One Saturday last December, I woke up and decided I wanted to climb a mountain. No big deal.
I’m joking, it was a huge challenge! My friends from university did a day trip to Taishan Mountain, and it was absolutely fantastic. I felt like I hadn’t done enough exploring, and needed a little adventure in my weekend.
So, casual Sunday hike up one of the Great Mountains of China, anyone?
ABOUT MOUNT TAI:
Mount Tai is located in the Shangdong province in the east of China. It was made a UNESCO World heritage site in 1987. It is known as the eastern mountain of The Five Great Mountains of China, and is associated with sunrise, birth and renewal. According to legend, if you successfully climb the mountain, you will live for 100 years.
It was pretty easy going to Taishan from Beijing. I took the overnight train, which ranges from 6-7 hours for 78RMB (seat fare). Probably my first mistake as it was really uncomfortable and cramped! I swear, if I can help it, I am never voluntarily getting a seat on a train for a long haul journey.
I won’t lie, it was pretty tough, but I’m glad I went on my own as I went at my own speed. The sites were beautiful, and a great first mountain to climb.
A funny part was when I stood in front of these big rocks taking a picture. About 5 Chinese people came up to me wanting photos. At first, I thought they wanted me to take a photo of them. Then I realised they wanted a photo with me! That was cool, it was funny! However, then they just wanted a photo of me… Crazy! I find Chinese love to stare at westerners. I regularly get asked for photos, people look at me ever so blatantly and hearing “white girl” ever so often. Some days, I do not mind. Other days, I have a scarf wrapped around my head so people don’t stare at my hair and paleness.
As I walked up the final part of the mountain, I slipped and hurt my knee and hip, so I took the cable car down to the midway to be safe. The steps are very steep, and can be slippy, so I didn’t want to injure myself badly.
On the way home, I took the bullet train as I was super tired and wanted a shower and my bed.
So what did I think? I’m so proud of myself for doing this, I’ve never climbed a mountain before, and I climbed it in 4 1/2 hours, roughly the average! It was tough, I nearly turned back at one point! But I thought “This is going to make a cracking Instagram picture”.