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Mount Wutai Travel Guide

 2014-06-28    Sum    Tours    Taiyuan    712  

There are the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China: Mount Putuo in Zhejiang, Mount Jiuhua in Anhui, Mount E’mei in Sichuan, and Mount Wutai in Shanxi. Mount Wutai is also one of the five great Buddhist mountains in the world. The earliest Buddhism temples have been built here since the Donghan Dynasty (AD 58 – 75). Since then emperors of each dynasty also ordered to build Buddhism buildings on the mountain. Many of them are preserved to the present day.

Mount Wutai is a national geographical park as well. Wutai literally means five tops (the five peaks at the mountain line). In geography, the shape of Mount Wutai is diverse. Different kinds of landforms can be seen here, which add up to the mystery of this sacred mountain.

The mountain line of Mount Wutai covers an area with a radius of 320 kilometers. The mountain in fact is five smaller mountains. Five mountains are connected to each other and firm a huge mountain line. That is why Mount Wutai got its name. The mountain tops’ average altitudes are between 2700 and 3000 meters. It wise to bring sun cream and sun glasses to protect yourself from high ultraviolet ray exposure.

Taihuai County is a county on the Mount Wutai. Taihuai literally means being surrounded by mountains. Tourists generally enter the mountain from there. Private cars are not allowed to enter the county during Chinese holidays in case of traffic jam. There is a big free parking lot near the county where you can leave your car there. The bus in the county is convenient. Mount Wutai requires entrance fee: full ticket is 168 Yuan, half price for those age between 7 and 18, free for children under 7. There are sighting buses running at Taihuai County. The price is 50 Yuan.

For people who like to hike, the general route is to take bus from Taihuan county to Hongmenyan, then from Hongmenyan to Dongtai, Beitai, Zhongtai and Xitai. You can visit all the five peaks in one day. However, if you are an intense hiking lover, you can rent accommodation in the temple at Xitai, or go down to Shiziwo to lodge. The next day, you can go to Nantai, which is a peak that is quite separated from the other four.

For people who prefer their trip less intense and want to visit the temple and worship the Buddha, they normally stay longer at Taihuai County. There are various temples for you to place the incense. If you don’t think you can hike the five tops, you can try the Dailuoding at the county. It will also be a small accomplishment. 

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