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by gracee february/ march 2002

The "yellow" mountains. For all its beauty, it nearly did kill me.

The bus-route up to Tunxi City (linking the road to Huangshan) was absolutely "exciting". I wasn't exactly very afraid, but our lives were seriously at stake, with the gravel roads accomodating barely the width of our tourbus. That itself is not a problem obviously, though not with the road surrounded on one side by a steep hill. If our driver wasn't skillful enough, our heavy tourbus could have just toppled over. (We gave him a good red packet after the trip for that.) And, of course, that might not be enough to kill you. More dangers at Huangshan await... ...

After our three buses arrived safely at Tunxi late that night, we were fed another one of those horrifying dinners of beer, pork and vegetables. We checked into Jianguo Garden Hotel for the night, and rested our nerves for the uphill task awaiting the next day.  

There were lots of giant stone sculptures. I remember we were  all queueing up to "touch" the fortune-god statue, which apparently would bring money  rollin' in! Mi-Le' Fuo. The ultra  cute Happy-Buddha.
Before we left for Huangshan, we visited the famous temples at Tunxi. Very popular among devout tourists, these temples occupy large areas and contain not just praying grounds, but halls containing hundreds of statues, landscape features, and tourist go-carts... ... just to name what I could see then.

There were lots of giant stone sculptures. I remember we were all queueing up to "touch" the fortune-god statue, which apparently would bring money rollin' in!

Tea Plantation

Enroute to Huangshan, we also visited a tea plantation and 'factory'. (Left) We were given a demonstration on how to 'chai-cha', (selecting leaves from a tea-bush), and how to 'chao-cha', (roast tea-leaves).

Where's the tea? Or at least, the plantation?

Well well, by then, all of us were tired of the photo-taking, especially when the places we visited were very much tourist destination spots-- places where tour agencies bring you to so that they can get a cut of what you purchase over there. See the landscaping and giant teapot in the artificial lake (left picture)? It's meant to lure tourists.

We were treated to apparently high-quality Oolong Tea, but I didn't buy any. What did I buy then? Four pretty scroll drawings featuring the beloved panda in the four different seasons. How cute! My favorite's the winter bear (the blue one).


Up to the clouds      

Climb climb and climb. How I wish we had elevators at Huangshan.

Getting off the tourbus, we boarded smaller mini-vans which would bring us to the cable car station of Huangshan. But getting to the summit of Huangshan is not that easy as it seems though. The cable car ride is really just the very first step! Literally, a million more steps to go... ...

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