An Alternative Moganshan Adventure

Disappear into the mountains for a few days

by Anna Dixon | Tue, November 21, 2017

There are plenty of options when it comes to a mini-break up in the mountains, so why not try something a little different? Be brave and disappear for a few days!

My family and I recently made the three-hour drive (¥1400 each way using a private driver) to a beautiful guesthouse called Yuanshe Reclusive in the charming Houwu village, about 40 minutes further up the mountain than The Naked Retreat, and 10 kilometers down the mountain from the Moganshan Scenic area.

Moganshan Nature

The house itself, which has three large duplex bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, boasts a stunning view of the mountains and such a lush green landscape that your eyes won’t know what to do with themselves. There were a few local restaurants within walking distance, each meal costing an average of ¥200 for four people with a baby in tow sporting a big appetite. 

Having spent four nights in the mountains, I give you my trip highlights and some top tips for your alternative Moganshan adventure. 

Day one

We booked a driver and headed up the mountain to the scenic area. The drive would usually take around 30 minutes, but due to the holiday, we were stuck in the car for over two hours and ended up walking the last part of the journey – which was actually really nice. So if you do go on a public holiday and don’t fancy a long, long walk to the top, maybe skip this part of the trip as you’ll spend more time in the car than enjoying the fresh air.

Moganshan View

You will need to buy tickets to enter the scenic area. We got ours from our guesthouse before leaving and avoided further queuing to get into the area. They cost ¥80 each.

The scenic area is really pretty, with lots to see and explore. Wear comfy shoes and take water. There are restaurants around, but you may want to bring a picnic and enjoy the gorgeous surroundings while eating al fresco. 

Day two

We walked to Da Dou Wu reservoir, which was roughly a 14 kilometer round trip. Stunning views, a fairly easy walk, and a man selling fruit along the way, which left us with a nice snack. There are “no swimming” signs everywhere, but lots of people do take a dip in the summer months and it’s easy to see why – the water is super clear and clean, perfect for a refreshing dip.

Moganshan Waterfall

Day three

Another day, another walk, this time to a place called Prodigy Outdoor Base, where you can do all sorts of outdoor activities such as quad biking, zip lining, abseiling and more. Nearby, at the top of the village, there’s a little place called Howoo Life, which has a pool and spa facilities and is just totally zen. They offer a few Western dishes too, which is something you’ll struggle to find in most of Moganshan.

Da Dou WE

My top travel tips for Moganshan

1. Take cash or make sure you have WeChat pay or Alipay. There’s a distinct lack of ATMs around.  

2. Expect to eat a LOT of local food. We had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner the whole time we were there. There isn’t really anywhere that offers Western dishes. Also, none of the restaurants we went to had English menus, so you may want to come prepared with a few dishes already translated on your phone.

3. If you don’t speak Mandarin, you might struggle a little. BUT if you can translate on your phone, you’ll just about get by. 

4. Wear comfy shoes at all times. Let fashion go out the window and just be comfortable. 

5. Try the local beer. It’s brewed in Moganshan, is really light and tasty – the perfect accompaniment to  any of the local dishes.