If you have been to China, you know that it’s almost crowded everywhere. Since Yellow Mountain is one of the favorites of Chinese people, you can be assured that it is crowded everyday, rain or shine. But, you still want to ask this question: how do I avoid the crowds … as much as possible? As a Chinese, as somebody who has been to Yellow Mountain before, I also asked myself the same exact question.
Here is my answer —- There is no way to avoid crowds, but there are ways to avoid large crowds!
Rule No.1 Do not join tour groups. Yes you know the reasons.
Rule No.2 Try climb up the mountain from the front side (慈光阁), and try not to use the cable cars. Most tour groups go from the back side (云谷寺). And to save time and energy, they always use the cable cars.
Rule No.3 Visit the West Sea Canyon (西海大峡谷), where the tour groups do not go. Be assured that it is really worth going, even if you have to give up some other sites of interest!
Rule No.4 Stay on the mountain, and enjoy the early morning and late afternoon (before tour groups come up, and after they are gone). Plus, you may be lucky to catch a breathtaking sunrise or sunset!
Rule No.5 Discover your own Yellow Mountain. I mean, do not just look for those iconic sites, where are always packed with people. For example, there is always a long line in front of the Welcome Pine Tree for photos. In fact, there are so many things to see in Yellow Mountain! Please do not ignore them!
We stayed two nights on the mountain. If you are interested in our itinerary, please check out this overview post and Day 2 and Day 3 in details.