Tourists form ties with nature at Yellow Mountain

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A group of foreign tourists organized by Shanghai Daily, and Huangshan Tourism Development Co take a group photo at Hongcun. (Zhang Suoqing)

A seemingly endless carpet of pine trees covers Yellow Mountain with a lush green. Rolling cloud seas, fascinating rock formations and tranquil hot springs make Yellow Mountain one of China's top tourist destinations all year round.

Last weekend, a group of young people from all around the world arrived at Yellow Mountain, Anhui Province, to take part in a special sightseeing event organized by Shanghai Daily, and Huangshan Tourism Development Co. Apart from enjoying the scenery, members of the group were greatly concerned about protecting the environment.

"We would like to see more visitors from overseas since Yellow Mountain is the shared heritage of mankind," said Zhao Hui, general manager of the sales and marketing center of Huangshan Tourism Development Co.

Growing straight out of the rocks, the Yellow Mountain pines show the vitality of life in full bloom. Under the instructions of foresters, Nathanael Melkisedek Coulibaly from Burkina Faso carefully cut some of the trees' branches.

"Members of the group may enjoy the best views, experience an excellent ecological environment and feel the old and profound culture of Anhui Province. More importantly, every member of the group will promote environmental protection," Zhao said.

Yellow Mountain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which covers a core area of 154 square kilometers and a buffer zone of 142 square kilometers.

"Yellow Mountain is both a UNESCO natural and a cultural heritage," said Zhu Lei, head of Strategic Cooperation, Ctrip International Business Unit. "It is a meaningful event that youngsters from around the globe to visit Yellow Mountain, share their experience and happiness and promote the idea of environmental protection."

The young adventurers put on their hiking shoes last Saturday from the Peak of Shixin, roughly meaning "start to believe."

At the summit — 1,668 meters above sea level — the group members enjoyed the magnificent view.

After they finished their hike through rock formations like Monkey Watching the Sea, the group members commented on the beauty of the landscape.

"It is my first time here on Yellow Mountain and the sea of clouds is so amazing," Megan Doss from California said.

At the eastern side of Peak of Yuping, the group visited Yuping Pavilion and saw the Welcome Pine before exploring the Great Canyon of the West Sea and finally arriving at the cable car Danxia Station.

The next day, the group went to Hongcun Village in Xiuning County to see the lake, bridge, well-preserved houses and stone and wood decorations.

"I like the peaceful atmosphere here which makes me calm down and feel relaxed," said Valentina Basettoni from Italy.

"Since I spent most of my time working and living in Shanghai when I stay in China it is a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of our urban lives."

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