Mountain means a lot for Chinese. In our culture, living by mountain and water is the greatest lifestyle you may pursue, which has been reflected in numerous literatures. There are countless mountains in China. You may have heard about the most famous “Five Great Mountains”, or Zhangjiajie where “Avatar” defended their hometown in the movie, let alone the earth’s peak Qomolangma (aka Mt. Everest). All these mountains are famous for their distinguishable scenes, and got lots of attractions so far. There’s another mountain I would like to share, a not so famous but definetely amazing mountain in my hometown, Wugong Mountain (武功山).
This is how the peak looks like now, with the alpine meadow emerged in the running cloud sea. The scenery makes it like walking in the fairyland. You might not encounter a fairy, but expect some rare animals in the wild areas.
When I backward my memories to October in 2011, it was like this in the Autumn. At that time there was not even a well paved road going up to the peak, which made it difficult to hike. It was a wilder/natural experience, but for people from outside the area it’s easily to get lost.
Though it is still way less famous than the other well known attractions, the mountain is now applying for 5A(AAAAA the highest standard of the attractions in China) and getting more attractions from all over the country. The annual tent festival held here was even covered by Times in 2013.
With a height of 1918.3 m, Wugong mountain is known as the highest mountain in the area, but what makes it attractive is the various vegetative cover at different altitude. There are beautify bamboo distributed at the bottom, and various rare trees in the middle, and gorgeous meadows on the top.
The location of Wugong mountain covers three cities in Jiangxi province, when it comes to the route planning, it refers to the route starting from the entrance in Pingxiang, which is much better developed for the tourism (in terms of public transportation and service).
As to the transportation, if you come from Shanghai, take the high speed train to Pingxiang Being(North) railway station, and from there you can take a bus going directly to the entrance of the mountain. Another way to get close is going to Changsha airport, and then take a high speed train from Changsha Nan(South) railway station to Pingxiang Bei (26 min per ride). Please notice when you get to Pingxiang railway station, be aware of the taxi scams. The taxi drivers are always crowding at the exit and ask you to get in, and then charge you crazy bills.
There are three modes to explore the mountain. No matter which option you take, you may always easily find the directions by the signs.
HARD MODE: If time permitted you may choose to start climbing from the bottom, so that you can enjoy the full view of the mountain. You may spend several days on the mountain, check the detailed routes from the official website.
EASY MODE: If there’s a time limitation, you may get to the peak is by cable cars. There are two levels of cable car, level one from the bottom to the mid, and level 2 from the mid to the top. You may find the cable car (l1) at the entrance, after getting out l1 at the mid, you still need to walk 40min till the l2 cable car to get to the peak. This is the most efficient way to get to the peak for the meadow scene.
MODERATE MODE: A intermediate option is to go to the mid by l1, and then climb up from the mid. It takes around 2~3 hours to climb up from the mid, so it will be enough to visit the mountain in one day, and you don’t miss too much beauty scene.
3Day HIKING: This one covers the most beautiful sites (bold highlighted):
- Part 1: Going up to the top (5-7 hrs)
Shen Zi Cun (沈子村） – Jiu Long Shan (九龙山) – Tie Di Feng (铁蹄峰） – Jin Ding/ Golden top (金顶）
- Part 2: Go from the top to the others (5-8hrs) The part is said to be the best part
Jin Ding (金顶） -Diao ma Zhuang (吊马桩) – Fa Yun Jie (发云界）
- Part3: Go down to Ming Yue Shan (明月山) and exit to Yi Chun (宜春）
Fa Yun Jie (发云界） – Yang Shi Mu (羊狮幕）- Ming Yue Shan（明月山）
Best time to visit
All the four seasons. In the spring time you may find all the sprouting and flowers, while summer and autumn are my favourite – great weather and you can see the whole mountain without shading by the mist. It may get a bit cold in the late autumn, while in the winter it’s all white, pretty but cold.
It’s always a good idea to check the weather before you start the trip. Especially during the winter time, it may get slippery after the rain which turns the roads icy.
Try to avoid the Chinese holidays because it will get super crowded, and most likely you may see “other people’s butt when climbing up and their heads when going down”.
Entrance: 70 CNY (50% for students, elders, etc.)
level 1: 65 CNY up, 55 CNY down
level2: 45 CNY up, 35 CNY down
Accommodation: 50~100 CNY, needs to reserve in advance.
Food: The food on the mountain is slightly more expensive than outside, but considering it takes so much effort to bring even water up, it actually makes sense to pay a bit more.
As you may know, Google(including Gmail) is not available here, if you want to search anything, use Baidu which has the most information, however Bing from Microsoft might be more friendly for you.
A wechat account might be also very helpful, this is like Whatsapp for Chinese but with more function. You can even connect with your credit card and pay for the groceries, most of stores(or individuals) accept Wechat Pay now. Also if you want to connect me for urgent info, you can also add me on Wechat, or else make friends with any hikers on your way and get the connection.
A SIM card with data is very important here. Even on the mountain, you shall be able to get fair reception of the phone. e.g. If you arrive in Shanghai PVG, you can buy the sim card before you pick up the luggage.
If you have any questions or suggestions about the trip, feel free to drop me an email through firstname.lastname@example.org