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Monday, April 1, 2013

HuangShan (黄山) - Part 1

On the 2nd day, we couldn't wait to depart to HuangShan after taking the buffet breakfast in hotel. This is because HuangShan is the main reason we came for this trip.

The lady driver who chauffeured us on yesterday had came on time to pick up from the hotel, at around 9am. About 45 min later, we arrived at HuangShan foot hill where we need to take the circulated shuttle bus to the cable car station.

Stopping before the cable car station.

As my brother had lost his camera on the night before,  I'd promised I will be his camera man too.

Pray hard we would arrive at the other end safe and sound.

The beginning of the journey...

The mountains themselves were carved by glaciers during the Quaternary. Vegetation on the range is thickest below 1100 m, with trees growing up to the treeline at 1800 m.

Sitting in the cable car, we could get to see the top of the peak.

Also, the panoramic view of the HuangShan landscape.

HuangShan is a mountain range in southern Anhui province in eastern China. The range is a composed of material that was uplifted from an ancient sea during the Mesozoic era, 100 million years ago.

About 20 min later, we reached the cable car station at one of the tops.

Finally, we were at HuangShan.

Slowly, we walked away the station and started our journey.

I checked my watch, the time was 12.04 noon.

Before we leave for HuangShan, we have seen photos posted by some bloggers from the internet. When we see the crowds and the long queue here and there on the mountain, we almost back off.

Anyway, my brother said crowding is such a common thing when travelling in China. After all, it's CHINA we are talking about here.

In order to avoid massive crowds, we deliberately went up the mountain on a weekday. Also, knowing there are many return-in-the-same-day visitors, and for sure they would take the very early morning cable car, we had decided to let them proceed first.

It seems that our tactic worked. For a very long distance, we didn't get to see too many people. YES !!

There are several routes with different starting points. But most people would recommend to explore HuangShan from the front side of the mountain, for better view along the way.

Since we would put a night in HuangShan, the first thing to do was to check in our hotel and off load the foods we have put in our back pack.

This stretch of path is a piece of cake, we all managed it with no problems.

HuangShan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, well known for its scenery, sunsets, peculiar granite peaks, pine trees, and view of the clouds from above.

This place is also a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literature, as well as modern photography.

Due to time constrain, also the seemingly not very stable weather condition, we need to reserve the energy and time for the best. So, we got to skip many famous peak along the way we have passed, eg. Beginning-to-believe Peak, and Bamboo Stone Ridge.

Really? Too bad we have to skip this.

To the kids, they knew it's going to be another long-hour hiking trip. They took it easily, and no complaint thus far. I think they could take it well is because they have each other as good company.

Like said, HuangShan is famous for its pine trees.

There are several hotels on HuangShan, this is one of them, but not the one we have booked. Husband said our hotel is very close to this one.

The view platform in front of that hotel (forgot what it's called).

I noticed there are many local Chinese who like to set up their tripod when shooting for photos, though the condition is absolutely fine to do it with free hands.

The most irritating part is that they took a bloody long time to set this up. As a consequence, they had taken up the space and blocked the view for a bloody long time too.

The way I see them, they didn't do this out of professionalism, but more to show off. Sigh, hate that !

It was not easy to take a photo without someone blocking my way. But I did it in 5 seconds when I finally got a chance.

I don't think the photos taken by using a tripod is any better than mine. Beat me if I'm wrong.

2 men were doing some maintenance works over the peak there.To HuangShan, the pine trees atop this famous peak is very very important.

The legend said that the famous poet, Li-Bai once he threw a pen up to the thin air when he got drunk, and without a known reason, this rock was form since then.

Like the paw of a bear.

We left the platform after a while...

We continued to walk up...

Looking back to that hotel..

A few hundred meters from that hotel, we found ours, Shilin Hotel.

The front yard of Shilin Hotel.

In the hotel's lobby.

Waiting for the keys to enter our room...

As commented by many tourists, the room's condition is quite worn out, not justifiable for its high price. But I think we can't expect high for the hotel atop a mountain, where management & maintenance is difficult. Although pricey, the good thing is, we have bought more time to see the mountain in broader perspective.

We rested for a while in our room & took a simple lunch, which is cup noodles we had carried all along from HK. The boys were so happy with their lunch though.They said they can eat this every day, every meal (roll eyes).

1 hour later, we walked to the west side, as planned.

Passing by one of the famous pine trees. This tree has 2 bodies growing side by side, like Siamese twins.

Up to this point, the walk was still pretty relax and easy.

Passing through another hotel.

This hotel looks newer than ours, husband said he didn't get much info about this hotel when he searched for the internet.

Just going on....

Lifting is not in service.

That's explain why everything, especially accommodation and foods are very expensive up here.

We couldn't lift it even with 4 hands, or 6 hands....

Passing by another hotel...

We were heading to Grand Canyon of West Sea, one of the best that shouldn't be skipped.

The time was nearly 3.30 pm by then, and the place had become very foggy.

The visibility was so low that we barely see the mountains surrounding us.

Also, we had to constantly remind the kids not to go near nor lean on those chain, cause doing so is highly dangerous.

Thousands of padlocks along the chain...

I simply don't agree of this love-logic. Seriously, I don't want to lock my loved one, nor be locked by my loved one. To me, freedom is one of the most important thing in life. So, it's no way I'm going to do this.

Even though we couldn't see much thing, but the mystic feeling is strong, and we felt high walking in the midst.

Imagine, there are many giant peaks, right behind us.  

Or, there is nothing around us, except the tongue we were standing on.

We stood here for a while, but the fog didn't go away, so we moved on.

Every time I saw them playing and laughing together, I feel blessing. I hope both of you will keep each other a good company forever.

As usual, we walked and took photos along the way...

Life will find its way even under the most impossible condition.

Touching the pine tree behind me.

Need to remind them not to go near to the edge again...Sigh.

Still easy and relax.

Suddenly, the stair case had become very steep...

I followed them from behind, very slowly. So, they got to wait for me from time to time.

Ok, I'm here too.

The I realized the stair case was not grounded, but supported by several pillars at certain distance only.

Then, there is this short plateau in between the steep stair case.

We have reached the West Sea Grand Canyon.

Oh no, here comes the steepness again...


So steep, can be 75-85 degree..

I almost need to sit down in order to bring myself down..

It is soooo....scary !! Be careful boys.

To be honest, I felt freaking scared of it. If I ever think more, I would for sure back off.

Seriously, is it safe?

I was not too sure if that pavilion is our destination?

Looking back to where we were just now...

Even though this part is very steep too, but it's less scary, cause I feel protected at both side.

We never knew what we were about to see...

until we saw this bridge hanging in the thin air, below is a 1000 m depth. Knowing we just got to cross over it, I took a very deep breath.  

I dare not stop on the bridge and took photos as I usually did else where, unless I know how to fly in case I fell down.

Ok, finally we all have crossed that bridge safely.

Don't you fly, bro.

The area is so small that it can't fit more than 10 person. Luckily, not many people found this little area, so it was all for us at that time.

The midst had gone less thicker, so we could get to see the place better.

There is still a distance if we were to go down to that pavilion. Since the time was getting late, also we think we have seen the place enough from here, we have decided to turn back.

The pavilion is just a tiny little spot when see it in a broader perspective.

Before leaving this dangerous place, we stood on that dangerous bridge and snapped many good photos. 

Good bye.

Then, we walked the same path to go back to the hotel.

Still freaking me out....

I think husband was laughing at me when he saw my chicken behavior.

When we passed that newer hotel on the way back, we went inside to check its condition. 

Judging from its grand lobby & the new setting, we are sure this hotel is better than ours. We thought the price must be a lot higher than ours too, but it's only RMB 200-300 higher. Should we knew about this earlier, we would for sure take this hotel. 

The other side of the hotel's lobby...

emmm...feeling warm to see this.

What's up man? don't jump ya.

Passing by that Siamese Pine Tree again.

We went back to the hotel at around 6.30 pm. Since we were tired, we just went down to the hotel's restaurant for dinner. Foods were ok, not as bad as we have expected. 

The hotel had held a photography competition not too long ago, and they displayed the winner's work piece in the lobby.

HuangShan is renowned for its sunrise. Watching the sunrise is considered a "mandatory" part of visiting this area. 

Having nothing to do after dinner, I took those winner's picture one by one. 

A phenomenon known as Buddha's Light (佛光) is also well-known. However, Buddha's Light only appears a couple of times per month. So, it's very depends on one's luck. 

Each one of them can be printed into poster card. 

We had planned to see the sunrise on the next morning too. And we really prayed hard that the weather condition was good so that we could see a beautiful sun rise like this one.  

Since there wasn't any activities at night, except watching TV, we all slept at around 10 pm that night.


tasy said...

wow!! those scenery are absolutely breathtaking! is it for real or your camera that good? it's just unbelievable.

once again, i'm awed by your trips. how come my trips not even close to yours one??

Jessy Lee said...

The scenery is really that good lah, I don't think it has anything to do with my camera nor my skill.

If you want to try this kind of trip, I suggest you go to HuangShan next time lo...It's not too far away from Malaysia after all, and it's definitely worth it.

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