Matt and I stayed at Xi’an See Tang Hostel. The hostel itself was in the centre of Xi’an and very close to the south gate of the Xi’an Wall. It’s very clean and staff are very friendly; however, the vibe here was not that great.
The journey to Huashan is very easy (once you know what you’re doing haha). We decided to catch public transport and not book ourselves into a private tour as we wanted to get there without spending too much and not have a limited amount of time at the mountain. First of all, we woke up early packed a bag of snacks and water and off we went. We had to find the metro under the Bell Tower which takes us to Xi’an Bei (north) station. From Xi’an Bei (north) station, walk upstairs to the Bullet Train Terminal (there is english speaking staff at the info centre if you get lost). We booked return tickets for Huashan Bei Station (as the lady recommended) which costs 109CNY (22NZD) per person.
The train to Huashan Bei Station goes 300km/h and takes about 30 minutes. After arriving, we made our way to the free tourist bus. This is a green coloured bus that isn’t the greatest looking bus out there but it’s free. There are ladies out there who are very sneaky, they will tell you the bus is not free or the bus won’t take you to the mountain and they try to get you on to their bus which cost! Ignore them and walk towards the FREE green coloured bus. You will arrive at the mountain in front of a large 6 lane road and roundabout (and yes, you will need to cross this road). We were here during the Winter months and if you are here during these months and do not have any gloves, buy them from the pushy sales ladies outside! We made a mistake of not buying the gloves and our hands froze!.
Made our way to the entrance (about a 5 minute walk from the bus stop). Here we purchased the entrance ticket for 180CNY for an adult and 90CNY for a student (show student ID to get the discount), and a bus ticket for 40CNY each.
We decided to go to the West Peak first. From the West Peak we purchased our cable car ticket for 140CNY each. If you’re afraid of heights, you are going to love this ride hahaha.
We couldn’t see much as it was very cloudy so the fear of heights was taken away. Once at the top we made our way to the south, central, east and finally the north peak. There are good signs so you won’t get lost. Snow started falling and the temperature dropped as we got closer to the Plank Road in The Sky (this is when we wished we bought those gloves from the pushy ladies). We watched the live video feed on the TVs of those who were already on the Plank Road but there was so much fog you couldn’t see a thing.
We were hoping the skies would clear up a bit but they never did so we were unable to walk along the Plank Road. We spoke to an Irish guy who had just finished walking the Plank Road but his review was not great as he could not see anything (secretly happy we couldn’t walk it but quite gutted as we spoke about this and mentally prepared ourselves before we left for our trip to China). We met another guy (American) named Shane, very cool guy. We ate noodles from a little stall up the top for 25CNY. Shane got something else that looked homemade, looked like it had tripe in it (ugh) for 50CNY. Matt and I took off for the North Cable Car (think it was 80CNY each) then back on a bus to the main entrance for 20CNY each. We walked to the bus stop and caught a ride on the free green tourist bus again to Huashan Bei.
The last bus was at 6pm and our train ride to Xi’an Bei was at 8pm. We were able to change our train ticket to 7:10pm, free of charge (just go to one of the ticket operators). Caught the metro back to the Bell Tower and walked back to See Tang Hostel.
What a day.