Towering 1,873 meters above sea level in the south of Anhui Province, Yellow Mountain also called Mount Huangshan, which used to be called Mount Yishan in the Qin Dynasty (221 – 206). It got its present name in 747. Legend claims that the emperor came here to cultivate his moral character and try to make pills of immortality (as a Taoist practice), hence the name. Mount Huangshan encompasses 250 square kilometers, of which 154 square kilometers are the quintessence. It is one of the most magnificent scenic spots in China and is also a well-known attraction the world over.
The Yellow Mountain is magnificent for its beautiful peaks and rocks. Of all the numerous peaks, 72 peaks are very famous, and half of them are big ones, the rest are small ones. The three biggest ones are the Lotus Flower Peak (1,873 m alt.), the Bright Summit (1,841 m alt.), and the Heavenly Capital Peak (1,810 m alt.). The highest Lotus Flower Peak towers in the central part of the Yellow Mountain. Clouds veil the peaks all the year round, changing the scenes of the mountains in a mysterious atmosphere. With the elapsing of time, nearly every peak composes of fantastic rocks.
The Yellow Mountain is fantastic for its strange pines growing everywhere on peaks for 800 meters above sea level to the heights with immensely various postures – sticking out, sleeping, bowing, facing, upward, bending, reaching out, coiling, and hanging. The dark green and short needle-shaped leaves, the flat and spreading cap, the lopsided boughs and the stout and the grotesque trunks are the results of struggling against strong mists and storms. The “Cushion Pine,” “Phoenix Pine,” “Chessboard Pine,” “Black Tiger Pine,” “Sleeping Dragon Pine,” and the “Welcoming Pine” all are tenaciously struggling under the harshest conditions. The “Welcoming Pine” spreading out all its branches in one direction seems to embrace tourists both from home and abroad Mountain Huangshan has a mysterious glamour for its spectacular sea of clouds all the year round. Geographically it is divided into five areas, which are called Five Seas: Front Sea, Back Sea, East Sea, West Sa, and Heavenly Sea. Once the sea of cloud is formed, it is magnificent and stretching to the horizon. Valleys and peaks are all submerged in the great waves of mists and clouds in the brightly sunny days. Sometimes the mountains in the clouds and fog, like islands in a raging sea, are playing hid-and-seek with visitors.
The Yellow Mountain has a mysterious power of attraction for its world-famous hot springs, which were exploited over 1,000 years ago. It neither dries up nor overflows. Its temperature remains at 42 ℃,, fit for both drink and bath. The water is a rare spring of carbonated type with remarkable curative effect on diseases of digestive system, nervous system, blood system, and the system of consciousness of motion. In addition, the waterfalls, the harping spring, limpid pools and clear streams are also eye-catching and will be even more enchanting after rain.
Mount Huangshan is not only beautiful in scenery, but also rich in natural resources. Profuse in medical herbs and alive with rare birds and animals, it is an ideal place for the study of flora and fauna.
Mt. Huangshan is one of China’s best scenic areas. Xu Xiake (1584 – 1641), a famous writer of travel books of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - `1644) said:”Having toured the Five Great Mountains, I wouldn’t care to visit other mountains; but I despised all the Five Great Mountains after I came back from Mountain Huangshan.” Indeed, Mt. Huangshan is everything: Mt. Tai’s grandeur, Mt Hua’s power, Mt Heng’s clouds, Mt. Lu’s waterfalls and Mt. Emei’s clarity and cool.
Tourists can ascend to the White Goose Ridge in a cable car jointly managed by China and Japan. It takes only 8 minutes for a single trip. Tourists can enjoy mountain view through the windows of the cable car. The cableway goes up 773 meters above the ground, and tourists will be filled with apprehension while looking down at the steep cliffs and deep valleys.
The four ultimate beauties of the Yellow Mountain are oddly shaped pines, its spectacular rocky peaks, sea of clouds, and crystal-clear mountain hot springs. The scenes of Mountain Huangshan are “the most spectacular under heaven.” Mt. Huangshan is worthy of such praise.
Mt. Huangshan National Scenery Area won the Melina Mercouri Award for conservation and management of cultural scenery from the UNESCO. A ceremony was held early March 2000 in Beijing. The mountain is said to be one of the most famous natural scenic spots in China. In 1990, it was inscribed on the List of the World Cultural and Natural Heritages of UNESCO. Since then the local government has made great efforts to protect and manage the cultural and natural scenery of the area.