Hiking Wugong spiritual mountain in China

Wugong Mountain. One hell of a hike

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Wugong Mountain, one of the three renowned mountains in ancient times in South China, covers an area of over 120 square kilometers and contains the highest peak in Jiangxi province: White Crane Peak. It reaches 1,918.3 meters and attracts many visitors very year.

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There are many terraces in front of the mountain. In spring, farmers prepare the land. The way they work has not changed since the time of their ancestors. Even today, they plough the fields with a buffalo.

This spiritual mountain has a history of past poets and literati coming here for inspiration and reflection.  Some of the paths are paved with pebbles. It’s said that walking on the pebbles is good for your health. Numerous children and elderly people sometimes take off their shoes and walk on the pebbles.

The most famous thing about this mountain is the ‘sea of clouds’ which can form depending on the weather. Unfortunately we were not lucky enough to see this as we had glorious sunny weather during my 2 days hiking here.  Missing out on this was compensated by a glorious 5am sunrise, seeing this fiery orb slowly rise up to greet a new day was awe inspiring and worth the grueling hike.

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Astonishingly due to the clear weather and lack of clouds we managed to see a ‘blood moon’ and beautiful stars in the sky.  Living in a big city with light pollution this is something I never thought I would see in China.

night-sky-stars

The hike itself is very challenging.  With endless stairs and monotonous stomping up and up, you almost feel like you want to die.  but stick it with, IT IS WORTH IT!The green panorama at the top is mind blowing, and seems to stretch on forever and ever. The lush surroundings and fresh air of the top make you feel alive and enthused with life.  This is China at its finest.  Along the route up there are lots of streams and waterfalls to see, and trees surround you, you almost feel at one with nature (apart from all the people).  Bring lots of water and snacks with you as the prices on the mountain side are scandalously high and you’ll end up paying a lot.

The peak is awash with colours as there are so many tents around, each with a vibrant colour of its own, its a visual feast for the eyes.  The tent is reasonable and comes with a sleeping bag and a soft cover, it is big enough for 2 people just about and costs 100-200 RMB depending on where you put it.

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Morning tent view on Wugong

We chose a more isolated spot away from the mass crowds.  I recomend choosing a good spot for the early sunrise, which is usually 5.30am or so and then pack up the tent before breakfast.  There is a little hotel/restaurant nearby where you can get some noodles ready for the climb down.

 

Should you wish there are cable cars which run up and down, however there will likely be long lines and you may be quicker walking down.  The choice is yours.

 

Want to go?

This is a tough climb taking all day to ascend.  Hiking gear is a must, strong big bag, hiking shoes and a hiking pole or 2.  This is no joke and needs to be taken seriously.   Take care going down as the stairs can hurt your knees a lot.

Bring adequate water at least 2L and lots of high energy snacks such as mixed nuts, jerky, energy gels and so forth.

The weather is unpredictable so bring an umbrella or a rain poncho (preferred choice) with you.  Also at the tip there is little sun protection so likely to burn, bring sunscreen with you.

 

To get here you can take the fast train from many major train stations to Pingxiang north station.  Then can take bus 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 16, 17, 19, 23, 25. Or share a taxi.

I suggest staying nearby the night before and starting the hike early.  There are many little hotels in the nearby town.  The mountain entrance fee is around 80RMB.  The cable car is also an additional 80 RMB or so each time.  Tent rental will cost around 100-200 RMB.

Peak time to go is August.

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