You will never believe I fall in love with China!
We were told that Hua Shan has been raining for the past 30 days. It finally stopped on the day we arrived Mountain Hua.
Forecasted thunder rain on that night again.
WE WERE SUPER LUCKY RIGHT??!
Panorama of Mountain Hua from East Peak (2096.2m)
Mountain Hua, 華山.
One of the world's most dangerous mountain.
It located near the city of Huayin in Shaanxi province, about 120 kilometres east of Xi'an. It is the western mountain of the Five Great Mountains of China, and has a long history of religious significance. Monks, nuns and pilgrims carved a network of stairs, trails and wooden planks leading to the mountain's peak. As Hua Shan became popular for tourists, the trails were reinforced with safety chains. However the mountain has the reputation for fatal falls but it never stops the tourists to conquer 長空棧道, the most dangerous cliff walk.
Informations from Wikipedia and Boredpanda.com
We bought our bus tickets the day before. Gave us a little bit time to sleep longer and saved the queuing time to buy tickets. We were told that the first bus departs at 6.30am. We reached early wish to arrive Hua Shan early. Other passengers going to Hua Shan were told that the first bus departs at 6.30am as well. In the end, bus only departs at 7.10am. But do queue up early as you can chop your seats, because during peak period, there are a lot of people going to Hua Shan!
Remember to bring you IC or Passport to purchase bus ticket! *For insurance and ticket checking purpose *
We met a few of mountain climbers well prepared for their trip, discussing which is the best route to conquer Hua Shan.
This uncle planning to trek up from East peak up to North Peak then coming down from West Peak in a day. Which is definitely not possible after we finished our hike. Because there are more than 8 THOUSANDS STEPS from the bottom of the mountain. Good luck to you, uncle.
The journey from Xi An to Hua Shan is 1 hr 45 mins.
But we were not send directly to the tourist center. We have this bus driver as our tour guide, telling us the best route, attractions that we must go and etc...
From the bus drop off point to tourist center is about 2 KM. You can either take a transport from them (RMB 5/Per person) or walk 2 KM (it is a very long walk especially under the big hot sun) to the tourist center.
I will suggest you to spend the money on transport which is only RMB5. It save your energy and mainly time for the rest of the day in the mountain.
This is an old map but simple for us to refer!
So here were our plans.
Take Cable car to West Peak. Visit all the 5 mountain peaks with some attractions, come down by cable car from North Peak.
We have to be back to the bus pick up point back to Xi An by 7pm.
Note: Last Bus back to Xi An is 7pm.
If you missed the bus, good luck to you. You will have to either hire a cab which might cost you a bomb or stay one night in the village in Hua Shan or Hua Shan village
So, You have to plan your trip and time well!
We used up a lot of time by only travelling.
1 hr 45 mins to Hua Shan,
a good 25 mins for the talk and car ride to the tourist center,
40 mins bus ride from the tourist center to cable car station at West Peak,
20 Mins cable car ride across the mountains to West Peak.
By the time we finally arrived the station at West peak was already 11.07am, which is 4 hours later!
But that is something unavoidable, because we took public transports and there is no other way to reach earlier. ( Maybe you can try to take the speed train) We were consider lucky with lesser crowd in Hua Shan too!
To be honest, tickets fee cost us a lot!!!
Because the entrance fees, bus tickets, cable car tickets are not cheap.
But if you have student pass, everything is half price!
As what we planned, take the cable car from West peak up then Cable car from North Peak back.
Make sure you don't get into the wrong shuttle bus.
Another 40 mins shuttle bus ride to reach West Peak cable car station.
Very good weather isn't?!
You can take this slide up to the cable car station.
But I have this great and reliable hand to lead me. <3
The queue moved pretty fast.
He looked so happy. HAHA
After 20 mins of cable car ride.
Super strong wind up here! We were reminded to NOT to open umbrella up at the peak. Because it will become a parachute and thats it. BYE BYE.
Food in the mountain are expensive. Most of the stall selling snacks like Chinese sausages, cucumbers, drinks and etc... Proper meals are pricey too.
So bring your own snacks, buns and water.
While taking a break...
Once you passed through Cui Yun Temple 翠雲宮 (Turn to the right stair case), you will see Fu Pi Rock, 斧劈石.
On our way to West Peak via staircase to Heaven, 天梯
yup, we were well prepared!
West peak, 西峰 （蓮花峰）
Ticked for the first peak!
On our way to the highest peak of Mount Hua, South Peak.
South Peak, 南峰。
Elevation: 2154.90 M
It is hard to not get people photobombed your photos because everyone wants to take pictures with that rock! hahah!
Unless you pay money to get professional photographer to take photo for you which cost RMB 120.
On route to 長空棧道.
The queue was crazily long. But I can say almost half of the people turned back/ gave up when they moved further down and saw the cliff.
Yes, you will be squeezed and squashed like a Sardin fish because the narrow pathway is meant for 2 ways traffic!
No bags are allowed in the cliff walk, 長空棧道. You are required to stow your bag in front of the small temple. The stuff will help your with the safety harness.
Each Safety Harness cost RMB 30.
Nothing else will hold you except your safety harness.
Auntie wanted me to act like I was super scared LOL. But in fact, I was not afraid at all. I was super excited!
Even the super narrow, slippery steel staircases also two ways traffic.
My partner has no choice as he has no place to stand. He had to stand on the rock above me.
YUP! There is a section has no wooden plank at all.
And we have to adjust our safety harness lock section by section too.
There is only a small temple up there and a painter who has been painting there for 3 hours.
It's time to head back! The whole journey and experience at 長空棧道 took us 2 hours, including the queuing time. We didn't have much time left and we still have many places to cover!
－The inns at East Peak.Dong Feng. 東峰飯店－
These are the 'hotels' on the mountain. (I would say there are called as inn, because the rooms look like 客棧)
Rooms are small, very simple. Only bed(s) and a shelf, no air condition( which you won't need it because it will be freaking cold at night) and no heater in the room which you definitely need at night for all seasons, limited hot water will be provided at night and shared toilets.
I wanted to stay one night to see sunrise. But when I was doing research and looking for the hotels, I found out that there don't really have a website for you to book and if you are asking for a room with one small bed for 2 person, you will only get mouldy pillows and nothing else inside the room, it cost for more than RMB 2000. But you can simply pay RMB150-200 to get a bed, sharing with 14-20 people in a room. Of course, you will not want to shower up there because it is shared toilets and only limited hot water supply at night to certain timing.
Mostly people will suggest to arrive Mountain Hua in the day and stay a night in Dong Feng (東峰) which is the inn in the east ( as the above picture shown). But you can also arrive in the afternoon, plan your timing to West Peak to enjoy sunset and stay a night at East Peak Inn ( Dong Feng) to wait for sunrise. That is one of the reasons why the hotel price at East Peak is higher than West Peak because of the good location.
There are also trekkers trek up from night and arrive the peak to enjoy sunrise. But that is a very dangerous option!
The view from East peak，東峰。
下旗亭 at east peak.
But if you want to get to the Chess Gloriette,下旗亭, you will have to go through Sparrow Hawk's Cliff. Another dangerous cliff in Hua Shan. We didn't get to do it because we were running out of time. The queuing time was at least 40 minutes and only limited people can get to go at a time.
Most visitors spent 1 hour to visit Sparrow Hawk's Cliff and Chess Gloriette.
So if you are planning to stay over for a night. That is one thing you definitely don't want to miss out.
You can enlarge to read the map and number of steps and distances you are required to walk for the day.
Crazy and we know it. HAHA
You will be shocked to see that is actually a peak. Because we are on the central peak but not on a high ground and surrounded by many walking paths.
Jinsuo Pass, 金鎖關.
Where we got ourselves a pair of love lock and locked our love in Mountain Hua.
Obviously he got sun burned.LOL.
We were glad that we did our research well and also have the tour guide told us the best route to conquer Hua Shan for a day trip.
Our knees were in pain because we put a lot of stress on our knees and our feet. But can you imagine those who are climbing up, using their back and lower part body muscles for more than thousands of steps? It is very challenging
Another inn at Wuyun Peak.
It is located in between North Peak and Central Peak.
CAN YOU SEE THAT CRAZY LONG STAIRWAY?!
Another 天梯，Stairway to heaven.
Finally we are reaching the North Peak Cable car station!!
We only managed to get to the entrance to the North Peak because we were running out of time.
We arrived at the station at 5.40pm. The queue for the cable car was still ok. But I believe it will be packed after 6pm as most of the people are not staying in the mountain at night.
One of the hiking entrance. It is more than SIX THOUSAND STEPS to only reach mid of the mountain, Central Peak.
*Our super shag face.
Back to the base of Hua Shan. The cable car ride and bus ride back to the tourist center takes total of 20 mins. But remember we are still 2 km away from the bus pick up point.
We didn't have a china phone number or even internet data out there. We had to contact the driver who sent us here in the morning. So we went to the police station to ask for their help. We arrived at the bus pick up station just nice few minutes to 7pm!
Look at where I am pointing to, that is the highest peak of Mountain Hua, South Peak.
Hua Shan. You are truly amazingly beautiful.
HOW TO GET TO MOUNTAIN HUA
There are several ways to Mountain Hua,
By bus (The easiest and convenient transport)
You have to purchase your bus ticket at Xi An bus terminal 西安汽車站 to Hua Shan 華山. The bus company or the operation name is called 'LIU SHUI CHE‘, 流水車.
Journey : 1 hr 45 mins
Return ticket price: RMB 66.5 Per person
By Train (Regular Train)
Xi An Train Station to Hua Shan
Journey: 1 hr 36 mins
Ticket price: (ONE WAY)
Seat Fare: RMB 19.5
Hard Sleeper fare: RMB 65-74
Soft sleeper fare: RMB 99.5/105.5
Xi An North to Hua Shan North.
Journey: 38 Mins
Ticket Price (ONE WAY)
Seat Fare: RMB54.5/89.5
Let me share with you something about taking train:
by taking regular train or speed train, you are required to take cab or shuttle bus (frequency of each bus, around 20 minutes) to cable car station.
By taking speed train, it shorten your travelling time to Hua Shan North to less than 40 mins. However, Xi An North train station is 30 mins from Xi An city by taking MRT. It is also depending on your hiking route too. If you are planning to hike from north to west (the tiring hiking route), then it will be beneficial to you. But if you plan to hike from the west to north. You are going to spend a lot of time just on travelling to the west cable car station.
National Park Entrance Fee
Peak Period Mar- 30 Nov: RMB180 per person
Non-Peak Period Dec- Feb : RMB 100 per person
Student & Valid student pass: Half price
West peak cableway: RMB 140/ Single trip
Shuttle bus to West cable car station: RMB 40/ RMB 10 per trip
North peak cableway: Return ticket: RMB 150
Single Trip: RMB 80
Half Price:Return Ticket: RMB 75
Single trip: RMB 40
Shuttle bus to North cable car station : RMB 20/ RMB 10 per trip
You can refer to the ticketing pictures in the post.
West Peak cableway: Peak period Mar- 30 Nov: 0700-1900
Non-peak period Dec- Feb: 0830-1700
North Peak cableway: Peak period Mar- 30 Nov: 0700-1900
Non-peak period Dec- Feb: 0800-1800
Things to prepare
Hiking and trekking shoes are important to protect your toes and ankles. Prevent you from slipping and also provide you good friction.
You can spend 2 dollar to get a very good glove. These glove provides you good friction too, protect your hands while holding on the metal chains.
Jacket/ heat tech outfit
It is cold and windy up in the mountain. You must keep yourself warm to enjoy the rest of the journey.
Each of us carried at least 1 litre of water. You have to take note of how many water you consume at a time. Because you are constantly moving you need water to keep yourself hydrate but not taking too much of water until you get cramps on your stomach. There are some portable toilets at some points. But you can smell it from few meters away. You know what I mean... So I will suggest you to take your water with small amount of sips.
As I mentioned in the post earlier, foods and snacks in the mountain are expensive. If you don't want to spend so much, you can prepare some buns, energy bar. We even brought instant mashed potato and prepared a bottle of hot water. In case we are too hungry and need some starch for energy.
In case of raining in the mountain! Umbrellas are not advise to use in the mountain!
Hat and sunglasses and also sun-screen will be your good buddy under the big hot sun!
Above are the tips I want to share with you. Feel free to ask me anything or any advises! Hope this post provides you the informations you want to know about Mountain Hua.
Writing this post makes me miss Hua Shan and those days with my best travel buddy so much!
With Love, Sammie.
Photos are taken by Panasonic GF9, Iphone 7 Plus and Iphone 6.