Huangshan, about 400 km from the capital, is a place of breathtaking beauty with few rivals in China. Now on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List, the area has for centuries been a source of enchantment and inspiration to poets and painters. Walks through the area take travelers past lakes, waterfalls, beautiful pine trees and unforgettable mountain vistas.
The Huangshan area is really a mountain range comprising many peaks, 77 of which are more than 1,000m high. The three tallest are Lotus Peak (1,864m), Bright Summit Peak (1,840m) nd Celestial (or Heavenly Capital) Peak (1,829m). There are several walking routes and three cable cars that take visitors to the peaks, which are often above cloud level. The view of the clouds from above (known as the ''sea of clouds'') is a famous attraction of the area, as is the phenomenon known as ''Buddha's glow,'' which is caused by the diffraction of light through clouds.
Huangshan also features hot springs, which are located at the base of Purple Cloud Peak, and remain at a temperature of 45 degrees C all year round. Some of the best-known are Old Dragon Pool, Green Dragon Pool, Black Dragon Pool, White Dragon Pool and the Jade Pond.
The pines of Huangshan have inspired the admiration of visitors and artists for centuries. The hardy trees can be seen growing out of cracks in the rock, clinging to cliff faces, overhanging deep valleys or standing on the tops of rocky outcrops. Some rise tall and luxuriant, while others, dwarfed by the rocky terrain and exposure to the elements, are less then a meter high.
There are small villages in the area where the unique local traditional Hui houses are relatively well preserved, and are included in the UNESCO World Heritage listing for the area.
Getting there: Buses depart every half hour from Anhui Provincial Tour Bus Station.