Qingcheng Mountain (青城山）is one of the most famous ancient Taoist retreat in China. It is about 25 km west of Dujiangyan. It is in beautiful area, with cypress trees, rugged cliffs and clear streams dotted with secluded ancient temples and pavilions. There are around 35 temples and pavilions built over the years.
We paid RMB 70 instead of the normal entrance of RMB 90 entrance fee, and got ourselves climbing steep stairs for 2 hours, from the back of the mountain. The track on this part of the mountain is very basic, with little upkeep, as it is managed by group of rural folks. It was a great exercise for those training to climb mountains, but we did not really come for this ordeal. We could have instead taken a more leisurely pace through the front entrance, with well maintained tracks and take cable cars ride to the top. Nevertheless, it is an experience to climb isolated mountain path at the back of a renowned mountain. When I was panting and taking a breather while climbing, I kept reminding myself that those ancient Taoist priests and disciples having to do this for years.
One could have spend a whole day, and will not be able to seen everything there. We spend about an hour climbing down, and thus missed most of what Qingcheng Mountain has to offer. Moreover, I was just too tired from the climbing. Perhaps, another time in the future, I will be there again.
Unkept path at the back of the mountain.
Climbing the stairs and ladder at back of the mountain
View of old temple
Altar near a temple
Donkeys walking down from temple steps. The hardy donkeys are means of transportation, as in ancient times.
Walking down towards the front part of mountain
Tourists enjoy the tranquility and taking photos
Steep cliff can be seen along the path
Finally, at the front entrance !