I’m rather fond of hiking. Like I used to go home by 9 on Friday nights so I could be up at whatever ungodly hour it took to get to the White Mountains and hike. Because that is what you do when you love something.
I came to China vith a vague idea that its a big country and there are things and places to hike. I’ve gotten some great hikes in so far in Langmusi and Kangding but there are still many more things I have my eyes set on, though its quickly becoming debatable how many of these I will actually have time for, but I’m fairly motivated. Still, as far as hiking in China goes, there are some incredible options out there.
The Great Wall!!!!
I actually already hiked on the great wall, but if fate throws me a twist and I find myself back in Beijing for some unexpected reason I would not be unhappy to hike another section of the wall. Seriously the great wall is so amazing because its rare in a hike to get such panoramic views the whole time, the wall adds more dimension as you can see its sprawling out for so far. The great wall is probably the most iconic of all the options for hiking in China.
Tiger Leaping Gorge
so this is not so much of a mountain but I don’t sniff my nose at gorges. Actually I enjoy hiking gorges because they’re harder to get lost in. This gorge is one of the longest in the world reaching 16km. Its in Yunnan Province outside Lijiang and rumor has it that most of the hostels run vans to drop-off/pick-up hikers.
Outside of Xian (terracotta soldiers) is Huashan, a sacred Taoist mountain, another iconic spot for hiking in China and reportedly the MOST dangerous hike in the world. You wear a harness climbing up. I actually plan to climb up and then take the cable car down because I get antsy going down steep things. According to lonely planet there are overpriced hotels on top, but I would seriously consider paying up to be able to see the sun set and rise. This is in Shaanxi province. Xian is probably going to my first destination after my contract ends.
Zhanjiajie National Park
These mountains are often called the hallelujah mountains, as they were the mountains James Cameron used in Avatar, and also because unless you’ve learn Chinese phonetics you probably have no idea how to pronounce that name. I would love to go here, rumor has it you can camp in the park and its not quite as crowded as other parks. This is located in Hunan province.
So I probably should have gone here in August where I was in Gansu. Its recently been named a UNESCO world heritage sight and its not everyday you get to see rainbow colored mountains. I’m a bit leery since a friend told me that all the photos you see of it have had the colors brightened and its much more muted in reality, still it would be worth a look. This is in Gansu Pronvince outside of Mati Si and still fairly unknown as far as hiking in China goes.
Dragon’s Backbone Rice Terrace
A huge expanse of rice paddies that are terraced from the base of the mountain to the ridge line. These have been around for about 650 years and I feel like they would make an extremely beautiful/unique hike. I think my biggest concern is that this would be crazy crowded with tourists and sometimes that can make experiences somewhat unpleasant. Its about 2 hours from Guilin so I may be able to turn this into a side trip
So those are the places I’m lusting over. In other exciting news there is a 50/50 chance I’m going to get a 4 day weekend for Christmas, which is unexpected since they don’t celebrate Christmas at all here. If I get the time then I’m heading straight for Shanghai. All I want to do is go to one of the bars at the tops of a skyscraper and drinking a fancy cocktail.
There are the places I want to go. Did I miss anything awesome that I should know about? Are there places you’re dreaming of hiking?