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Huashan National Park

16,305 bytes added, 01:15, 9 April 2019
By Train
{{pagebanner|Huashan National Park Banner.jpg}} '''Mount Hua''' (華山 华山 ''Hua Shan'')is a sacred Taoist mountain located in [[Shaanxi]] Province, [[China]]. It is one of the [[Five Great Mountains]].
[[File:OTBP Mount Hua.jpg|thumb|250px|Shrine on a peak.]]
The 2,154-meter-tall mountain, true to its reputation as the "most precipitous mountain under heaven", is a cluster of five peaks with breathtaking cliff faces and a tough challenge to walkers. Hua is popularly known by tourists as the "Most Dangerous Hiking Trail in the World" because even though the climb does not require any technical climbing skills, the trail contains a few steep ascents with cliff-like staircases and two optional via ferratas. The biggest danger to safety is often due to overcrowding in the Summer months. Hua was historically the location of several influential Taoist monasteries, and was known as a center for the practice of traditional Chinese martial arts. It is also one of the five Taoshi mountains of China.
Huashan Village at the base of the park is a small city more than it is a village. The park lies immediately south of town. Peaks and important points of access are mostly named with cardinal directions:
East Gate: the new visitor's center and ticket office are located here. The East Gate provides access to the North Cable Car. The North Cable Car goes to North Peak. A trail called the "Soldier's Path" also ascends North Peak beneath the North Cable Car.
The 2,154-meter-tall mountain, true Yuquan Yuan (Jade Spring Temple): this is the start of the hiking trail to its reputation as the "most precipitous mountain under heaven", top of North Peak. Yuquan Yuan is a cluster located at the south edge of five peaks with breathtaking cliff faces and a tough challenge to mountaineersHuashan Village. Hua There is popularly known by tourists as the "Most Dangerous Hiking Trail in the World" because even though the climb did not require any technical climbing skills, the hike contains a few steep ascents with via ferrata and narrow passesticket office here but no visitor's center.  The biggest danger to safety is often due to overcrowding in West Cable Car ascends West Peak from the Summer months. Hua was historically the location west side of several influential Taoist monasteries, and was known as a centre for the practise of traditional Chinese martial arts. It is also one of the five holy Taoist mountains of Chinapark.
==Get in==
===By Train===
Huashan Huoche Zhan - located in After recent changes, there currently is only one train station that serves the town of MengyuanFrequent minibuses between Huashan from Xi'an. From Xi'an, only the frequent (16 x day) high speed trains will bring you to the train Huashan National Park. They leave from Xi'an North station and Hua Shanarrive at Huashan North station (30-45 minutes, ¥55/¥90/¥175 [Oct 2017] for 2nd/1st/Business class ticket). As of October 2017 the regular trains do not serve Huashan anymore. To see if this information is still up to date, check any of the online ticket sites like
* '''Luoyang''' - takes about 4For the train you will need to purchase tickets from the ticket counter and provide a passport for identification. A photo of the passport was not accepted and the automated ticket machines require a Chinese national ID card. You will also need your passport to get into the park anyway, so bring it with you. It is recommended that you purchase tickets online or at one of the ticket offices in town as if you attempt to buy tickets at the station you will face long queues and many of the trains sell out well before the departure time meaning you have to wait even longer. You may be faster getting the bus if you have not pre-5 hoursbooked tickets.* '''Taiyuan''' Takes about 9 hours* From Huashan North station, you have two options to get to the mountain. If you want to take a cable car to the top of the mountain, take the free green minibus (Number 1, every 20 minutes) from the car park in front of the train station (the bus stop is on the far right side of the train station as you walk out) to its last stop. You'll see the East Gate visitor center as you approach the last stop. Just head from the bus stop to the opposite side of the huge roundabout to get back to it. The Number 2 shuttle bus will also get you there, but it takes twice as long so there's no point. If you want to hike to the top of the mountain, take a taxi (~¥25) to Yuquan Yuan (Jade Spring Temple) where there'Xian''' - takes about 2-3 hourss another ticket office for walkers.
===By Bus===
From Xi'an:
As of Oct 2017, the buses (¥39 [Oct 2017], 2 hours) from '''Xi'an station''' leave from a bus depot located on the opposite site of the train station every 30 minutes. The location is south of the train station and west from the McDonald's and NOT the east side of Xi'an station from where the Bus to the Terracotta Warriors goes from. You can also just ask any of the official looking people around the train station by indicating that you want to go to 华山 (Huashan).
Leaving Buses also leave from the '''Xi'an: buses East Bus Station''' (coaches or minibusesZhong Tong) leave for ¥35. More importantly, the last buses from Huashan to Xi'an in the SE corner of evening arrive here rather than the train station regularly during daylight hours. These take about two hours This is the last station on the Xi'an subway line 1 and costs 33 yuan for one way or 55 for a returncan be used to get back to the central city (¥3 to Bell Tower). You'll be dropped off on Yuquan Lu, where a short walk uphill brings Apparently bus 42 will take you back to the western entrancetrain station (needs confirmation).
Be aware if these are independent private companies, or just two guys with a bus. They don't operate on a schedule, but will leave when full of passengers. So For for the quickest departure, find a bus already mostly full of people, since if you choose an empty bus you could be sitting in the parking lot a while.
The ==Fees and Permits==[[File:OTBP Mount Hua Characters.jpg|thumb|250px| Chinese characters on the walls.]] '''Park entrance fee : mandatory for all visitors''' Busy season (1 March to 30 November): ¥180, or ¥90 with student card. (Note: it is worth trying any foreign ID card in lieu of a student card. In 2017 you can get discount with a Singaporean Student Pass.) Off season (1 December to 28 February): ¥100, or ¥50 with student card.  '''Cable cars: alternative to walking to the National Park summit''' North peak cable car: ¥80 yuan one way.  West peak cable car: ¥140 one way (lasts 20 minutes). With a student ID card it is 180 yuan10% cheaper.  '''Access to the cable cars: mandatory for all visitors using a cable car''' North cable car station: shuttle bus from East Gate visitors center, ¥20 one way.  West cable car station: shuttle bus from East Gate visitors center, ¥40 one way.
==Get around==
The buses There are four routes to the top of Huashan Park: 1) Hike to the top from Xian will drop you off in the village. From hereWest Gate, the only option is to take a taxi (typically 10 RMB per taxi2) Hike to the East Gatetop along the Soldier's Path, which is 3) Take the ticket officeNorth cable car, and also where buses depart to 4) Take the mountain itself. The West cable car start, as well as the entrances . You can use any combination of these methods to get to the two walking routes, are all next to one another. After top of the ticket office, park and after back down to the bus deposits you at the mountain proper, you have 3 potions for ascending the first bit: village.
[[File:OTBP Mount Hua Ascending Steps.jpg|thumb|250px|Ascending steps]]
1) Climb the North Peak--main route from the West Gate. This is the most common hiking path to the summit. Plan for more than four 2-5 hours depending on fitness (approximately 6 km with 1100 m vertical of stairs) to reach the North Peak. There will be plenty of shops by the side of the path selling food and drinks for you to replenish your energy, but the prices are very inflated so it's better to stock up in town. To access the start of the trail from Yuquan Yuan (Jade Spring Temple), walk uphill either through or around the temple to the road behind the temple, and follow it about ten minutes to the West Gate ticket office to purchase your tickets. Don't worry about getting lost, it's very intuitive. If you're climbing at night, you can only purchase tickets from this gate, so don't bother visiting the East Gate visitor's center first.
2) Climb North Peak via the Soldier's Path: Take the cable car (80 yuan one way, 150 yuan for a return) shuttle from the East Gate visitor's center to the North Peakcable car station. Be warned - It's the line to enter more difficult but faster of the cable car often lasts over two hours howeverhiking routes. Though thankfullyThis takes an estimated 2 hours, line cutting and is surprisingly rarenothing but steps. It also contains one section with ''optional'' ~80 degree steps. The steepest steps on the mountain (approaching 90 degrees) are also here, and most though now chained off in favour of a far more forgiving route. Towards the line is blocked from top, the sun path splits. Going right will feature steeper steps and take you directly to the North Cable Car landing area. Going left leads you to intersect with water mistingthe path that connects the North Cable Car landing area to the other non-North peaks. If you don't plan to visit North Peak, so sans boredom, it's still fairly comfortable even in summergo left.
3) Climb the Cable car to North Peak--alternate route below the : See above for cable carand shuttle prices. Take From the bus East Gate visitor's center, take a shuttle to the cable car station from and ride up in 6-8 minutes. Be warned - the line to enter the East Gate. This takes an estimated 2 North Peak cable car can last over two hours(weekends, and is nothing but stepspublic holidays) - so try to arrive early. It also contains one section with optional ~80 degree stepsAt 10am on April 2018, for those who have seen the famous photos onlineline was 15 minutes. The steepest steps on Thankfully, line cutting is surprisingly rare, and most of the line is blocked from the mountain (approaching 90 degrees) are also heresun and with water misting, so sans boredom, though now chained off it's still fairly comfortable even in favor of a far more forgiving routesummer.
These three routes meet up again just below the North Peak summit4) Cable car to west peak: See above for cable car and shuttle prices. One can of courseFrom the East Gate visitor's center, take any of a shuttle to the 3 routes up, and then either of West cable car station; the other two remaining downcable car ride will take twenty minutes.
The first three routes meet up again just below the North Peak summit. From this meeting area, there is initially only one route to the other peaks. This passes through the area known , a steep trail of stairs leading across such features as the "Heavenly Steps" (上天梯,literally "ascend heaven ladder", "Sun and Moon Cliff" and "Black Dragon Mountain," and ending at Gold Lock Pass, which is identifiable by the latter called that because it looks like a dragon's wavy backmounds of gold padlocks and red ribbons framing the path. The route is no more than a meter wide at placesbut there are steps the whole way and chain fences for support. This should take about Walking from North Peak to Gold Lock Pass takes 1-2 hours.
At the top of this section is the "Just past Gold Lock Pass." Here the route branches. Paths Different paths lead towards the East, South, Center and West Peaks, as well as other points of interestlike the Chess Pavilion (between East and South peaks) and the Plank Road (below South Peak). As most of the climbing elevation gain is done, the final ascent to each of the peaks is not too severe. You can likely only have time to climb only one (probably the South, the highest) or walk a circuit. In You can do an entire circuit from this are point in 2 hours.  Most Chinese tour groups will take the route of West Peak Cable Car, then take the peaks circuit counter-clockwise to the North Peak, then take the North Peak Cable car. This is because there is an elevation drop this way so most of their steps are templesgoing down. If you wish to have less people going in your direction, go the opposite direction, meaning hike up or take the North Peak Cable Car, lodges and other sites. This includes then make your way to the infamous Changkong BoardwalkWest Peak Cable car in whatever manner you prefer.
[[File:OTBP Mount Hua with Peaks.jpg|thumb|250px|Lookout point]]
*'''Sunrise''' : Refreshing Terrace, Shuguang Pavilion, Lion Peak, Jade Screen Pavilion, Bright Peak
*'''Sunset''': Paiyun (Cloud Dispersing) Pavilion, Red Cloud Peak
*'''Cloud Sea''': Jade Screen Pavilion, Refreshing Terrace, White Goose Ridge, Paiyun Pavilion, Bright Peak
*'''Snowscape''': Jade Screen Pavilion, North Sea, Pine Valley, Cloud Valley, Hot Spring
* Watch the sun rise from East Peak (Dong Feng) by attempting a night hike. It won't be as crowded as during the daytime, but you will see plenty of other hikers ascending as well. Be sure to bring along a flashlight, spare batteries and warm clothing. Such equipment can be rented from a store along the road leading to the West Gate entrance. Check the weather forecast before climbing because a rainy night will result in dense fog in the early morning which conceals the sunrise.
* '''Green Dragon Ridge''' - (Canglong Feng) Below East Peak you can optionally ascend the famous yun ding, a narrow rock ridge with vertical cliffs on both sides (not for the faint ladder of heart)* '''North Peak''' - (Bei Feng) steps half as deep as the first length of the five mountain peaksyour feet. The steps are lines with chains to hold onto.
==Do==* Watch the sun rise Walk from East Peak to the other peaks, where the scenery changes from rock outcrops to lush foliage (Dong Fengin spring) by attempting . The mist will gradually fade away to reveal a night hikebreathtaking expanse of valleys if you look over the edge of the cliffs. It won't [[File:OTBP Mount Hua with Temple.jpg|thumb|250px|View of the temple]] * Complete the via ferrata known as the Plank Walk or Plank Road in the Sky The walk starts from the south face of the South Peak. A safety harness will be as crowded as during rented to you for ¥30 at the start of the daytimewalk. The path takes you down a vertical ladder for about 15 m, but you will see other hikers ascending as then along a very solid and well-reinforced platform of "planks" along the cliff face for about 30 m. Be sure to bring along The walk ends at an unremarkable rock outcrop with a flashlight, spare batteries little shrine. On the way out and warm clothingback you'll have to work around other tourists on the path. If you're comfortable with heights the walk will take no more than 10 minutes one way.
* With a safety harness (since 2005!) walk out on Another via ferrata descends from the east face of the East Peak to the famously picturesque Chess Pavilion. This is the 长空栈道 (Changkong zhandaoonly way to get there, and, "Vast Sky like the Plank Walk", there is now a harness for rent (¥30). Climb a ladder thatIn the very beginning of the climb down it is 90 degree steep but in overall it's nothing more steel rods driven into a crack in little less frightening than the rock, plank walk and walk on planks a foot wide along the edge of Chess pavilion is a cliff dropping thousands of feet, far greater reward for your efforts and in places put you trust in footholds carved into the rockmoney.
A golden lock at the golden lock temple and add it to the iron railings as a prayer for your family. Couples also often buy locks and inscribe their names on them as a symbol of everlasting love. While people symbolically place their locks at the golden lock pass, many choose to randomly place them on railings by the side.
A gold or bronze medal that you can inscribe with your name to commemorate your ascent of the mountain.
Biang Biang Mian (Noodles) Special Shaanxi noodles available on the mountain. The character for biang is a special character with 57 strokes only used in Shaanxi Province. Small shops also sell typical snacks and drinks. It is also advisable to bring your own snacks or food. For example, a bowl of instant noodles at North Peak is ¥24 as of Oct 2017 which is the cheapest meal. That is about five times more expensive than back in town. The prices are identical amongst all shops on the summit. Bargaining does not seem possible.
In winter the restaurants close early due to low volume. If you arrive at dinnertime it is not uncommon for restaurants to be closed or to only have instant noodles. Cooking can also be difficult for the staff due to frozen water pipes. ==Drink==Be sure to bring enough water for your hike. You may need to buy water on the mountain which will cost you about 5 11 Yuan (up to 10 Yuan when furthest up on the mountainsmall bottle). If you buy the water before coming the price should be about ¥1.5 Yuan. Most people will drink Red Bull from small golden cans. This Red Bull is not carbonated and is a little more watery than those available in the United States.
Cheap, comfortable hotels (private rooms with en suite bathrooms and hot water) in Huashan Village can be found on the usual hotel and hostel websites for half the price of a hostel in Xian or on the mountain. The hotels are within mere meters of the Yuquan Yuan temple and the start of the traditional hike up North Peak. Staying at such a hotel before and after your trip into the park makes for a relaxed day without worrying about first and last trains to wherever. Most of the peaks have guesthouses where you can sleep in communal rooms of about 4 to 10 people. The price should be above &yen;100. Non-communal rooms start at around 60 &yen;200 a night (could be way higher today). Note that the guest houses are not heated, and they can be brutally cold during the winter. It is possible that the provided sheets and thin mattresses will not be enough, so dress warm and/or bring a sleeping bag and insulation for your head. Restrooms are also located outside, so any breaks will require a short walk outside in the cold. There are no shower facilities or running water in the guesthouses. Bring moist towelettes, sanitation gel, or simply a small towel to douse with drinking water if you want to wash your hands or face.  For a more authentic experience, sleep by the edge of the cliff at East Peak. The ground slopes upwards towards the edge, thus it is relatively safe to sleep near the edge even though there are no railings. Alternatively, huddle up closer to the metal posts away from the edge of the cliff if you would like a safer place to 120 Yuansleep. Prepare enough warm clothes as the temperature drops close to zero at East Peak, with the wind chill.*<sleep name="Huashan Fengguang Inn" alt="华山风光客栈" address="Yuquan Road Huayin, Shaanxi 714200 China" directions="" phone="+86 15877644524" url="" checkin="14:00" checkout="12:00" price="200CNY" lat="" long="">Located at the foot of Mount Hua, Huashan Fengguang Inn is 400 m below Jade Spring Temple. It offers comfortable guest rooms with free WiFi and 24-hour hot water. Free parking is possible at a location nearby. Huashan Fengguang Inn is an 11-minute drive from the city centre, a 12-minute drive from Huashan North Railway Station and a 15-minute drive from Huashan Railway Station. Each air-conditioned room comes with a sofa, an electric kettle and a flat-screen cable TV. The bathroom offers a hairdryer and free toiletries. Luggage can be stored at the 24-hour front desk. Ticketing services and tour arrangements are available at the tour desk. There is also a mini-market. The property offers free parking.</sleep> ==Contact== The guest houses do not have WiFi internet access in their rooms. China Unicom has full HSDPA signal at all the peaks so it is advisable to have a phone that can tether if you want to access the internet from your computer. As with everywhere in China, data speeds can vary tremendously regardless of signal strength.
==Get out==
[[File:OTBP Mount Hua Red Ribbons.jpg|thumb|250px|Ribbon steps]]
In Huashan village, minibuses leave from the intersection of Yuquan Lu and Xitong Gonglu, as well as the East Gate that gives access to the cable car station, on a frequent basis. Although some guides say they stop at 7:00, unlicensed transportation continues. In a worst-case scenario a rickety village taxi could surely be persuaded to make the trip back to Xi'an for &yen;300-500.
Bus 608 (&yen;3) runs between the train station (not the north station) and the big roundabout just outside the new big Huashan visitor center (big glass building).
There is no sign that signals it is a bus stop but the pink buses seem to run quite frequently so if one failure to flag it down the next will be around soon.
The last train from Huashan Station to Xian leaves at 23:26. You will need to take a taxi from the mountain to the train station. It costs &yen;20-40 depending on your bargining skills. You can get a full set of informations from the "China Trains" smartphone app or
==Huashan guide for the poor and fit==
Huashan can unexpectedly become a very expensive trip, up to &yen;500 for just a day trip. This short guide will help you limit your costs to under 200Yuan
*Bus from Xian &yen;39 each way, about 2hours.
*Entrance ticket &yen;90 with student ID. Foreign ID’s are also accepted. &yen;180 without discount.
*Walk up and walk down (The long main trail) This path is not officially open any longer, and it is not recommended to walk up or down as some parts are extremely steep and security poor.
*Bring at least 2L water per person and your own food
*Walk the "Plank Road in the Sky" (&yen;30 for harness hire)
From Xian take the first bus to Huashan. During peak season there are buses starting at 6am. Go to the east side of the train station and look for a sign saying 华山 (Huashan). If you not sure then just ask the other buses and they will direct you. Aim to catch the 6am bus and don’t be later than 7am. You want as much time as possible on the mountain.
The Bus takes 2 hours and you will arrive in Huashan town. From here walk straight ahead up the slope to the temple. After a 10min walk through the temple you will arrive at the ticket office.
The walk up Huashan is spectacular. The lack of crowds, combined with the beautiful nature, old temples and views makes one of the best parts of the walk. A fit 24year old male can quickly walk this section to the North Peak in 2 hours. The guide says 5 hours.
As you reach the North Peak you will be reunited with Chinese masses (who have taken a cable car) and corresponding noises. From the North Peak walk towards the South Peak, it is well signposted, but slow, as you're constantly waiting for people to crawl up the hill.
The path splits and you have a number of options - you can head straight for the "Plank Road in the Sky", rent your harness gear (&yen;30) and leave your bag with the attendants, before returning and then continuing to the South Peak, or you can take the other route and do the South Peak first. With the harness it is very safe, but be careful not to drop your phone/camera.
If you have time you should walk back to the North Peak via the East and Central Peaks. If you are low on time you can go directly back towards the North Peak and walk down, (last bus leaves at 7pm). If you are REALLY low on time you need to take one of the expensive cablecars down - the new west cablecar is closest to the South Peak and Plank Road in the Sky, but it also the most expensive (&yen;140 + &yen;40 shuttle bus to a car park/restaurant area, + &yen;30 taxi back to Huashan train station). The North cablecar is a cheaper option, (&yen;80 cablecar + &yen;20 bus) to Huashan.
On your walk back down you should take a refreshing dip in one of the spring pools along the route.
If your swim takes too long, or you end up walking slowly due to knee problems causing you to miss your bus then it is no problem. There are trains until 11pm from Huashan to Xian. You will need to take a taxi (about &yen;30) to the train station and then take the train (&yen;20 for the slow train ~1hr30mins).
== Stay safe ==
Watch out for scams, especially if you are planning to climb the mountain overnight to watch sunrise at the East Peak. The only transportation available then are cabs. There will also be unofficial "cabs" (basically normal cars operated by locals) called hei che (black cars) parked near the train station. Drivers will approach you offering to bring you to the entrance for a price of around &yen;30. On the way, if it has rained recently, they will claim that there was been a slight erosion which has caused a blockage of the paths and thus closure of the entrances. To make the story sound more convincing, some may even pretend to call their "brother" or "friend" on the mountain who will then speak to you to confirm that the roads have been closed. If the weather is good, the driver will claim that the roads are under maintenance. Knowing that you would need a visual confirmation to be fully convinced, the driver will then take you to the East Gate, which is always closed at night. At that crucial moment where you are thinking to yourself that your plans have been spoilt, he will recommend that you stay in a hotel before attempting the climb the next morning, and very conveniently, there will be an "affordable" hotel right next to the entrance, which he will point out. If he succeeds in getting you to fork out money to stay the night, he will earn a commission.
[[wikipedia:Mount Hua]]
In Huashan village, minibuses leave from the intersection of Yuquan Lu and Xitong Gonglu, as well as the East Gate that gives access to the cable car station, on a frequent basis. Although some guides say they stop at 7:00, unlicensed transportation continues. In a worst-case scenario a rickety village taxi could surely be persuaded to make the trip back to Xi'an for 300-500 RMB (about 50-75 USD).
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