To many people's great surprise, the little-known Baiyun Mountain, located in central China's Henan Province, was crowned "the most beautiful mountain in China" by readers and the media in Chinese National Geography magazine's "Top 10 Most Beautiful Tourist Attractions in China" in late 2005.
Baiyun Mountain Photo: yfhw.com
Peak of the "Middle Plain"
Situated in the center of the country, Henan Province has long been known as the "Middle Plain", or "Zhong Yuan" in Chinese. The most famous mountain is Songshan Mountain, where the cradle of Chinese martial arts, the Shaolin Monastery, is located. However, the highest mountain in this area is not Songshan Mountain, but Baiyun Mountain, which rises to a height of 2216 meters. On top of the Jade Emperor Peak of Baiyun Mountain, you can have a grand view of the sunrise and the "cloud ocean".
Baiyun Mountain, or "White Clouds Mountain", located in Song County near Luoyang, one of China's most famous historic cities, stretches so long that China's three most important rivers, the Yellow, Yangtse, and Huaihe Rivers run through it. With its crucial location and a civilization dating back over 5000 years, Song County has significantly influenced the Chinese culture. The scenery of this area was recorded in "Shi Jing", or "Poetry Classics", the first poetry collection in Chinese history (11th centaury – 6th centaury BC).
Natural Oxygen Bar
Covered by dense forests, Baiyun Mountain is like a giant oxygen capsule where people can plunge themselves into the fragrance of fresh air with many varieties of pine trees. There still lies an ancient forest in Baiyun Mountain that is almost completely untouched by human being, where golden eagles and leopards are said to have been spotted. Gigantic old trees, which takes several people to join by hand to encircle, are very common here.
Beauty of the Waters
The mountains to the north of the Yangtze River, are known mostly for their picturesque peaks than their waterside sceneries, but Baiyun Mountain is an exception with all its wonderful waterfalls. The most beautiful one is called "Nine-Dragon Waterfall", named after the rock texture, which resembles nine Chinese dragons, on the cliff it soars down along.
It takes a difficult trek and a little determination to view the waterfall, since the only way to get to the waterfall is a narrow road through an aboriginal cave along a cliff. The road is so rugged that an old saying goes: "the road stretches for 100 zhang (about 300 meters) on a cliff 1000-chi-high (about 333 meters), which the eagles can't fly and the gods can't reach." Despite the harshness of the road, the beautiful waterfall at the end of it makes all the incredible efforts worthwhile.
Spring is the best season to appreciate the waterfall. Water roars down from the cliff that is so high, it is as if it pours down from the sky. On a sunny day, people who stand at the bottom may feel like they are situated in a wonderland surrounded by rainbows created by the water splashes.
Experiences That Can't Be Missed
Trees Photo: yfhw.com
1 Watching the sunrise on top of Jade Emperor Peak, the highest spot on Baiyun Mountain.
2 Having a bird's eye view of the 3-kilometer-long Nine-dragon Valley on cable cars.
3 Appreciating Chinese calligraphy on the rock carvings in the forests.
4 Trying a bungee jump at Baiyun Mountain, the "First Jump in Asia".
Transportation A bus ride from Luoyang Bus Station to Baiyun Mountain costs about 45 yuan and lasts 4-5 hours. If you miss the direct bus, you can also take the bus to Song County (Song Xian) where there are buses going to Baiyun Mountain (2-3 hour ride).
Admission 60 yuan. Extra fees are charged at some scenic spots in the mountain.
Lodging Hotels and cottages are available on the mountain, costing 20-80 yuan per person per day. Visitors can also bring their own tents to camp.
Dining Local restaurants serve mountain delicacies at reasonable prices.
More on Tourism in Henan
Luoyang: the City of Peony
Kaifeng: a History Stretching Back to Over 3000 Years
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