Shanxi Hengshan Mountain head
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Hengshan Mountain in Shanxi

Hengshan Mountain, also known as Ziyue, Hengzong, or Changshan Mountain, is the northernmost of China’s Five Sacred Mountains, which are revered in Taoism. The mountain is situated in Shanxi Province, approximately 60 kilometers south of Datong City. Hengshan Mountain features the highest peak that soars to 2017 meters, showcasing awe-inspiring vistas of peaks, cliffs, caves, forests, streams, and clouds. Additionally, the mountain is a revered site in Taoism and is believed to be where one of the Eight Immortals, Zhang Guolao, secluded himself. It is home to numerous historical and cultural relics, including temples, pagodas, and wells.

  • Location: about 60 kilometers south of Datong City.
  • Opening time: from 08:00 to 18:00
  • Time Needed: one day
  • Best time to visit: May to October
  • Ticket price: CNY 55
Shanxi Hengshan Mountain
Hengshan Mountain

What to See and Do in Hengshan Mountain

Climb Zhurong Peak: At 2017 meters, Zhurong Peak is the tallest point on Hengshan Mountain, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, cliffs, caves, forests, streams, and clouds.

Visit the Hanging Temple: Built over 1,500 years ago, the Hanging Temple is a unique temple built into a cliff about 75 meters above the ground. It blends elements of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism and is a testament to the ingenuity and skill of ancient Chinese architects.

Explore Water Curtain Cave: A natural wonder, Water Curtain Cave features water flowing out of a crack in a cliff. It is said that Zhang Guolao, one of the Eight Immortals, practiced Taoism here, and the cave is filled with inscriptions and statues.

Sample Sweet and Bitter Wells: The Sweet and Bitter Wells are two wells located just one meter apart, yet they have vastly different flavors. The Sweet Well offers cool and refreshing water, while the Bitter Well has a distinctly unpleasant taste. Both wells are fed by springs and never run dry.

Experience local culture: Hengshan Mountain’s Folk Culture City is a popular tourist attraction that showcases the area’s rich history, religion, architecture, and art. Visitors can explore the Sutra Collection Hall, Fangguang Temple, Huixian Bridge, and Dayu Stele, among other scenic spots, and learn about the region’s unique customs and traditions.

Hanging Temple Shanxi
Hanging Temple

Best Time to Visit Hengshan Mountain

The ideal time to visit Shanxi’s Hengshan Mountain is between May and October when the weather is mild and the flowering plants are in full bloom. Each season brings a unique charm and picturesque scenery to the mountain. During the spring, visitors can enjoy the lush green foliage, while in summer, the misty clouds create a surreal atmosphere. The fall season brings with it the vibrant colors of the changing leaves, and in winter, the peaks are covered in snow, creating a stunning wintery landscape.

 

Attractions nearby Hengshan Mountain

  • Hanging Temple: A temple built into a cliff 75 meters above the ground, blending Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism elements, constructed 1,500 years ago.
  • Yingxian Wooden Pagoda: The oldest and tallest wooden pagoda in China, built in 1056 during the Liao Dynasty, standing at 67 meters high with nine stories.
  • Yanmenguan Pass: One of the three important passes of the Great Wall in Shanxi, built in 1374 during the Ming Dynasty, with a strategic location and magnificent structure.
  • Yungang Grottoes: A World Heritage Site, featuring 53 caves and over 51,000 statues of Buddha and Buddhist art, built from 460 to 525 during the Northern Wei Dynasty.
  • Huayan Temple: The largest and best-preserved temple from the Liao and Jin dynasties in China, located in Datong, divided into the upper temple, a royal ancestral temple, and the lower temple, a Buddhist scripture repository.

 

How to Get to Hengshan Mountain

There are several ways to reach Hengshan Mountain in Datong. One option is to take a bus from Datong Bus Station after arriving at Datong Railway Station on bus 4. This bus takes you to Hunyuan County, where you can find direct buses to Hengshan Mountain.

Another option is to take a train to Hengshan or Hengshan West Railway Station. From there, you can take a direct bus to Hengshan Mountain. The bus runs from 07:30 to 17:30 and costs CNY 51.

If you prefer air travel, you can fly to Datong Airport and then take a bus or taxi to Datong Bus Station or Datong South Long-distance Bus Station. From there, take a bus to Hunyuan County and transfer to another bus to reach Hengshan Mountain.

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