05 Sep - 06 Sep 2012 Hua Shan

East Asia
People’s Republic of China aka Red China
Shaanxi Province
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:
N 34° 29.12' E 110° 05.02'
Note the random 0 - 500 m misalignment between Google’s maps and satellite views of the motherland, courtesy of the paranoid Chinese Communist Party.

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.

Click below for a summary of this year's travels
2012 Map Konni & Matt

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Facing China
© Konni & Matt