On this blog, we like to feature some of the more unusual staircases that can be found around the world. They can be beautiful, practical, quirky, scary or downright terrifying. And the stairs featured in this particular post definitely fall into that last category.
Mountains don’t tend to be the biggest tourist attractions – after all, there are certain access issues involved, and the parking facilities leave a lot to be desired. But that doesn’t stop millions of visitors flocking to China’s Yellow Mountain, and it’s all thanks to a breathtaking trail of stairs and paths with amazing views.
The Huangshan range lies in the east of the country, in Anghui province. The Huangshan landscape is notable for its stunning scenery, featuring its jagged peaks combined with pine trees and beautiful skies. Many ascend the range’s heights to catch a glimpse of the sunrises and sunsets that can be seen from the top, while on most days, the base of the clouds touches the tops of the mountains, creating a “sea of clouds” effect.
The landscape is so stunning and unlike anything else on earth, it was used by director James Cameron as the inspiration for the fantasy world created for the smash hit film Avatar.
The trail features more than 50km of paths with a certain level of climbing ability required to access certain parts. Either way, getting up to the top requires a trek of several hours and a possible overnight stay if any significant distance is to be covered. The descent can be done by cable car for those weary from walking and climbing, though it doesn’t run all day. If you miss the 5PM cut-off, there are some hotels and hostels at the top, though a stay in one of them probably won’t come cheap and it’s worth noting, that everything you find at the top was carried up there by porters, rather than by cable car, in order to save costs.
Climbing the staircases that wind their way up the peaks can be hard work and wouldn’t be recommended to people not used to hiking for long periods of time or those not familiar with tackling tougher terrain. Thankfully the stairs, most of which are carved from stone, have handrails to give support to those who are finding the going a bit tough, or perhaps are suffering from a touch of vertigo.
This is a truly unique and stunning experience that no-one who sees it for themselves will never forget and there’s a good reason why China’s National Tourism Administration has classed it as a AAAAA scenic area.
Written by David Chapman of UK Stair Parts