March 1, 2016 | talktraveltome | 1 Comment Just about anywhere you go in China you can expect there to be a crowd, which was the case when visited the Yellow Mountains. Even though we were miles away from any populated city, surrounded be nature, we still felt crowded with the hoards of people making their way up the Yellow Mountains. However, the Yellow Mountains are a popular destination for a reason. The mountain range located in Anhui Province of Eastern China is truly one of Mother nature’s great works, and we were lucky enough to experience the beauty (and the burn) of hiking the Yellow Mountains firsthand. Things to know: For those visiting the Yellow Mountains for the first time, the town of Huangshan, located below the mountain, is the starting point of the journey. From there visitors take a 15-minute shuttle bus ride to the base of the mountain, where they will either take a cable car or hike up. There are a few different routes people can go, depending if you start from the Eastern side or the Western side of the mountains. The cable car on the Eastern side in the Yungu Cable Car and the Western cable car is the Yuping Cable Car. Fair warning: The cable car lines can get very long as people don’t want to hike up nearly 6km of steps. Our jaws dropped when we saw how long the line was and we ended up having to walk up the never ending staircase. We also opted to do a one day hike, making our way to the top and back down in the same day. However, there are hotels at the top of the mountain if visitors would like to make it a multi-day hike. Be sure to wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring water and snacks (especially if you plan to hike up). If you’d prefer to have a lighter pack, there are places to grab some food once you reach the top, but in our opinion it’s always better to be prepared. The entry cost for the Yellow Mountains is ¥230 (Mar. 1-Nov.30), however they do offer a 50% for students with valid ID’s. Hiking Up the Yellow Mountains As mentioned above, we hiked up the Eastern side of the mountain as the Yungu Cable Car had a crazy long line of people with brightly colored umbrellas. This was the start of the largest stair master that we ever came across. Our nearly three-hour journey was one of the most physically exhausting things we’ve ever done, but it was also equally rewarding. The hike up left us feeling amazed and out of breath about every 20 steps. Per usual, the elderly and in one case a Chinese woman wearing heels passed us. We kept telling ourselves, “We hiked up Mount Doom in New Zealand, dammit! We can do this!”. On the bright side, we were able to experience a side of the Yellow Mountains we would have never seen if we took the cable car. The steep steps took us through mountain landscapes and gave an inside look the beauty of the Yellow Mountains. People were being carried in these if they couldn’t handle the steps! We were not only amazed by the natural beauty but also by the physical strength and endurance of the porters. The porters who carried items to the top of the mountain for the hotels looked like they had the strength of a thousand men. They used a shoulder pole to balance two baskets that had to weigh well over 50 lbs each! The majority of the men also looked to be older than 50…. putting Nick to shame. When we felt like complaining about how tired we were, all we had to do was look at a porter and we quickly shut up. We also turned out to be local celebrities while we hiked up as many Chinese parents wanted their children to take a photo with us. We found out later that we visited the Yellow Mountains when a majority of children were off from school for holiday. With the number of photos, we took we can only assume that we are in a few school projects sharing what they did during their break ;)! Once we made it to the end of the 6km of steps, (Hallelujah!) we had the opportunity to check out the many peaks which showcased the mountain ranges. From this point on the Yellow Mountains, we could see for miles and miles and had a chance to relax and take in the scenery. The Yellow Mountains are known for the unique rock formations as well as the trees that sprout from the mountain tops. Lock Love on the top of the Yellow Mountains! After spending about two hours exploring the top of the mountains we started to make the journey down as we didn’t want to miss the last cable car which left at 5:00 PM. To get down to the Mercy Light Temple, where the shuttle buses were, we had to make our way down the Western side of the mountains. The cable car on the West side is known as the Yuping Cable Car and we found out that leaving the Yellow Mountains was an adventure in its self! Apparently, we left during rush hour and made our way down some very steep cliffs in a single file line with hundreds of other people. If memory serves us correctly, it took us about one hour to make our way down with all our new friends! Look closely and you will see a long line of people going down the mountain! When we finally reached the cable car, we were ready to say 再见 (goodbye in Mandarin) to the Yellow Mountains and just pass out in our bed. After hiking nearly six hours, the Yellow Mountains was an unforgettable experience that we’d recommend to anyone planning a trip to China… just be prepared to get in a good workout. Although it can get crowded, the nature that surrounds the area is something like we’ve never seen!