Hiking Mount Qingcheng - Chengdu, China
After getting two ubers; a bullet train; the subway; a bus; coach; a boat ride; cable car; a golf buggy and hiking thousands of steps I completed the Mount Qingcheng hike, and on the way down I fell in love!
Hiking Mount Qingcheng wasn't on our scheduled itinerary, however a few of us students did our own research and our lovely Chinese student volunteers organised for all of us to go. And I am so happy we did, because it turned out to be the highlight of our entire trip, and a memory I will always treasure. I'm not the fittest person, and at times I wanted to stop and give up, but at the top it was so amazing and well worth the pain and sweat getting there, its certainly something I can tick off my bucket list.
Our super early morning started with deciding if it would be safe enough to go ahead with the hike, as the rain was heavy and parts of Chengdu had flooded overnight. As it would take us awhile to travel to the mountain and the weather was looking to pick up later that morning, we decided to go for it as it was the last free time day we had to do so.
Getting to Mount Qingcheng from our hotel, was a mission. We ordered ubers to drop us off to catch a bullet train, but then the bullet train we needed to go direct to Qingchengshan railway station was full. So we then had to get a subway and ended up negotiating with a coach driver outside to take us all the way. We were dropped off at a little bus station a few minutes outside the entrance of Mount Qingcheng. As we left the hotel before breakfast was served and we had the whole struggle of getting there, I hadn't eaten or drank anything. So the only chance I had was to grab some Oreo's and water before getting the bus and making our way to the entrance, which is certainly something you shouldn't do and definitely the reason why I found the hike tough as I was lacking energy.
After a golf buggy ride, we began making our way up to the top, and along the way we came across beautiful scenic spots, waterfalls and temples. There was a whole little community up there and every so often we would walk and find another temple, which was fantastic and made the hike so much more motivating as I was looking forward to what I would come across next to photograph. If you watch my video above, I share my whole journey with you as I hike my way up, minus the parts I am sitting down in a puddle of sweat trying to get my breath back. But in the video, you will see all the stunning temples, the locals and eventually the view from the top and the awesome journey back down.
When we had finally got to the top, I had a rush of adrenaline and suddenly felt so grateful for getting to experience it and see something so amazing hidden away up in the Chinese mountains with my head up in the clouds. I am glad I got the chance to sit down and take it all in. We all had a spring in our step making our way back down, along with a few muddy bum slips along the way. Luckily we made it in time to catch the last cable car, which was a cool experience in itself, the views were fantastic. We then enjoyed an idyllic boat ride and made our way out to catch a bus to the Qingchengshan railway station, where we managed to get on a bullet train which was a relief. After another uber ride back to our hotel, it was time to eat, shower and get some much needed sleep after a such an amazing experience in China.
Something I wanted to add was, look at that dog! he was at the bus station just outside the entrance to the mountain. He was looking for scraps of food in a bin, I fell totally in love with him, I so badly wanted to give him a cuddle but we wasn't allowed. It broke my heart having to leave him, seeing homeless animals really upsets me.