After taking a good sleep at the bottom of the Yellow Mountain (黄山), at Tangkou Town (汤口镇), I went up to the starting point of the hike in the morning by a mini van arranged at the entrance ticket office. It was raining and foggy and I was told by the staffs from the hotel that there was a pretty good chance I was going to see nothing, still I decided to try my luck. The next morning, it didn't turn out fine, still foggy everywhere, I wasn't sure what I expected to see in such a foggy day.
As I got in and walked about half an hour, suddenly, the fog seemed to be fading away, and all the beautiful mountain peaks came out a bit. What an unexpected turn of events! I was so so excited to see the blue sky for I had not seen it in a long long time. My hike started at the entrance on one side of Yellow Mountain, then I went up to the top of it, toured around on the top, and came down on the other side, then took a car back to the place where I stayed.
There are times when we complain how hard and sad life is, but please take a look at the pictures above, these are porters in Yellow Mountain. They get up early and carry all the heavy stuff that the hotels and other businesses need everyday. I was hiking behind them, following them up a while, and I noticed that they had very strong calves and lower body, which many people don't have. Hard works give them a healthy body while a lot of people who work in the office have all kinds of problems on their body.
The mountains and the mist.
I kept on hiking, when I looked back, I saw the most beautiful clouds and mountains in my life. And the famous "Sea of Clouds" is one of the reasons that people come to visit Yellow Mountain.
There were several view points on the top you could visit one by one. To me, it doesn't matter from the view points or not, the view was amazing in Yellow Mountain.
The pine trees were great decoration to the landscape up in Yellow Mountain.
When I reached the top of Yellow Mountain, the hiking paths became up and down, much flatter than on the way up, and from different angles took on different view. It seemed like every turn and corner had view that attracted tourists to stop to take pictures.
The fog came and went, sometimes it was there, sometimes not.
As I hiked on one of the peaks in Yellow Mountain, then I reached a point where I felt like I started to walk down on the other side of the Yellow Mountain, and the landscape was changing so brusquely, totally different than what I saw on the way up.
On the way up, there were a lot of trees, and on the other side, the formation tended to be more rocky. In China, we have the concept of the "sunny side of a mountain and shadow side of a mountain" Sometimes when I was in the fog, it was like a fairyland.
Kept on hiking, then I came to the most famous pine tree of all the pine trees in China, its name was "Guest Welcoming Pine Tree", gained the popularity because of the shape. It also was the icon for Yellow Mountain.
Behind the "Guest Welcoming Pine Tree", the fog went away, I saw the second tallest peak in Yellow Mountain, the "Lotus Peak", it was a single super vertical peak standing out of other peaks. The tallest peak was closed at that time of year due to some regular maintenance. I looked at the time, and I got a couple of hours before sundown, and I asked one of the park keepers, she told me I got enough time to go up and down to the peak before it got dark, so I did it. The paths up and down the peak were not easy, they were so steep, my piece of advice is, you'd better know what you are doing. But the view was totally worth the effort.
When I was half way to the peak, I had to concentrate on climbing, because it was a bit dangerous, nobody wants to slip on that kind of paths, but when I took a break and looked back, I saw the paths I took before I went on the "Lotus Peak", the view was breath taking, like what they do in a Chinese traditional scroll painting.
Watch out for the stairs!
On the top of "Lotus Peak". The thick fog blocked everything and it would have been much better if I were able to see the landscape from the top. Well, I still think it was worth the effort.
Me and the fog.
Stayed on the top for a long while, and it didn't seem to be cleared up, time was running out, so I had to come down, the stairs were even worse on the way down.
Super slippery with all the moisture and moss.
View on the way down from the peak. It was getting dark so I came all the way down to the transfer place after the peak. Had a perfect day touring in Yellow Mountain.
The beauty about Yellow Mountain is that you can get to see view from everywhere, and it's a very good combination of oddly-shaped rock formation and elegant pine trees. Basically, you can choose to stay in the village at the bottom of the Yellow Mountain, and then take a bus to the entrance about half way to the top of the mountain, where they also sell the entrance ticket, around RMB 240. The hike in the mountain takes up to 2 or 3 days, but with the help of cable cars, you can see most parts in just one day. Yellow Mountain turned out to be one of my favorite places of all time.