huang shan Travel Blog› entry 19 of 27 › view all entries
The early morning bus from Hangzhou dropped us near the mountain and after we had parted with our big backpacks and Y120 to enter the area, we could start climbing the mountain. By this time it was already past noon so we had to shift into high gear to be on the top before dark. The top was littered with hotels, mostly expensive hotels errr to exact too costly for two cheap Dutchies. Many Chinese tourist were paying about Y1450 for a basic room. We were running out of options very soon and the prospect of us sleeping on the mountain top "au naturel" (without any sleepingbags) didn't sound too appealing as it was getting colder and colder by the moment.
One hotel offered a 12-bed dormitory for Y260 that is almost $30 for a bed. After some negiotiating with the help of a friendly Chinese tourguide we could have a bed for Y150 each. We first had to leave the hotel and enter the hotel with the tourguide so he could present us as his guests and we could have his tour group discounted price. Of course the dormitory was packed with smoking, farting and shouting Chinese playing card games. They even had turned the volume of the tv to "blast ur ears away". Yep this was going to be a very good night rest. To escape our new found "friends" we went to sit in the lobby. The lobby "manager" wouldn't allow it, we could only sit there if we ordered a coffee or a tea (Y20). Again being cheap Dutchies we refused this and found a backdoor. We ordered icetea (Y10) and got in our comfortable seats, this was certainly not to the liking of the lobby "manager" and he wanted us to get out of the seats as icetea was not tea!!! We didn't budge and ignored the silly man standing next to our seats demanding we would leave. After a while he got tired of standing next to us and shouting to deaf man's ears that he retreated to his seat.
The snorring and other strange noises our dormitory "friends" made during their sleep didn't prevent us from getting up early and get a fresh start to see the sunrise. Well the our new "friends" didn't stop us from seeing a spectacular mountain sunrise but the weather gods did. It was foggy foggy and foggy, visibility was a mere 10 ft. In a desperate attempt to see a glimpse of the sunrise we hurried from one "good" spot to another "good" spot but all was to no avail. After a long walk down we reached the bus station where we left our bags and than we had to hop on a bus to Huang Shan city which was more easily said than done. Every minibus or tourbus we flagged down ignored us, this due to the fact that we were flagged as potential taxi customers by our uninvited taxi friend. We got smart and moved for about 100 meters and voila... bingo we were picked up by a minivan that would bring us to the city. To get to Guangzhou I had only two options: a 32hr train ride on a hard seat or taking a 2hr plane flight in a comfortable airplane seat. With the Xi'an - Pingyao hard seat experience fresh in mind I set aside all my principles not taking airplanes on this trip and would arrive within 2 hrs in Guangzhou.