This tour is especially designed for photography lovers and professionals. The imaginatively named pines, oddly-shaped rocks, the sea of clouds, and winter snowcaps furnish marvelous themes for photography.
The itinerary will depend on what photos you want to take, and then on the weather conditions when you go.
Shoot the sunrise from Bright Top
Take sunset photos from Cloud-Dispelling Pavilion
Photograph wide-angle panoramas of the sea of clouds in West Sea Grand Canyon
Visit charming ancient villages nearby and stay overnight in a boutique hostel
The Beihai (North Sea) region and the West Sea Grand Canyon in the Yellow Mountains
Plus 1 day (each)
Tianhai (Heavenly Sea) region in the Yellow Mountains
Hongcun and Xidi Village
Plus 2 days (each)
Shanghai Highlights tour
Hangzhou Highlights tour and Xitang/Wuzhen Water Town
What you do will depend on what photos you want to take, and then on the weather conditions when you go, so there is no fixed day-by-day itinerary advertised. Check below for the recommended spots for photography and let our travel advisor know what you want to do. We will tailor-make your Huangshan photography tour in conjunction with your local guide.
1. Bright Top — for the Sunrise, Sunset, and the Sea of Clouds
The Sea of Clouds
Bright Top, one of the main peaks, is located in the middle of the Yellow Mountains. It is the second highest peak at about 1,860 meters above sea level.
2. West Sea Grand Canyon — for the Stone Forest and the Sea of Clouds
West Sea Grand Canyon
The U-shaped Grand Valley is 12 kilometers long, with a maximum altitude difference of 400 meters. It is the most precipitous site with the most original natural view. Stone forests are everywhere and the walking distance is so long that it is a favorite destination for backpackers.
It takes over four hours to walk through the canyon. It is necessary to have sufficient water and food because there are no supplies along the way. The West Sea Grand Canyon closes from December to March of the following year due to the snowy weather.
3. Flying-Over Rock — for the Sunset
Flying-Over Rock is seated at the northwest part of Bright Peak. It is nearly one kilometer away from Bright Top and about 1,730 meters above sea level. Flying-Over Rock is oddly shaped, being 12 meters high and 8 meters wide. Moreover, it weighs about 360 tons. It is amazing that such a stone stands upright on a 15 meters long and 10 meters wide flat stone.
4. Cloud-Dispelling Pavilion — for the Sunset
Cloud-Dispelling Pavilion is about a one kilometer (0.6 mile) walk from Flying-Over Rock. Opposite the peaks, it is an ideal place in West Sea Grand Canyon to see the exquisite stones. From the pavilion, photography-lovers can have a good view of the hills and mountains that are sometimes half hidden in the mists, like islands in the sea.
5. Refreshing Terrace — for the Sunrise and the Sea of Clouds
Refreshing Terrace sits on the side of the Lion Peak, projecting over a crag with three free surfaces. It is surrounded by cement balustrades which travelers can lean against to observe from the terrace. The scenery around there is wonderful: North Sea is in front, 18 spiral stone steps are below, and on the right is the Shisungang (/shrr-swnn-gung/ ‘Rock Bamboo Hill’), where the rocks and stones look like bamboo.
The Yellow Mountains is suitable for photography all year round, with seasonal beauties. The following recommended time will add more color to your photos:
March to April: Yellow rape flowers start to bloom in spring. The mountains are decorated with red azaleas; the hills are covered by green tea plants and golden blooming yellow rape flowers. When the colors of nature meet the white wall and black tile, a harmonious picture comes into being.
September to October: On the way to the Yellow Mountains, you can see fields after fields filled with golden chrysanthemum. The mountains are dazzled with the changing colors of the plants of the fall season.
November: The autumn scene at Tachuan Village is one of the most picturesque places imaginable with the leaves of its ancient old trees turning red and yellow. The place has become one of the most popular locations in China for photographers.
December to March of the following year: The top of the Yellow Mountains will be covered with snow and ice from time to time in winter. The mountains turn into a winter wonderland and it’s the best time to photograph the seas of clouds.
Besides the Yellow Mountains, the ancient villages nearby will add much cultural charm to your photos. By adding trips to two to four villages, you can extend the tour by one to two days.
The Hongcun Ancient Village
With a history of over 800 years, this charming village will show you the original Hui style architecture (a type of traditional Chinese architecture) and everlasting stories left behind.
As a World Cultural Heritage site, Xidi was first built 900 years ago in the Song Dynasty. Its traditional architectures are well preserved. The buildings and the street patterns reflect the socio-economic structure of an enduring period of Chinese history.
About 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Yellow Mountains, Chengkan is a living historical document of the application of feng shui principles into architecture. From a bird’s-eye view, twisted lanes, ancient drainage systems, and high walls create a maze-like layout.
Shexian Tangyue Memorial Arches
Known as the “Town of Arches”, Shexian is a must-see for fine examples of residential architecture and memorial arches from the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Chinese name “Paifang” is given to an arch, usually made of fine wood or stone, as a memorial and decoration.
The Bao Family Garden is near the Tangyue Memorial Arches. This private garden, once owned by successful businessman Bao, was as famous as the Humble Administrator’s Garden in Suzhou. It blends perfectly with the Tangyue Memorial Arches, and is a fascinating way to spend a few hours.
Xin’an River is renowned for its elegant riverside scenery on both sides. You will hike about 10 kilometers (6 miles) and the hike will take 4–5 hours. During the hike you will stop off to visit a primary school and a local family in the countryside, which will allow you to learn more about the local people’s life in the region. We could also arrange biking along the riverbank for you, which is more relaxing and takes about two hours.
Recommended months: March and April are the perfect times to see yellow rape flowers in full bloom; May is the harvest time for ripe loquats; September and October are the best times to taste tangerines along the way and admire the chrysanthemums.
Wuyuan is considered to be the most picturesque village of China. It takes about one hour to get there from Huangshan and a one day tour is recommended. There you could capture the well-protected ancient villages of the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1636–1911) Dynasties and the pastoral landscape. Spring is the most pleasant time, especially in March and April. However, there will be many Chinese tourists during March and April. Avoid coming on weekends during this period.
Feel free to tell us your requirements and interests, and we will be happy to help you arrange a trip with our professional knowledge and experience.
No 103, Yabaoli, Chaoyang Distirct, Beijing, China
Mon - Sun 9.00 - 20.00
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