Lonely Planet Writer

China’s most famous sacred mountain will be free to visit all winter

One of China’s most popular tourist sites will be open for free to international visitors over the winter. Huangshan, or Yellow Mountain in English, is a Unesco World Heritage-inscribed sacred mountain that draws close to three million visitors each year.

Huangshan with Sea of Clouds, Anhui Province, China. Image by Nattapon/Getty Images

The scenic area, which is located in Anhui province in eastern China, is known for its incredible views of sharp granite peaks – often shrouded in mist – tall pine trees and lingering clouds. Scenes from Huangshan have been immortalised in many of China’s most famous scroll paintings, and it has featured in Chinese literature – it is estimated that Huangshan was the subject of at least 20,000 poems during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912).

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Very early morning is a very popular time to visit for views of the sunrise over Huangshan’s eternal peaks. Normally, visitors must pay ¥230 (US$34.50) in high season and ¥150 (US$22.50) off-season for entrance to the site, which includes dozens of walking and hiking trails, peaks, pavilions and temples.

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The scenic area will be open free-of-charge to international passport holders, including people from Hong Kong and Macau, through the winter until 28 February 2018. However, the free scheme will not include several ticketed attractions accessed once inside Huangshan, including a cable car, hot springs and transportation options.