Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mount Huang

Mount Huang, also known as Huangshan , is a mountain range in southern Anhui in eastern China. The area is famous for its scenic beauty, which lies in the peculiar shapes of the granite peaks, in the weather-shaped Huangshan Pine trees, and in views of the clouds from above. The area also has hot springs and natural pools. Mount Huang is a frequent subject of traditional Chinese paintings and . Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of China's most popular tourist destinations.

The Huangshan mountain range comprises many peaks, 77 of which exceed 1,000 in altitude. The three tallest peaks are ''Lotus Peak'' , nearby ''Bright Summit Peak'' and ''Celestial Peak'' . The World Heritage Site covers a core area of 154 square kilometres and a buffer zone of 142 square kilometres.

The mountains were formed in the Mesozoic, about 100 million years ago, when an ancient sea disappeared due to uplift. Later, in the Quaternary Period, the landscape was shaped by the influence of glaciers. In many cases, stone pillar forests were formed.

During the Qin Dynasty, Huangshan had been known as ''Yishan.'' It got its present name in , when the poet Li Bai referred to it by this name in his writing.

The vegetation of the area depends on altitude: Below 1,100 , moist forest can be found; deciduous forest stretches from 1,100 m up to the tree line at 1,800 m; above that the vegetation consists of alpine grass-lands. The area has diverse flora, where one-third of China's bryophyte families and more than half of its fern families are represented.

Because the mountain tops are often above cloud level, they offer views of the clouds from above and interesting light-effects. The ''Sea of Clouds'' and '''' are famous phenomena which attract many tourists. On average, the Buddha's Light only appears a couple of times in a month.

The hot springs of the area are located at the foot of the ''Purple Cloud Peak''. the water retains a temperature of 42 ° all year. Most natural pools are concentrated in the ''Songgu Area''. Some particularly well-known water bodies in the area are the ''Old Dragon Pool'' , the ''Green Dragon Pool'' , the ''Black Dragon Pool'' , the ''White Dragon Pool'' , and the ''Jadeite Pond''.

''Mao feng tea'' is a famous green tea from the Huangshan area, it is named for the downy tips of the tea leaves.

Huangshan has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990 for its exceptional natural beauty and its role as a habitat for rare and threatened species.

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