hide

Read Next

Hua Shan

It started about five years ago. On the internet I saw a picture of a really janky looking pathway that was nothing more than some two by fours bolted high into the side of a mountain. I immediately wanted to go do it. I did some searches, but came up empty handed. The name and location of the mountain was a mystery.

A couple years later I saw another picture of the mountain, and this time it had a name. Hua Shan. I looked it up, and it was in the middle of China, two hours east of Xi'an.

When I booked a three week trip to China a few months back, I didn't have any good reason or any definite plans except for one-- get to Hua Shan and climb it.

So last Friday my friend Carl, who I'm staying with here, and I took a fourteen hour overnight train ride to Xi'an. Immediately after arriving, we wandered around until we found a bus going to Hua Shan. A two hour ride later, we walked up a hill to the ticket gate. We thought it would be free, and hadn't brought much money, so we walked back down the hill, found a bank, and came back to the ticket gate. From there we began our ascent.

Crossing the Chinese/Mongolian Border by Land

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

What a fascinating trip. I just did this route -

Beijing -> Erlianhaote -> Zamyn Uud -> Ulan Bator

Why do I choose such circuitous, crazy routes? Well, lots of reasons.

I want to understand as much as I can about the world, and taking out of the way routes - especially through important border towns - teaches a lot.

Often, you can manage a route like this in a way that's much less expensive than direct flights. Yes, time is money, but money is also money.

Rendering New Theme...