I've been to Huangshan twice - once to the actual mountain and once to the general vicinity.
For the mountain itself, there's now a high speed rail line to Huangshan North station opened last year, though if you're going from Nanjing then just take the K train. I went before the HSR opened so took train K645 (overnight) to Huangshan station (which is not actually that close to Huangshan!). From there you have to take a bus (or taxi) to Tangkou, which is where the entrance to the 'scenic area is' (takes maybe 30 mins by bus). When you get to the scenic area, you need to buy an entrance ticket to the scenic area and a ticket for the bus to wherever you want to go on the mountain. There are a couple of cable cars (likely to be busy) plus walking routes. I arrived at Huangshan at 10am or something so walked up the West Steps (12k) that day, stayed at the top, then walked down the East Steps (7k) the following day. All the hotels are shit, I stayed at one in the Beihai area at the summit. The weather at the top is notoriously awful, it rained a lot when I was there, no sunset as it was just a huge cloud. Got up at 4am for the sunrise, which was PHENOMENAL. After I walked down the East Steps I got a mini bus back to the scenic area entrance and stayed in Tangkou overnight, not a lot to do there but it's very chilled and cheap and I actually quite liked it as far as random chinese towns go. The following day I got a bus back to the train station, though actually I missed the train cos I'm a moron, but that's another story. Tips: make sure your bag is waterproof, take a travel towel, have a raincoat with you, take snacks, beware of crowds, watch out for monkeys. I think I wrote a blogpost about it if you are really bored and want to read it, can find the hotel links too.
I went to the Huangshan region again this year, drove there, stayed in a homestay in a village - it's a cycling/running/hiking homestay, would totally recommend: https://www.wildhomestay.com/
Aha brilliant. Thanks this is perf. My plan was to get the 5 hr train (think they're all 5 hrs) from Nanjing at 530 on a friday, is the latest train, and stay a night in Huangshan city, then the morning, get the bus in climb a bit, stay night on the top as you did, get the sunsets and rises and then leave kiddish day Sunday?
I'll take this to PMs if you don't mind, don't want to clutter this thread unless no one cares.
My mandarin is non existent and ability to locate hotels etc likely also considering I don't have an eye for the symbols. Am tryna formulate the foolproof plan.
Sounds like a good plan! Feel free to PM me.
I gave another friend (who speaks/reads zero chinese) the same plan so it should be doable with no chinese skills though I can't guarantee foolproof as TIC (This Is China). When I was at the top of the mountain the visibility was terrible so seeing the signs wasn't always easy but they were in chinese and english.
Wechat has a strange AR chinese character to english (or vice versa) thing. Came in useful once or twice for me in Shanghai but mostly I got the latin character set telling me something that made no sense. Someone on the flight home told me that it was more useful for writing something in English and translating to chinese but who knows
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