Tag Archives: Huangshan

Huangshan – Nine Dragon Waterfall

ninedragonUpon rising with the ever-honking buses and loud speaking maids outside our door, at 6am we were up and ready to blow the joint. Passing up the breakfast from yesterday, we decided to head out for Hangzhou and Mike added a scenic route on the roadway that found us at the Nine Dragon Waterfall trailhead. At the entry was a sign saying this was one of the seven most famous waterfalls in all of China. How could be pass up viewing that? All was good until we realized there was the dreaded  S T A I R S … again. Oh, the kids were ready to hang it up. But I so wanted to see it so I convinced them to push on. I told them, “It ain’t over until the fat lady sings, and this fat lady is not singing!” It made them laugh and figure if Mom can make, they can.

We took the trail as far as it was open, which allowed us to see a good portion of the waterfall. All 984 feet of it. Very impressive. The water was clear and the air was fresh. What I loved was the ancient Buddhist Temple at the base of the big climb. Its days are numbered because on the other side of the river, they are erecting an astounding, jaw dropping new temple. Not even done, and it gave me goose bumps. By the looks of it, it will be completed this year. Oh, found another cute butt picture… This was of a little one not even old enough to walk on its own.

After leaving here we continued to Hangzhou and West Lake, our hotel was very nice, but the amount of people and the dreary weather left us going… what?! The sky was gray to the ground and never have seen so many people in my life. More than we saw in Beijing. It was unreal. So the next morning, we walked out to the lake and fought our way back to the van headed home to Suzhou. Obviously, Labor Day weekend was not a good time to visit West Lake. From what we heard, it never is. Hope you enjoy the photos…

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Huangshan – Yellow Mountains

huangshanReputed to be the most beautiful mountain range in the country, the peaks of Huangshan have for centuries been celebrated by poets and painters. Although the main peak is under 6,200 ft, the 70 sheer rock cliffs are a challenging hike with the people-crowded, winding concrete steps that go on forever up and down. They say even when shrouded in mist, the scenery of the peaks and ancient pines are awe-inspiring. Unless, of course, the mist is thick clouds and the sky rains continuously throughout the day.

Yep! That was the weather conditions we visited this place in. We never got a good view from the top peaks. The weather was a thick pile of mush… hmm… or was that us? Both, actually. 🙂 Well, what we could see was moving and we could easily tell this has to be one of the most incredible mountain ranges ever. No wonder it is so heavy poeted and painted. We have never seen anything like it before and wish a bit of clearing would have graced the landscape, but we still had an eventful time.

We started the day with a Chinese breakfast with Rice Porridge, sticky buns, soy sauce soaked hard-boiled eggs and tea. Then we hiked across town to the bus station that took us to the entry of the Park. (Couldn’t drive there.) After arriving and paying the hefty fees for entry and gondola ride up the first 2,000 feet, we became the stair-masters of stairs. We thought Mt. Emei had a lot of steps. Not! This place was tops.

China does not keep normal walking trails, like we find in our mountains. They instead concrete a pathway all over the darn place. Stairs, stairs, and more stairs. Some of the stairs even had sheer drop offs on one side with little railing protection. Yikes! Mike and I agree. We can walk all day on normal paths, but stairs wear us out too fast. The funniest part about this hike was we were only a small walk over to a gondola that would have taken us back down. But no, we made a wrong turn and took the steepest and longest route down the mountains to a much lower gondola, which we barely made in time before it closed. Always an event for us!

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Huangshan – Road Trip!!

roadtripMike is feeling really good about driving, so he was up to driving a good distance from Suzhou.

The Yellow Mountains, called ‘Huangshan’ in Chinese, for a couple days and a day in Hangzhou became our plan for the holiday weekend of the April 28th through May 1st. Chinese have so many holidays. Two days off here, three there… it’s great! We left on Saturday to make sure we had plenty of daylight to get to our destination.

As always, there’s humor on the roadway. In the gallery, check out the photo of a truck driving down the freeway at 40mph+ with a broken front axle and a massive load of cargo. Mike laughed his head off for a long time over that. I also took photos of a wedding motorcade. This is how all wedding couples get around.

Once we were about one hour from our hotel, we took a scenic route on a new freeway that wasn’t even on Google Maps. One of the tourist guide books recommended an ancient, little city to visit called Shexian, actually called Huizhuo for hundreds of years until just recently they have been trying unsuccessfully to change its name. Sadly, the ancient parts are mostly destroyed to make way for big buildings. (And why they building the big buildings will remain a mystery as they all stay empty because no one will come to a town that has nothing to see.)

We did find a haunting pagoda in bad need of repair. The grounds surrounding it were terribly neglected too. Mike, Briana, and Zachary found a sneaky way (a no go zone) into the stairwell that led to the top of the pagoda. Zachary was freaked when they got back due to the lack of stairwell, narrow steps, his large feet, all the dead bats, bat dung and such. He shook for a while once they got back down. A day or two later, he said it was worth it. A local stayed with Zachary and was even willing to carry him down.

Off note, I repeat myself often, but my, these people are so caring and wonderful compared to most of people in the US. Daily we met new people always willing to help out, laugh with, etc. We will miss them. We arrived at our hotel while it was still daylight out. After checking in the hotel, we took off on foot to find a good place to eat and see the city. The town of Tangkou was were we spent at the base of the mountain range. Thank goodness the hotel did not live up to the way the town looked. Oh my… what utter filth! We got lucky. Our hotel was clean… tight for us five in one room, but very doable. We do love each other, so it works.

We did find a good place to eat based on a recommendation in one of the tourist books I have and a local who spoke a bit of English. The restaurant help could speak broken English too and was the only ones to help us figure out how to get up the mountain. And the food was grubbin’! So good we came back the following night for seconds.

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