Mount Huashan is famous for some horrifying things, including the steps so steep you are basically hiking straight up (see here), and also for the plank walk which just NO NEVER.
The mountain is located just outside of Xi’an, China. To get here, you can take a bus from the Xi’an train station. The bus takes about three hours and costs 22 Yuan ($3.52 USD) You can also opt for a high speed train that leaves from Xian North train station (not the same one the bus leaves from.) It takes 35 minutes, for 55 Yuan ($8.79 USD.) You can also take a regular train, but there is really no logic in that.
Going to Huashan from the Xian train station: the buses are located all the way to the right of the train station if you are facing it. You cannot miss them, there are a bunch. The the destination is written on the bus in English (read the destination as buses to the Terra Cotta Warriors also leave from here!)
I traveled to Huashan on a high speed train and took the bus back. Buses leave from Huashan back to Xian as they fill up. It took a while for us to have enough passengers to leave. The bus was way too hot to sit on while we waited, so we lined up in the precious shady spot on a nearby curb.
My bus on the left, people sitting on the right:
When you get off the high speed train in Huashan, there are supposedly green buses to take you the rest of the way. I got immediately latched onto by some taxi driver who kept shoving a map of the mountain in my face and I eventually got in his cab, fuming at myself the entire time because I know better. Then he got out of the cab at the mountain to walk me up to the entrance. The walk from the parking lot to the entrance is not long in a “Wow this is a really long walk!” way. But it is VERY long when you have a cab driver inexplicably escorting you to the entrance. The more I kept shouting “NO, YOU CAN LEAVE NOW” at him, while pointing at him to go back to his car and leave me alone, the more he kept shoving the map in my face.
I think, I am not sure, that he had planned to bring me up to the cable car. This fit with several things, including him shoving the map in my face AND the woman he talked to about my tickets only selling me a ONE way bus ticket from the entrance to the cable car. But I am not sure. Either way, when you get to the mountain any which way you want to get there, there are a lot of people outside with official badges who will never let you pass unless you tell them what you want. Then they bring you inside and tell the ticket agent what you want. It is extremely frustrating and even if this is all legitimate and not a scam, you still feel like you are being scammed.
Once I was finally free, I took a bus to the West Peak cable car. Or I took it somewhat near the West Peak cable car. Once you get off the bus, you have to walk up a lot of steps to the actual cable car. I counted 504. That is a lot of steps for us lazy people taking the cable car!
Then finally, I am at the cable car!
Once you near the top, it looks like you are moving into the sun. This hole in the mountain is the cable car stop.
Whew, made it alive!
After exiting the cable car, it is still a walk up higher to the tea house.
I really, really wanted to go to the tea house. But as I stood there contemplating whether or not I would slip and die by sliding off the side of the mountain, I became more and more convinced that yes, this would be how I would die if I dared to walk up the steps. So I did not. I mean, LOOK AT IT. Walking up seemed to be doable but walking down? It is like you are just begging to slide and fall. Also, let’s remember, I was still feeling a recent fall down the steps at Longsheng Rice Terraces.
Despite my being a scairdy cat, this was still a fantastic day.