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I discovered Yangshan Scenic Area back in September 2016. I was out earlier in the day doing things unrelated to photography and I didn’t have my camera with me. I had planned to be away from home a couple of hours when a friend I was riding with asked if I wanted to go to this place. After all these years in Shanghai, I had no idea what he was talking about. There was a brief moment that I almost asked if we could stop by my apartment to grab my camera.

The sun was already low in the sky and we didn’t have any time to spare. Armed with only my old smartphone (because my “good” one broke days earlier) I was ready for the mysterious destination.The Donghai Bridge is long at 32.5 kilometers (20.2 miles). This is one of those times that you have to complete your journey. No U-turn options available. The drive out to the island is scenic with the ocean and wind turbines, which are much larger in person. After 20 minutes on the bridge, the first island you’ll encounter is Dawugui Island or Big Turtle Island. From this island, you can also see Xiaoyang Island, our destination.

Donghai Bridge Wind Farm by Logan Wenger
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Donghai Bridge Wind Farm. Photograph by Logan Wenger

There’s a story about the islands. The “holy islands” of the East China Sea were all carried by huge turtles attracted by the earth. They stuck their heads out above the surface while guarding Yangshan and were spotted by Avalokiteśvara and then turned to stone.

I was told we were near our destination. I began looking around becoming acquainted with my surroundings. We enter a parking lot with a sign reading: Yangshan Shenshui Sightseeing Excursion Area. I couldn’t believe it…mountains…in Shanghai. I was excited to climb up and check out the view.

Yangshan Shenshui Sightseeing Excursion Area 洋山深水港观光游览区
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Hidden Temple. Photograph by Logan Wenger

Yangshan Shenshui Sightseeing Excursion Area 洋山深水港观光游览区
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As the Sun Sets. Photograph by Logan Wenger

Yangshan Shenshui Sightseeing Excursion Area 洋山深水港观光游览区
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Painted Sky. Photograph by Logan Wenger

Yangshan Shenshui Sightseeing Excursion Area 洋山深水港观光游览区
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Hole in the Sky. Photograph by Logan Wenger

The mountain isn’t that tall. In comparison with the rest of the flat city of Shanghai, it’s nice gaining some natural elevation a short drive away. Like most public parks and recreation areas, there are stairs leading up the mountain and the climb was tiresome, but not difficult.

Yangshan Shenshui Sightseeing Excursion Area 洋山深水港观光游览区
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Isolated Ocean View. Photograph by Logan Wenger

Once on top of the mountain, the sidewalk leads to a gazebo with a very nice view all around. I was there in September of 2016 and the sun was peeking through the clouds which provided a photographic opportunity.

After an hour and a half of climbing, exploring, and taking photos we were running out of daylight. We were the only people there with the exception of a security guard way back at the gate. We reluctantly decided it was time to leave and the guard was pacing around with a cigarette in his mouth reminding us it is dark and the park is closing for the night.

Getting There

As I mentioned above, I was with a friend in his car. However, with some research, it appears there is a public bus according to TopChinaTravel.com and I quote:

Take Metro Line 2 to Longyang Lu Station (龙阳路站), then switch to bus Longgang Express (龙港快线) to the terminal Lingang New Town (临港新城). Then hop on Yangshan Express (洋山专线), which will take you all the way to the port. The fare for Longgang Express and Yangshan Express is RMB 12 and RMB 10 respectively.

I have never personally rode a bus to Yangshan and I don’t know anybody who has. If you have rode the bus out there I would love to hear your experience in the comments section.

I plan to go back to Yangshan in early 2018 for some updated images and I’ll keep you posted.


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