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Qingcheng Shan is considered to be one of China’s holiest mountains (actually, the fifth holiest) and is one of the birthplaces of Taoism. It is still home to monks who have spent their lives in peace and prayer at the over twenty temples and religious sights, all of which are bursting at the seams with classical Chinese culture and Sichuan-style architecture. Everything is immersed in nature, which means you are as well.
You can’t hit all of the spots (Warning: Don’t get suckered into buying a map. There’s one on the back of your ticket.), but the best are Natural Picture, Jianfu Palace, Tianshi Cave, Zushi Palace and Shangqing Palace. There’s a ropeway for those of you pansy asses who can’t take the climb. At least you’ll have to do the walk down, which takes around an hour and a half. If you’re only on this little trip for the natural scenery, you should head for Hou Shan (around back). This area is less of a draw to tourists because there’s a lack of temples. That space is filled with peaceful wandering paths cutting through ancient trees and beautiful flowers.
Busses leave from Xinanmen Bus Station and take a couple of hours to get there, so leave early in the morning, and you’ll have plenty of time to walk around. Coming back is easy too. The parking lot is full of empty busses waiting to be filled with Chengdu-bound folk. Last bus is at 7pm.
Tickets: 90RMB Ropeway Tickets: 35RMB