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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

HuangShan (黄山) - Part 2

The alarm clock had waken us up very early in the next morning, at 5.30 am. 

Although feeling very sleepy, we managed to pull ourselves together with not much delay. Then to our great disappointment, we heard the sound of raining outside the window.

Anyway, we still dressed up, took all the necessary stuffs with us, and went out the room. We wanted to see the sun rise so dearly. However, when we stood in front of the lobby's door, we found out the rain was actually much heavier than we thought. In fact, it rained like cat and dog out there.

We checked with the receptionist, he said the chances that we could get to see a glimpse of sun rise was near zero. After a short discussion, we have decided to give up the plan, though we saw some tourists still went on. Sigh, wish them good luck then. 

Feeling disappointed, we returned to our room and tried to go back to sleep, but failed actually. Anyway, we lazed on bed until 7am, then woke up again to go for breakfast. 

While waiting for the kids to get ready, my brother and I took a quick walk outside the hotel. My my, the crowds have started to form even though the time was still very early. 

The good thing was, rain had stopped completely.

And the seemingly good weather had elevated our mood too.

Really, nothing can beat a good weather for a trip like this. We were so thankful that we didn't need to put on the rain coat which we have taken with us all along.

Good morning, HuangShan.

After a while, the sun had came out too. Great !!

I called this, flower of HuangShan.

We checked out the hotel at around 8am.

The, we started another long hiking for the day.

Met many porters who helped to carry back pack and baggage for the tourists. I guess that could be one of the services provided by the hotel.

There were many tour groups walking on this same path, and their tour guide had become our tour guide too. This is because those tour guides would talk over a loud speaker to ensure everyone heard him.

Also, those tour guides like to carry a radio / mini player with them. They just couldn't stand a moment of quietness, and the high volume had forced everyone listening to it, like it or not. Sigh... 

Heard one of the tour guides said we would need to walk up this stair case for 45 min to 1 hr time, depends on one's pace.

Ok, fine. We have expected for this.

For the first 30 minutes walk, there isn't many things to see but pine trees along both sides.

Then gradually, we get to see some peaks and rocks as we moved on.

The other side of HuangShan.

We heard another tour guide said that will be our 1st destination, and we should reach there in another 30-40 min time from where we were.

After 45 min walking,we took a short break at this stop-over.

I took out this super-wonderful-delicious biscuit from my backpack and gave everyone a packet of it.

See, even biscuit can have its very special story. This packet of biscuit was given by my old friend, Shirley, when she and her kids visited us in HKG the day before we departed to HuangShan.

She knew I like this biscuit, so she deliberately ordered this biscuit all away from Ipoh, and asked the shopper to send it to her in KL, by DHL courier service. Then she hand carry it to HKG, and passed it to me. Gosh, I was so moved to hear all these hassles she had gone through, just to bring me my favorite biscuit. Thanks so much, Shirley.

The story of this biscuit wasn't end in HKG...Then, I brought this biscuit all along from HKG to HuangShan by air, and we walked it until this particular place before it finally served its purpose. Isn't that the story of this biscuit marvelous?



In 2002, HuangShan was named as the "sister mountain" of Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps. I wonder why, cause both mountain looks very different.

Everybody gave way to this mighty man.

30 min later, we reached to the 1st stop...

Brightness top, 1800 m above sea level.

People scattered all around the peak.

The sun was shinning bright above our head, yet we still felt pretty cold when the wind brow. Thus, the boys refused to take off their outfit thought we think they were a bit over-wrapped.

Of HuangShan's many peaks, the 3 most widely known are the Lotus Peak, the Brilliant Top Mountain, and the Celestial Capital, all of which rise a stunning 1800 m above sea level.

The famous Lotus Peak.The difficulty level to go up to its peak is high, so we didn't bother to give it a try.

One of the tour guide said : Can anyone see a turtle resting on the peak over there? Well, I can.

There is a hotel built on the peak (on left hand side).It looks like an impossible architecture.

I think only the physically very fit people can go up to the hotel for a stay.

The Meteorological Office located on Brightness Top.

We walked to the other side of the peak....

The view over here is very spectacular.

The sun light was also in right direction, that made us keep pressing the camera's button, wildly.

A really nice spot for photo.

While my brother and I were busy taking photos, they hide here and eat the biscuit again.

Since the kids were still happy eating, I went away again to take some close-up photos of the rocks.

Overlooking the Meteorological building.

Ok, finish. Let's go...

Before leaving, took some last photos with the Brightness Top.

At around 12 pm, we continued the walk to our next destination.

It's not fun to lift or to be lifted in a place like this.

Pretending to have conquered another peak, which is just another big rock.

I didn't know why, suddenly they sun bathing themselves on the rock....

We were here at that time.

That's the view we saw from here...

The other side of Lotus Peak....

Have just been there before, about 40 min ago.

We were glad that none of us need this service.

Lotus Peak as backdrop.

Lotus Peak is the highest peak in HuangShan mountain, with an elevation of 1864 m. The outstanding central peak is surrounded by small peaks, forming a pattern like a lotus blossoming towards the sky.

Some people had manage to bring themselves up to the top of Lotus Peak.

Then the path ahead us had revealed itself...terror !

HuangShan is known for its stone steps carved into the side of the mountain, of which there may be more than 60,000 throughout the area. The date at which work on the steps began is unknown, but it's said to be over 1500 years old.

Ok, before we continued, we stopped for another short break.

Also, taking some group photos...

Errr...where is the little one had gone?

Ok, he has back to the group.

Forgot what's that pointy peak called?

But there isn't any article besides these 4 letter words.

That's how far we have walked away from the Brightness Top.

The kids were not ready...

Ok, done now.

One of the hotels in HuangShan.

Everyone had to give way when those people passed the narrow steps.

William found a broom and he was happy to sweep the place. It's good to let him made some small contribution to HuangShan.

HuangShan and us.

"Where is William?"

Well, he was still doing his job diligently.

yo, let's go....

Getting closer to that opposite side...but we need to find the steps to go down first.

So, we continued to walk further...

Kids are kids, they always play along the way.

No business, got to wait.

Weird signage, from YuPing Hotel to YuPing Hotel.

Seriously, I think this "transport" is not safe at all. It's better to walk on legs if possible.

The further we walked towards that end, the less people we got to see. When we saw a man passing by, husband approached him to ask for direction.

He advised us not to take this route to go down because the stairs in front is too steep. Instead, we should turn back and use a more user friendly stairs. We took his advice.

So, we all turned back....

We re-adjusted our route and still, we need to walk to that side.

Still taking their own sweet time in playing, absolutely won't care about the time we were running out.

Just got to satisfy them every now and then, simply to want them to have good memory about long hour hiking.

On the way to the other route..

Heard one of the tour guides introduced this rock as a giant fish. I looked up, and agreed of what she said.

Ok, we walked down by using this stairs case instead.

Like said, this path is more user friendly....

Ok, another break time.

And we ate up all of the yummy biscuits here.

And then, we proceed....

As we moved on, we get to see the very-steep stair case which the man had warned us not to use. He was right.

As one of the tour guides said : the fish and the 3 burbles it has blown out. Ok, I could see it too.

From here, we started to walk downwards...

So, we were at the foot hill again...

Looking back to where we have walked down, from the fish to here....

When I heard another tour guide said the things that we should get to see from this rock wall, I started to feel frustrating. She said the 4 main characters, in the famous legendary novel, "Journey to the West" had all shown up in this rock wall.

She pointed here and there, and said that's Sun Wukong (the Monkey God), Zhu Bajie (the pig) and Sha Wujing (monk), and their master, Tang Sanzang.

WTH, I saw none of them. Aren't their visual imaginary is too hey wired? 

The steps that lead us to clouds...

Let's go up...

After a while, I looked back...

Yo, careful ya, don't you roll down.

I really panted at the mid level, no kidding...

These 3 moved faster than us, cause they didn't stop too often for photographing.

The man who carried a little girl on his back was endangering himself and other people as well. Sigh...

Get so near to the rock wall that we can almost reaching for it.

Reaching the Lotus Pavilion.

We took another short break here.

15 min later, we moved on. According to the sign back, going this way will lead us to the Jade Screen Tower.

Resting, is for walking a longer distance ahead...

That should be Jade Screen Tower.

At the top is enclave, solid rock captured by granitic magma. There are only a few enclaves of fine grained granites in HuangShan.

This one is called the "race competition between the rabbit and the tortoise". Rabbit was on the top, tortoise at the mid level.

We would need to go down and then go up again...

Although a bit too shinny, it's a beautiful day after all.

William said it looks like a pear to him.

Met a beautiful pine tree along the way.

Many of the area's pine trees are more than 100 years old and have been given their own names. The pines vary greatly in shape and size, with the most crooked of the trees being considered the most attractive.

Panorama view of HuangShan mountain range.

WAD !!

The Jade Screen Tower. 

Finally, saw the well-known Ying Ke Pine, or Welcoming-Guests Pine,which is said to be over 1500 years old.

In order to protect this tree, the authorities had secluded the area. Tourists would need to take turn to take their photos with the tree.

I have no objection about lining up, but the people in front of us wanted to make so many different weird poses in front of the trees, like they are super model or what. That really made me boiled and made us laugh at the same time.

When it was our turn, we finished it within 2 minutes.

No weird poses, ok.

I hope you won't be bored to death with so many people taking photos with you day in day out.

Luckily the boys refused to line up with us, so they have enjoyed quite some own sweet time while we were wasting our time lining up there.

When we stood at the rock where sons were waiting for us, we could actually get a very good view of the Welcoming-Guests tree too. Should we knew it earlier, we won't want to waste the time.

The uncle and the nephews, with Welcoming-Guest tree as backdrop.

A bit further up, here is the end of the whole journey.

Frankly speaking, HuangShan is a beautiful mountain, but not as beautiful as I think it is. Its sister mountain, Jungfrau in Switzerland is more beautiful.  

Also, the place is too crowded and the people is too noisy that had totally spoil its tranquility.

Another weird thing is, we didn't get to see many foreigners here, I mean the Westerner. Throughout the whole 8-hour journey, we saw less than 5 Westerner. I wonder why?

Normally, a UNESCO heritage site will draw tourists from all around the world, but surprising, not to HuangShan. 

We have been to many mountains all these years. Personally, I still prefer the snow mountains in Europe continent, particularly around Mont Blanc. 

Anyway, this trip is quite physically challenging. I'm glad we all had passed it.

And I hope you boys will continue to enjoy outdoor long-hour hiking when you grow up later. 

We walked down to the cable car station before 5 pm, but found that the line had started to form. Luckily, we only waited for 30 minutes.

In summary, the trip was a good one. It can be better if only all the visitors could keep their volume down and appreciate the view quietly. 

Since we didn't hired any car to bring us back to the hotel in advance, we got to do it on the spot. It's very unpleasant to do so with the local drivers. End up, we just got to close an eye or we would never go back before the sky turn dark.

We returned to the hotel at around 7 pm, and we decided to take dinner in the hotel too.  Finally, we could enjoy some moment of peace in the restaurant. 


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