Huangshan translates to Yellow Mountain and is the name of a scenic area located in Anhui province. The easiest way to get to Huangshan is via high speed train or by plane. It is a little confusing as both Huangshan city (Also called Tunxi district) and Huangshan mountain go by the same name, even though they are about 70km apart.
From the Huangshan (city) train station you can catch a green mini bus heading to Tangkou (汤口) which takes about 1 hr, the first bus leaves between 7-8am. Tangkou is a small town at the base of the mountain, you can store excess luggage here which is big bonus if you don’t want to be lugging all of your things up the 60,000+ steps to the summit. From Tangkou you catch another bus to the scenic park entrance which takes about 20mins. Both buses cost around 15 Yuan each.
There are two routes up Huangshan the Eastern route which takes about 3 hours and the Western route which takes about 6. I went up the short way and down the long but there are also a couple of cable car stretches if you feel the need to take the load off your feet. There are locals selling snacks and drinks all the way up the climb. Prices increase the higher you get, and I was happy I packed snacks for the climb. On top of the mountain there are heaps of walks and sites to explore. I found it impossible to locate a proper hiking map, all the vendors sell tourist maps like this one, so it can be difficult to tell exactly how long it will take to walk anywhere.
You definitely want to stay at least 1 night at the top so you can explore all the sites at a leisurely pace. I stayed for two nights which I thought the perfect amount of time, but that might be too much for people who like traveling at a faster pace. Be warned this is one of the most famous mountains in China so expect a lot of other tourists. If you move off the main trails it is is possible to find some peaceful spots.
You can camp on the mountain but only on a paved basket ball court. There are not really any camping facilities and space is at a premium. Staying in a hostel is almost price equivalent and probably more comfortable in this instance. Expect to pay 200 Yuan for a bed in a shared dorm.
On your way back down the mountain you can check out the Huanshan hot spring (黄山温泉, huangshan wenquan) for a well deserved soak. The facilities are clean and luxurious and the outdoor garden is scattered with numerous different hot springs all with fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. The bus back to Tangkou from both the Eastern and Western steps passes the hot spring so just let the driver know that’s where you are going. You can stay they night at the hot spring or wait for a later bus to come past, last bus is around 5pm. If you miss the last bus you can also ask reception staff to call a taxi and the ride back to Tangkou is only about 30 Yuan.
The Vital Information
Get There: Bus from Huangshan city –> Tangkou–> Park entrance
Entrance Fee: 230 Yuan, Off peak 150 Yuan (Dec.1-Feb.28 or 29)
Example Itinerary: Day 1 arrive Huangshan city, travel to Huangshan mountain, climb via eastern steps. Day 2: Explore mountain top Day 3: Descend via Western stairs, stay the night at the hot spring hotel. Day 4: Bus back to TangKou and then to Huangshan city for the next leg of your journey.