Huangshan is like nothing I have seen before. The exaggerated peaks all around you seem surreal. I think its beauty and uniqueness makes this a must-see destination in China. If you ever do make it out here, do what we did not and check the weather.
Despite the not-so-good weather we had, we continued as planned and went to the top of the mountain. Having my parents with us was a great excuse to take the cable car instead of trekking it up and down. The price of admission plus the roundtrip cable car was pretty hefty. We ended up using our old student ids and got almost half off the admission price (but not saying you should do the same).
On our first day on the mountain, Boris planned a short hike for us. The first 1.5 hours was mostly downhill. There were moments when the fog slightly dispersed and we got a glimpse of the peaks and the local pines. The next 4 hours, however, were completely dreadful. We felt like we were climbing straight up the mountain for days. To be more dramatic, we had no food and ran out of water. Note for next time, the map they give you is not drawn to scale!
It is not clear if this location or another mountain in China was the inspiration behind the movie “Avatar”. It could easily be Huangshan, as it is known for its breathtaking scenery of sharp granite peaks, views of the clouds from above, and unforgettable sunsets. While we were not so lucky to see all that because of the rain and fog we had for the entire two days, it was still an awesome experience.