilometers (19 miles) wide from east to west, with an area of 1,200 square kilometers (463 square miles). It is also known as 'five-hundred-li Huangshan Mountain'.

As a gem of China and a wonder of the world, Mt. Huangshan was listed as a World Natural and Cultural Heritage Site in 1990. In 2004, it was selected as a world geological park. As well, Mt. Huangshan is famous as a natural zoo and botanical park.

Originally, Mt. Huangshan was named Yi Mountain. Later it was renamed Yellow Mountain because according to folklore, the Yellow Emperor, the legendary founder of the Chinese nation and ancestor of all nationalities on the central plains, attained enlightenment and become an 'immortal' here.

The main body of Mt. Huangshan is made up of granite. Through long-time water erosion, ravines and crannies crisscross to form magnificent caves and holes of all shapes. The rocks on the front hill have few joints and most are broken down into spherical shapes, which make the hill spectacular. Opposite, the rocks on the rear hill have many joints, giving the hill an exquisite appearance. Thus the morphological characteristics of Mt. Huangshan are majestic on the front hill and graceful on the rear hill.

The wonderful scenery of Mt. Huangshan includes 72 peaks, 24 streams, three waterfalls and two lakes. The hot spring, the Jade Screen Pavillion, the North Sea, Yungusi (Cloud Valley Temple), Songgu'an (Pine Valley Nunnery) and Diaoqiao Nunnery are the six main tourist areas. The highest peak, Lotus Peak, is 1,864 meters (5592 feet) high, closely linked with the flat Guangmin Ding (Bright Peak) and the steep Tiandu Peak (Heaven Capital Peak). Lotus Peak lies in the middle of the scenic spot, above the others. Around it, there are altogether 77 peaks over 1000 meters, which rise up and naturally compose a balanced and magnificent picture together with the Lotus Peak.

 Water Resource
As the watershed of the Qiantang River and the Yangtze River, Huangshan is rich in water resources, with numerous mountain streams and water channels. Because of the high drop, the water rushes down and forms waterfalls which become the most fantastic sight of Mt. Huangshan. Famous waterfalls on the mountain are the Renzi (the Chinese character for human being) Waterfall, the Thousand Feet Spring and the Nine-dragon Waterfall. There are another 20 pools, 15 springs and nine ponds, scattered on and between the mountains.

 Animal and Plant Resources
There are 1,425 kinds of wild plants on Mt. Huangshan, among which 28 kinds were first discovered on or named after Mt. Huangshan, such as 'Huangshan Maofeng' (a kind of green tea) and 'Huangshan Lingzhi' (a precious herbal medicine). There are also metasequoia, gingkgo, dendrobium and other rare and endangered species. Towering ancient trees stand throughout Huangshan Mountain, with Huangshan pine as the best-known one.

An ideal place for wild animals' rest and reproduction, Mt. Huangshan breeds a large quantity of animals, including 24 kinds of fish, 20 kinds of amphibians, 38 kinds of reptiles, 170 kinds of birds and 300 vertebrates. The precious ones are macaque, spotted deer, wild goat, clouded leopard, silver pheasant, mesia and others.

 Religion and Culture
Taoist activities on Mt. Huangshan were recorded in the Taoist books of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). Emperor Xuanyuan, a legendary Chinese ancestor, had come to Huangshan Mountain to make an elixir with Rong Chengzi and Fu Qiu, and finally ascended to Heaven. Most of the peaks were named after fairy tales, just like the name of the mountain, which adds some mythological flavor. On the mountain Taoist and Buddhist temples are distributed everywhere, like the Fuqiu Taoist Temple and Nine-dragon Taoist Temple as well as the Four Jungles of Mt. Huangshan - The Xiangfu Temple, the Verdant Temple, the Benevolent-Light Temple and the Alms-Bowl-Throwing Meditation Temple.

From the glorious Tang Dynasty to the late Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), over 20 thousand poems, rhymes and essays lauding Mt. Huangshan were produced. As brilliant flowers of China artistic treasures, those artworks unearthed, presented and enriched Huangshan Mountain from all sides in different contents, styles and forms. Poets, writers and travelers like Li Bai, Jia Dao, Gong Zizhen, Huang Yanpei, Dong Biwu, Guo Moruo, Lao She, Xu Xiake, Yuan Mu and Ye Shengtao all wrote many excellent works to praise the mountain. There are other stories and legends about Huangshan Mountain, too many to mention. The most popular ones are Yellow Emperor Making Elixir, Li Bai' Drunk, Immortal Pointing the Way and Fairy Embroidering.

 Five Wonders of Mt. Huangshan
Strange pines - as the fanciest sight of Mt. Huangshan, tens of thousands of over-a-hundred-year-old pine trees are growing vigorously in the clefts of the rocks with twisting roots and intercrossing branches, especially the Greeting Pine at the foot of the Jade Lady Peak that has been the symbol of Huangshan Mountain.

Absurd stones - steep peaks stand in great numbers on the Huangshan Mountain with rugged cliffs. The feet of the peaks reach down to the bottom of the valley and granite stone steles spread all over the valleys, mountainsides and mountaintops, forming an admirable natural picture.

Sea of clouds - since ancient times there has been a sea of clouds over the mountain. Huangshan Mountain is the home of cloud and fog with the peaks as its body and the clouds as its clothes. After a snowfall and when the sun rises or sets, the sea of clouds is magnificent - the absurd stones, strange pines, peaks and the other ancient trees floating in the clouds, flickering here and there. When you are there, it seems as if you are walking on clouds, almost like a fairy.

Hot springs - in ancient times, it was named 'magic spring'. If one bathes in it, no soap is needed and many diseases will be cured, because there are many beneficial microelements in the water, which is pure and comfortable of temperature. Based on the legend, Emperor Xuanyuan ascended to heaven after bathing in the spring for 49 days.

Winter snow - in winter, Huangshan Mountain has a lot of snow. The light and pretty snow-flakes dance in the air together with the clouds and fog. After several snowfalls, the top of the Water Curtain Cave at the foot of the Taohua Peak is covered by a layer of thick ice. Through melting and refreezing, numerous ice pegs hang around the cave like a crystal curtain, which is called a snow curtain. When the weather is clear and the temperature falls to below zero degrees centigrade, the heavy and dense fog coagulates on the trees, stones and brushwood and freezes into white solid ice crystals sparkling in the sun.

Specialties: Kiwi fruit, bamboo shoot, fiddlehead, lingzhi, Maofeng tea, stone-fungus, Huizhou bonsai, Huizhou lacquer, Huizhou Bamboo Weaving as well as various local-flavor snacks.


Buses: there are long-distance buses to Shanghai, Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Yangzhou, Wuxi, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Huzhou, Hefei, Wuhu, Anqing, Jiuhuashan, Jingdezhen, Jiujiang and other cities.

Trains: the Wan Gan line from Anhui Province to Jiangxi Province runs through Huangshan City. From Huangshan City you can get to Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao, Nanjing, Hefei, Jingdezhen, Nanchang, Xiamen, Fuzhou and many other cities in China. Every five minutes there is a bus from the train station to Mt. Huangshan. It takes one hour and costs less than CNY 20.

Airplanes: seven kilometers from the downtown of Huangshan City, Huangshan airport opens the lines to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hefei, Tianjin, Haikou, Shenzhen, Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Xian, Guilin, Kunming, Xiamen, Zhuhai, Hong Kong and Macau. From the airport to the city you can take the airport shuttle bus (CNY 5) or take a taxi (CNY 15).

Admission Fee:
CNY 200  (Mar. 1-Nov.30)
CNY 120  (Dec.1-Feb.28 the following year)
Cable-car (one-way trip)
Mar. 1-Nov.30: CNY 65
Dec.1-Feb.28:   CNY 55
Yungu (Cloud Valley) Temple to Bai'e (White Goose) Range
Benevolent-Light Pavilion to Jade Screen Pavilion
Furong (Lotus) Range to Paiyunting (Cloud-dispelling Pavilion)
Opening Hours:
8:00 – 16:00
6:30 – 16:30 (in winter)