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Mt.Huangshan, China World Heritage Site&Geopark

Overview
 
Located in Anhui Province, Huangshan Geopark runs 40km from North to South and 30 km from East to West, covering an area of 1200 square kilometers (with 160.6 square km as key Scenic Area) and featuring granite landform of Mesozoic period of 100 million years ago. Among its 82 peaks, 72 peaks erect over 1000 meters above sea level, enveloped with U-shaped and V-shaped valleys which compose a spectacular scene. Lotus Peak(1,864 m), Bright Summit Peak(1,840 m), and Heavenly Capital Peak (Celestial Peak, 1,829 m) are its three main peaks. The pine trees with various postures taking root among the cliffs, the grotesque stones scatter everywhere, the boundless sea of clouds and the forever running hot springs are highlighted as the top four wonders of Huangshan (Yellow Mountian), a comprehensive nature museum embracing steep mountains, winding rivers, time-honored culture and rich flora&fauna species. It is a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and literature, as well as modern photography.

Huangshan assembles the merits of other famous mountains in China, such as the magnificence of Mt. Tai, the steepness of Mt. Huashan (in Shaanxi province), the ever-changing clouds and fog of Mt Hengshan, the crystal waterfalls of Mt Lushan and the delicate beauty of Mt. Emei. Beautiful scenery, traditional lifestyle, diverse custom, attractive local culture and primitive towns qualify Huangshan as a most valuable tourism destination in China which is nicknamed as God’s Miniascape.

Xu Xiake, an ancient travel expert and geographer spoke highly of Huangshan. He remarked: “Just like the Five Great Mountians will outshine the remaining mountains in China, Huangshan will put the remaining Five Great Mountians into shame also.” There are no peaks which are not stony, no pine trees which don't survive and thrive on the stones and adopt a stylish shape! Huangshan was evaluated as a "site of scenic beauty and historic interest" by the State Council of China in 1982 and honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990 for its breathtaking scenery, rare & threatened species and rich culture background. In 2002, Huangshan was named the "sister mountain" of Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps, while 2004 saw it is listed as the first World Geopark in the world.

 

 Work Geopark: Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) in Anhui Province



Four Wonders of Huangshan

Bizarre Pine Trees

Huangshan’s Pine tree is one of the most frequent subjects of photography, painting and literature works. They are a very unique variant class of pine trees which can survive the extremely barren environment along Huangshan’s cliffs and rocks, taking root deeply in the crackle and reaching further into earth for water. Just like Cactus, a little sunshine and water can sustain its life. Generally speaking, they are distributed along the south slope’s 1000-1600meters' position and North Slope’s 1500-1700meters’ position. Wind brings their seeds around, and they will take root wherever there is a crack, it usually takes longer time to grow, because of the relatively tough environment, and their roots are usually several dozen times even one hundred times of the length of their trucks. Catering to the undulation of mountains, they adopt various bizarre shapes and sizes which will challenge the limits of your imagination.


Huangshan have ten most famous pine trees, and there is a book devoted to Huangshan Pine Trees called Famous Pine Trees List, in which thousands of pine trees with stylish images are named. Its ten famous pine trees are listed as following: Ying Ke Pine( Welcoming-Guests Pine, which is thought to be over 1500 years old),Wang Ke Pine(pine stares at guest), Song Ke Pine(the pine say goodbye to guest), Tan Hai Pine(Pine cranes its head to see the sea of clouds), Putuan Pine, Heihu Pine( Black tiger pine), Wo Long Pine(lying Tiger Pine),Linqi Pine(Kirin Pine), Lianli Pine(lover Pine). 
 

 

 Tan Hai Pine(Pine cranes its head to see the sea of clouds)



Grotesque Stones

Huangshan stones which are formed in the fourth ice age over 100millions years ago, are esteemed for its large quantity and various unique shapes. Among the profusion of over 1200 famous stones, there are 120 most distinctive ones with names. They take various and vivid shapes resembling human, birds, animals, ect, and whose shapes vary with different angles or perspectives. Numerous beautiful legends contributed to these stones.

 

Immortal Guides the Road

Immortal Goes out to Pick Herb Medicine

  

 Flower Dream Written out of a Writing Brush Rock

 A Monkey Gazing At the Sea

  

Turtle Peak : stone shaped like a turtle

 Flying Over Stone (the one inspired the Writer Cao Xueqin of Red Mansion. one of four masterpieces of ancient Chinese literature)



Sea of Clouds

Huanshan is renowned as the home of clouds. What differentiates Huangshan’s “Sea of Clouds” from other places in the world is its soaring peaks, grotesque stones and crooked pine trees half hidden amid the milky flowing clouds, which resembles an giant elegant landscape painting changing every second. Huangshan with 255.9 days with mist, thus one can appreciate the beautiful “Sea of Clouds” all year around. Generally speaking, each November to May is the best period to appreciate it. The most spectacular scenery of “Sea of Clouds” often occurs after the rain or snow and before the sunrise &sunset.


When the clouds rises, Huangshan’s mountains,big and small, will immerse themselves within the white “ocean”, with peaks include Bright Summit Peak, Lotus Peak and Heavenly Capital Peak emerging like islands. During the sunrise and sunset, the whole world is bathed within the golden tint of sunshine, the clouds are whiter, the pine trees are more luxuriant and the stones are more appealing. When autumn comes, the mountains colored with hue of red, which looks beautiful like burning floating leaves among the ocean of clouds. Just as a writer puts: “To enjoy the magnificence of a mountain, you have to look upwards in most cases. To enjoy Mount Huangshan, however, you've got to look downward.”


  

 Sea of Clouds

 Sea of Clouds

  

 Sea of Clouds

 Sea of Clouds

To enjoy the Sea of Clouds View, there are five sites:

Dong Hai(East Sea): Located east of White Goose Peak and Heavenly Capital Peak, Though the “Sea of Clouds” view is not so grand as that of Nan Hai and Bei Hai, it is more changing and overwhelming due to the steep valleys from where the clouds rolls fiercely. “Five old man paddle a boat” in Mt Gongyangshan is a famous scene. Best Appreciate Site: White Goose Peak and Donghaimen(东海门)

Nan Hai (South Sea, also called Qian Hai): Located south of Heavenly Capital Peak and Lotus Peak. The “Sea of Clouds” scene is stunning here. Best site: Wenshu Terrace of Jade Screen Peak.

Xi Hai (West Sea): Located west of Red Cloud Peak and Flying Over Peak and shelters Xihai Grand Valley, the most picturesque and steep part of this area. Best site: Cloud-Dispelling Pavilion. Before the Piayunting, there lies steep stiffs, is ideal place to appreciate sea of clouds, and sunrise&sunset as well as the glowing of clouds.

Bei Hai (North Sea): Located north of Peak DanXianfeng, Shizifeng and Shixingfeng, Beihai boasts one of the most beautiful sunrise and sea of clouds view. Best sites: Refreshing Terrace and Lion Peak.


Tian Hai (Heaven Sea): Located in front of Bright Summit Peak, amid Nan Hai, Bei Hai, Dong Hai and Xi Hai. Bright Summit Peak is the best site to view the Tian Hai “Sea of Clouds” as well as the mentioned four sites’ clouds view.



Hot Spring  

Huangshan has 36 water source, 24 streams, 20 deep pools, 17 springs, 3 waterfalls, 2 lakes, 1 pond and 15 hot spring sites, among them, the hot spring named as Tang Quan( Tang Spring or Zhusha Spring) is one of the four wonders of Huangshan. Located at the south foot of Purple Cloud Peak(紫石峰),north bank of Tangquan Brook(汤泉溪), 1500 meters away from front mountain entry site named Mercy Light Chamber(慈光阁25-mintues’ walk distance) and 7 km from back mountain entry site called Yungu Temple(云谷寺), Huangshan Hot Spring is accessible with regular buses. Hotels here include 3-starTaoyuan Hotel,2-star Hot Spring Hotel and 2-star Huangshan Hotel. Renzi Water Fall, Baizhang Spring and Jiulong Waterfall(the most spledind one) are three notable waterfalls in Huangshan.

Developed since Tang dynasty (618-907AD), this hot spring with an altitude of 650m boasts average temperature of 42.5℃ in its main outlet, and 41.1℃ in its minor outlet. Temperature varies with weather conditions and rain drops amount. This hot spring’s maxim outflow is 219.51 tons and the minimum outflow is 145.23 tons in 24 hours. What makes it special is the minerals it contains have amazing curing effect. It has a high concentration of carbonates and free of sulfur, which can help prevent skin, joint, and nerve illness and enhance the digestion, cardiovascular functions to some extent.
 
One of the Most Romantic Thing to do In Huangshan: Watch Sunrise& Sunset

Many of you have read The Little Prince, who see sunset somehow 41 times within one day when he is lonely. The best site to watch sunrise and sunset is Bright Summit Peak, Jade Screen Peak, Lotus Peak, Red Cloud Peak ,Peak Shixinfeng(始信峰), Shuguangting Pavilion(曙光亭),Refreshing Terrace,Lion Peak, Mt Gongyangshan(贡阳山), White Goose Peak, Heavenly Capital Peak,Bring your camera to capture the most splendid shots that will even surprise yourself. Buddha's Light is also well-known here,it only appears a couple times per month averagely.

Further Tips: Best Site to Watch Evening Glow: Cloud-Dispelling Pavilion, Red Cloud Peak, Flying Over Stone,Bright Summit Peak、Lion Peak. Best site to watch snows: Bei Hai( North Sea), Xi Hai(West Sea), Tian Hai(天海), Yupinglou(Jade Screen Mansion,玉屏楼), Pine Valley, Cloud Valley and Hot Spring site.


Sunset of Huangshan


Main Scenic Area of Huangshan

Wenquan Scenic Area (Literally means hot spring area)

The famous Huangshan Hot Spring is located in this area. Main sites include Invented V Waterfall, Three Layers Spring, String Spring, Red Well, Drunk Stone, Mercy Light Chamber. 

 

Hot Spring

Three-layers Spring



Jade Screen Scenic Area

This site revolves around Yupinglou(Jade Screen Mansion), with Lotus Peak  and Heavenly Capital Peak as the dominating part. Left to Yupinglou, stands Ying Ke Song (Welcoming-Guests Pine), right to it erects the Song Ke Song(Seeing-Guests-off Pine). The 1830-meters-high Heavenly Capital Peakis the steepest one among Huangshan’s three main peaks. The 1864-meters-high Lotus Peak is the highest peak of Huangshan, pine trees and Azaleas decorate its steep roads. After the rain, one can perceive the stunning sea of clouds view. Descending the Lotus Peak , and passing along Turtle Peak , you can reach Tian Hai (Heaven Sea), the center area of Huangshan. This high mountain basin is home to numerous rare flora& fauna species.

 

Jade Screen Peak

Lotus Peak(the highest one of Huangshan)



Bei Hai Scenic Area (North Sea Scenic Area)

Bei Hai Scenic Site is the main scenic site and Tourists Acception Area in Huangshan. Beihai Hotel lies in this area. Four clibming routs of Huangshan all converge at Beihai Scenic site, combined with less hunted paths, forming a network. Peak Shimenfeng and Mt Gongyangshan with altitude over 1800 meters high, and Peak Shizifeng famous for its steepness belong to this site. 

 

Bei Hai Scenic Site (North Sea Scenic Site)



White Cloud Scenic Area

White Cloud Scenic site lies west of Huangshan, covering an area of 1655 square kilometers. This site boasts picturesque landscape consists of pine trees, grotesque stones, crystal springs and more than 10 waterfalls. The famous Xi Hai Grand Vally characterized by soaring peak clusters, steep cliffs, grotesque pine trees and enchanting waterscapes is developed aiming to connect mains sites together.

 

the Deep XI Hai Grand Valley



Songgu Scenic Area (Pine Valley Scenic Area)

Just as the saying goes: “Wenquan Scenic Site is featured with steep landscape and Songgu Scenic site is distinguished by delicate beauty”. Sit at the north slope of Huangshan, this site is composed of Lion Peak, Cameral Peak, Shuxiangfeng, Baotafeng and the valleys between. Ascending Huangshan through Furongling, there are 6500 stone steps leading up, the scenery along the road is most impressive.

Yungu Scenic Area (Cloud Valley Scenic Area)

Locate east of Huangshan, this 890-meters-high site is a valley area. It derives its name from the Yungu Temple. Main places of interests are Yungu Valley, Jiulong Waterfalls as well as Hundred-step Spring.

Flora& Fauna
There are nearly 1500 kinds of plants, 500 kinds of animals (among them 72 species under national key protection) and top-class summer resorts in Huangshan, the natural zoo and botanic park. The vegetation of the area varies with altitude. Mesic forests cover the landscape below 1,100 meters. Deciduous forest stretches from 1,100 meters up to the tree line at 1,800 meters. Above that point, the vegetation consists of alpine grasslands. The area has diverse flora, where one-third of China's bryophyte families and more than half of its fern families are represented. Endangered species such as Taxus chinensis are well-preserved.

 

  

 Huangshan Ganoderma Lucidum

 Huangshan Taxus Chinensis

  

 Huangshan  Black Muntjac

 Huangshan White Stork

  

 Huangshan Baby Fish(very rare)

 Leopord

  

  HuangshanWhite Neck Pheasant

 Huangshan Monkey



Climate

Huangshan features subtropical monsoon climate, temperature ranging from 27 degrees in summer and -22 degrees in winter, its annual average temperature is 7.8 degrees. Climate here is changing all the time. Meanwhile, there is sharp difference between the North Slope and South slope, the predominant role of regional change is seeable in climate change. Hence, the density of cloud and mist, the humidity and precipitation is much clearer than other places.

Travel advice

1 It is better to wear more than in Anhui City, for temperatures here is lower. For instance, do wear the thick coat or parka and the warmth-keeping hats in winter.


2 It rains or snows a lot in winter, so it is better to wear the travel shoes and the sport shoes to prevent slipping, in the meantime, don’t forget the walking-stick and gloves. Buy a raincoat rather than umbrella in case it is windy.

 

3 If you want to climb Huangshan on foot, you had better climb from Yungu Temple, which is less exhausting. If you choose to take a cable car, you can go to Ciguang Temple. It takes 10 minutes for you to reach Tai Hai( near Peak Guangmingding)


4 If you choose to stay for one night in Huangshan, you can stay in Tian Hai, Bei Hai or Xi Hai Scenic site, if you plan to spend two nights, then you can spend in Bei Hai and Tian Hai Scenic Site.


5 To save energy, do not bring too much baggage with you.


6 Do not enjoy the scene while walking, it is pretty dangerous.


7 Do not climb high mountains when there is thundering, do not touch the steel chains and shut off your cell phone to avoid lightening hit.

 

 

Map of Huangshan

 

 Huangshan In Autumn

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