Knowledge Base Travels

Hiking in China

When I first read about hiking in China as part of my itinerary for January 2019, I immediately had a very specific picture in mind. I saw snow covered peaks, gravel paths winding its way around the mountain leading to said peak, and meadows, flowers and shady forests. In other words – I pictured it like hiking in the Swiss alps. I prepared and packed accordingly. Much to my surprise, hiking in the Huangshan mountains was nothing like I had pictured. The similarities ended with the cable car ride to the top, with the cable car coming from a very familiar Austrian manufacturer. 

The Huangshan mountains – translated to Yellow Mountains – are named after the legendary Yellow Emperor Huang Di in 747 AD, are a UNESCO world heritage site. Its strangely formed peaks and rock formations and oddly shaped pine trees have made it a major tourist attraction. They do not resemble any of the mountains I have encountered in Europe or America. The hiking paths are mainly concreted, with numerous steps that allow you to climb up and down the steep landscape. For those who do not wish to climb hundreds of steps, there are eager Chinese men waiting to carry you to the top on makeshift litters, consisting of a plastic garden chair and two wooden poles.

And if you feel tired after a full day wandering around in that beautiful scenery, you can relax in the hot springs that are located at the bottom of the mountains. They, again, resemble nothing I had pictured based on the public baths that are around in Europe. You are encouraged to bring your mobile phone, talk loudly, and enjoy the many themed hot springs like the red wine hot spring (my favorite) or the fish spa pool were dozens of little fish nibble the dead skin tissue away (another one of my favorites).

Huangshan (黄山), Anhui Province, China

How to get there:

By high-speed train from Shanghai Hongqiao to Huangshanbei (find more information on Wikitravel)

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