China 2010 Part 4 - Tunxi, Huangshan

From Moganshan, we arranged for a private car and headed towards Tunxi (屯溪), a central district of the Huangshan City. Tunxi is one of the two common bases for stopover before ascending Huangshan (黄山). The other being Tangkou (汤口).

Tunxi Old Street (屯溪老街) is the main tourist area where all the food and shopping are located. Many houses date back to the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties.

World time on display at our hotel lobby - the Old Street Hotel.

Laundry overhead along Old Street.

Previously spotted in Zhouzhuang (Part 2), a prominent Jiangnan architectural feature - Horse's Head Wall (马头墙), also commonly seen along Old Street.

Can possibly smell it just by looking at this photo - the infamous stinky toufu.

A friendly local calligraphy brush shop owner.

Tunxi Old Street is about 1 kilometre long and 7 metres wide, flanked by many souvenir, calligraphy and tea shops.



Stone seal carving. Get your name carved in stone on-the-spot.

The following morning, we took a private vehicle (arranged through the hotel) and headed towards our ultimate destination for this trip - Huangshan (黄山). Along the way, we stopped by a beautiful village and had a glimpse of the local way of life.

Home-grown pumpkins in the village.

One villager was kind enough to open his house to us. Had a short but insightful tour of his abode.

The village sits in a stunning valley, backed by mountains and fronted by a river.

A panoramic view of the village accessible by a bridge across the river.

After almost 3 hours of car ride, we arrived at Tangkou to have lunch. Thereafter, we transferred to their local Huangshan blue taxi from Tangkou to the cable car station further up the mountain.

Arriving at Huangshan. Taking the cable car up as far as possible to minimise the amount of walking needed to get to our hotel.

A new perspective through the droplet.

The iconic "guest-greeting" pines in Huangshan.

Staircase hanging precariously on the cliff, fading into the unknown. It should take 1.5 to 2 hours of walking to get from the terminal cable car station to the hotel.


Layers of chiselled granite peaks, losing their opacity amidst the clouds. Very much like what we would see in a Chinese ink painting.

Lovers' locks in Huangshan.

We've got a little company along the way.

Amazing cantilever in nature.

A small stream we spotted along the way.

It took us approximately 1.5 hours of walking up the slippery mountain treks from the cable car station to our hotel Pai Yun Lou (黃山排云樓賓館).

Standing on a huge curved boulder atop a mountain. Standing on this fenceless curved top with a thousand metres below was nerve-racking.

A famous landmark in Huangshan - the Feilai Stone (飞来石).

Spot the gorilla.

A dramatic performance by mother nature where the sun, the clouds and the winds, all dancing on this magnificent stage more than a thousand metres above sea level.

A rare moment where there was no tourist in sight.

The majestic cliffs of Huangshan dwarfing tourists in her face.

Beautifully sculpted and painted by the hands of God.

See how small we are against the majestic rock formations.
 
Could see the cable cars occasionally amidst the clouds. Now you see it, now you don't.

Just like a Chinese ink painting, every time, everywhere.

While the cliff-hanging walkways offer many gorgeous views to die for, many have indeed fallen to their deaths. It's easy to loose balance as the railings are low and rather open.

A very tiring but beautiful walk in the mountains, especially in those moments where there wasn't any yelling tourists around.

A stunning panoramic view of this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site formed some 100 million years ago.

After walking for 4.5 hours from our hotel Paiyunlou, we arrived at the cable car station, finally. Time to leave this amazing place.

Roping down this magnificent mountain range back to Tangkou in a cable car.

A magical and surreal 25-minute journey through dancing clouds, with the cable car grazing past jutting granite edges and bowing pine trees, seemingly waving goodbye to all visitors.


Equipment:
Nikon D90
Nikon AFS 10-24mm f3.5-4.5G
Sigma 17-70mm f2.8-4 DC Macro
Nikon AFS DX 35mm f1.8G
Nikon AF 50mm f1.4D
Nikon AF 85mm f1.4D

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