I climbed Hua Shan two weeks after climbing Huang Shan. My university professor recommended this mountain climb. The experience was great. Hua Shan, in comparison with Huang Shan, is a bit more 'challenging' since it allows you to climb vertical stairs (through the Soldier's Path) or walk on plank board screwed to the cliff wall, with a 2,000 ft drop below the plank. It was an exciting climb. It was only upon my return to Canada that I discovered that someone in America had created a bias website that condemned the mountain for it's lack of safety. That person never even been to China. His whole website is based on pictures. Hua Shan is a beautiful mountain and is safe as long has you have a head on your shoulder. It's a hike, and I have even seen 6 years old children on it. If you go to China, this is a must for it's beauty.
Had I owned a digital camera my pictures would have been far more impressive--for this is one of the most spectacular hikes I've ever experienced. The coal fire haze added an air of mystery, but my lungs took several weeks to recover from all that mystery air!