Hua Shan is a mountain located near the city of Huayin in Shaanxi province, about 120 kilometres east of Xi’an. It is the western mountain of the Five Great Mountains of China, and has a long history of religious significance. It has historically been a place of retreat for hardy hermits, whether Daoist, Buddhist or other; access to the mountain was only deliberately available to the strong-willed, or those who had found “the way”. With greater mobility and prosperity, Chinese, particularly students, began to test their strength and visit in the 1980s.
Thankfully, we took a cable car up to the West Peak (after a horrendous two hour queue) – from here, we hiked across to the East Peak, where we spent the evening, to watch the sunrise. Slowly making our way to the South Peak, through a series of temples before finally taking the cable car down.