I recently went on a short trip to Huangshan 黄山. It is one of the most picturesque places in the world. The jagged mountains jut out with trees dotted throughout the crevices. On the best days, in which we were blessed to have, the fog and clouds would weave in and out the peaks. Artists have been painting these beautiful mountains for centuries.

We made it to the sky tram station in the morning to the Yungu 云谷 Cable car (from the Cloud Valley Temple to White Goose Mountain). This cable car, the Austrian made tram leads up to the less crowded eastern side of the park. Once we arrived in the late morning, we hiked up toward our hotel the Bei Hai Hotel (北海宾馆) or North Sea Hotel. It took us about an hour to get there. We were quite fortunate to see the clear skys with the fog rolling in, just as we arrived to the hotel. The late afternoon proved to be fruitless to see any sights with the heavy fog and clouds.

The next morning, we got up early to take some sunrise photographs. Unfortunately, only one of us was able to wake up early enough. The sunrise, while nice, was almost spectacular. Just after breakfast, we made our descent to Yuping 玉屏 Cable car (from the Mercy Light Temple to Jade Screen Tower).

The next three or four hours were crowded with people and filled with breathtaking views. We were amazed how the walk ways and paths were paved with concrete to provide necessary footing in the steep areas. Yet, we were disappointed on how this park will struggle to maintain its natural and organic beauty with man made comforts. This second day late morning was even more awesome with clear sky views. The early afternoons with clouds and fog gave us more photo opportunities. I know I was struggling at times to move with the heavy crowds up and down the stairs to each check point. Toward the end, we were happy to finally see the end game ~ the sky tram back down the mountain.

People ask, why didn’t you hike up the mountain. I’d respond, you need to check it out for yourself – then you’d see the steep mountain side won’t be kind to those who aren’t in shape. But I’d still recommend that you try to get at least in somewhat shape before you head to this mountain.