Take some rare sunshine, a beautiful mountain, a few stops for leng mian and ice cream, a few thousand Chinese tourists in high-heels and mini skirts and you have Qing Cheng Shan.
Though E Mei Shan may be the more famous mountain stroll in Sichuan, I’m willing to say that Qing Cheng Shan is just about a thousand times better. The temples are better, the views are better, the information signs along the steps are better, the company is better, the ticket is cheaper, the drive is much shorter, the way up is less confusing…
Do I need to say anymore?
Just know that if you are ever in Sichuan, you will totally have my vote if you choose to skip the big E Mei Shan hubdub and head for Qing Cheng Shan instead. I hear the back side of the mountain is even more beautiful but here are a few photos of the front side to get us all started.
my rockin’ mother in law
There are dozens of these guys, carrying loads of 100 pounds or more up and down the mountain 4 times everyday. Some of them look over 60 years old with sinewy calves and haggard faces. I don’t know how they do it.
Bags of supplies for the many, many tea and restaurant stops up the mountain. Crowded? Tacky? Loud and obstructive of the amazing views? Yes, yes, and yes. But after 1,000 or so steps straight up, you start to see those popsicle freezers and noodle vendors and souvenir hawkers in a different light. As in “no, I’m not tired! I’m just checking out this lovely piece of touristy junk jewelry!”
It’s definitely a love/hate relationship…depending on whether you are walking up or down the mountain.
And finally, our fearless driver. First trip in das Beast and he negotiated the Sichuan roadways like a pro. A great day.