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Not just for the mountain
What to eat and where:

Huangshan (Hui) cuisine features things such as shiji, a kind of frog living in mountain brooks. The shiji is cooked with a sauce of ham and mushroom in a bamboo steamer. The taste is fresh, tender and refreshing. There's also stewed shi'er (a kind of fungus) and chicken or shadi mati turtle (big turtles are slowly stewed with ham). Laojie Diyi Lou (247 Tunxi Ancient Street) is recommended as a good place to traditional, local food.

Huangshan (Hui) snacks include xi ke huang (yellow crab shell). It actually doesn't have crab in it - it's made from chunky vegetables and fresh fatty meat cooked in a sesame bun. It looks like a yellow crab shell when it's cooked though, hence the name. Tunxi Ancient Street is a good place to find Hui snacks.

Climbing the mountain it's best to bring your own snacks or a light lunch, as food along the way is quite expensive and restaurants are rare.

On top of the mountain you'll probably end up eating in your hotel, as that's where most of the restaurants are. They serve a wide variety of Chinese cuisine and occasionally western food too. The Shilin Grand Hotel is the best place in the mountains to try traditional Hui cuisine.


Early nights are really the done thing. After a day climbing the mountains, you may not feel up to any nightlife. There are no clubs at the top of the mountains anyway, although most of the hotels have bars and some have KTV. Massages and spas are available until late in the evening but if you're set to climb the mountain the next day, an early night is strongly recommended!

If you must, there are the usual internet cafes, KTV joints and tea houses in Tunxi. Yilin Ge tea house on Tunxi Ancient Street is a pleasant cultural site which offers traditional tea performances, Huangmei Opera (popular in Anhui Province) and local Hui Opera.

Final thought:

Take plenty of water with you as it gets very expensive the further up the mountains you go. Good shoes, suntan lotion and a waterproof jacket are also a must. Don't forget that the any scenic spot you go to will be shared with hundreds of other tourists too.
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