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Huashan National Park

724 bytes added, 01:15, 9 April 2019
By Train
[[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 holy Taoist 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:
===By Train===
There are now two After recent changes, there currently is only one train stations station that serve serves the town of Huashan. Huashan North (bei) is served by high speed trains while Huashan Station is served by regular trainsfrom Xi'an. From Xi'an, only the frequent (16 x day) high speed trains will bring you to the Huashan National Park. They leave from Xi'an North station and arrive at Huashan North station (30-45 minutes, ¥34-54¥55/¥90/¥175 [Oct 2017] for 2nd/1st/Business class ticket). Very frequent (every 20-30 minutes) As of October 2017 the regular trains depart from Xi'an station and arrive at do not serve Huashan station (1anymore.5-2 hours, ¥19). For the high speed train you will need To see if this information is still up to purchase tickets from the ticket counter and provide a Passport for identificationdate, a photo check any of the passport was not accepted and the automated online ticket machines require a Chinese national ID cardsites like Trip. This may also be the case for the slow train so bringing a passport is advisedcom.
From Huashan North station, For the train you have two options to get will need to purchase tickets from the mountainticket counter and provide a passport for identification. If you want to take a cable car to the top A photo of the mountain, take passport was not accepted and the free green minibus (Number 1, every 20 minutes) from the car park in front of the train station to its last stopautomated ticket machines require a Chinese national ID card. You'll see will also need your passport to get into the East Gate visitor center as park anyway, so bring it with you approach the last stop. Just head from the bus stop to the opposite side It is recommended that you purchase tickets online or at one of the huge roundabout to get back to it. The Number 2 shuttle bus will also get you there, but it takes twice ticket offices in town as long so there's no point. If if you want to hike attempt to buy tickets at the top station you will face long queues and many of the mountain, take a taxi (~¥25) trains sell out well before the departure time meaning you have to wait even longer. You may be faster getting the Yuquan Yuan (Jade Spring Temple) where there's another ticket office for walkersbus if you have not pre-booked tickets.
From Huashan StationNorth station, take a taxi you have two options to get to the East Gate visitors center (~¥10-15) mountain. If you want to take a cable carto the top of the mountain, or to take the Yuquan Yuan free green minibus (~¥15-Number 1, every 20minutes) if from the car park in front of the train station (the bus stop is on the far right side of the train station as youwalk out) to its last stop. You're planning on hikingll see the East Gate visitor center as you approach the last stop. Alternatively, take Just head from the public bus (¥3) stop to the opposite side of the huge roundabout to get back to Yuquan Yuanit. The Number 2 shuttle bus will also get you there, but it takes twice as long so there's no point. Note that If you want to hike to the metered top of the mountain, take a taxi fare between Huashan Station and (~¥25) to Yuquan Yuan is about ¥15, but most taxi drivers won't use the meter and will insist on ¥20 (December 2015Jade Spring Temple)where there's another ticket office for walkers.
===By Bus===
From Xi'an: Tourist bus 1 leaves from As of Oct 2017, the east side of Xi'an station buses (¥22 ¥39 [May 2014Oct 2017], 2 hours). Buses from '''Xi'an station''' leave regularly during daylight hours. During peak season there are buses starting at 6am. Look for from a sign saying 华山 (Huashan)bus depot located on the opposite site of the train station every 30 minutes. If you not sure then just ask The location is south of the other buses train station and they will direct you. The bus will drop you off at new visitorwest from the McDonald's center (East Gate, access and NOT the east side of Xi'an station from where the Bus to North Cable Car)the Terracotta Warriors goes from. Other private buses range between ¥30 to ¥50 and may end up in Huashan Town (within walking distance You can also just ask any of Yuquan Yuan and the start of official looking people around the hiking trail). Beware scam buses train station by indicating that try you want to go to charge 10x as much华山 (Huashan).
Buses also leave from the '''Xi'an East Bus Station''' (Zhong Tong) for ¥35. More importantly, the last buses from Huashan to Xi'an in the evening arrive here rather than the train station. This is the last station on the Xi'an subway line 1 and can be used to get back to the central city (¥3 to Bell Tower). Apparently bus 42 will take you back to the train station (needs confirmation).
'''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 as the attendant likely won't check it too closely. In 2017 you can get discount with a Singaporean Student Pass.)
Off season (1 December to 28 February): ¥100, or ¥50 with student card.
==Get around==
There are four routes to the top of Huashan Park: 1) Hike to the top from the West Gate, 2) Hike to the top along the Soldier's Path, 3) take Take the North cable car, and 4) take Take the West cable car. You can use any combination of these methods to get to the top of the park and back down to the village.
1) Climb North Peak from the West Gate. This is the most common hiking path to the summit. Plan for 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 shuttle from the East Gate visitor's center to the North cable car station. It's the more difficult but faster of the two hiking routes. This takes an estimated 2 hours, and is nothing but steps. It also contains one section with ''optional'' ~80 degree steps. The steepest steps on the mountain (approaching 90 degrees) are also here, though now chained off in favour of a far more forgiving route. Towards the top, the 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 the path that connects the North Cable Car landing area to the other non-North peaks. If you don't plan to visit North Peak, go left.
3) Cable car to North Peak: See above for cable car and shuttle prices. From the East Gate visitor's center, take a shuttle to the cable car station and ride up in mere 6-8 minutes. Be warned - the line to enter the North Peak cable car can last over two hours (weekends, public holidays) - so try to arrive early. At 10am on April 2018, the line was 15 minutes. Thankfully, line cutting is surprisingly rare, and most of the line is blocked from the sun and with water misting, so sans boredom, it's still fairly comfortable even in summer.
4) Cable car to west peak: See above for cable car and shuttle prices. From the East Gate visitor's center, take a shuttle to the West cable car station; the cable 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, a steep trail of stairs leading across such features as the "Heavenly Steps", "Sun and Moon Cliff" and "Black Dragon Mountain," and ending at Gold Lock Pass, which is identifiable by the mounds 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. Walking from North Peak to Gold Lock Pass takes 1-2 hours.
Just past Gold Lock Pass the route branches. Different paths lead towards the East, South, Center and West Peaks, as well as other points of interest like the Chess Pavilion (between East and South peaks) and the Plank Road (below South Peak). As most of the elevation gain is done, the final ascent to each of the peaks is not too severe. You likely only have time to climb one or walk a circuit. You can do an entire circuit from this 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 going 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, then make your way to the West Peak Cable car in whatever manner you prefer.
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 ¥17 24 as of Dec 2012 and a Snickers in a caffee near to Oct 2017 which is the peak cheapest meal. That is ¥18, about four five times more expensive than back in town, and despite being located right by . The prices are identical amongst all shops on the cable carssummit. 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 when furthest up on the mountainsmall bottle). If you buy the water before coming the price should be about ¥1.5. 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 around ¥60 to above ¥120100. Non-communal rooms start at around ¥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, where the most heat is lost. 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.
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>
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;25-&yen;36 39 each way, about 2hours.*Slow Train &yen;20 + &yen;20-&yen;30 taxi from Huashan railway station. There is a bus operating from outside the train station, taxi drivers will, however tell you otherwise.
*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.
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