Huangshan city (Tunxi) in Anhui Province in China. It’s a town of minor interest but it makes a good base for exploring the area including the much more famous Huangshan Scenic Area.
Tunxi has self adopted the name Huangshan City in the hopes of attracting tourism. However it also creates confusion because it gets confused with Huangshan Scenic Area, (aka Mount Huangshan or Huangshan) located some 70 Kilometers away. Tunxi has no direct access to the scenic area, tourists will still need to go via Tangkou to get to the southern entrance.
The symbol of Huangshan city ( Tunxi), a stone gate with hundreds of years of history.
01. Arriving to Huangshan city
Huangshan is the major town in the area near to Huangshan scenic area, UNESCO patrimonial site, and a must-see landmark. For this reason, Huangshan town, a relatively unimportant town has an airport and a pretty decent influx or tourists.
The scenery is good, but the problem is always the same: over-commercialized.
Beautiful streets in China.
Over-commercialized but this is a good place to spend a lovely afternoon.
02. What to do in Huangshan city
Visit the old street and the historic district it the thing to here. Huangshan for many tourists is a mere stop-over on the way to Huangshan mountains, so is also a good place to do shopping and pack provisions for the Mountain hike. Besides shopping and sightseeing there is not a lot to do in Huangshan. There are good local specialty restaurants and a few western restaurant chain like McDonald’s.
This friendly guy sold me a few bottles of hand-crafted very spicy chili sauce. Really tasty.
Back-alleys are really nice and very genuine.
Close up on the chili, looks oily. An it is oily.
03. Old street
Tunxi itself has a long history, well over a thousand years. The main street has a old-feel, and the secondary back-alleys have an even more authentic old-feel. But the problem with China historical “towns” and “historical streets” is always the same: Over-commercialization, true historical buildings repaired beyond recognition (for commercial purposes), all kinds of shops everywhere. New buildings that resemble old building constructed in old-towns, to attract more tourism. So even the historic city center is truly old the buildings have a “fake” resemblance that pretty much defeats the purpose of visiting such historic towns.
Hairy tofu aftermath!. It wasn’t that good ( very strong flavor). Your experience may vary.
Local chili, yum :).
I like this photo, taken just beside the Huangshan city river.
Which is also beside the main street of the old city. Good views!.
04. An afternoon in Huangshan
I did visit Huangshan city in the morning and the heat was pretty scorching, so I proceeded to eat in a local restaurant, and then move to a local coffee shop to let the hours pass and visit the Huangshan old street in the afternoon. Many shops open just in the late afternoon and this also the time which tourists flock to this area. So everything is more lively in the night.
The town is nice, I like the mood of the street, the snacks are so-so, some good (try the local mushroom-mini cakes, truly super delicious which sell everywhere) some bad ( hairy tofu was hard to swallow). Prices are generally not so expensive. So in general, even this historic old town is full of shops I still had a nice afternoon.
A great find, a quiet and trendy coffee shop. It’s strange because this shop seemed like a cake shop, but had a very beautiful second floor. All for ourselves.
Chinese man painting characters in Huangshan city.
05. Huangshan city airport
From Huangshan city airport has flights to:
And more, i took myself a much recommended flight to Pudong saving myself from many hours of bus or train ( around 11 of more hours, from Huangshan to Shanghai). Flights are also generally quite cheap, competing sometimes to the bus prices. Huangshan.gov city page and airport guide can be checked by clicking here.
I love the night-views.
I considered Huangshan city as a mere half day trip and a pass-time while I waited for my flight to Shanghai. But, Huangshan city deliver much more than I expected. Food was very authentic and tasty, scenic views are not bad, shop-owners are not pushy but friendly, and prices are also quite low generally speaking. I strongly recommend to stock up in here or in Tangkou if you guys are heading for a hike at Huangshan scenic area.