No matter which area you live in China, there will always be fantastic places to explore nearby. This month, I visited Laoshan 嶗山, a beautiful mountain range around one hour from Qingdao, with a group of friends from InternChina. We organised a minibus to take us straight from the main city centre to the outskirts of the mountain area. With a very eager bus driver, we bought our tickets and took the coach up to the mountains followed by a cable car. There were hundreds of Chinese tourists as well as a few western ones; Laoshan is rated highly as one of the best scenic areas in Shandong province.
Already incredibly high up, there was a set of stairs to the highest viewing point. Getting up to the top was the hardest part of the day. If you are not active/ fit (like me) this is quite a task; I almost gave up at one point but the morale and support from my friends pushed me all the way up to the peak. But it’s like anything in life; you have to put the work in to reap the rewards. After an hour of several breaks and my mini heart attacks, we had made it…
What a sight! Mount Lao is the highest coastal mountain in China and the second tallest mountain in Shandong, with the highest peak (Jufeng) reaching 1,132.7 meters. It also has an ancient history, as it is known as one of the birthplaces of Taoism. It is the place where the Complete Perfection School of Taoism was developed. On reflection you can see why this area has such a rich background with its breathtaking views and serenity.
We were blessed with beautiful weather and the views were spectacular, it really made you realise how big the world is. There was also an amazing wooden bridge overlooking the mountain and all the flowers at the top were in bloom.
Fortunately, the peak doubled up as the best picnic location you could ask for, but we were careful not to drop any crisps as they would be scattered around 100 meters below. And, after all that climbing – I was extremely careful with my Chinese style Pringles. Walking down the thousands of stairs was at least four times as quick. We got the coach back at around 4pm and we all felt exhausted but happy. My friends and I then had a delicious Chinese meal for dinner and went to bed – a perfect day. It’s great to do an internship with Intern China as these types of activities and events are always organised. If you want to take a trip away to from the city, or want to learn a new skill there is always something for everyone. I recommend anyone who comes to Qingdao or the other cities to go and visit something similar to Mount Lao and enjoy the breathtaking views.
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It was one of my last weekends here in China and my host-family planned to go to Emei Shan – Unesco world heritage since 1996 – to show me the beautiful view on top of the mountain.The journey began on Saturday morning at 6 o´clock. We took the bus to get to the city right next to the mountain. Quite early but mei you shijian (no time) because we only had one day to climb up.
Three hours later we arrived at our hotel room which I shared with my Chinese family. Kind of an adventure I thought, but fun nevertheless…
While having a walk we got to a beautiful forest area with hidden temples. One of them – quite interesting and something have never seen before – was run only by female Buddhists.
It took me a while to adjust to the walking speed of my family because my host-mum loved taking photos – of everything and everybody all the time!
So at the end of the day we were exhausted, but still had enough time and energy for delicious Chinese BBQ. It only cost us 16 RMB for about 30 various sticks. One of the things which makes me love China. Well fed and satisfied we fell asleep early as we had to get up again at 6 am the next morning to conquer Emei Mountain.
Because my family isn´t that sporty we decided to take the comfy way: Bus and cable car up to the top! It took us 3 hours anyway…
But even during those few steps we had to take, we saw some cheeky monkeys taking food from tourists, beautiful valleys and a lot of other Chinese people who all tried to catch a photo with me… No worries, I got used to that!
Finally we arrived at the golden summit and got to see the bluest sky – including a sea of clouds – you can only imagine, leaving the Chinese pollution and fog right behind us!
It was so cold that we only could take pictures with gloves on to catch every moment of that perfect scenery. For example, the golden Buddha surrounded by dozen of monks praying for healthiness, money and a long life.
We walked around and took pictures as not to forget a single corner of that beautiful area. And of course we had around 20 kg of snacks, soups, noodles and sweets to kill for lunch – which we enjoyed under the sun we hadn’t seen back in Chengdu for the last few days.
But unfortunately we only had two hours up on the mountain before taking the same way back home!
The next time I definitely would conquer that mountain by climbing…
Bye Bye Emei!
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