Here we go, I decided to create a post with lots of useful information for you. Here is everything I can tell you on how to get to the Huangshan, where to sleep and much more.
In Short: Travel to Huangshan made easy
Hope it helps and enjoy your travel =) Sent me a pick of you on the mountain 😉
How to get there?
Easiest to reach from Shanghai. There is a night train which leaves around 8.00pm and you will arrive in Huangshan area at 7am in the morning and costs 160 for a hard sleeper and then there are a couple of buses leaving daily. They take about 5 hours to get there and cost about the same, maybe a bit cheaper.
There are fast trains too, but they still need as long as the bus and are pretty expensive, so I don’t recommend them.
Last time I took the bus, which was fairly easy, just go to the Bus Center and get the tickets a view days in advance. Same goes for train tickets, which we are doing this time(but careful sleeper are pretty fast booked out)…also there are a couple of places selling tickets in town, but for these you need basic chinese skills or have somebody write it all down for you. At the stations they usually have a english speaking counter.
How to get from the train/bus to the scenic area?
There are buses leaving from the bus station as well as the train station going to the scenic area and then there are shuttle buses from the hotels in the city, if you decided to spent a night in the city.
Easiest is to follow the crowds or just ask.
The Bus shouldn’t cost more then 20RMB and will take you to the entry of the scenic area. It’s a one hour drive. From there you will switch to Shuttle Buses, bringing you to the official entry.
Now you have to pick if you want to take the Eastern Steps or Western Steps.
Like all scenic areas in China there is a entry fee for the mountain. During Main Season the tickets costs 230RMB, which I know is a very proud price, but worth every penny. If you are a student you get 50 % off.
Secret Tip: Last time I showed them my foreign driver license and got the student discount…doesn’t work always, but sometimes 😉
During Winter Season I think they reduce the entrance fee too. But I am not sure how much…
How to get up the mountain?
There are three ways, either you take the Eastern Steps, which are not as long and steep, with less peaks to climb, took me about 4 hours to get up there, but I was on the totally wrong side and had to hike the paths up there to get to my Hotel, which was at the western steps…but that was pretty good I guess, that way I was able to see nearly everything =D
The Western Steps I walked these down the next day and I would just walk them up if you are somewhat trained. Depending on your conditions it takes 6 -9 hours to get to the top, from where you still have to find your hotel…worst case you will have to search in the dark for your hotel. Which I really wouldn’t recommend.
And then there is the easy way, take the Cable Car, 80 RMB one way…which I wouldn’t do, just if you are not sleeping on the mountain and are just doing a day trip. Because you will miss a lot of amazing scenery and let’s be honest, getting up that mountain is also fun because of the challenge…Kick your but and get some workout…yes you will be sore, but at least you have something to be really proud of 😉
Where to sleep?
Last time I first stayed in the city at the mountain base, now calling itself Huangshan City. There is a Hostel and if you stay there, they will help you to book a cheap dorm bed up on the mountain for the next day and they will also organize a shuttle bus for you, so you won’t have to go to the bus station to take the official one (prices are about the same). That’s what I did the last time.
This time we don’t have so much time, we will arrive with the night train, head straight to the mountain and then camp up on the mountain, hike back down and take another night train back into the city. (I will tell you more details about the camping after our trip )
UPDATE: While it is possible to rent a tent up on the mountain, the numbers are limited and it is safer to carry a tent up with you. Once up on the mountain you will most likely see already people putting up their tents, just go there…there are official places around the Hotels, most times at basketball courts or other open spaces. You will have to pay 30 RMB to but your tent up there. They will collect the money in the evening.
If you are a bit more adventures, wait till it gets dark, pick a great spot and just put your tent up there, usually after nightfall nobody is checking the area anymore. Just be careful, don’t put it close to any edges 😉
There are 4 Hotels up on the mountain. Dorms cost somewhere between 100-200RMB depending on the season and on how lucky you are. Proper Hotel Rooms seem to start at 800 at the moment, I am sure there is room to haggle and they have cheaper, but most likely also windowless, tiny rooms at offer too...Just ask, maybe you are lucky, they do usually do know basic English up there.
Where to eat?
At the bottom of the mountain are tons of really good restaurants on top not so much…at least not if you are not willing to pay a fortune. The higher you climb, the more expensive it gets. Sure compared to western prices it is still totally acceptable and amazingly cheap. I mean everything up there has been carried up, you will see many of men carrying 40 kilo loads and more up that mountain…it is craaaaazyxD
So I guess the 15 RMB for a bottle of water are acceptable.
Otherwise just carry some snacks and food up with you, or get a doggy bag from one of the restaurants at the mountain base or city 😉
- Be careful, there are monkey packs up on that mountain. Stay away don’t get to close and if they go for your food in your hands, better leave it to them and get away from there as quick as possible. (Last time I was lucky and didn’t come across any of them)
- Again as usual carry some Toilet paper with you, toilets were surprisingly clean the last time, but when staying in the dorm, I didn’t have the chance to shower, so maybe you want to take some wet wipes with you, so that you won’t stink to bad, after your long hike 😛
- Really don’t miss sunset and sunrise…It is absolutely stunning, if
- the weather is good. It changes super fast up there. One second you have sunshine, the other you can’t see your hand in front of your face anymore because of the fog.
- Any more questions??? Just comment down below or write me a mail, I would be happy to help you out =)