Tunxi is in Anhui Province in China. In itself it is of minor interest but it makes a good base for exploring the area including Huangshan Scenic Area.
Tunxi has adopted the name Huangshan City or, often, just Huangshan. However it is not in Huangshan Scenic Area (aka Mount Huangshan or Huangshan). Indeed Tunxi has no direct access to the scenic area - you will need to go via Tangkou to get to the southern entrance.
Tunxi is a transportation hub for Southern Anhui.
The main bus station is in the city center. It has long distance services from major centers including Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing.
The "Shanghai - Huangshan Scenic Area" long-distance bus goes to Tunxi first, before then continuing to Tangkou. You can drop off in Tunxi. (May 2014)
Tunxi has a domestic airport. The flight to Shanghai Hongqiao is less than one hour. Taxi from the airport to Laojie in downtown Tunxi is ¥30 (2013) which is high for the distance but agreed by the local drivers.
Tunxi has the nearest train station to Huangshan. Confusingly, the station is actually called Huangshan! There is an overnight train from Shanghai (about 13 hours), or Nanjing (about 6 hours) which is far longer than a direct bus, but it does save a night at a hotel, so it is a popular option.
Tunxi has taxis, local buses and rickshaws.
The most cited tourist destination is Laojie (old street with lots of souvenir shopping). This street is over commercialized but it can be entertaining if you need to kill time before leaving town.
Laojie is an old street with lots of souvenir shopping. It a great place for buying high quality red, black and green tea at reasonable prices. Also worth a try is the tea tofu.
- Laojie Diyilou (老街第一楼), 249 Laojie (老街249号). Bright, tastefully decorated restaurant with examples of the food so you know what you are ordering. Not high cuisine, but not bad and predictable! ¥50-70 per person.
- Huangshan Old Street International Youth Hostel, 266 Laojie. Based in Tunxi. Decent looking hostel. Great at helping organise transport to Huangshan area and accommodation on the mountain
- The main attraction in the area is Huangshan Scenic Area. To get there, you will need to take a bus to Tangkou and then change to a shuttle bus. The buses to Tangkou are found 20 meters in front of the main train station entrance and they leave every 10-15 minutes. It should cost ¥20 and take 1 hour. Pay on the bus.
- Zhuhai, (Buses do not run at night though, so if you want to go after 5PM, get a cab for ¥100-200.). Do not miss this nearby gorgeous valley covered with a bamboo forest. Some very nice restaurants and rustic inns you can stay in (preferable to Tunxi). ¥30.
- Chengkan Ancient Village, (An ancient village showing the Yin-yang theory of traditional Chinese Philosophy). Chengkan village is one of the top attractions of Huangshan area, famous for its wonderfully preserved Ming Dynasty buildings and beautiful presentation, laid out in accordance with the eight diagrams of the I Ching. This is also a water village with clear streams alongside the paved paths inside the town. It's a maze, but delightful and not full of tourists and yelling guides. Take your time, and go outside the village to look back across the fields. There is a good hotel called 818 Country Club within the preserved area, and other hotel accommodation outside the preserved area. You can get a bus for the 30 kilometres to Chengkan from Tunxi city, or go by taxi for about 70 - 100RMB
- Hongcun Water village. Some very nice restaurants and rustic inns you can stay in (preferable to Tunxi). A good base for exploring Xidi and Mukeng Zhuhai. Buses from Tunxi bus station go once every hour (morning til afternoon with one break at noon) (May 2014). These busses pass through Xidi as well.
- Xidi Water village. Some very nice restaurants and rustic inns you can stay in (preferable to Tunxi).
- After visiting Huangshan you can probably get a bus back to Hangzhou or other cities directly from the Huangshan Scenic Area. If you leave from Tunxi there are buses to major destinations such as Hangzhou and Shanghai at least 3-4 per day. The city of Huangshan has a timetable online, but it isn't necessarily accurate. When buying a ticket make sure your bus is taking the highway directly to your destination. For example the 7:40am bus to Nanjing will take about 8 hours with frequent stops arriving around the same time as the 12:40pm bus which takes about 4 hours according to other riders.