A Famous Huangshan Sunrise 清凉台
The Yellow Mountains, funnily enough, aren't actually yellow. The area was renamed from Yishan to Huangshan after the legendary Yellow Emperor (Huang Di) in 747 AD. Legend has it that Huangshan was the place that Huang Di ascended to heaven. It's change of name brought more and more attention to what was once a barely recognised or even accessible place. Today the mountains hold many temples in honour of the Emperor and have over 140 sections open to the public, which together have made the area one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the whole of China.
Millions every year make the trip to Huangshan to try and get a glimpse of it's unique landscape. Most also find a way to stay overnight to watch the sunrise which has been made famous by countless poets and artists depicting Huangshan's peaks towering above the clouds.
We braved the crowds for two nights on the mountain and it was an experience we'll never forget. To make the most of the last 24 hours on the summit we stayed up all night to watch the milky way and then waited out to catch one final famous sunrise...
*Remember you can click on any image to find it in store.
We'd secured front row seats after being out since 3am and I'm so thankful that we did as we watched hundreds of people join us on the cliffside not long after. If you ever find yourself there, be ready to get pushed around as people compete for your spot! You might even have the odd selfie stick appear next to your head as someone standing at the back of the group tries to get a better shot with their iPad. Yep!
The sky started to brighten and everyone waited patiently for the sun to appear. Right on time, at 5:30am, the first beam of light broke over the distant peaks, followed by cheers and WOWs from the crowd. It was more beautiful than we could even have imagined. The sun slowly rose higher above the haze and put on a stunning show. It was worthy of the hype.
The landscape around us was transforming by the second. Below are photos of the exact same spot just a few minutes apart. It was mind-blowing.
As the sun rose higher it started to kiss the sides of some of the taller peaks.
Then, what had started as a few subtle rays now exploded as light broke through the landscape transforming it once again.
It's easy to understand why the whole country is fascinated by this place.
Once the sun reaches a certain point in the sky everyone starts to head back in, now racing to get the best seats for breakfast. It's the perfect moment to finally find a quiet spot and really appreciate where you are. We scrambled over a few rocks away from the path and watched the sun rays shine through the rugged peaks. Golden hour had ended but the view was just as stunning in it's own way. Worth missing out on breakfast in my opinion!
I hope you enjoyed the famous Huangshan sunrise. I'd love to know which photo was your favourite! Let me know in the comments below. Stay tuned for our next stop in Beijing.