Shanghai city & Huangshan mountain

Finally after three years since the first time I visited China I am back in Shanghai. The city that inspired me to do this whole journey. I find it very interesting how different Beijing and Shanghai feel. Both large cities but personally I like the more laid-back and more western vibe I get from Shanghai.

I enjoyed visiting the bund, many wonderful museums and parks and a few cool clubs at night. But I also discovered this weird thing the people in Shanghai do on Sundays. There is an actual wedding market were mostly grandparents come together in Peoples park to advertise their grand kids and find them a husband or wife. It's like a real-life dating app! To finish my time in the Shanghai area I made a day trip to a small city very close called Suzhou, where I visited a large traditional silk factory.

After all that city life it was finally time for some nature again! my next destination was Huangshan mountain. The first day I climbed up and started setting up camp on top of the mountain. Chinese tourists love mountain climbing BUT they definitely have their own way of doing it. On most of these touristic mountain sights they put up cableways that make the journey a lot easier but in my opinion far less rewarding. The other option is to climb the thousands of stairs they made to conquer the steep mountain. This is quite nice because it makes the climb a little more safe for a solo traveler like me. There are food and drinks available on the top of the mountains. And even though they have the cableway it's apparently even cheaper for them to let a few guys carry it all the way up the mountain! I saw quite a few of these men while climbing. They carry what must be at least 30 or 40 kg of fresh produce and drink cans on a bamboo stick on their shoulders all the way up to the top of the mountain. It's a tough job but I bet some of these guys could make some extra cash winning the Tour de France at this point, with legs looking like tree trunks and an indestructible endurance. I climbed the biggest summit watched the sunset and sunrise and had an overall wonderful time concluded by a visit to the luxurious natural hot springs on the foot of the mountain chillin' in baths filled with spring water, enriched with all kinds of things from rice milk to actual red wine. The view of the mountain right in front of me.

My next destination is Xi'an where I will hopefully be able to renew my visa to keep going with this awesome adventure.

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© Boudewijn Buitenhek  2020