5 Day Huangshan Xinan River Tour

Highlights:

  • Recently listed on UNESCO's World Cultural and Natural Heritage List, Huangshan Mountain is a testament to the beauty that only nature can create. It has served as the inspiration for artists, poets, dreamers, and romantics for thousands of years. See the intriguing pine formations and the seas and mists of clouds, while enjoying the sunrise and sunset from the mountain top of Huangshan
  • Hongcun Village is located in Yixian County, located near the southwestern slope of Huangshan Mountain. It is listed as one of China's top 10 charming villages and together with Xidi Village it was added to UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List in 2000. Morning mists, gray tiles, white walls, stone bridges, water lily ponds, and hills at the background, are all elements of traditional Chinese landscape paintings. Hongcun and Xidi Village have all of these features, and have both been named "a village in a Chinese painting"
  • Cruise down the spectacular Xinan River, passing some spectacular scenery along the way. Waterfalls, sleepy river towns, and dramatic bridges and cliffs will all be on the agenda

(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1 arrive in Huangshan City

Upon your arrival in Huangshan city (either by train or plane), you will be met by your English-speaking guide. From your pick-up you’ll be taken to your hotel. You can spend your first night in Huangshan at your own leisure, but you might want to experience some of the local culture, which largely focuses on tea.

Drinking tea is an indispensable part of people’s daily life, if you want to experience nightlife in Huangshan City, which is famous for tea production and drinking, then visiting a tea house should be an essential part of your visit. There are more than enough tea houses in Huangshan for you to get your fix, so pinkies up!

Day 2 Huangshan City-Xinan River (B, L)

Following breakfast in the hotel, we’ll make the 70 km (70 minutes) drive to the Shendu Pier, where we will then cruise down the Xinan River. The eastwards blue line one sees on the tourist map of Huangshan City indicates the Xin'an River, which originated from Huaiyu Mountain in Xiuning County. The brook expands as it rolls down, joining the Hengjiang River at Tunxi. Here, it becomes the 200 kilometer long gently fIowing Xin'an River. Sailing on the river, one sees houses of Hui style with white wall and gray tiles here and there on both sides. The fir, bamboo, tea bushes, loquat and orange forests on the hills extend as far as you can see, displaying a charming water landscape in southern China.

There are numerous scenic spots along the Xin'an River. At Bingtan which is close to the river source, there is the mausoleum of Wang Youdun, an imperial minister in the Qing Dynasty who was a native of Xiuning. Standing around the mausoleum are carved stone human figures, horses, tigers, sheep and lions with graphic features. In Tunxi and Shexian County, the river embraces ancient pavilions and bridges as well as clusters of lakes. Further down the river, one can see the busy rural and urban scenes. On the lower reaches of the Xin'an River there is the pearl-like Qiandao Lake. It has never failed to impress the visitors with its breathtaking beauty.

After our time on the Xinan River we’ll then make the drive to nearby Shexian County (27km away), in order to visit the Tangyue Memorial Archways in Tangyue Village. The Tangyue Memorial Archway Group is composed of 7 arches. Located on the road at the entrance of the Tangyu village, it arrays in successive order symbols of loyalty, filial piety, women's chastity and charity. In addition, there are a large number of beautiful carvings in Hui (Muslim Chinese) style around the body of the arches.

Among The Tangyue Memorial Arch Group, three of the seven were made in the Ming dynasty, and four in the Qing Dynasty. Although they have a long history, the style of architecture is a successful combination of old and new. These seven arches in turn are: the Baocanxiao Memorial Arch, the Cixiaoli Memorial Arch, the Jiexiao Memorial Arch of Wang, the wife of Baowenling, the Kindness Arch, the Jiexiao Memorial Arch of Wu, the second wife of Baowenyuan, the Baofengchang Dutiful Son Memorial Arch, and the Baoxiangxian Shangshu(a rank in ancient times in China) Memorial Arch. All these are memorial arches of the Bao families of Tangyue village.

You’ll then be taken back to your Huangshan City hotel for the night.

Day 3 Huangshan City-Mt. Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) (B, L)

After breakfast in the hotel, we will drive to Huangshan (Yellow Mountain). With a height of 1873 meters (6145 feet), it is the highest peak of the Mt. Huangshan Scenic Area. At present over 500 kinds of animals and 1500 kinds of plants live on the Huangshan Mountains. UNESCO listed Yellow Mountain as one of the World Natural Heritage sites in 1990.

Once we arrive, we will take the cable car from Yungu Station to the top of the mountain. After checking into your hotel and having lunch we’ll get started with our sightseeing. While on Yellow Mountain, we will see some curious sights, such as the Strange Pines, which are seen in every corner of Yellow Mountain. You will be amazed by their vitality and strength. The uneven terrain prevents the pines from growing upright. Instead they become crooked and even downward. Another feature of Huangshan pines is that many trees grow branches on one side only. Some notable ones that we will see include the Guest-Greeting Pine (in front of the stone lion of the Jade Screen Pavilion in the Jade Screen Scenic Area), and the Guest-Goodbye Pine (to the right of the Jade Screen Pavilion.

We’ll also visit Yellow Mountain’s numerous peaks, such as Brush Pen and Begin-to-Believe Peak. In the evening you will have the pleasure of enjoying the spectacular sunset from the Cloud Dispelling Pavilion. We’ll stay overnight at the summit.

Day 4 Mt. Huangshan (Yellow Mountain)-Huangshan City (B)

On this day, try to get up early in the morning to catch the Huangshan Mountain’s magnificent sunrise. After breakfast, we’ll begin our descent from Huangshan, first by foot down the western side of the mountain. Along the way see Flying Rock, climb over the Brightness Apex, the second highest peak on Huangshan, and Turtle Peak. After all the strenuous exercise, you will take the cable car at Yuping Station down to the foot of Huangshan Mountain.

You’ll then be driven back to your Huangshan City hotel, and the rest of the day can be spent at your own leisure.

Day 5 Huangshan City-depart (B)

After breakfast in the hotel you will be taken to Yixian County, (about 1-hour drive) from the city of Huangshan. In Yixian we will visit the ancient villages of Hongcun and Xidi.

Hongcun is the main village where the Wang families live together. The Wang clan is a respectable family in the Central Plains of China. Because it moved to the south at the end of the Han dynasty, the descendants of the Wang clan spread to every parts of the south of the lower reaches of the Changjiang River. Encircled by green hills, two streams flow through the village from north and east converging at Huiyuan Bridge. The village has two main streets and about 99 lanes. All the streets and lanes are paved with cobbles or black stones. The residences, lanes and streets combine well with the hills and streams. Lying about 10 kilometers (6 miles) northeast of Yixian County, Hongcun Village enjoys the reputation of ‘a village in the beautiful Chinese picture’ because of its location at high altitude and being shrouded by clouds and mist. It has about 137 Ming and Qing style residences.

We’ll then head nearby to the village of Xidi. Located at the foot of Mt. Huangshan, the city was built 900 years ago during the Song Dynasty. The village’s traditional architecture is well preserved, and Xidi has been proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The buildings and the street patterns reflect the socio-economic structure of an enduring period of Chinese history. Don’t miss the large memorial archway that marks the village entrance.

After your visit to Xidi, you will be taken back to the city of Huangshan to visit Tunxi Ancient Street. The Old Street is 1.5 kilometers long and 7 meters wide. There are long lines of shops along two side of the street. They are all made of brick and wood and have double floors. All these houses in Huizhou style overflow a rush of strong archaic charm. Although the shops in the old street are not very large, they are relatively deep. There are tens of old and famous shops in the old street. The Tongderen was a Chinese traditional medicine shop. It was established in the second year of the Tongzhi Perio,d of the Qing dynasty, with a history of over 120 years. Qimen black tea and Tunxi green tea which are famous throughout the world, mostly distribute in Tunxi. All kinds of Anhui ink stick and Sehxian ink stone can be found here. Products of “Huizhou Four Carvings” (brick, wood, stone and bamboo), Chinese painting in Anhui style, print, rubbing from a stone inscription, Goldstone seal cutting, Chinese pot gardening and root carving can be seen here and there.

You will then be taken to either the airport or the train station, where you will head on to your next destination.



        Jordan Rivers, Vancouver, BC, Canada:

I would like to thank all your attentions and services during our last visit to China, especially for you who always was checking / calling us (to purchase a SIM card was a great idea ) and the guides that everything was ok.

Even though we were in more than 10 different points / cities, we never felt insecure or that we were not going to do what we planned in advance.

I hereby copy this mail to my friend Tim who is going to China and may contact you if necessary. Maybe you can provide him with more direct information accordingly to his schedule by sending him an email. I have told him that Huangshan is a must, as Lonely Planet says, it is the one spot you can not miss if you do not have time in your visit to China.