Happy Mother’s Day! We woke up at the Westin in Shanghai, a modern hotel in a modern city. We are going to bed in Tangkou, a rural town with, well, let’s call it a rural hotel. More on that later.
We flew to Huangshan which is a small city of 1.5 million people. It’s tea growing country with some beautiful mountains. Known as the Yellow Mountains, this area has no industry other than tourism and tea growing. Apparently there are western tourists but we got a lot of looks today and that makes us wonder how many. There were two other westerners on our flight. We were the only white folk anywhere on the 9 Dragon Waterfall path. Lots of people staring and taking “selfies” with us in them. The Juilong (9 Dragon) Waterfall was a 2 hour walk up some fairly steep paths. It is actually 9 waterfalls and as water flows only downhill one should expect the steep hill. My Fitbit said 68 floors worth of up and then the same 68 back down. Welcome to the mountains!
The first fall. Great start to inspire us to continue and see more.
The area reminds me very much of our river hikes we have at home. Except bamboo not spruce or fir trees. And bamboo grows to heights of ~100 feet here. Real trees.
Looks like this is the top, right? Nope. The trail continues up about another 350 stairs.
Falls 6, 7, 8 and 9. That’s the top!
A very pretty colored pool.
Lots of chatty frogs to serenade us too. They were on the menu at dinner and no, we didn’t.
We are staying at the Zhongrui Huayi Hotel. The sign on the roof has 4 stars on it. It’s not officially rated at 4 stars, but it’s not as bad as I’m making it out. The bed is a little firm, kinda like plywood, but it’s clean. The hallway lights are there, just not on. Well every 4th one is, it’s not totally black. Anyway we are having fun with it and giggling as we see the inconsistencies. We do wonder what breakfast may bring, at least it’s included.
For dinner Kris had, as usual, researched in depth our options. There was one place with 3 TripAdvisor reviews. So that’s dinner. Using Google Maps we’ve been easily able to find our way around so off we went. We walked down some sketchy stairs to the “lower town” along the river and about 3 blocks more found the Haozailai Restaurant. It’s very local, with simple, but really good food. We had some amazing dried bamboo in sauce, celery with salted tofu strips and then some fried tofu and mushrooms. Yum! And we got to try Huangshan beer (it’s the local brew). We are the first people to ever check in there on Facebook! Usually there are dozens if not 1000’s of check ins. We are off the western tourist beaten path. But if you are coming here, do eat there.
The kinda sketchy stairs. I should have kept the flash off to show how dark they were.
The street at the bottom the stairs. Still kinda sketchy.
The street where we ate. Much less sketchy. Lots of friendly locals trying to sell us their wares. No pressure at all here. The lady from the restaurant boasting an English menu only followed us for a block or so. We might go there tomorrow night.
And a happy Kris.
The whole town appears to be one restaurant after another so we will try another tomorrow for our anniversary dinner. Probably the same menu, different name.
Assuming the weather cooperates we plan to go up into the mountains tomorrow and hike a bit. Actually that is the plan, rain or shine, but I guess how long we spend is more up to the weather. Hopefully it’ll be clear and dry. There is a hot springs that we will spend time in though, regardless.