In early November, my girlfriend and I took a roadtrip south to Huangshan (黄山) and Nine Dragons Waterfall (九龙瀑布) with the hopes of hiking the mountain. From where I live in Yangzhou (扬州), Huangshan is a little more than a five hour drive on the high-speed way. Tolls on the high-speed way were 200 kuai (RMB) or about $32 USD, which was quite a bit more than I was expecting but not too bad in the scheme of things. From there we went to Qian Dao Hu (千岛湖) or Thousand Island Lake, Suzhou (苏州), and Wuxi (无锡).
Huangshan is considered one of the most beautiful mountains to hike in China. I was very excited to see the famous peaks poking up through the clouds. Instead we got there and it was rainy – super rainy and cloudy – for our entire trip. Definitely not worth the 260 kuai ($40 USD) per person to get soaked and see nothing but rain clouds.
So we compromised and slogged through a short hike to check out Nine Dragons Waterfall which is nearby. Because of the weather there were hardly any other people there and when we reached the summit to view the main falls it was just us and the security guards hiding in their tiny shack.
The hike itself is quite easy since it follows a gently sloping concrete path. It’s not until you reach the last section that you have to work. About a quarter mile, or less, from the end you begin to climb steep stairs which wind up the hillside. Then you come over a short rise and viola! The main waterfalls that you see in the picture to the right will appear before you.
There was a trail across the water and up the far side of the waterfall but it was blocked off. Maybe one day they’ll extend the trail to the top of the waterfall, off to the side, so you can look down without blocking the view from below. That’d be cool. For now though, it’s a nice little side trip.
The area looks a lot like the Columbia River Gorge back home in Washington / Oregon, which was nice. If you want an easy stroll with nice scenery, then Nine Dragons Waterfall is worth the comparatively low price.
Cost: 60 RMB / person (about $9.25 USD)
Parking: 5 RMB / car