The drop beneath these paths disappeared into the mist, hundreds of feet below.

Sanqing Shan – Mountains In The Mist

Sanqing Shan, China

June 2, 2015 – June 3, 2015

Full Sanqing Shan Photo Gallery Here.

From Wuyuan we took a bus to the city of Yushan, another speck on the map metropolis in China’s burgeoning cities.  Most maps we found of China don’t even show it, but condo towers and construction cranes dominate the skyline.  As much of China’s rural agrarian society leaves their old lives behind in favor of the fast paced city life, China’s cities are growing by leaps and bounds and many maps have yet to reflect the rapid growth.

The city of Yushan, which doesnt look like much on the map was a sprawling mass of new construction.
The city of Yushan, which doesn’t look like much on the map was a sprawling mass of new construction.

Surprised by the size of the city as we were, we actually came not to gaze at urban growth but to see Sanqing Shan Mountain.  A park high in the hills about an hour outside of town, famed for its beautiful pillars of rock and views of the surrounding valleys.

Unfortunately, we arrived well within southern China’s rainy season.  Our views were restricted to misty clouds drifting through the rocky landscape.  Despite the mist, the landscape was still beautiful, and our camera was not able to capture as much as we could actually see.   The drifting mist also reminded us of the many Chinese paintings of misty mountains.

Arriving by bus, we walked a short distance up the hill from the bus stop, to the cable car which would take us the rest of the way to the mountain.  From the little we could actually see through the clouds we could see that the views were probably great.

Our view from the cable car, notice the helpful suggestions to avoid jumping from the cable car.
Our view from the cable car, notice the helpful suggestions to avoid jumping from the cable car.
The cable car tower disappearing into the mist.
The cable car tower disappearing into the mist.

Once at the top there is a series of trails which wind and loop all over and around the mountain. We hiked with our umbrellas and wandered through the maze of trails, many of which are built right onto the side of the mountain.  Steel and concrete railings jutting out from vertical rock, the drop below disappearing into the slowly swirling mist hundreds of feet below.  The trails might not be the most enjoyable for those afraid of heights.  In years past many trails like these through the mountains would be just a narrow footpath carved into the rock, often with little or nothing to hold onto and no guard railing of any kind.  Fortunately most of the popular trails have been upgraded.

The path wandering along the side of the near vertical cliffs.
The path wandering along the side of the near vertical cliffs.
Though our camera didn't always capture, the views as limited as they were, were still great.
Though our camera didn’t always capture, the views as limited as they were, were still great.

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The drop beneath these paths disappeared into the mist, hundreds of feet below.
The drop beneath these paths disappeared into the mist, hundreds of feet below.

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There were many great pillars of vertical rock, again the camera fails to do them justice.
There were many great pillars of vertical rock, again the camera fails to do them justice.
We found what was either a viewpoint or a diving board of some sort jutting out over the thousand foot drop.  Krista went out on it for a picture.
We found what was either a viewpoint or a diving board of some sort jutting out over the thousand foot drop. Krista went out on it for a picture.

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Many of the tree covered rocks in the mist reminded us of the Chinese paintings of mountains in the mist, which are common all over China.
Many of the tree covered rocks in the mist reminded us of the Chinese paintings of mountains in the mist, which are common all over China.

At the top we found an old monastery where monks have come to live in solitude with nature for centuries.

A Taoist monastery, which has resided on the summit for centuries.
A Taoist monastery, which has resided on the summit for centuries.
A Taoist Shine along the summit loop trail.
A Taoist Shine along the summit loop trail.
This ancient temple has animals carved directly into the rock beneath it, can you recognize the animal?
This ancient temple has animals carved directly into the rock beneath it, this carving is of a dragon.
Signs with interesting English translations are common in China, we found this one to be particularly interesting.
Signs with interesting English translations are common in China, we found this one to be particularly interesting.  In addition, we actually saw a hotel in Yushan called the City Drunk Business Hotel, although we weren’t able to get a picture.

Once back in town we explored Yushan for a while and after the trouble we had in Wuyuan, we sought out a restaurant with photos on their menu!

Despite the rainy, foggy weather, we had a fun day at Sanqing Shan.  From Yushan we headed to the train station to continue our journey to the Zhangjiajie mountains, also known as the Avatar mountains.

 

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