There are thousands of beautiful temples in China, but how far would you go to experience one? Taking hiking to a new extreme, the Huashan Teahouse on one of the five peaks that make up Mt Huashan requires you to literally dance with death to get to it — one false move and you’re in trouble.
Don’t believe us? Check out the pictures.
At the base of the mountain are the ‘Heavenly Stairs’ – when you see how high they are, you can understand why!
Travelling up the Heavenly Stairs.
As you look down you can see small towns that popped up to help support the temples at the surrounding peaks. This area is still relatively safe to explore, but then the fun begins…
To get to the base of the southern peak you first need to take a gondola ride down.
When you get off the gondola you will enjoy a short distance of proper path, before things start getting very hairy. The path gets narrower and narrower until you need to step over planks of wood to continue on your journey.
Don’t worry though – you can hold onto the metal railing made of chains and carabiners, which have been hammered into the mountain face.
If you come across someone going in the opposite direction, the only option is to travel backwards until you reach the nearest landing, to allow them to pass.
Different coloured flags mark which path you’re on – with each taking you to a different location. Most of the paths lead to larger landing points where you can rest or take in the view (if you dare look down!).
Once you’ve made it around the side of the mountain, it becomes a more direct, sloped route to the peak. You can just make out the steps in the left of the picture.
Now if you thought the last bit was bad – it gets worse. Toe holes have been dug out in the mountain to allow you to climb up the final stretch – using only the metal chains for support.
Once you make it to the top, you still have a lot of stairs to climb to reach the peak.
You’ve made it to the teahouse! As the name suggests, you can enjoy a cup of tea when you arrive (you’ll need it!), although most people don’t take this journey for the tea.
Sitting 7,087 feet above sea level, the ancient Taoist temple – which has since been converted into a teahouse, was once used by those practicing asceticism (abstinence from most worldly pleasures).
Temples were built on each of the five peaks of Mt Huashan as, when seen on a map, they form a flower shape and the temples completed the flower.
Despite the relatively large number of deaths resulting from the dizzying journey to the top, people still visit the teahouse in large numbers every year – even when the path is covered in snow.
Mt Huashan is located in Huayin, a city located 120 km from east of the ancient city of Xi’an, where the famous Terracotta Warriors were found.
Source of the images: http://www.uqpu.net/teahouse/