When most people think of Huangshan, they obviously think of Huangshan Mountain, one of China's five most famous mountains, but there is much more to the area than just the mountain. Huangshan has been a destination for visitors and an inspiration for artists for centuries. Huangshan is also home to some of the finest traditional Chinese art supply manufacturers in the world. Endowed with natural and historical beauty, Huangshan is a place never to be forgotten.
There is a popular ancient Chinese saying "There is no reason to visit any other mountain after seeing Huangshan Mountain". Huangshan Mountain Scenic Spot is a marvelous mountainous area that has been added into the UNESCO's World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. What most amazes visitors are the four distinctive features of Huangshan Mountain: bizarre rock formations, waterfalls, ancient twisted pine trees, and a sea of clouds.
In the winter when the mountain is covered in a blanket of snow, the mountain takes on a whole new look and has become one of the most popular seasons for visitors to come to Huangshan Mountain. On Huangshan Mountain there are many famous scenic spots: the Hot-spring, Cloud Valley Scenic Spot, Pine Valley Scenic Spot, North Sea Scenic Spot, and Jade Screen Scenic Spot, to name just a few. Hiking some parts of Mt. Huangshan will be really unforgettable.
Xidi and Hongcun Villages in the Huangshan Mountain area are two very famous destinations. They have both been listed as World Cultural Heritage sites by UNESCO, and they are also on the list of China's top 10 most charming villages. They are perfect places for visitors to see traditional architecture, and give visitors a rare opportunity to explore China's ancient culture, and arts.
Xidi Village is often called a fairyland. It is embraced by mountains and clear streams, making it a picturesque place that has attracting visiting architects, sculptors, industrial artists, and painters in recent years for inspiration. Xidi Village is like a large open-air museum that allows visitors to see what China was like during the last Imperial Dynasties.
Hongcun Village has been called a living Chinese painting. In the early morning, mists, gray tiles, white walls, stone bridges, water lily ponds, with mountains in the background truly do seem like an ancient painting. Xidi and Hongcun Villages are wonderful villages worth visiting after touring Huangshan Mountain.
Tunxi Ancient Street is a shopper's paradise. Original built in the Song Dynasty, the street is lined with antique shops, medicine shops, teahouses, restaurants and galleries. Some of the shops have been in operation for over a hundred years. Two specialties that the Tunxi Ancient Street specializes in are the " Four Treasures of the Study", the paintbrush, ink, ink stone, and paper used in traditional Chinese painting, as well as traditional Chinese medicine shops.
Particularly beautiful at night, this ancient street is lined with traditional red lanterns, when lit, form a very festive atmosphere. The Tunxi Ancient Street is a perfect place for visitors to taste Huangshan's local snacks, foods, and the famous Huangshan Mao Feng Tea.
Tangyue Village located near the southern foot of Huangshan Mountain is famous for its stone memorial archways (gates). More than 250 arches were constructed here during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and over 80 of these magnificent arches are still in good condition. The most notable is the set of seven Tangyue Memorial Arches, which were listed as a Key National Culture Protection Unit by the Chinese government.
What makes the arches of Tangyue Village so unusual besides the sheer number is that each and every one had to be personally approved by the emperor before they could be erected. These arches have been used in a number of movies, including Jet Li's latest film, "The Warlords". The arches are intricately carved and each one was constructed as a testament to a particular individual who performed some meritorious service either to their country, or to society.
No visit to Huangshan is complete without sampling Huangshan's local cuisine and Huangshan Mao Feng Tea. Huangshan Cuisine, known as Hui Cuisine, is one of the Eight Major Cuisines of China. Chefs cooking Huangshan Cuisine are strict about choosing ingredients, and making sure of freshness and tenderness of them. Slightly spicy and normally salty, Huangshan Cuisine enjoys a great popularity not only among the local people, but among tourists who come to visit Huangshan.
Another indispensable part of daily life for Huangshan locals is tea, and the tea of choice is Huangshan Mao Feng Tea. The tea tastes clean and refreshing, and its flavor lasts a long time on the tongue. A visit to Huangshan just isn't complete without at least trying these local specialties.