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“Really a five plus!”
Review of Xihai Great Canyon

Xihai Great Canyon
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5-Day Tour: Shanghai and Huangshan
Ranked #5 of 85 things to do in Huangshan
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed 14 October 2013

This was our favorite part of the Huangshan Mountain area and we traversed much of it. Mist and clouds obscured most of it much of the time, but the views must be spectacular and the hiking was magnificent. Worth every step.

1  Thank luvtogo09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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63 - 67 of 151 reviews

Reviewed 30 August 2013

As I grow old, I will always remember our 3 nights at Huangshan. Starting from the Taiping cable car (direct access by taxi, no long lines at the cable car, no crowds while hiking, scary yet amazing), we had planned the following route (based upon the excellent online map linked below):

1) Purple Cloud Station - 1st and 2nd ring to the bottom
2) Bottom - Baiyun Hotel via the new Xihai Grand Canyon cable car (in operation as of July 9, 2013)
3) Baiyun Hotel to the rest of the Xihai area

Unfortunately, the weather was very bad that morning. Due to strong winds and heavy fog, visibility was limited to about 20 feet, meaning we never saw the breathtaking scenery. We didn't even realize that we had made a complete circle around the 1st ring, instead of doing a 'figure 8' ie the outer loop of the 1st ring and the inner loop of the 2nd ring. Feeling quite deflated, we joined several small groups of hikers and headed towards Cloud-dispelling Pavilion. From there, we continued on to the more-crowded areas around Beihai Hotel. The weather was clear there, ha ha.


Despite our failure to see the amazing scenery, I still feel that it was worth the effort! In fact, I hope to visit again... on a clear day.

2  Thank Gigis_mum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2013

treacherous stairs, 4 hours up the scenice route was difficult but the vistas were beautiful sight to see. I suggest stay 2 Nite shere and just enjoy the muntaina top comfortable at Hotel Xhai or Pai Lan YOu hotel. Food was alright. Due to the heavy fog and rain, after our morning walk was coffee break all day at the hotel lobby lounge. On DAy 3 , the morning weather cleared and hundreds of people had the same idea to go see the sunrise.YOu have to be patient, too many tourist up their at the viewpoint, but right after the snrise just in 15-20 minutes they will be all gone and you can have the viewpoint to yourselves by 620am ;-)

5  Thank patrickph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

Best spot to enjoy the pure beauty of Huangshan. Nameless mountains which you can view from different angles. Climbing down on stairs of 70-80 degrees. will take you 1 hour min. to get down to the bottom of the canyon (end of Circle 2). There are spots on the way sticking out from the cliffs. Thrilling and awesome view!

1  Thank FredSun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2012

In Chinese, there is the following saying - “五嶽歸來不看山,黃山歸來不看嶽' - that is, "if you see the five great mountains of China you don't have to bother seeing any other mountains. But if you see Huangshan, you don't have to see the other great mountains of China". I'm not so sure how much I agree with that saying, and really think travellers have to think twice about whether or not they want to come.

Having said that, Xihai Great Canyon is the area I chose to explore during my trip based on my research, which was heavily influenced by a Tripadvisor contributor named "Ellyse" - in retrospect her advice was spot on. It is the section that takes the most effort to get to, the most energy to walk (lots of stairs up and down) but it does have the best views the smallest crowds. Local tour groups generally go to the other parts of Huangshan and it gets extremely crowded and loud on those sections. You will see people scattered along the path of Xihai, but generally you can expect to not have your personal space violated every few minutes in this section!

I accessed Xihai Canyon through the Taiping Telpher (Cable Car) and walked both the 1st and 2nd ring - after which I had to turn around and follow the path back to the Western Gate. It is the best cable car to take up because it drops you off at Purple Cloud Station which puts you only 1 km away from the entrance of Xihai Canyon. Other cable cars are not only smaller but wayt further away. If you arrange for a driver and want to see Xihai Canyon, insist on going to Taiping. A large section of the canyon is closed between the end of the 2nd ring and the path towards Plunk Way so you do have to do a U-turn and double back to where you started your journey from if you choose my path. On a slightly overcast day, views are ok but nothing to write home about. It all started to look the same after a while, but at least the steepness of the stairs proved to be a good challenge (if you like that kind of thing) and the air was fresh and clean - a reprieve from the pollution and heat at the bottom of the mountain. Note paths are all paved and well maintained - people actually use the garbage bins here. Also FYI - there is a great map of Huangshan on Huangshantour.com that will help you orient yourself around the various places I mentioned above.

We chose to descend the mountain via the Yuping Cableway, which involved a 2 hour walk towards the Western steps from our hotel, which was located half a kilometer from Bright Top a popular sunrise vantage point. This walk was full of loud, large domestic tour groups and involved following a procession of tourists up and down various flights of stairs. At this point, we just wanted to get off the mountain ASAP.

This trip is not cheap - for one person you'll have to pay 230 RMB to get in the park, 80 RMB for the Taiping Telpher, and something around 60 RMB for the Yuping Telpher. Add to that a C$200 hotel stay plus overpriced food at the top of the mountain (buy your supplies at the bottom of the mountain or elsehwere!!) and if you're like me you start to wonder if your time and money in Huangshan was well spent.

My final point is that despite the grandiose descriptions of Huangshan you may hear - while the air is clean the mountains are very unique - I would recommend managing your expectations in terms of what to expect from a trip to even what I would consider the prettiest part of the entire scenic area. The weather is hit or miss (the morning after, visibility was next to zero), the scenery does get a bit monotonous, but it is nice for those interested in China and its places of significance to check Huangshan off their list.

So if you really have to go - I'd say go to this section over any other section of Huangshan Scenic Area.

13  Thank jason416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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