China Diary:
Yellow Mountain

[Returning to Shanghai] [Spring Festival] [Chinese New Year] [Fulbright Mid-Year Conference] [Back to School] [Back Online] [Into the Heartland] [Ancient Capitals] [Judeo-Christian Holidays] [From Albany to Zurich] [Yellow Mountain] [Loose Ends] [Hello, Debbie ... Goodbye, Debbie] [Southern Capital] [Tropical Tour] [Unwinding] [Farewell Banquets] [Winding Down] [Good Bye, Shanghai]

Apr. 12: Re-Entry Visa – I go downtown just north of Suzhou Creek to pick up my passport with the re-entry visa. While in the neighborhood, I wander around this old neighborhood for the first time. This side of the creek was reserved for the Chinese, and when the Japanese occupied Shanghai during World War II they forced the Jews to move into this neighborhood as well. Many of those old buildings still stand today. But close by is embassy row, former home for several colonial consulates and current home for the Russian consulate. There are also some very nice hotels and restaurants here as well.

Apr. 13: Bao Steel – A couple of my MBA students from last semester who work at Bao Steel meet for dinner to discuss a lecture they want me to give next week to management. We go to the Blue Joy restaurant, then to my place for a short while to examine all the souvenirs I have purchased. We get a night cap at a small local pub where we discuss different views about business, management, and entrepreneurship among other topics.

Apr. 15: Huang Shan – I rise at 5:15 a.m. on U.S. tax day. It is ominously raining as Maurice and I leave for our early flight to Huang (Yellow) Shan (Mountain). We land at Huangshan City by 8 and take a cab forty miles to the trail’s main gate. It is still raining at this most "marvellousest mountain on earth," probably China’s second-most famous landscape after Guilin and often seen in paintings with tall, round peaks poking through mist and clouds. There are 72 peaks comprising this range, with thirty rising over 1,500 meters. An old saying is: "Once you’ve ascended the heights of Huang Shan you will never want to climb another mountain." An ancient pilgrimage, it is regarded as sacred with every Chinese wanting to climb it once in their lifetime. Luckily it is out-of-season. Still, on this morning it is just like those paintings: steep, cloudy, wet, and cold. We hike up for an hour before stopping at a pavilion to try and dry off some, then flag down a mini-bus to take us to the Yungu Hotel restaurant by the cable car where we stop for lunch and dry off. I buy a souvenir sweatshirt to warm up some, and we wimp out by taking the cable car up. After a fifteen minute walk at the top, by 2:00 p.m. we check into the Bei (North) Hei (Sea) Hotel, named after the clouds and not the ocean. We dry out our stuff, snooze, then walk around in the rain. We buy ponchos and I get a walking stick. For dinner, we get the buffet in the hotel restaurant.

Apr. 16: Aching Knees – We rise at 5:00 a.m. (again!) to see the sunrise, take some photos, then shower and pack by 7:00. I take some pictures of the Beginning-to-Believe Peak and North Sea, and we get the breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant. We are on the trail by 9, hike up Lotus Flower Peak at 1,800 meters, and 3 hours later we are eating lunch at the Jade Screen Tower Hotel. We are now half way down the mountain. By 1:30 we are back on the trail again, and my knees by now are shot as I pay the price for all those downhill ski bumps and uphill bicycle rides. Three long and slow hours later we make it to the bottom where we take a cab to the Huangshan Hotel in the hot springs area. After drying out our stuff (again!) and showering, we wander down the street for some dinner.

Apr. 17: Local Tour – We hire a cabby for the day, who first takes us to the local town of Tangkou for lunch. We then go to the Xin An Stele garden where the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai once got drunk and wrote a famous poem, then walk to a nearby little village of Xi Xian, with its famous four-sided ancient archway next to its old city gate gate, and finally drive to the six stone Tangyue ceremonial archways in Shexian which were built by prosperous merchants and a restored Ming era residence known as "The Former Home of Bao’s Clan." By late afternoon we are back in Huangshan City where we leave our backpacks. We walk a bit (again!), then take pedi-cabs to the wrong hotel and wander up the local park. We grab dinner under a tent in another park, then get our backpacks and grab a cab to the airport. Maurice and I make the late flight back to Shanghai, arriving home just after the gate closes.

Apr. 18: Water Park – June organizes a one-day field trip for her English students and invites some Americans along. Debbie and I rise at 6:00 a.m., Eric comes over at 6:15, we get Linda at 6:30, and the four of us walk to Fudan’s main gate and board the waiting bus. We pass by Dian (river) Shan (mountain) Hu (lake) and its Grand View Garden which is modeled after the famous garden from the Chinese novel, Dream of the Red Chamber. At Zhong Zhuang, known for its canals, we naturally pile onto a small boat for the local tour under several arched stone bridges. We load up on souvenirs, then some of us grab lunch overlooking one of the canals. For the afternoon, we go to Tongli which is known mostly for being built on the water and home of an ancient garden. We load up on some more souvenirs, then take the bus home in time for dinner.

[Returning to Shanghai] [Spring Festival] [Chinese New Year] [Fulbright Mid-Year Conference] [Back to School] [Back Online] [Into the Heartland] [Ancient Capitals] [Judeo-Christian Holidays] [From Albany to Zurich] [Yellow Mountain] [Loose Ends] [Hello, Debbie ... Goodbye, Debbie] [Southern Capital] [Tropical Tour] [Unwinding] [Farewell Banquets] [Winding Down] [Good Bye, Shanghai]


Copyright 1999 Paul Miesing. All rights reserved. Please do not use without permission unless in the People’s Republic of China which does not enforce intellectual property rights. Revised on January 17, 2001.