Huangshan Mountain China Kyle Taylor – gaytravel.com Blogger It took me one hour and 15 breaks to find what I was looking for: complete and utter silence, absolutely no people, and the most beautiful view I have ever seen when travelling in China - Mountain upon mountain swimming in a sea of cloudy mist, the sun billowing in brilliant reds, oranges and yellows. It was surreal. There was nothing more I could do but turn on Michael Jackson and moonwalk my way down the path as I mouthed the words to “Black or White.” It isn’t on the most top 10 gay destination lists, but I had found my heaven. My isolation was short-lived. Since I had taken the “road less traveled” from the cable car station and still wanted to see the three famed peaks of Huangshan Mountain, I had to now conquer the sea of Chinese tourists. Still on a high from my exceptional dancing, I headed for Brightness Peak, which I was hoping to make a totally gay destination. As I approached, I could see the enormous sea of tourists laid out before me. Each group was sporting their own unique hat and fanny pack, all provided by the respective tour company. Some were red with oversized bills, others yellow with full brims. There were even some rainbow-colored hats, though I don’t think that they were gay travel groups. For every group, there is one guide, usually a young, small-framed, unassuming, sweetlooking girl. She carries a flag that matches the hats. When it is raised, the group is supposed to follow it. Few do. I do not envy this poor girl. Strapped around her waist is a small speaker about the size of a cassette tape. It is attached to a microphone that is affixed firmly to the tour guide’s hat (also matching, but with a little pin that indicates their exclusive tour guide status). One would think that these very small women would have equally small voices. One would be wrong. Every single tour guide is squawking into his or her little microphone all at the same time, and not a single person is listening to him or her. Even if they were trying to listen, it would be impossible to understand, what with all the confusion and commotion that comes with 65 (yes, I counted) guides talking to roughly 2,500 tourists who are standing in an area roughly the size of a threecar garage perched on top of a mountain 10,000 feet in the air with no guard rails (it’s China, after all). Now this is gay adventure travel!
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