Hunan Province's

Mt HENGSHAN
by John Tosi, Australia (Feb 02)

Global Mark : 11.72

Ratings by criteria : 

Charm Scenery Parks Culture Minor. Market Relax Fiesta 

Cost

AVER.
3 4 2 3 1 2 1 1

2

8.44

Ratings by backpackers :

Surveyed Liked  Comeback  Recommend Range AVER.
1 100% 100% 100% 15 15.00


Description & comments ?
A beautiful mountain (entry Y40) with many interesting temples. 4-5hrs to the summit at a brisk walk/climb (allow time for the temples and views, add 3 more hours). Treacherous in winter (ice, snow) and bitterly cold at the top. Superb views if the sky is clear.

What to do ?

What you may not like ?

Where to stay ? Cuanli Villa : Y125 for a double. Clean. Hot water at 6-30pm. Heated rooms with adequate bedding. Recommend a sleeping bag in winter and take your own food if you cant wait till morning. Just past the village on the way up. Don't be put off by the flash exterior. A cheap room can be negotiated in winter. Summer, I would try the village below. 

Where to eat ? The main street has heaps of restaurants (a bit dear though), further up the mountain at either temples or at the village approx 1/2 way to the top you wont have to look for somewhere to eat, it will find you...

What to see / visit ?  The summit (wow) tennis court width with 5000ft drops either side / The temples (nice buddhas) / Burning incense peak with the engraved poetry / Caves near the summit (cool)

Notes ? Be careful not to set your goal too high in winter if it is late. The last available accomodation until near the summit is half way up the mountain. If you cannot ask anyone (e.g. many people actually on the mountain were difficult to ask questions because of their dialect and or education could not read from the translator. It would be dangerous to get stuck outside a locked temple 3/4's of the way up the mountain in subzero temperatures. The temperature dropped very quickly after 5pm.

Additional information ? 40Yuan to get in the Mountain gates. Half way up a cable car will take you to the top for 80Yuan. Back of a bike for 30Yuan. Or bus to the cable car from the bottom 10Yuan (its a fun ride !)

Communication (internet, tel, etc.) ? My experience in winter was that above the town of HengShan,  no phones were working. Phones at the base. Found no computers with internet access.

Other practical addresses ? Through large archway approx 150mtrs on the left on main drag... post office, lounge range bus station / 5 star hotel with heated lobby and 2 lane bowling upstairs :) / Right side of road has a string of restaurants (good, fresh, cheap).

Backpacker's Tips : Sarah Jackson, UK (Jan 03)
In off season just go up to the cable car area, you will be asked to pay perhaps 150Y for a room, name your price and they will find you one. Just above the cable car off to the right hand side of the road with red, blue and yellow flags up the drive you can get double room, hot water, nice and clean, I paid 30Y.

Transportation ?  

To Price Type Duration Time Nb Freq.
South Changsha Bus Station 33 minibus 2h20 when full ? a few

Be careful to watch your luggage if it is going in the back (this can usually be done from under the back seat). Of course as anywhere in China you have to be careful of the people being sick in front and behind you regularly. 

Itinerary advises : It would be wise to ask around for an English speaking person. A general rule for this is to approach young people i.e.. Uni students and ask them to help. There is generally a separate area for foreign travelers.


See also the trip from Changsha