Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hiking Xiang Lu Feng

I am not 100% sure how many stairs it was to the top of Xiang Lu Feng, and a quick search online did not bring me any closer to that knowledge.  Let's just assume it was a lot, like around 1100 to 1200 a lot.  That being said it was a great trip up, I absolutely loved the views that the temple at the top provided, and the journey back down was made even better by having people almost walk off of the trail because they saw a random foreigner near them.  This is a power I have here.  I literally make people stop whatever they are doing just to look at me.  I am going to assume it is only because I am so handsome. 

The start of the hike lulls you into a sense of ease.  You know there is a temple way up at the top, and you know you have to make it there, but it is a covered forest area, there are nice steps, some birds, a few people playing music, etc.  Not too bad yet.  Nothing to freak out about.
Then you start to go above the treeline and things get brutal.  Sun.  Heights.  Walking.  More damn stairs.  A dog passes you.  It reminds you that you are out of shape.  Seriously, it just runs up the path that you want to die on.  I am pretty sure that dog looked at each person on the way up, wondering just how much salt it could lick off of our bodies before they got rolled off the trail. 

Sure, I am being a bit sarcastic, but I was told it would be a quick hike, a short trip. 

It was well worth the trip up, but by no means was it quick or super easy. 

The hike up was a bit tough, but the views and rest stops along the way were amazing.  The view from the top gave an almost uninterruped 360 degree view around Shaoxing area.  I am not sure if there is a taller peak in the area, and it seemed like quite a few people hike the mountain just for the exercise and not for a religious test.  The top does have a nice monestary with a lot of monks and visitors praying and chanting, but for the most part it seemed like a journey people were taking just... well... to have a climb on the weekend.  There were a lot of kids heading up and down, some middle age and older people carrying up offerings.  A few porters were taking up construction material, and even a few random dogs putting all of us humans to shame.

If you end up in Shaoxing, I would certainly add this to a must-do list.  It is well worth the half of a day that it takes, just remember to take water, bring 15rmb for the ticket, and take a lot of photos.  There is at least one place on the way up to buy more water, but God-only-knows what they are charging.   

Honestly, I thought have living 6 floors up with no elevator and doing Wat Thom Suea twice I was the sort of person who could look at the equivalent of 100 flights of stairs and laugh.  I am going to drink more water and go back to sleep.  Pretty sure the stairs are the ones laughing tonight.  You win this round Xiang Lu Feng.

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