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5 Days Huangshan Photography Tour with Xidi & Hongcun Villages

Huangshan: Loveliest Mountain & Ancient Villages

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“No mountain is worth seeing after a trip to Mount Huangshan”. Huangshan, also called Yellow Mountain, is best renowned for its “five wonders”: the wind-carved pines, spectacular granite peaks, sea of clouds, hot spring and winter snow.

Photographers who come on pilgrimage to Mount Huangshan could capture the sunrise over the misty peaks, sunset from the sea of clouds, granite peaks and twisted pines wreathed in spectral folds of mist. If lucky, catch the best chance to take photograph of Buddha’s light (a full-circle rainbow). After the photography tour in Yellow Mountain, spend one day exploring Xidi and Hongchun Ancient Villages, the two UNESCO-listed villages famous for their special architecture. This Huangshan photography tour will leave all the beauties both natural and cultural in your mind and never fade away!

This Huangshan photography tour can be customized depending on what photos you want to take, and on the weather condition when you go. Feel free to tell your interests and ideas to your personal travel consultants!

Basic Photography Info

Travel Route: Huangshan / Shexian / Yellow Mountain / Xidi & Hongcun / Huangshan

Travel Length: 5 Days

Tour Code: CD-PTHST-05

Tour Type: Private Tour

Departure: You Choose (you may plan it according to the best season and time.)

Huangshan Photography Guide

Huangshan Photography Tour Huangshan Photography Tour Huangshan Photography Tour

According to the geographic distribution, huangshan can be divided into five scenic areas: the south of Lotus Peak and Celestial Capital Peak is Nanhai (South Sea) Scenic Area, also called Qinhai Scenic Area; the north of Lion Peak and Begin-to-believe Peak is Beihai (North Sea) Scenic Area, also called Houhai; the east of White Goose Ridge Station is Donghai (East Sea) Scenic Area; the west of Purple Cloud Peak and Flying-over Peak is called Xihai (West Sea) Scenic Area. The area around Bright Summit is Tianhai (Heavenly Sea) Scenic Area, located in the center of all the scenic areas. Bright Summit, together with Lotus Peak and Celestial Capital Peak, is with an altitude over 1800m. Getting atop of the three peaks, you could catch all the beautiful scenery of the five scenic areas.

Best Sites for Photography

Best Sites for Sunrise: Lion Peak, Purple Cloud Peak, Bright Summit

Spring: 05:30-06:00, Summer:04:40-05:10, Autumn: 04:50-05:20; Winter: 05:30-06:00. (The sunrise time is listed for your reference, please check the exact time of your day with your guide and prepare everything for photography.)

Lion Peak located in the North Sea, is at altitude of 1690m. The peak stands like a powerful lion lying on the high mountains, with its head facing Purple Cloud Peak, Refreshing Terrace at its waist, and Dawn Pavilion at it tail. Shoot sunrise and Sea of Cloud at Refreshing Terrace will be wonderful.

Purple Cloud Peak located in West Sea, one of the 36 main peaks, is at altitude of 1664m. It faces Lion Peak in the north, Nine Dragon Peak and Above-the-cloud Peak in the west, and many other peaks. It is a place good for sunrise and sundown.

Bright Summit, located in Heavenly Sea, at an elevation of 1840m, is the second highest peak of Huangshan. It is located in the center of all the scenic areas, best for sunrise and sea of clouds.

Huangshan Photography Tour

Best Sites for Sunset: Dispelling Cloud Pavilion

Spring:18:00-18:45, Summer: 19:00-19:30, Autumn: 17:20-18:30, Winter: 17:00-17:40. (The sunset time is listed for your reference, please check the exact time of your day with your guide and prepare everything for photography.)

Dispelling Cloud Pavilion, close to West Sea Gate, is about 1 km from Flying-over Rock. Overlooking on the Dispelling Cloud Pavilion, photographers could not only capture rocks and peaks appearing in the mist, just like numerous islands in the sea, but also take photograph of the sun come down from the sea of clouds.

Best Sites for Sea of Clouds

You have already know there are five scenic areas. Jade Screen Pavilion is the best site to appreciate South Sea (Qianhai), Refreshing Terrace is the best site to enjoy North Sea (Houhai), White Goose Ridge is the best place to capture sea of clouds in East Sea, Dispelling Cloud Pavilion is the best for viewing West Sea and Bright Summit is best for viewing Heavenly Sea and also appreciate magnificent scenery of all the scenic areas.

Best Sites for Spectacular Rocky Peaks

The rock and peaks can be seen everywhere in Mount Huangshan. There are 72 peaks which are more than 1000m high above sea level. Among the peaks, the three main peaks are Lotus Peak (the highest), Celestial Capital Peak (the most dangerous) and Bright Summit (the most plat). Besides the three peaks, Begin-to-believe Peak, Lion Peak, Jade Screen Peak, Turtle Peak, Purple Cloud Peak are the good sites to shoot the spectacular rocky peaks. It is good to use telephoto lens.

Huangshan Photography Tour

Best Sites for Odd-shaped Pines

It is good to take photograph of the well known Welcoming-guests Pine which is about 1000 years old, about 10 meters high. It is located on the east side of Jade Screen Peak. The other pines you could shoot including Seeing Out Guest Pine (close to Jade Screen Peak), Company-guest Pine (close to Jade Screen Peak), Double Dragon Pine (in West Cloud Sea), Phoenix Pine (Sea Heart Pavilion), Leading Pine (Begin-to-believe Peak), and Black Tiger Pine, etc.

Best Sites for Shooting Ancient Villages

The ancient villages - Xidi and Hongcun around Yellow Mountain are the outstanding traditional villages for shooting Huizhou architecture. The two villages were listed as World Heritage Sites in 2000.

Huangshan Photography Tour

Xidi is with a history of more than 950 years. You could take photograph of ancient ancestral hall, memorial archway, well-reserved ancient dwellings, brick, wood carving, stone carving and many more ancient sites in “Museum of Ming and Qing Dynasty”. Hongcun, picturesquely ringed by mountains, it is known as “a village in the Chinese paintings.” You could take pictures of the Hui-style ancient dwellings, wood carving, stone carving, the South Lake, the South Lake Ancient Academy, etc.

Best Season for Photography

Yellow Mountain changes its color and appearance with the alternation of seasons. It is hard to say the best season for photography in Mount Huangshan. Different season has different subjects. In spring, the mountains feature various colors, the flowers blossom and the streams gurgle through the quiet valleys. In Summer, it turns a green world and photographers shoot peaks rising one upon another. In Autumn, the mountains dress in red and golden. In winter, Mount Huang turns into a world of frost and ice with silver boughs and rocks in all the scenic areas. There are about 50 days in a year capped by snow. The first snow begins in the late November and and last snow may occur in the late March.

Tips from Our Experts

1. Locations for Photography

The best sites to take photos of sunrise, sunset may change in different season. The sites we listed are the general information for your reference, please discuss with your photography guide and choose the best locations to capture sunrise or sunset.

2. Early for Photography

Photographers should arrive at the sites ahead of time for the best position are limited.

3. Use Cable Car

Instead of hiking all the way, you could take cable cars to save some energy. There are three cable cars: Yugu Cableway (from Yugu Station to White Goose Ridge Station), Yuping Cableway (from Mercy Light Temple to Jade Screen Station) and Taiping Cableway (Songgu Nunnery to Dispelling Cloud Pavilion Station).

4. Tips for Clothing

It rains a lot in summer and sometime there are thunderstorm. In the bad weather, you’d better not seek shelter under the trees or hold iron chains. While, there are much snow and rain in Winter. It is better to wear sneakers of grass shoes to prevent slipping, in the meantime, do not forget the walking-stick and gloves.

5. Safety First

Your safety is the first thing. When take photograph of the mountains and peaks, or sea of clouds, please watch out your steps.

6. Transfer Tips

Airlines, trains, highways are linked Huangshan with other major cities of China. It is good to take flight to Huangshan from Shanghai, Beijing, Xian, Chengdu etc. After arrival in Huangshan city, you need to spend 1.5 hours to Yellow Mountain Scenic Area.

7. Accommodation Advice

To catch the best scenery of Yellow Mountain, you’d better spend your night on top of Mount Huang. The best locations should be West Sea Scenic Area and North Sea Scenic Area. There are some comfortable hotels located there and they are within walking distance to the best sites like Purple Cloud Peak, Bright Summit to catch sunrise.

For more photography advice in Huangshan, you can feel free to contact us and we are here ready to help!

Itinerary Details Day by Day

Day 1 Huangshan Arrival

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Welcome to Huangshan! Clear the customs and retrieve your baggage by yourself upon arrival, be greeted by our tour guide in the Arrival Hall who is holding a sign on which says your name. A comfortable vehicle (non-smoking) with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel in Tunxi (Huangshan downtown). Your guide will help you check in. The rest of the day is on your own to discover this beautiful city.

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Day 2 Huangshan - Shexian County (B)

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After breakfast, you’ll drive to Shexian County for the photography tour. In the historic city of China, you'll first visit Tangyue Archway Complex comprising as many as 7 arches constructed in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Later, take photograph in Tangmo water village and Chengkan Village, a so-called "Eight Diagram Village" with its layout just in accordance with traditional Chinese Fengshui theory.

In the afternoon, get back to the downtown of Huangshan. Stay overnight in the downtown. Since you'll have to carry everything yourself up Huangshan unless you hire a porter, it is advisable that you leave your big luggage in the hotel in downtown and bring only a small handbag or backpack with you up mountain.

Tangyue Archway Complex
Day 3 Mt.Huangshan (B)

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Today after breakfast, our guide and driver will pick you up at your hotel. Drive 80 kilometers (1.5 hours’ drive) to Huangshan Scenic Area and take cable car to Yuping Station to the top of the mountain. On the way, take photographs of Jade Screen Peak, Welcoming-guest Pine, Lotus Peak which is also the highest peak of Mount Huangshan with an elevation of 1864 meters, Hundreds-steps Ladder through the clouds, Old Monk in Meditation, Narrow Cliff, Turtle Peak and White Clouds Scenic Area.

Then take the Xihai sightseeing cable car to the bottom of the Xihai Grand Canyon. You will keep photographing till you get to the Hotel. En route, hike pass beautiful places with evocative names such as Camel Peak, Pine Forest Peak, Stone-pillar Peak, Double Bamboo Shoot Peak, Archway Peak, Dog Watching Sky, Lady Playing Piano, Upside-down Boot etc. Enjoy the beautiful sunset at Cloud-Dispelling Pavilion.

Visitor-Greeting Pine
Day 4 Mt.Huangshan (B)

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Try to get up early in the morning to catch the magical sunrise at Purple Cloud Peak. Mt. Huangshan is famed for its sunrise. If weather permits, you should gaze upon a breathtaking sight this morning as the golden light of the sun pierces the mists. The mountain peaks rise above the clouds, and the light of sunrise illuminates a frothy, ever-changing sea of white clouds below. You can watch this spectacle from a viewing terrace a short distance from your hotel.

After breakfast you continue your photography tour. Enjoy Flying-over Rock, Bright Summit, Lion Peak, Flower-scattering Valley, Beginning-to-Believe Peak to see the grotesque pine trees. Then you will take cable car to get down the mountain from the eastern route which present somewhat different, yet equally marvelous scenery in comparison with what on the western steps. After you reach the foothill of Mt. Huangshan, drive back to the city of Huangshan to visit Tunxi Ancient Street and Hu Kaiwen Ink-stick Factory.

After the tour, you’ll be escorted back to the city of Huangshan and enjoy the rest of the day.

Huangshan sunriseLion peak
Day 5 Hongcun - Xidi-Huangshan Departure (B)

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On this day, you will be taken to Yixian County, about 1-hour drive from the city of Huangshan. You will visit the two ancient villages Hongcun and Xidi, both of them listed as UNESCO’S World Cultural Heritage Sites.

Being one of China’s top 10 charming villages, Hongcun has been named “a village in the Chinese painting” with 800 years’ history. One of the locations for the Oskar-awarded movie “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”. Xidi is the perfect place for visitors to see typical folk houses where residents have lived there for centuries. It will give visitors the rare opportunity to explore China’s ancient culture and arts.

After the tour, you will be escorted back to the city of Huangshan, where you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to your next destination. Service ends.

Xidi Ancient VillageHongcun
5 Days Huangshan Photography Tour Map

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