People’s Republic of China aka Red China
Mt. Hua Shan
Wuyunfeng Fandian Hostel
Clean and warm dorm beds for an overpriced CNY 85.- or US$ 13.40 per person per night. Overstaffed with incompetent personnel.
Beer: 500-ml bottles of luke-warm Hans Dry Lager Beer (4.0 % alc./vol.) for a stiff CNY 18.- or US$ 2.85 from the hostel's dirty restaurant.
Click below for an interactive satellite view of the Wuyunfeng Fandian Hostel and for directions:
Hiking the granite domes and knife-blade ridges of Mt. Hua Shan (most exciting: the Blue Dragon Ridge where the way has been cut along a narrow rock ridge with impressive sheer cliffs on either side), catching a sunrise from the East Peak aka Dong Feng (altitude: 2,100 m above sea level) and, eventually, descending on the steep, sometimes quite literally vertical Soldiers’ Path (2 km, 2 ¼ hours, mostly steps cut into the rock and steel chains to grab onto) back to the cable-car terminus and on (by shuttle bus: CNY 20.- per person) to Hua Shan Village with its cheap noodles and ice-cold beers, agh.
Taking one of the regular tourist buses from Hua Shan Village through a heavily air-polluted landscape, dotted, under a gray sky, with vast and brand-new smokestack industries, back to Xian (125 km, 2 ¼ hours, CNY 22.- or US$ 3.50 per person), the city with an ancient feel as if the ghosts of age-old sages, lonely soldiers and experienced hookers were still sitting up on the ramparts of the city walls demanding not to be forgotten.