Friday, December 9, 2016

lost in huangshan

"i think we're lost" that's one of the worst things one would hear when on top of a mountain range with almost zero visibility. we were already walking for an hour when a snow breeze passed over the mountain range. 
mt huang or simply huangshan mountain range has several ways to be reached. there are are trails up to its mountain peaks. during winter, these trails are closed and the only option would be thru cable cars. three cable cars located at different points at huangshan's base. these cable cars will bring you to a level and from there you can trek to its many peaks. 
we took the Yungu cable car which brought us up to White Goose range. it took about 20 minutes. the view of the first few minutes of the ascend were mostly trees covered with snow but as we went up, it gave us a view of Huangshan's magnificence. its granite ridges. 
but it was not for long. as we continued to ascend, it became foggy. few minutes more, we realized that we can't see both ends of the cable lines. it was already close to zero visibility. that meant one thing. freezing cold temperature at the mountain range. 
we reached the end of Yungu line late afternoon. just right after we went out of the cable car, we immediately felt the cold. temperature was at -4C. it was very different at the base where one can wear a single-layer jacket. here, we had to wear all the gears for the hike.
we had a map but we stall had to depend more on instinct and some luck. some signs were already covered in snow and not all trails and routes were in our map. we passed by an inn which we almost decided to just check-in if a room was available. with hope though, we decided to continue and find the hotel which we booked in advance.
this time we found ourselves ascending to a radio tower. this meant we're going the wrong way. another half hour hiking and found ourselves descending. only to find out that we were still going the wrong way. it was the route going back down. 
before we continued our way down, a local passed by and helped us find our way to our hotel. it was almost 6:00pm when we reached the satellite center. it was a sign that we were going the right way. we rested and there we met other travelers. a short descend lead us to our hotel. finally! it was already dark but just in time for dinner. 

exploring huangshan peaks post up next...

this post is part of the winter blog post series which will feature our huangshan, harbin, takayama and nagano trips.

Huangshan National Park
Category: National Park
Site: UNESCO World Heritage Site

location: 
Mt Huang (Huangshan)
Elevation: 1,864masl (Highest point)
Province: Anhui
Country: China
Island: Greater Eurasia

how to get there:
by plane:
There are several flights daily within China. Often coming from the major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou. Take a plane to Huangshan-Tunxi Airport. From the airport, take bus 19 to Qiyun station (1 hour or less) which will lead you to another bus terminal to the drop off point of Huangshan. there are several options to get to the top depending on the season. you need to coordinate with your hotel to get this information. once you reached your drop off area, you can choose to take cable car or trek your way up. during winter though, most of the trail up are closed for safety.

by train from Shanghai:
there are daily train trips. Take the train from Shanghai Hongqiao Station to Hefei Station (6 hours) or Shanghai to Huangshan North Railway Station (6 hours). From here, take bus 19 to Qiyun station (1 hour or less) which will lead you to another bus terminal to the drop off point of Huangshan. there are several options to get to the top depending on the season. you need to coordinate with your hotel to get this information. once you reached your drop off area, you can choose to take cable car or trek your way up. during winter though, most of the trail up are closed for safety.

by bus from Shanghai:
there are daily bus trips from Shanghai and Hangzhou to Huanghsan. go to Shanghai South Bus Station and take the bus trip to Tunxi. you need to tell the bus conductor to drop you at the bus terminal to Huangshan drop off (depending which route/options you will take). once you reached your drop off area, you can choose to take cable car or trek your way up. during winter though, most of the trail up are closed for safety.

tips and recommendations:
1. once you've booked your hotel, let them make a detailed instruction to get there. so as for you to get the updated options.
2. when you're in China, always take note that they have several airports, train stations and bus stations even within one city. so it is very important that you make sure which of these stations or terminals you will be taking. i even recommend that you have a copy of it in Chinese characters. the way you pronounce these places might be different and they might end up leading you to another place.
3. you can actually book online for train or bus tickets, please make sure that you know where to pick up these tickets. online bookings usually requires you to bring your online booking to a ticket station to claim your tickets. so make sure that it is clearly specified which station you can get your ticket. 

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