Climbing Mount Hua

Hua Shan (Mount Hua) is located 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of the city of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province. Today I went from Xi’an to Hua Shan on a high speed train that can reach 350 km an hour. It was a 40 minute smooth ride, my first ride on a high speed train.

Unlike a regular train that is usually very crowded, a high speed train has seats for every passenger.    

Hua Shan is considered one of the most dangerous mountains for climbing in China. If you google it, you can find a lot of interesting pictures.

I went up to the North Peak, the lowest of five peaks with an elevation of 1615 meters. I got from bottom to the North Peak in about an hour. It was a short cut.

First I took a bus that went zigzag up the mountain and brought tourists to the cable car station. Then the cable car took me much higher to the mountain. Finally I had to walk on very narrow steps to the North Peak.

Climbing Hua Shan requires a strong will and a lot of courage. I didn’t have the time to climb the other peaks today, even if I had enough courage. Maybe next time when I visit Xi’an again.

Today’s round trip from Xi’an to Hua Shan and back to Xi’an took only about seven hours. People say you need three days to really climb all the peaks in Hua Shan.  

Visiting Terra-cotta Museum

On my second day in Xi’an, I visited the Terra-cotta Army (also called Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses), located on the east side of the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang, the first emperor in Chinese history. It is descripted as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Three pits are open for public viewing. I was told that they represent only one of the 600th percent of what has yet to be excavated and restored at the Mausoleum of the Emperor Qin Shihuang.  

At this Museum, I saw the most foreign tourists during my trip so far. I also saw pictures of Clintons, Queen Elizabeth II, Putin, and other foreign presidents, kings and statesmen visiting the Museum. It’s a popular tourist attraction in China. 

The local farmer who discovered the site while drilling wells in search of water on March 29, 1974,  was present to sign books in the gift shop at the Museum.

Later I also visited the Huaqin Hot Springs where the emperors and emperesses bathed and Tang Paradise to watch a Tang Dynasty music and dance show. 

The photos from Xian are on the following Facebook pages.

Travel updates

Sorry I haven’t posted for a few days. I have been busy traveling. I am usually too tired to write at night. In addition, I don’t like to use the small laptop computer.

Since June 1, I have visited Maanshan, Nanjing, Wuxi, Ningbo, Putuo, and Hangzhou. Today I arrived in Xi’an. I was so happy to find in the hotel room a big screen TV that also serves as a computer with Internet connection.

Xi’an is an ancient capital city in China. The old part of the city is surrounded by a wall on all sides, with four gates in each direction. The wall is 14 kilometers long and very wide, probably 3-4 bus lane wide. It took us 1 1/2 hours to finish bike riding one round. My kids had a really fun time biking on the two-person bike.    

I have taken a lot of pictures. I will share them when I get back home and have time to post them.