Xian - Mt. Huashan
Mt. Huashan, also called "the Great West Mountain" in the past, is one of China's 5 sacred mountains. It is the tallest among them. The mountain flanked by the Yuntai (Cloud Terrace) and Yunu (Jade Maiden) peaks and fronting 36 minor peaks, has peculiar peaks, strange rocks, seas of clouds, purling springs as well as flying waterfalls. It is one of the famous mountains as well as a very beautiful scenic spot of China.
It takes usually 24 hours to visit all the 5 peaks on foot, but only 5 to 6 hours if one takes the ropeway. If you wish to watch the sun rising on East Peak, you had better start at night. After a 4 to 6 hours' walk, you will arrive at the very top of the mountain and can enjoy the impressive sun rising.
Mt. Huashan is located to the south of Huayin County, 120 kilometer east of Xian. With an elevation of 2200 meter above sea level, the mountain overlooks the Huanghe River and the Weishui River in the north and links with the Qinling Mountains to the south.
Mt. Huashan is formed of a piece of huge and complete granite. Its history dates back to 2.7 billion years. In ancient times, Mt. Huashan was called Mt. Taihuashan. Seen from afar, the 5 peaks look like 5 petals of a flower. Hence its name Mt. Huashan, which means 5 flowers.
Mt. Huashan is famous for its breath-taking cliffs. Along the 12 kilometer long winding path up to the top are awe-inspiring precipices, looking into which will take your breath away. It has 5 peaks, the south one is called the Peak of the Wild Geese, the east one, the Peak of the Rising Sun, the west one, the peak of Lotus, the Central one, the Peak of the Charming Maiden and the north one, the Peak of the Cloud Terrace. The latter 2 are not as tall as the former 3, yet each presents a kind of scenic beauty of its own.
Mt. Huashan boasts 210 famous places of interest and scenic spots. Temples and pavilions can be found everywhere. Owing to its peculiar lie the mountain has its own style of architecture. Many towers, caves and stone steps are built according to local conditions.
Of the ruins, Yuquan (Jade Spring), Zhenwu Palace, and Jintian Palace are famous. Xiyue Temple, 7 kilometer north of Mt. Huashan is the place where people of ancient times paid tribute to the Mt. Huashan God.
The cloud-enshrouded cliff path, the sculptured rocky cliff, the floating-in-the air Somersault Cliff, the cliff-excavated Thousand-Foot Precipice, the Hundred-Foot Valley, Laojun's Furrow, Ear Touching Cliff, Up the Heaven's Ladder, the Heaven Dragon Peak and so on are all marvellous views of precipitous and perilous cliff paths.
The Immortal's Palm Rock ranks the first in the Eight Scenes of the Guangzhong Plain. The changeable weather on the mountain makes mt. Huashan sometimes in the clouds, or in the rain, or in the mist, or in the snow, which make people feel as if they were in a fairyland.
The area of Mt. Huashan specializes in gingko, thatch weaving and traditional paper-cutting.
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