If your idea of a thrilling holiday is conquering mountains so high that you can look down on the clouds, then China has got you covered. Discover four iconic mountains that you can easily summit in one day from Sichuan to Hubei.
Everyone has a different idea of what makes a perfect mountain: perhaps you like being able to look down on the clouds far below you, after just having conquered an 1800 meter high peak. Or, perhaps riding an elevator to the top and enjoying breathtaking views without breaking a sweat is more your thing. Either way, China has got you covered. From Zhangjiajie to Wudangshan, discover four thrilling mountains that you can also summit in one day’s hike or an easy cable-car ride.
Situated in the North West of Hunan, Zhangjiajie could be translated as ‘The Home of the Zhang Family,’ one of the most common surnames in China. It has a recorded human history dating back to 221 BC, but it’s the vertiginous Tianzishan mountain range and the verdant 9,500 square kilometer National Forest Park which tend to draw the visitors, rather than the history. If you’re not in the mood for walking, consider riding the world’s tallest elevator 326 meters up to enjoy the views from above. The Aptly named ‘Bailong’ or ‘100 dragons’ lift manages the steep climb in barely two minutes!
Lyle Vincent via Flickr
Located in China’s spicy Sichuan Province, Mount Emei is the highest of the ‘Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism.’ The first Buddhist temple in China was built here over two thousand years ago. Make it all the way to the top, and you’ll find several surviving monasteries dating from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Enjoy the scenery and the ancient spirituality which pervades, but keep a close grip on your belongings, pesky monkeys have been known to snatch bags and snacks out of the hands of unsuspecting tourists.
Source: Arne Hückelheim
Head to the south of Anhui province to discover Huangshan, also known as the Yellow Mountain. The towering peaks of this mountain range have inspired poets, artists and filmmakers from Li Bai to James Cameron. With the tallest peak (Lian Hua Feng) topping out at over 1850 meters, you’ll be able to look down at the clouds from above. Visit at sunset and you stand a chance of witnessing ‘Buddha’s Light,’ an optical phenomenon that looks like a halo, which is said to occur a few times each month.
In the Northwest of Hubei sits of the most fabled mountains in China. Considered the Taoist answer to the Zen Buddhist Shaolin Monastery, Wudangshan is steeped in both Taoism and its associated martial art, Taichi. The ancient building complex which includes Taoist monasteries and the Wudang Garden were made a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1994. Best visit soon, however – in 2003 the 600 year old Yuzhengong Palace was accidentally burned down. Unsurprisingly, the statue of Zhang Sanfeng, the legendary Taoist who was thought to have achieved immortality, survived the flames unscathed.
Imagine breathing in the crisp mountain air as you reach the summit of one of China’s most majestic mountains. Consider planning one of our China’s Avatar Mountains, The Yellow Mountain, or Wudang Mountains: Taoist Heartland tours.