Probably the most famous of all of China’s mountains is the mystical magic of the peaks of the Yellow Mountain (Huang shan). Immortalized in ancient and modern Chinese art, this area of hanging mists, sharply rising ledges and gnarled pines is of outstanding beauty, and is considered by most Chinese as an essential tourist destination.

The mountain is situated in the south of Anhui Province and is easily accessible from most of China’s major nearby cities. The paths themselves are also, with a bit of effort, easily navigable, being few and with well-constructed steps.

A trip to the Yellow Mountain will make a perfect long weekend, taking in as many of the 72 peaks, the highest at a mere 1864m, and scattered sights as you feel up to. There are two main paths that are followed: a shorter, but less scenic, eastern route and a longer, more taxing, western route.



About 450 kilometers southwest of Shanghai.


In the far south of Anhui Province, eastern China.

Points for attention:

The Yellow Mountain is often affected by inclement weather that, although sometimes giving the mountain its misty, mysterious charm, can somewhat spoil a visit here. Check the weather reports before you go. Also, the two day walking can be a little taxing on the legs!


The transport links to and from Huangshan are not the most ideal for those who wish to travel after working on Friday and get back to work on Monday. For those wanting to leave later on Friday, your best bet is either to catch the train or bus from Shanghai to Nanjing, and then catch the train on to Huangshan.

Trains: There are two trains daily to and from Huangshan City and Shanghai:

Train No.K818 leaves Shanghai at 07:43 and arrives in Huangshan City at 19:14. This train only has hardseat tickets (RMB53). Train No.2182 leaves Shanghai at 15:04 and arrives in Huangshan City at 03:45. RMB45 for hardseat and RMB97 for hardsleeper.

Train No.K820 leaves Huangshan City at 07:38 and arrives in Shanghai at 19:24. RMB53 for hardseat. Train No.2184 leaves Huangshan City at 22:07 and arrives in Shanghai at 12:00 the following day. RMB45 for hardseat and RMB97 for hardsleeper.

Via Nanjing: Train No.T706 leaves Shanghai at 17:04 and arrives in Nanjing at 19:52. You can then take the 22:18 train from Nanjing to Huangshan.

Buses: There is one bus daily to Huangshan City from Shanghai, and two daily returns:

The first leaves Shanghai at 16:00 and arrives in Huangshan at 24:00 (RMB111 for a soft seat)

The return buses (Huangshan-Shanghai) leave at 05:40 and 19:10 and take around 10hrs (RMB60). Buses leave from opposite the Huangshan train station, and tickets can be bought from here

Getting There via Nanjing: Although you can leave for the Mountain on Friday morning, the best option is to get in to Nanjing for the 10pm Nanjing-Huangshan train. You can take either bus or train (see above for train times). Buses leave for Nanjing from the Hangzhou Road Bus Station, Shanghai, and take around three and a half hours. We recommend that you take the last bus at 17:30 (Daewoo RMB73, Nissan RMB86). You can then take a taxi (RMB10) to the nearby Nanjing train station (tickets can most easily be bought in the Station Square, through the train station x-ray machines). Take train No.2521 to Huangshan City/Tunxi, leaving at 22:18 (RMB21 hardseat, RMB61 hardsleeper, 8-9 hours)

Flights: You can catch a flight in the morning from Shanghai to Huangshan (China Eastern MU5511, RMB460, 07:35-08:20, Shanghai-Tunxi Airport/Huangshan). On return, China Eastern Airlines Flight MU5584 (RMB460) leaves Tunxi for Shanghai at 20:40 every day and arrives at Shanghai Hongqiao airport at 21:30. A taxi to the airport in Tunxi, 5km away from the center, should cost around RMB25. An airport bus leaves from outside the CAAC office, near the International Hotel, on Huangshan Lu. Tickets for this cost RMB5.

Getting Around: Minibuses will take you from Tunxi/Huangshan City to Tangkou, the town at the foot of the mountain (One and a half hours, a negotiable RMB10-20), then it’s another minibus (RMB 10-15) from Tangkou to either the eastern (Dong xian, Yungu si) or western (Xi xian, Ciguang ge) steps.

Suggested Itinerary

Previous Evening: Pack snacks and lunch (for 2 days since many of the restaurants on the mountain are extremely overpriced), a pair of strong shoes, a camera, 2-3 bottles of drinking water and suncream if it is hot! Itinerary below starts from when you arrive in Tunxi (Huangshan city) on the overnight train from Nanjing (No.521).


At present finding good accommodation up the mountain is not often a problem, with a total of around 10 hotels. The problem however can be the prices here that, with their trapped audience, are excessive. Most of the hotels are either good three or two star. In bad weather, hotels can be pretty busy too, so try and book ahead if you think it will rain. The best of the hotels are on the summit area, close to the uppermost entrance of the eastern steps, or at the foot of the mountain near the hot springs. Do not expect to pay less than RMB150.

For decent rooms and great dawn views of the “northern sea of mists”, the Beihai Hotel (Beihai binguan, Tel.0559-5562555) comes recommended, prices are upwards of RMB200, while for pure comfort and some good architecture, the Xihai Hotel (Xihai fandian, Tel:0559-5562132), a joint-venture, has good service, nice restaurants, and good views of the “western sea of mists”. Prices here are in American dollars (cheapest around $100), credit cards are accepted. To get to the Beihai continue around the main path from the eastern entrance for five minutes. The Xihai is up and then down a path that leads from the right-hand side of the Beihai (as you are looking at it).


Dining up the mountain is easy if you have money to spare, although the restaurants are exclusively within the hotels. Both the Beihai and the Xihai have restaurants that serve both Chinese and Western food. Taking along a few provisions before the trip is recommended, at least for lunch (2 days) and snacks.

In Tunxi and Tangkou restaurants are plentiful and cheap. Tunxi’s main restaurants are centered on the railway station. Tangkou’s best dining is found in the market area under the large bridge.


The Eastern Route and Summit Area

The Eastern Route (Dong xian), although not with the best scenery, is the shortest and best way to ascend the mountain, a 7.5km long, snaking path. The climb should take around 3-4 hours, starting from the Yungusi cable car station. Some of the views here can still be spectacular, with jutting rocks and some beautiful, twisted pines. For those less active, locals can be hired to carry bags (or people) for a negotiable price, or the cable car can be taken. Once at the top you have hit around 1600m above sea-level, the Bai’e Peak (Bai’e feng). At the summit it should take no more than three hours, after booking into a hotel, to circle the peaks and sights. From Bai’e Peak, heading northwards, your first sight is the Beginning to Believe Peak (Shixin feng, 1683m), up a side track to the right. This peak has great views of the land stretched out below, glimpsed through shifting mist. Back on the main path, continuing around, you will come to the Beihai Hotel. In front of this is a path that leads up to two other peaks, one with chains clipped with lovers’ engraved padlocks and another, the popular Fresh Breeze Terrace (Qingliang tai), that at dawn has the best views of the “Northern Sea” mist and peaks. A lot further along the main path, past the Xihai Hotel and Paiyunting Hotel, is the Cloud-Dispelling Pavilion (Paiyun ting), with good views of the rocky valley below. The final sight on the summit area is a little way beyond here, a strangely shaped outcropping rock called the Far Flying Rock (Feilai shi). The path then continues around to the Bright Summit Peak (Guangming ding, 1841m), and on to the Beihai Hotel.

The Western Route

The Western route (Xi xian), best done as a descent, has by far the best of the sights, although it is almost twice as long as its eastern counterpart. The route starts from the Bright Summit Peak and winds up and then down the mountain. There are many peaks and temples here, all a little bizarrely named, among the best being, in order of appearance, the Peacock & Lotus Flower Peaks (Kongque feng & lianhua feng, 1864m), the Jade Screen Pavilion (Yuping lou, 1680m), where the cable car can be caught, the Heavenly Capital Peak (Tiandu feng, 1810m), the Half Mountain Temple (Banshan si), and, the last sight on the path, the Mercy Light Temple (Ciguang ge).

The scenery here is something to behold, with patches of stark, bare rock contrasting sharply against the flanks of the path that are heavily wooded, hiding pools and chirruping crickets. The best of the sights has to be the Heavenly Capital Peak, a little more than half way down, which rises sharply from a valley, with winding steps carved into the sheer sides. This is a slight detour from the main path, but from here you can see some of the best views of Huangshan. On the path up, chain handholds are covered in a shining armor of lover’s padlocks, and nearer the top the Crucian Ridge (Jiyu bei) has ten meters of heart-stopping sheer precipice. Acrophobics’ beware. On reaching the bottom level at the Mercy Light Temple, with shaking legs, you can catch a minibus back to Tangkou, and then another on to Tunxi.

You can, if you have time, either head to the Hot Springs (Wen quan) from the Mercy Light Temple, or spend the period before your flight, train or bus departs, looking around the old town of Tunxi, especially the Old Street (Lao jie), southwest of the railway station.

Powered by Shanghai & Wordpress | Shanghai House Rental