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“zhangjiajie vs yellow mountain”

Mt. Huangshan (Yellow Mountain)
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Private Tour: Xi'an Huashan Mountain Exploration Day Tour
Ranked #1 of 82 things to do in Huangshan
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Owner description: Mt. Huangshan's peak offers excellent views of the surrounding territory. Transportation: Private bus Private car Public transportation Bicycle English Level: Fluent Services Provided: Tour guide Interpreter Business assistant Car rental Airport/train station pickup Ticket booking Hotel reservations Story teller and history narrator
Long Beach, California
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446 reviews
282 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 246 helpful votes
“zhangjiajie vs yellow mountain”
Reviewed October 31, 2013

I had the chance to visit both places in the summer of 2013. To be honest when it comes to spectacular views I feel that zhangjiajie trumps yellow mountain. If you do Mt. huangshan plan around three days to include walking up both sides of the mountain and then spending a day walking around at the top. I suggest taking the eastern route (yungu cable car) to go up its not as difficult as the western route (yuping cable car) and the eastern route is shorter. Now can you do this all in one day its possible, but you had better have very strong legs to do that. There are hostels at the top of the mountain they are on the expensive side relative to other chinese hostels something like 150 yuan / night.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Hoben01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Perth, Australia
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1,515 reviews
692 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 869 helpful votes
“If you aren't going to West Sea (Xi Hai) then maybe reconsider”
Reviewed October 29, 2013

I love a good mountain...but its important to understand that this is a mountain Chinese style.

So expect queues, crowds, to be jostled at tiny viewpoints, incongruous large hotel complexes, big groups with tour leaders shouting down megaphones and even "atmospheric" Chinese music being blared out at multi-decibel volumes.

The West Sea (Xi Hai) area is the saving grace of this mountain - but I have reviewed that separately, this review is for the remainder of Huangshan.

The good news is that Huangshan is stunning, so your photographs should look great (weather permitting!).

But the experience to get those photos isn't always fun. The North Sea and the top of Eastern steps/cableway areas are absolutely packed.

The Western steps between the top of the cableway and the Baiyun Hotel is simply ridiculous. I was waiting for ages in queues on Lotus Peak. On the main path they have even installed a barrier creating a one way system. This means there is often no room to pass people and also that you can't always access some of the minor viewpoints and attractions if they happen to be on the other side of the barrier!

Heavenly Capital Peak remains closed.

The crowds on the Western steps diminish somewhat after you pass the top cablecar, allowing you to finish the walk in (relative) peace.

Its such a shame as it is a beautiful place.

Visited October 2013
4 Thank Waddler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson, Canada
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87 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Yeah, it's stunning.... BUT...”
Reviewed October 27, 2013

Mt. Huangshan lived up to its reputation of being absolutely breath-taking. However sharing the view with thousands of other people made for a bit of a frustrating and disappointing experience. We took the cable car up (2.5 hour wait!) and still had 8+ km of hiking to do afterwards (my husband and daughter didn't take the cable car and they walked an additional 7km). The main trail is absolutely packed with tourists- many are physically unfit (see high heeled shoes and mini-skirts!) and this led to very long lines (some parts of the trail can be at a stand-still for 30 minutes or more to ascend some of the more technical parts of the trail). Once you get up to Bright Top, opt for the Fairy Bridge trail (5km round trip). It is quite intense but is so worth it. The crowds drop to almost nothing and the fellow hikers are the outdoors-type and very respectful. The sunrise experience was disappointing.... sharing small summit with over 500+ other people was not quite what we were hoping for.
We stayed at the Paiyunlou Hotel (see separate review) which was terrible- opt instead for the Xihai Hotel next door- we ate breakfast and dinner there and wished we had stayed there.
The Taiping Cable car down the mountain was fabulous- no waiting time and breath-taking views. All in all, we have no regrets for going.... just be prepared for it not to be the 'natural' outdoor experience that it could be.

Visited October 2013
5 Thank beebalm26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ningbo, CHINA
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6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Mt Huangshan in October”
Reviewed October 26, 2013

Honestly, an amazing place and a fantastic holiday, but it could have been so different. We had good weather, an excellent hotel room and deliberately went when there were not likely to be so many tourists around.We spent 5 nights in a hotel at the top of the mountain the week after the national day holidays (which is in mid Oct).

I live in China and there has been a lot of news coverage here about the relatively poor behaviour of Chinese tourists (who generally go around together with coloured hats and who don't necessarily appreciate that there are other people on the mountain). Try to avoid any Chinese holidays as far as you can: the Chinese get very limited holidays generally, and so the whole nation goes to 'scenic spots' like Mt Huangshan whenever they can.

Xihai Hotel (New Wing)
6th to 11th October, 2013
Used Yungu Cablecar to get up.
Weather: mostly very good; one day completely wet and misty (but which set the scene for 'sea of clouds' in the valley the next day).

We went to Mt Huangshan from Hangzhou. It was a fairly cheap 4 hour bus journey, followed by a smaller bus journey (45 mins; you get a separate ticket) to the cablecar (took around 20 mins; arrive before 4.30pm!!) and then a 90 minute hike to the hotel. I do a lot of photography, so we paid around 240RMB each way for a porter to help carry the suitcase and 3 other bags we had with us. (You can find them at the top of the cablecar).
TIP if you want to use one: pay for a couple of bags when the manager is quoting you, and then the porter can charge you a bit less for any extra bagswhich he can add when he is en-route - he gets the benefit, not the 'gangmaster'/manager.Our porter ended up carrying two small suitcases, a large backpack and about 4 other bags, and we did tip him.

SUNRISE - there is a large number of places to go to watch the sunrise.
1)The most obvious is the 'Dawn Pavilion'. This is the size of a small hotel bedroom, and when we went, the 40 or so people who crowded in were far more than the place could comfortably fit. We got there around 40 mins before the dawn itself, and was able to set up my tripod and everything OK, but I still have pictures with somebody's head in the way. For me, this was the worst place to do photography, because you are stuck shooting straight towards the sun, which is not how I like to shoot dawns.(I prefer to shoot the rocks being illuminated by the rising sun.)
2) Bright summit: great if you are staying near the summit, but a 1-2 hour hike from many of the hotels (e.g. Shilin, Beihai, Paiyunlou, Xihai). I didn't go there for the dawn.
3) Purple cloud Peak: a bit of a climb and a bit scary at the top (nearest hotel is Paiyunlou or Xihai) but good views from the summit, without the people crambed into a small place; Can see both rocks being lit by the sun as well as the sun itself.
4) Taipang Cable Car station: not bad. Very few people were there. Views are limited, but its not a bad place to view rocks being illuminated by the rising sun.
5) Cloud Dispelling Pavilion: a good place for watching the sun starting to light up the rocks. Very few people there for dawn.
6) Flying Rock: Didn't go there for sunset/dawn, but what I have written for Bright Summit applies here as well.

SUNRISE - best places I found were Cloud Dispelling Pavilion and Bright summit (quite a few people there at both places, but not too bad).

TIP: If you are expecting to take some good pictures of the sunrise or sunset, make sure you get there early. Taking the right equipment is important, and if you are semi-pro or above, you will find filters and a decent tripod very useful.
If you are just wanting to take some decent pictures, learn how to use your camera properly before you go. Take the manual, spare battery/charger and some memory cards - again they will be expensive once you get there.

SEA OF CLOUDS: We were a bit lucky with this, but you need the following weather conditions: lots of moisture, cold temperatures (probably less than 10 degrees celcius) and clear sky. Apparently, that only occurs on around 60 days of the year (not verified). We had this on the last morning, though most of the moisture was burnt off within 3 hours, and you need to know that just because the clouds are on one side of the mountain, they may not be all around it. I watched it from the Cloud Dispelling Pavilion (near to Paiyunlou hotel), but someone looking at peaks in the opposite direction (e.g. at Dawn Pavilion) would not have seen the sea of clouds at all.

WALKING: There are lots of steps, some of them very steep. Wikipedia (I think) says that there are 60,000 steps around the place, but most are well built and the authorities keep them under good repair.If you are going to walk for the dawn or after the sunrise, then take a headtorch. Get a walking stick of some sort: you are likely to find that very useful.

There are some comments here talking about how poorly signposted the place is: I found it very well signposted when I went, with signposts in both English and Chinese, indicating where you were, and indicating how far the places were. The maps are much less accurate, on the whole, and I would use them for planning roughly where you want to go, and then following the signposts.

The Canyon (entrance not far from Cloud Dispelling Pavilion) was scary for me, but very spectacular. Steps there were at an angle of around 1:1 in places. There is a pernicular railway out of the canyon and up to Baiyun hotel/Bright summit. Worth doing though.

'Central Area': The Beihai, Paiyunlou, Xihai and Shilin hotels are located relatively close to each other, but walking can still be demanding. From Xihai hotel to Beihai took me around 30 mins. From Xihai to Paiyunlou took me about 5 minutes (mainly uphill)

Bright Summit: walking there from the central area means an uphill climb lasting around 1.5-2 hours.

We arrived in mid-Oct. Temps (in celcius) were 18-25 when we arrived, but over the 5 nights, dropped to between 0-10. Most hotels provide warm waterproof coats. If you are cold in your hotel room, try the air conditioning set to 'heat'. If you are in a tent and staying in mid Oct, then be prepared for wind, sun, rain, warm weather, cold weather...

FOOD, accommodation and Prices:
A lot of people comment on how expensive Mt Huangshan is. My view, a holiday there can be, but we took a flask and lots of dried soup/snacks and that saved us a lot of money (we didn't pay for a single breakfast, but they would have cost us 88RMB for each of us each day; breakfast at the Paiyunlou was around 60 I think). Meals can be cheaper at other hotels, so look around. We stayed at the Xihai and ate every night at the Paiyunlou Hotel, just about 200m away (on the basis of someone's thinking here - thank you!). The same applied to every meal. Water is around 8RMB for a small bottle (usually costing 2RMB in Beijing), a 1.5L of Coke is around 25RMB, biscuits etc... all are more expensive.

Our hotel: We stayed in the New Wing and paid 5 star prices (around £110 per night for our room) for a 5 star room, so that was not something that seemed any more expensive than it should have done, but many of the other rooms/hotels charge the same for a lower quality of hotel. Hotels there are not cheap, and most people stay on the mountain for 2-3 nights max.and maybe have a first night at the bottom of the mountain first.

TOUR and sightseeing:
We did not go with a tour group and had no trouble filling 5 days with places to go (Canyon, Bright Summit, Lion Peak, Purple Cloud Peak, etc) and then executing those plans.There are some places we did not visit. If you go in summer, expect the place (I can guess) to be full of people: when we went, it wasn't. Busy, yes, but full, no. Going into the canyon during the summer could (I imagine) be difficult: the steps are narrow and there is hardly room for two people going in opposite directions in many places.

Some places are not great if you don't like heights - I needed help on a couple of occasions - but all are safe if you keep to the paths.

The area is rich in wildlife/birdlife as well as in scenery. Whilst there is no guidance given along the pathways about the birdlife you might see, there is guidance given about the geology there and about the trees/bushes that you can see.

I cannot comment on areas I did not visit, nor on how easy the walking routes are up and down (we didn't use them).

Visited October 2013
27 Thank 40PeterM172
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Fitting for the chinese saying”
Reviewed October 25, 2013

There is this saying that after you have returned from a visit to Huangshan, you never want to visit another mountain.

It is truly unique. Although there is a cable car ride up, there's still lots of walking up and down as you have to travel through passes to visit the various scenic spots. Suggest an overnight stay in the mountain.

We were luck to catch the sunrise.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank yapts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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