Mini City Break Away from the City
It’s about time that I posted a little review of time spent hiking in Huangshan National Park in Yunnan province of China. I visited the famous mountain scenes in August of 2017 and had the opportunity to see some incredible views of ‘the sea of clouds‘ or ‘cloud sea‘ as a backdrop to some pretty stunning limestone peaks. Here’s a short round up of how I went about going, what I thought and a few snaps of the beautiful landscapes to be seen there.
If you would like to read more about my time in China or some of the places I visited when I was living and working in Shanghai you can find all of them on my blog. I enjoyed exploring parts of China like Beijing and Suzhou and of course Shanghai!
A number one destination for travellers heading to China is the famous Huangshan mountains or Yellow Mountains as they are also known. You can get a feeling of what to expect by glimpsing traditional Chinese paintings inspired by the sharp, jagged mountain peaks that can be seen in the park. After many years of wanting to experience the culture and history of China, I had to go see some of these for myself!
As I was based in Shanghai I set about finding a way to get myself to these magical mountains away from the hustle and bustle of Shanghai. I found a local touring and adventure group by the name of M2 Adventure which if you are travelling solo or trying to plan a trip around work in the city, these guys are a great option to look up. They run adventure groups for locals and foreigners in Shanghai and the surrounding areas to hotspot destinations over weekends, holidays or tailor made groups. I wanted to fit a trip in around my work and meet some like minded people at the same time, I saw they were headed to Huangshan and at an affordable price too! I paid around 700RMB for the 2 day hike with accommodation included and dinners. This also included entry to the park, transport, cable car tickets (which I didn’t end up using, so was reimbursed about 80RMB) and M2 team leader guides.
We left at around 7:30pm on the Friday and travelled for about 6 hours to our overnight accommodation at a hotel near to the entrance of The Yellow Mountains. We had breakfast in the morning and stocked up on bottles of water (breakfast included in hotel fee). We then headed for about 4 hours towards the start of our hike. Our coach dropped us off at an entrance to a ‘non touristy’ part of the mountains (less people and slightly harder path to take). The views were stunning and we hiked for the whole day, stopping for lunch and arriving at our hostel at the top at around 6:00pm. It was a long day but the views were worth it, we had a little damp start with clouds obstructing most of the mountains but towards the end of the day we had some spectacular views.
Beihai Hotel was our choice of hostel at the top providing hot showers, a place to rest and food to replenish our depleted energy levels; as well as a few Tsingtao beers to boost morale! The next morning we woke up at around 5am to witness one of the most beautiful sunrises I have seen so far!! There was a crowd gathered and it was hard to get a god spot so a few of us decided to climb trees, which was definitely worth the extra effort as we managed to watch the sun rays slowly peak over the infamous ‘sea of clouds’ as they slowly floated behind those sharp silhouetted mountain tops.
We had breakfast and carried on our hike towards the top – yeah we still weren’t right at the top yet! Sunday graced us with sunny skies and humid temperatures in contrast to the previous day. We hiked from 7:00am to 13:00pm where some took a cable to the bottom and others (I was in this group) decided to give it one last push and get right to the top to witness the second largest peaks views in Huangshan and then hike to the bottom by foot.
My legs did not take this decision too well but my eyes got to see some more breathtaking views from the top!
When we finally got to the bottom, we took a short coach ride to our main coach, had some well deserved lunch and then headed back to Shanghai. Arriving in the city at about 7/8:00pm in the evening.
It was just what I needed to revive myself from the city grind and M2 Adventure were super organised, friendly and delivered what they promised and more! Thoroughly recommend them if you’re in or around Shanghai.
Travel. Create, Be Nice!