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daniserralta Tangkou - A travel report by Dani
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Tangkou,  China - flag China -  Anhui
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daniserralta's travel reports

The HuangShan mountains city.

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Tangkou travelogue picture
This little and pretty city is the nearest point to stay and prepare a correctly assault to the Huang Shan mountains at Anhui province. This sacred mountains by the budhists are absolutely great and amazing is just a wonder to see for a couple of days.

Favourite spots:
Huang Shan mountains can be reached in one day but that´s only for superheroes or people not really interested in nature spots and wonder views. I was there for two days. It is an amazing trek by the mountains where you can see the sunsets, the sunrises, the strange rock formations on the tops, the wild life as monkeys or other animals, the pine threes with an strange forms caused by the wind. There are also temples, rivers, etc ... and the way is hard some times with long up-stairs and eternal down-stairs but all the way is ... wow!!!

What's really great:
Tangkou travelogue picture
The Sea of Clowds. It´s a great thing that seems only happen here. The clowds appear from everywhere staying there beetwen the mountains for kilometers, so far, further than you can see. The wind make that the clowds where moving all the time like the water in the sea with the waves and only the highest peaks appear for over this white sea like islands. Go somewhere and stay just looking the sunset or the sunrise over this sea of clowds is really magical. One of the best things that i did in China.

Sights:
Tangkou travelogue picture
Tangkou have nothing to see but the river growing while rains or the bridges that crose the river to unify the town.
The best is the HuangShan mountains and the surroundings.
From the town to the HuangShan entrance you can take a shared taxi for 10 Yuen.
From the entrance yo can start going up by the eternal stairs till the top or take the ropeway, anyway you must pay the entrance (130 Yuen!!!) an absurdly high price, the ropeway is one way up for 66 Yuen.
I recommend take the ropeway up and do all the way by the mountains and all the way down walking. (2 days!)

Accommodations:
There are some hotels in Tangkou.
All of them are so expensive and just two hotels offer low budget prices.
If you don´t care about pay more than 200 Yuen Renminbi for a double room per night you will have no problems to find accomodation.
BUT, if you, as me, want to find accomodation for around 20-50 Yuen per night or a rasonable room there are just two options:
1.- There are one hotel, big, at the last bridge of the town and in front of the central park and turist information office.
The name is Xiaoyao Binguan and have dorms with 5 beds for around 30 Yuen.
2. The second option is bargain hard, really hard, elsewhere you go. Some hotels have single ooms with shared bathroom at the top of the hotel for around 40 or 50 Yuen.

Nightlife:
Forget it. There are no clubs, discotheques or Pubs anywhere in Tangkou or in the surroundings.
If you want to have fun, drink something , etc... the best is look for some other backpackers and go at some restaurant or buy something at some little market and do it at the biggest room or dormitory!!
Remmember that is just a little town in the middle of the mountains.

Hangouts:
No pubs. Read the last writte about clubs.

Restaurants:
There are a lot of them.
Usually the managers will stay outside looking for you and other foreigners.
The mountains cuisine is so good. ;!
Or good enough to survive and so cheap if you go out the most popular area at the river side.
Ask for Mr. Hu restaurant.
Hu Zheng Lie is the man!! he, he ... well, he helped me so much because is more than a restaurant is also a real budget turist information for backpackers.
He speak so good English and his info is very helpful.
But is your choose.

Other recommendations:
Where to stay at the mountains???
Well! no problem!
There are some hotels at the top at some different peaks but forget the monasteries and cheap accomodations.
The cheapest that you can find is domitories for 100 Yuen at the Shilin or Beihai Hotels.
***- In front of the Beihai Hotel look for some spartan bungalows where you can find dormitories without bath by 60 Yuen bargaining hard.

Published on Saturday August 31th, 2002


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