TRAVEL: Huangshan, Anhui (Part II)

Visited June 16-18, 2010. Go to Part I: June 16 and 17.

Hongcun Village, one of the famous scenes of the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon movie

Hongcun Village, one of the famous scenes of the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon movie

Attractions Checklist:

  • Huangshan Mountain (morning June 18)
  • Hongcun Village (June 18)


Day 3: June 18, 2010

Morning in Huangshan

Morning in Huangshan

It’s also said that Huangshan during sunrise is a fantastic sight to see. Our tour guide, however, believed that it may be cloudy and rainy in the morning so the sun would not be seen. We did not know that the sun did rise at 4AM in apparently clear weather; we did hear people stirring out of their rooms at that time to go outside. Too bad. Maybe another time. Thus, the next morning we hiked up to Cloud-Dispelling Pavilion to enjoy the scenery in bright sunlight. The way was steep but thanks to the carved stone steps it was easier going up than going down. At 11AM, we headed back down to White Goose Ridge Station to get down from the mountain and went to lunch before our last destination.

Riding into Hongcun Village

Riding into Hongcun Village

Hongcun Village was the final stop in our tour of Huangshan. Hongcun Village in Yingxian County surrounded by clear streams was the setting for Lee Ang’s 2000 film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The village built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties is shaped like a water buffalo when seen from above and is famous for its water-supplying system (still in use today).

Bridge to Hongcun Village

Bridge to Hongcun Village

Villagers still live in these well-preserved ancient houses and make their living off handicrafts, such as bamboo carvings. We entered the village by crossing a round stone bridge over the South Lake filled with blooming lotuses. To the left is the Nanhu Academy that is dedicated to Confucius’ teachings. Further into the heart of the city are residences of self-made nobles, such as Wang Daxie, and the Crescent Moon Pool, where we saw a villager washing her clothes and domestic ducks eating feed. Across the pool is the Wang family’s Ancestral Temple.

Crescent Moon Pool in Hongcun Village

Crescent Moon Pool in Hongcun Village

Inside a Residence in Hongcun Village

Inside a Residence in Hongcun Village

The furnishings of these residences and temples are indications of the wealth of nobility at the time and the personalities of the owners. For instance, one of the residences was richly furnished and had gold leaf inscriptions decorating the balconies; however, since it was overly abundant, it is clear the person had little eclectic taste, only a desire to show his wealth. The last place we visited was the Chengzi Hall, another noble’s residence. This noble had more taste in furnishings; he chose to spend money on carved wooden decorations and select ink paintings that show his educated taste. The furnishings were placed in a specific way, according to feng shui, to ensure good fortune and peace. We then took the other path around the village to go back to South Lake and returned to the hotel.

From Huangshan, we were scheduled to go back to Shanghai on an 11:05PM flight and stay the night at the same hotel, Ramada Gateway Shanghai Hotel, before taking the train to Hangzhou in the morning. Unfortunately, our tour director from Dragon Delight Tours Company forgot to schedule our ride back to the hotel, so we waited in the Shanghai airport for an hour-and-a-half (it was 1AM) before deciding to take a taxi (out of our own pocket) back to our hotel. As a result, we emailed the tour director, who made arrangements for a guide to take us to the train station for a later train departure to Hangzhou.

Additional Comments

I will probably visit Huangshan again in the future to see the mountains during a different season and to take better photos with proper enhancing lenses. The photos I took were very hazy and bleached out; I would like to capture the mountains in their proper element. If you decide to go to Huangshan in the summer, make sure to bring raingear, a walking stick, and a backpack/overnight bag with a change of clothes, pajamas, and toiletries. Be warned that the hotels in Huangshan Mountain are not luxurious and have minimal facilities, so bring what is necessary for you! Also, do not take photographs of the porters that carry goods with their bamboo poles up the mountain. You are not allowed, according to the local government.

Acknowledgments

  • William Hu, local tour guide working with Dragon Delight Tours Company
  • Huangshan Mountain for being so mysterious and inspiring to many artists and writers of ancient and present times
  • Huangshan troupe who put on the show, Chorus of the Anhui

More Information

Huangshan China International Tour Service. (2008). Huangshan Travel Guide. Retrieved from http://www.huangshantour.com/english/

Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). (2010). In this Room- The Art of Asia- Scholar’s Library and Study. Retrieved from http://www.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/architecture/chinese-scholars-study-in-room.cfm

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2 thoughts on “TRAVEL: Huangshan, Anhui (Part II)

  1. Pingback: TRAVEL: Huangshan, Anhui (Part I) « Vesperis

  2. Pingback: Huangshan, Anhui (Part I) | Chuxing – To Travel Afar

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