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Your Instagram Needs Pictures From This Hike In China

Posted by Emily Cummings on 1/16/18 9:54 AM

ILP China volunteer

If you’re traveling to China anytime soon, we’ve got another hidden gem you should know about — you’re going to want to add it to your itinerary after seeing these dreamy pictures.



We know — hopefully you do too — that China is absolutely gorgeous. I mean, not to pick favorites among the ILP countries, but it’s a real gem. Let’s just say there is a reason why we have a post that talks all about the most Instagram-Worthy spots in China. Oh, and to make things better, we keep finding spots that can be added to that list: Huangshan, also known as the Yellow Mountains.

Pst: want to see more of China than you could in a short visit? How about living in China for a semester? Come see what life is like for an ILP volunteer in China, right here.

Huangshan looks like one of those beautiful inky Chinese paintings, you know what I’m talking about. Huge, rambling mountains, soaring peaks, prickly pine trees jutting out and swirling mist, but you get to see it all in real life. Here’s what you’ll need to know to get those incredible pics for yourself:

  • Get To Huangshan
  • Plan Your Hike
  • Stay Overnight
  • Visit This Village

Get To Huangshan

This Chinese city is in the middle-eastern part of China, just a few hours away from Shanghai. The City of Huangshan has got a decent bus and train station, as well as an airport so you can pretty much get there from wherever you’ll be in China. To help you out, here’s how to book train ticket in China stress free, and one post that talks all about the trains in China so you’ll know what you’re booking if you decide to go by train. 

Just so you know, the airport is around 44 miles away from the scenic area.

China with ILP

Plan Your Hike

There are lots of very pretty views and a few different hikes to take once you get up on the mountain, but you’ll need to decide how to get up to the peaks first. There are two options: hiking and cable car. 

Hiking is going to be pretty strenuous (to say the least); there are stone steps which get pretty slippery in the rain, so watch for that, and the paths are paved in stones. Hiking in China isn't a trail like you would think of if you're from America; they have stones carved out to create stairs instead. This hike is stairs after stairs and steep inclines, but that’s what gets you up to the top for the best views. 

If you decide to go by cable car, just know that there are three different cable cars that can take you to different peaks. They also stop operating after 4:00 PM so make sure you make it to the station beforehand if you’ll be taking the cable cars down. The lines can also get a bit long, so factor that in. 

Lots of visitors decide to do one of each, like taking the cable car up and hiking down so you can experience both options.

Volunteer in China with ILP

Stay Overnight

The big pull for Huangshan is the sunrise, so lots of people like to take up the cable car on the first day and see some of the sights up on the mountain. This website outlines a few of the specific trails to check out. There are also hostels you can stay at on top of the mountain which is excellent news — if you stay there overnight, all you’ll have to do is wake up early, grab you camera and take some stunning shots. Be sure to tag (and follow) @ilpadventure and see if we repost your picture!

As a head’s up for our ILP volunteers, you’ll have ILP vacations to choose where you wanna go. For those living in Jiangsu Province, you can make a long weekend outta this trip, no problem.  For volunteers from other places, plan on doing this on one of your longer vacations, then swinging over to check out cities like Shanghai (don’t miss site-seeing, shopping and the Shanghai Wild Animal Park). A train between Shanghai and Huangshan is around four hours. 

ILP Volunteers in China

Visit This Village

When you’re done hiking and want a restful afternoon, head to this pretty and ancient Chinese village, just next door. It’s so photogenic art students often flock here just to paint and sketch the buildings and field and flowers. You won’t want to miss the Hui Villages. 

ILP China

Sure, you could go to China on your own or through the USU China Program if you’re a student at Utah State … but going with International Language Programs means paying one affordable program free for your airfare, housing, visa, three meals a day, plus culture classes for the entire semester.

Interested? Come check out more about our program in China right there: 

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Topics: China, Travel Destinations

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Over the years of assisting more than 6,000 volunteers in their desire to travel and make a difference in the lives of others, ILP has seen what works and what doesn't.

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