First of all, click here to see the slide show. Yellow Mountain Slide Show
If you are a hiker and you have never hiked to this number one mountain in China, you will be shame on yourself. The mountain is called Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain in Chinese). It’s one of the most known mountains in the Chinese painting. It’s one of the most weird and beautiful mountain in the world too. The weather in the mountain could change four seasons in one day. You can have Spring in the morning, Summer at noon, Autumn in the afternoon and winter at night.There are only few hotels (about 5) in the mountain. If you decide to stay in the mountain, you’d better book the hotel when you arrival in the village though your hostel host or hotel manager. The only reason you will stay in the mountain is to watch the cloud sea and sun rise. The hotel price in the mountain is very expensive and you sometimes have to share room with 6+ other strengers. You are recommend to carry as little items as possible and leave your luggage in the hotel in the village. These are some people who just don’t listen. So they have to turn around and back down to the village. Shame on them! I will tell you why!
First of all, all the hotels and facilities are built by human’s hand. There is no road or path way for automobiles to carry the construction equipment. Due to the high price of the cable cart, every single piece of bricks, concrete, tile and material are hand carried to the mountain by the low wedge workers. They carry the materials to mountains and make only US$5 per trip to the top of the mountain. And they can only do it twice per day, because it takes those professional 4 hours from the village to the top and 2 hours back to the village. For city and computer guys like me, it will take me 7 hours up and 5 hours down.Some people just don’t listen and carry their luggage to the mountain and realize that there is no place in the hotel to store their stuff and there is no shower room. There is limited source of water and food, because everything is hand carried.Why is this mountain the #1 in China? Not just because the weather changing so quickly. It has a strange looking and it’s so dangerous. There are many tours trails. The tour company or tour guide only take you to the North and East trail. They will not take you to the newly opened (2 years old) West trail.My wife and I decide not to see the sun rise due to the cloud weather. So we got up early at 4:00AM and take the first bus from the village to the cable cart station at 5:00AM. We then take the first ride to the cable cart base station and ready to hike. We briefly followed the crowd and finished the East and North trail very quickly because there are people everywhere. All you see is a floating black carpet (black hair). That is where the tour guide show you around.Now we decided to head west on our own. The first 2 hours on the west trail, we feel so quiet, because there is only two of us in the mountain. It’s blue sky with white cloud and weird mountain rock standing out from no where. The scene is breath taken. I can’t describe how beautiful it is. We are in the mountain up and down for full 9 hours. We finally joint a father and son and hike all the way back to the central station. We then took the cable cart back to the village.Without the cable cart, it will take us 30 hours up and down. we will have to stay in the mountain while all hotels are booked. We will have to find a place under the tree to stay over night. The temperature will drop to below 32F/0C at night. You might see snow falling in the summer time. That is why we call it four seasons in one day.
This is my best hiking experience ever in my life. We pretty much own the entire mountain. No one else. We were a little bit worry about the direction we are heading, because we have no idea how far we still need to go in front of us. We met some people hike in the opposite direction and ask them how long have they been hiking. We always got the same answer “You are really close. Don’t worry”. Well, they have the same question about where they are heading. They got the same answer. :-)
So we spent 9 hours in the mountain. I have never felt so happy, so relief and so lonely the same time. The whole world is just me and my wife and a father and the son. How weird! It’s so far my best vacation. When we got back to the hotel in the village, it took us almost 40 minutes to get up to our hotel room at 6th floor by stair. No elevator. We were laughing at those people when we arrived the first day. Now we were laughed. That’s a fair game. In my entire 7 months trips to Asia (Taiwan, Hong Kong, China), I took over 5 thousands digital photos with my Nikon D70s. About 1200 pictures were taken in this mountain alone. You just can’t stop press the shutter. The mountain looks just different from every angels. You have to see it to believe it. I am thinking to go back in Winter, it will look a lot different in winter.