Mount Hua, a mountain beyond mountains, is one of the five sacred mountains in China. It is located in Huayin city, 75 miles away from Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. Huayin is a city that I haven’t heard of prior to my visit to Mount Hua or Huashan (华山) and because it is very blessed to being home to Huashan, I believe it is worth sharing that Huashan is actually not in Xi’an, but the neighbouring city, Huayin. Mount Hua has 5 peaks, the West Peak being the highest and the most beautiful. It is known for its majestic landscapes, buoyant sea of clouds and the death-defying plank walk near the South Peak.
Waking up sick at 6 AM in the morning to catch our 8:30 AM train to Huashan, we weren’t that much excited because both my friend and I have colds. Our hostel was situated outside the Muslim Quarter, Huimin Road. It will take about 45 minutes from there to Xi’an North Railway Station. Everything was slow because of the crippling cold we feel. It was very hard to move and to get ready in our tiny, quadrate room. More importantly, the toilet and shower facilities were outside the hall. We could feel the cold blow of the wind from outside through our toilet window that was half open. Every morning was like this since our arrival.
This was the first time I booked a hostel and I can say it was not a very comfortable experience. But then again, maybe it was just because of our colds. Besides, who would be comfortable in a very chilly place while not feeling well?
Arriving at Huashan, we begin to feel the excitement after seeing the view of the mountains from the railway station exit. Finally, We’re here. Honestly, even though the Terracotta Warriors was very much the hype of every Xi’an trip, I was as thrilled to see the mountains, for I live for this kind of experiences that makes me realize how small every other thing are compared to the vast beauty of our planet. It was such a nice day, we started feeling the warmth of the sun upon our faces. “There’s snow! Oh my god.” I ecstatically exclaimed. That was the very first time I ever saw snow, and it was exactly how I thought it was. Fluffy.
Preparing ourselves for the plank walk, we stopped at a hut to eat some cup noodles which is by the way, very expensive as the original price per cup noodles is about ¥6, but at the top, it was ¥25. Although it was reasonable since vendors have to bring it all the way up, I suggest buying some snacks before the hike.
I was mentally cheering for myself in doing this. Imagining all the possible accidents that might happen was torment while waiting in the line at 2-degree Celcius for almost an hour. Also, did I mention about my acrophobia? I almost backed out. We were also worried we won’t catch the closing time for the cable car at the North Peak which was at 7 PM. But because it was the main reason I wanted to see these mountains, therefore we waited anyway. at last, our turns came. And I swear for the whole walk, I felt my knees shaking. I couldn’t even go straight or looking down. The way to the actual plank walk was very steep. There were even steps that had been hewn in the hard rock to climb on.
It took us about 2 hours long since we had to wait in a line for the others to finish. Then waited again from the other end to come back at the plank walk. They also only accept cash and we were lucky enough to meet a Chinese couple that helped us pay with cash since they don’t accept Wechat nor Alipay. In a coincidence that they’re on a road trip and are going through Xi’an from Huayin, they invited us to take the ride with them since we didn’t book a return ticket to Xi’an by train yet. All in all, it was beyond an exhausting day but totally worth it.
Know Before You Go:
Transportation and Park Tickets
We took a fast train from Xi’an North Railway Station to Huashan North Railway Station, Huayin city. We booked our tickets from 8:30 AM. It took us about 30 minutes to arrive at Huashan station. Getting out of Huashan North Railway Station, a line of taxis were there, ready to take us to the Tourist Centre of Huashan. There you can buy all the five tickets needed for the whole trip to the mountains; two-way bus tickets to either cableway (West Peak Cableway or North Peak Cableway), another two-way cable car rides, and the park entrance ticket. Taxi drivers might also take you to a ticketing centre near the railway station, but as long as it’s the official tickets, it doesn’t really matter if you buy it there or at Huashan Tourist Centre. Below is the photo of the tickets you’ll be needing in order:
- Train Ticket: ¥54 (one-way)
- Park Entrance Ticket: Mar. – Nov.: ¥160; Dec. – Feb.: ¥100 (half price for students with ID)
– It includes the main peaks scenic area, Jade Spring Temple, Xianyu Scenic Area and Xiyue Temple.
-The ticket is valid for two days.
-The mountain is open all day
-Xiyue Temple: 09:00 – 17:30
-Jade Spring Temple: 09:00 – 19:00
- Bus to West Peak Cable Car: ¥40
- Cable Car to West Peak: ¥140
-Mar. – Nov.: 07:00-19:00
-Dec. – Feb.: 08:00 – 18:00
- Plank Walk: ¥3o (paid with cash)
- Cable Car from North Peak: ¥80
-Mar. – Nov.: 07:00-19:00
-Dec. – Feb.: 08:00 – 18:00
- Bus back to the Tourist Centre: ¥20
View of the West Peak or Lotus Flower Peak
The Plank Walk
On the way to the North Peak cable car
The end of the plank walk; Some people don’t really go to the end cause they hear that there’s “nothing” there but this view was really worth the additional walk.
Meat Sandwich or Roujiamo(肉夹馍), a Shaanxi Province delicacy