It was nice having a little getaway to Huangshan Mountain, and simply awesome that we had a 5-day public holiday. This should happen at least once a month! ;) Since we live in Shanghai’s chaotic city, dirty air and messy streets, it was really nice to get up there on the mountains and breathe fresh air and see greenery EVERYWHERE.
Such a massive difference and it makes you realise that when people label China as all the former things (chaotic, dirty, messy, etc), it’s really only because they’re impression is based on Shanghai or Beijing or Guangzhou or any of the major cities. When you travel and your eyes are opened to the REST of China, it’s actually a beautiful place. It’s a shame that people don’t realise/see this about China…
Buh-bye Huangshan Mountain!
Down and back to reality
Enjoying our last views of Huangshan Mountain
Having lunch back in Tunxi city. This was a delicious seafood hot pot!
These are the nicest prawn crackers I’ve had. Not salty and no trans fat.
They’re practically health food ;)
A yummy “zhong zi” (sticky rice dumpling with meat and fat) on the way back to Shanghai
We did something craaazy whilst at Huangshan Mountain. Decided to get up to watch the sunrise over the mountains. It’s basically THE thing to do whilst you’re up on the mountain, and tons of guests at the hotels on the mountain top also go and watch the sunrise.
We got up at the INSANE time of 4:30AM, all bleary eyed and looking like crap ;) Everyone else got changed but because I am *ahem* special, I refused to and went out in my pajamas ;) I figured I could just throw a jacket on top and be all good!
We staggered outside in the early morning chill and made our way to one of the vantage points. We actually got there earlier than most people and so had an awesome spot and view. Hurray! Chinese locals are insanely eager-beaver and like to be THE FIRST ONE for anything, so I was really surprised we were there earlier than others. It was fairly crowded but nothing terrible (no pushing or shoving), but what was pretty awful was that they were NOISY!! Non-stop yakking away. You’d think that to experience such a special occasion, people would be quiet and appreciate the view. But nope, lots of yakking and someone even started playing Chinese music full-blast on their mobile phone. Really quite rude of them but there was nothing we could do :(
Absurd behaviour aside, we tried to block out as much as we could and just focus on the sunrise before us. It really was gorgeous. Quite amazing to see the sky progressively get lighter in a myriad of pretty colours, and then the sun peek out and rise upwards, a glowing ball of light. I can’t even remember the last time I saw a sunrise, let alone from the mountain top in clean, fresh air. I loved it :)
The moon amongst the trees
In the forest, at 5:00AM
Beautiful colours of pre-sunrise
A peek of the sun
Glowing ball of light
Almost didn’t post this.. generally NOT a fan of posting no-makeup,
wakeup-at-4:30AM photos of myself ;) But it’s a hilarious photo all
round – Us looking zonked. Sulky guy on the far left. Dazed girl
on the right. Shifty-eyed guy on the far right. Haha!
Check out my sexy outfit of pajamas and overcoat… LOL
The risen sun
Me talking away (sound v dull cos I was half asleep!) and video-ing of the scene
Chris and I decided to go on the Grand Canyon Walk ourselves at Huangshan Mountain. Our guide warned us it has a LOT of stairs and is more strenuous, and boy, it really was. We walked and climbed until our legs couldn’t quite move anymore… oh the pain!!! But it was worth it. Breathtaking views and peaceful and quiet. I loved the little lookout at the end, a small area poking out that you can sit and enjoy the views and the sunshine.
A very steep walk down the stairs. And yes, we had to walk back up those stairs later!
Walking through a small crack in the rocks
Love the dark green trees and the misty mountains in the background
ARGHHH this was scary, the drop was RIGHT DOWN THE MOUNTAIN!
It may have been the easy way out to take a cable car up to the top of Huangshan Mountain, but even so, we had a 1 hour walk to our hotel. Very painful because of the sheer amount of steps involved… OUCH!! We went sight-seeing all around as well, which involved steps, steps and more steps. It was like a Stairmaster class.. except it was all day long ;) Gah.
Fortunately, the fantastic weather made it really fun to wander around outdoors. The mountain peaks were gorgeous and so serene against the sky. I know it all looks fairly similiar in photos, but it was fascinating going to different lookouts and seeing all the different views from the vantage points. What I really needed was a pair of shorts and a thin tank top! My jeans and long-sleeved tops didn’t quite cut it, and I was hot and bothered pretty quickly from all the climbing. Fortunately, once the sun goes down, the temperature drops significantly, so it’s actually really lovely and cool at night.
We had to walk 1 hour (full of up/down stairs!) to the hotel
But at least we were treated to spectacular scenery
Me with our tour guide, who was awesome
I had to keep resting cos I am so unfit… oops..
Me and Dad! It is unclear what I’m doing here..
A tree sticking out from the rock
Us stuck together, like the trees behind us ;)
This is the actual one, taken properly
It’s a great feeling, being on top of a mountain
Overlooking the world
Resting at the top
This is called “Monkey overlooking the sea”. Can you see him?
And this is “Monkey overlooking the monkey overlooking the sea”. LMAO!
Stone monkey is right above Chris’ knee, in the background.
The next few posts contain photos split over several days.. but I tried to consolidate it as much as possible, hence why it looks like we did a LOT in a super short period of time ;)
The main part of our trip was Huangshan Mountain. The same mountains that inspired the “floating mountains” in the movie Avatar. It’s really easy to see why when you see them in real life – huge and lofty, with clear air and beautiful weather. We had crystal clear blue skies whilst we were up on the mountain, but apparently it’s also gorgeous when it’s misty and raining, because the clouds descend and the mountain peaks are above the clouds, giving them a dream-like quality.
You can choose to walk 4.5 hours (!) to the top of the mountain, or take a cable car. Guess which one we chose? ;)
Snozzing during the 1.5 hour journey to Huangshan Mountain
A solitary house along the way
Going up and up past other mountains
The road hugged the side of the mountain – scary!
Went on a looooooong cable car ride up Huangshan Mountain
Dad and Mum looking very chill
All matchy-match in red. It was unintentional, I swear!