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gateway to the Yellow Mountains

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It is very early when we arrive in Tunxi. You can also call it the gateway to the mountains. Everyone who goes to the Yellow Mountains one way or another passes Tunxi.

Because it is still early we decide to go and visit the old town. First we wanted to go on foot but Mingzhu heard that there is quite a distance from the train station to this touristic town, so we take a taxi, which was the right decision. We could never found this place on our own, let alone walk the distance.

When we arrive almost all the shops are opening and I notice that it is very quiet, unlike the past few days. Could this have something to do with leaving a big and busy city? Or is it just too early for people to walk around a typical old town like there are dozens of in China? Who knows, but I am enjoying the peace and quite immensely.


We walk around the area but because there is not much to see besides a local flea market, we go and have a cup of coffee in one of the local hostels. It takes a while before we are getting served, but once the warm drink arrives, it tastes like heaven.

After our cup of joy we decide to head of to the bus station with a taxi. Although it looks very hard to get one, we are lucky to have found one within a few minutes. In just mere minutes we arrive at the busstation were we quickly find our bus that will take us to our destination, the Huangshan region.

To my surprise it is a rather small vehicle, but Mingzhu told us the driver only leaves when the coach is fully loaded and the only thing I was thinking the whole time, lucky us that it is a small one. But after we are seated I noticed that luck wasn't really on our side at all, the bossy, can you call it a manager (??), kept on putting people in the coach and when every seat was taken, all the other things came on it like bikes, bags ... I was just thinking when are the chickens going to arrive???

The bus ride took more or less an hour and I was so thankful we finally arrived in Tangkou (Huangshan region).

Upon our arrival, we immediately checked in at a small hotel called Ala hotel. We were all in need of a hot shower and together with some food we felt like human beings again.

We agreed to meet eachother at the reception desk later on, to see what else was going on in this town. But as soon as I stepped outside, I noticed that there wasn't much going to happen here, and I am sure that I wasn't the only one thinking that!

Tangkou is basically just a transit zone to the Yellow Mountains. People come here to stay the night before they go to the mountains and it shows just that when you step outside a hotel.The whole town excists out nothing more than supermarkets, restaurants, massage parlors, pharmacists, ... nothing more, nothing less.

Mingzhu had told us that when we arrived in Tangkou it would be nice to visit one of the old towns in the neigbourhood. It sounded pretty good for all of us, because there was nothing else to do in Tangkou after all.

It is always nice to have someone with you who speaks the native language because I still can't understand a word of Chinese, and so Mingzhu was able to arrange a taxi for us through the friendly hotel owner so that we could go and visit this nearby ancient town which we later on noticed was protected by Unesco.

Just a few minutes after everything was settled, the taxi (minivan) arrived and we were heading for some "cultural" experience. They told us that the town was about an one hour drive from Tangkou but the way our driver was speeding, no way it was going to take so long and I was right. It took about 30 to 40 minutes to get to the ancient town.


Our driver also arranged the entrance tickets (because strangely enough we have to pay to see a town where people live in, but what the heck, we are in China, stranger things had happened before!) for us and told us he was going to wait till we were finished. We just had to give him a call and he would be waiting for us at the entrance, wasn't that a nice gesture?? I thought so! :)

Thanks to our translator of the day, Mingzhu we also learned that the town has been built in the form of the intestines of a cow, but you need a lot of imagination to notice something like that. It is just a nice place to walk around and I especially liked the reflection from the mountains and houses into the different lakes. Maybe that is the reason why it attracts so many painters!


Once back in town we've got really hungry so we had a delicious meal in the hotel and at 7 o'clock there was going to be a briefing for all the people who were going to the mountains the next day. Whatever question you had, the hotel owner answered them as good as he could. His english skills on the other hand weren't that good, so thank the Lord for our little translator!

I seem the use the L word alot these last few days and I am not even religious ??? ... China is definetly changing me! :)

Yet it was good that there was a briefing because now we had more of an idea what to expect concerning walking distances and times and we also learned which trails where closed. I think that was the most important one of them all.

Finally we are ready to face the mountain ... I think!?

Posted by Ils1976 01:18 Archived in China Tagged landscapes monument culture history town lake city unesco_world_heritage_site

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