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{My China Trips} Mt. Huashan Trip

By Robin Hsu, June 25, 2019

"Only the sky is above, and there is no other mountain higher.

The red sun is near, and the white clouds are below."

"Ode to Mt. Huashan" ~ by Kou Zhun

Went on a trip with friends on a whim. We took a Friday night train from Beijing, arrived in Xi'an on Saturday morning, and went to Xi'an North Station to go to  Mt. Huashan.

Courtesy: Robin Hsu

During the transit, we briefly detoured to the old capital, Xi'an, and walked on the roads that 13 dynasties have witnessed. The ancient and modern seem somewhat blurred together. Under the shade of the ancient walls, we could see the figure in a modern wedding dress. A constant dialogue between ancient and modern.

After leaving Huashan Station, we could see Mt. Huashan far off in the distance. At the foot of the mountain, there is an international youth hostel called Baolianju, which accommodates non-residents.

Courtesy: Robin Hsu

Courtesy: Robin Hsu

Mt. Huashan is actually a place associated with Taoist mythology. According to legend, the Chinese god, Erlang Shen had a sister. While she was guarding Mt. Huashan, she met a mortal scholar and privately married him. After Erlang found out his sister’s secret, he became angered especially upon learning that his sister had given birth to that scholar’s child. Enraged, he imprisoned his sister under Mt. Huashan. When the child grew up, he came to defeat Erlang Shen and opened Mt. Huashan to rescue his mother. (There is an old Chinese animation "Lotus Lantern", which tells this story.)

Mt. Huashan is known for its precipitous incline and hence is regarded as one of the Five Sacred Mountains in China. For the die-hard fans of the famous novelist Jin Yong, it is the most holy place for sword competitions.

Courtesy: Robin Hsu

Climbing Mt. Huashan, if you are in good physical strength, you can attempt the night climb. There are lights all the way along the trail at night, but in order to prevent the possibility of sudden power failure, it is recommended to bring your own headlights. The night climbing route generally starts from Yuquanyuan and goes to Dongfeng where one can watch the sunrise along the way. The average time required to climb to the top is about 5 to 6 hours. 

In addition to the Mt. Huashan’s main scenic spot, Huashan Tickets also includes a small scenic spot next to Mt. Huashan and Xiyue Temple which sits next to Mt. Huashan North Station. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to see the temple so we only went the main scenic spot of Mt. Huashan.

The beauty of Mt. Huashan can only be experienced by being there. In front of the vast mountains, we could feel the greatness of nature and the smallness of human beings.

Nothing seems impossible to solve after climbing a mountain. If there is something in your life that seems insurmountable, come to Mt. Huashan.

(Courtesy: Robin Hsu)