Located about 2-3 hour bus ride from Hangzhou is one of China's most visited mountains, Huangshan (literally, Yellow Mountain) in Anhui Province. Huangshan is actually a range of peaks topping out in the 1800 meter range with an extensive stone walkways and stairs system that is said to have been started some 1500 years ago and seems to serve as the model for Chinese mountain hiking. The system is extensive enough that the normal visit to Huangshan is a 2 day minimum with one night spent on the top in one of the many hostels and hotels where accommodations range from luxury rooms to dorms of 10 or more hikers. When booking a tour to Huangshan, one must be specific on the combination of walking, riding and type of accommodations desired. A maximum walking visit would be to walk up the 6 km of stairs to the top of the Yungu gondola (typically 3 hours) in the morning, walk around the various spectacular peaks in the afternoon, stay on top that night and walk back down under the Yuping gondola the second day after witnessing the sunrise and visiting the remainder of the prominent peaks on top. For those less adventurous, or in the event of bad weather, gondola rides up and/or down are available.
Accomodation on top of Haungshan
A stroll through the peaks of Huangshan
Above the clouds Huangshan peak
One should be aware that it rains on Huangshan up to 250 days a year so the chance of two sunny days in a row are poor and the scenery is much less spectacular when shrouded in rain clouds. Despite this, Huangshan is one of he top destinations in China for Chinese tourists and those that get at least one clear day on their visit are well rewarded.
One of the traditions on Huangshan is to attach a lock to something, make a wish and throw away the key forever enlisting the magic of the mountain in the pursuit of your dream.