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Huangshan

Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) is in the Huangshan City area, south Anhui Province. In 1990, the UNESCO listed Mt. Huangshan as "A World Cultural And Natural Heritage." The scenic reserve stretches 40 kilometres from north to south and 30 kilometres from east to west and takes up an area of 1,200 square kilometres.
 
Huangshan is famous for its four uniqueness's, i.e. queer pines, grotesque rocks, cloud seas, and a hot spring. The exquisite scenery varies with the various seasons. Most spectacular are blossoms in Spring, pools in Summer, forests in Autumn and snow in Winter. There is a old saying that "you have no wish to visit any other mountains after viewing the Five Mountains (Taishan Mountain in Shandong, Hengshan Mountain in Hunan, Huashan Mountain in Shaanxi, Hengshan Mountain in Shanxi and Songshan Mountain in Henan) and you do not even wish to visit them after you come back from a trip to Huangshan Mountain."
 
On the mountain, the peaks rise one upon another and the pines and cypresses are luxuriantly green. There are 36 huge peaks, 36 minor peaks and three main peaks, among which the lakes, brooks, deep pools and waterfalls can be found everywhere. Seventy-seven of the peaks are over 1,000 meters above sea level.
 
All over 1800 metres above sea level, and shrouded in clouds and mist, its main three peaks: Lotus Flower Peak, Ever Bright Peak and Celestial Peak present a scenery of boundless variety.
 
The summit area of Mt. Huangshan is an ideal place to view the sunrise and sunset with quite a few attractive sights gather around. Scenic spot such as Cloud Dispersing Pavilion (Pai Yun Ting), Beginning-to-Believe Peak (Shi Xin Feng) - the most elegant and refined one of the 72 peaks, Stalagmite Peak (Shi Sun Feng), and Refreshing Terrace (Qing Liang Tai). The Refreshing Terrace, for example, is the best place to view sunrise. The views around the Beginning-to-Believe Peak also feast your eyes.
 
Lotus Flower Peak
Situated in the centre of Huangshan, and 1886 metres above sea level, it is the highest one of Huangshan's three main peaks. Surrounded by a group of lower peaks, it looks like a lotus flower in full bloom. From the top of the peak, you can have a panoramic view of Huangshan. The summit area is only a few square metres. Standing on it, one is as if to assume the dauntless spirit of propping up the sky from falling down. Far ahead in all directions are myriad of mountains vying with one another for beauty, and streams and rivers competing to be the fastest.
 
Celestial Peak
Located in the south-eastern part of Huangshan, faces Lotus Peak in the west and borders Boyu Peak in the east. It is 1,829 meters above sea level and is the most precipitous peak of the mountain. The path to the top is via a vertical ladder inlaid in a precipitous cliff, and fenced in with stone posts and iron chains. The last section of the path to the top is about 30 metre long and 1 metre wide hunch-backed rocky ridge rising up from a deep ravine. Due to its riskiness, in spite of protections provided by the stone posts and iron chains it is figuratively called "Silver Carp's Back."
 
On the summit, there is a stone cave large enough to seat a hundred people. Near the cave entrance, lies a rock resembling "A Drunkard Immortal Reclining On His Side" who was as if assigned to guard the gate of the cave. The summit commands a distant view of misty ranges of mountains and rivers diminishing into tiny lines. Here, one is at last at "the Peak of Perfection" as the inscription on a rock close at hand reads.
 
Bright Summit Peak
At an elevation of 1,840, it is the second highest peak of Huangshan. Located in the central part of the mountain, it is the best place for seeing sunrise and the sea of clouds.
 
First Belief Peak
It is located in the eastern part of Huangshan, and 1668 metres above sea level. The peak is famous for exquisite rocks and graceful pines. With its three sides being precipitous and fathomless cliffs, First Belief Peak, flanked by Rising Peak and Stalagmite Peak as Fairy Bridge spans the summit. A poetic inscription on a rock there reads "you are a lone climber from a freezing river."
 
Huangshan is famous for its spectacular rocky peaks, oddly shaped pines, crystal-clear mountain springs and sea of clouds with the highest peak - Lotus Flower Peak (Lianhua Feng) at 1864m, followed by Bright Summit Peak (Guangming Ding) and Celestial Peak (Tiandu Feng). The unpredictable natural scenery lures countless painters and poets seeking tranquility and inspiration.
 
Apart from the spectacular rocky peaks there are strangely shaped pines, crystal clear mountain springs and seas of cloud. In the valleys there are Huangshan Pines, a tree unique to the mountain. Thousands of the pines are 100 or more years old and 31 are well known with names such as the Guest-Greeting Pine, Guest- Sending off Pine and Lying Dragon Pine. There are 120 sites with spectacular rock formations. The rocks come in a variety of shapes and the big ones make rock forests while the small ones are exquisite. The peaks and dense forests in the deep valleys give rise to seas of cloud and plentiful rainfall. The springs on the mountain are clear and the water is good for drinking and bathing.
 
The mountain has a rich history. A legend claims that Emperor Xuanyuan cultivated himself into an immortal on the mountain. Tang Xuanzong, a Taoist, renamed it Huangshan Mountain in 747 and during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) the noted traveler and geographer Xu Make inspected it twice.
 
Huangshan Mountain is a natural zoo and botanical garden supporting 1,452 varieties of plants and 552 types of animals. Forest coverage is as high as 56 percent.
 
The long history and rich culture of the mountain can be seen in the 200 surviving temples, pavilions, pagodas, zig-zag passages, ancient bridges and stone sculptures.
 
There are hotels and sanatoriums at the base of the mountain and at the top which can now be reached by cable way.


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