Mountain Song, the Middle Great, Dengfeng, Henan

Mountain Song (嵩山) is the Middle Great (中岳)of all the 5 great sacred mountains in China, 4 hours east of Luoyang by train. It is a place where 3 religion get along together, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Located in Dengfeng (登封), Henan Province, there are 2 peaks on Mountain Song, one is the main peak, called Taishi Peak (太室峰), where has the highest point in Mountain Song, and the other called Shaoshi Peak (少室峰), where lies the Shaoli Temple, both peaks are hike-able.

The hike started from the bottom where there was town pretty the size of Yangshuo, not big, but very comfortable to stay at. Locals didn't speak much Mandarin, every time I spoke to them in Mandarin, they talked back to me in their own dialect with an accent, which was a bit bizarre given the fact that Mandarin was supposed to be the universal language in China. The dialect they spoke and my dialect shared the same root, so I sort of understood what they said. On the way up, arch gates and Taoism temples were all over the place. The only downside was a bit hazy, visibility was no good.

Half way to the top, met a Taoist lady, she was kind and friendly that she told me what it was like to be a Taoist.

Kept going up, the paths for tourists were pretty well-maintained, but still physical hiking required.

Sometimes I wondered how they built a temple hundreds of years ago up in such a steep mountain.

Fog came in waves, making a fairyland-like picture.

You may wonder why there are some little huts along the way which obviously too small for anybody to live in, in fact, these are houses for what Taoists believe to be true that the Earth-God to live in.

Almost there on the top, the fog became thicker, like Mountain Hua, stone-carved calligraphy could be seen on the rocks here and there.

Ascended, the highest point of Mountain Song, 1491.73 meters.

It took me quite a while to climb up but out of nowhere, a fat cat was already up there on the top.

Most of the tourists came up and went down the same way, but I learned that it was possible to do a loop the night before, so after staying a while on the top I was trying to get down on the other trail, which was not hard to find, but this one was way much longer, by the time I got down to the other entrance at the foot of Mountain Song, it was already dark. Little heads up here, if you want to hike a loop on Mountain Hua, better plan an early start, otherwise, always carry a head lamp on you just in case something like what I went through happens.

#2014CentralChinaBackpacking #HenanProvince #MountainSong #5GreatSacredMountainsofChina #Hiking #MountainHiking #ShaolinTemple #ChinaCities

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