Huangshan City boasts 3 districts, 4 counties and Mount Huangshan Scenery Area, with a total area of 9,807 square kilometers and a population of 1.47 million. The history of the city can date back to 2200 years ago. In Song Dynasty, the name of the place was changed to Hui Zhou, since then the successful traders and dealers had brought great glory to the region. Many wealthy businessmen began to build their lavish houses at hometown. That is now what we can see at the ancient villages of Yi County and She County.
In Huangshan City, we can find two UNESCO-approved World Heritage Sites: Mount Huangshan and Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun. Here below are the descriptions on the official site of UNESCO:
"Huangshan, known as 'the loveliest mountain of China', was acclaimed through art and literature during a good part of Chinese history (e.g. the Shanshui 'mountain and water' style of the mid-16th century). Today it holds the same fascination for visitors, poets, painters and photographers who come on pilgrimage to the site, which is renowned for its magnificent scenery made up of many granite peaks and rocks emerging out of a sea of clouds."
"The two traditional villages of Xidi and Hongcun preserve to a remarkable extent the appearance of non-urban settlements of a type that largely disappeared or was transformed during the last century. Their street plan, their architecture and decoration, and the integration of houses with comprehensive water systems are unique surviving examples."
Today Huangshan City is built as the transportation hub in south Anhui Province. Roads at national and provincial level, railway and air routes connect the past isolated mountainous area to the rest of the world. A highway connecting Huangshan and Hangzhou was just completed, which makes the drive only 3.5 hours. From Shanghai, tourists can choose to take flight or overnight train to Huangshan.
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