Huangshan Secret China - Part 2
In the second part of Josie’s blog she tells us more about what China has to offer beyond the usual tourist trail.
Huangshan is one of the five holy Taoist mountains in China and is known as the ‘Number One Mountain Under Heaven’. Famous for its unique pines, strange geological formations, the ‘sea of clouds’ and its clear hot springs, I was excited to visit such a wonderful part of China’s natural beauty. Having climbed two of these mountains, I was a little unsure about this venture. However, modern technology saved my legs and took me most of the way in utter tranquility and awe. The cable car reached a stop and I was faced by a wall of steps, there was wishful thinking that my hotel would be right by the drop off point. I started the long slog of steps, got to about 1,000 steps and lost count. I began to hear myself moan, but I looked up and realised it was all worth it. I finally reached my hotel, dropped my bags off and hiked up the mountain to see the sunset.
I got to the west peak about an hour before sunset, where view is beyond words. Everywhere I turned, interesting rock formations protruded the mountain edge and the horizon was littered with jagged rocks and striking landscapes. I noticed that the scenery and colours changed drastically as the sun began to set and I started to understand why this mountain has such a shroud of mystery surrounding it. It is truly breathtaking and I was truly awe-struck. Time escaped me and I needed to get back to the hotel before sunset. I made it back to the hotel as the fog set in and before I knew it, it started to snow. The weather on the mountain is extremely changeable, but that fact seemed to escape my mind when packing for the trip. I was up there with nothing suitable for such an event and realised that the trip down the mountain in the morning was going to be a long and cold one.
In the early morning, as I drew my curtains open I was greeted by a blanket of deep crisp snow; it looked magical. I wanted more time to explore, but my time was up. I headed back to the cable car practically freezing, but I took my time, I wanted every last detail to be remembered. I jumped off the cable car and looked up at the mountain behind me, covered by mist and clouds, the whole range no longer visible. As disappointed as I was to leave, all I could think about is a warm comfortable hotel room that would greet me in a few hours.
China never fails to impress and amaze me, no matter how many times I return, each time I discover something new. If you only ever have one trip to China, it would be a shame not to include a trip to Huangshan.
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