Rita's 1 Day Qingcheng Front Mountain Easy Hiking Tour from Chengdu
Travel Length1 Day
Travel ThemeNature, Culture, Religion
Travel RouteChengdu - Mount Qingcheng
HighlightsMount Qingcheng, Jianfu Palace, Buyun Cableway, Yuecheng Lake, Shangqing Palace, Laojun Hall, Tianshi Celestial Cave etc.
Located at the Dujiangyan City of Chengdu, and is 70km west of Chengdu city center, Mount Qingcheng is one of the four famous Taoist mountains in China. Together with Dujiangyan Irrigation System, it’s listed as World Heritage Site in 2000. Mount Qingcheng has enjoyed a reputation of Serenest Mountain under heaven since ancient time. The whole mountain is covered with evergreen forest all year round, and thus it gets this name “Qingcheng” mountain, which literally translated as “mountain of green”. The whole scenic spot can be divided into two parts, and the anterior part is the Front Mountain, while the posterior part is the Back Mountain. Front Mountain covers an area of 15 square kilometers and it’s the main attraction of Mount Qingcheng. Most historical and cultural relics are located in Front Mountain, including Jianfu Palace, Tianshi Celestial Cave, Shangqing Palace, etc.
Mount Qingcheng is also a famous Taoist mountain for it’s one of the cradles of Chinese Taoism. The founder of Taoism – Zhang Daoling thought the tranquil and serene natural scenery of Mount Qingcheng was suitable for the development and prosperity of Taoism, thus, Mount Qingcheng had been listed as the “fifth Taoist fairyland” in China. Over a dozen of Taoist temples were built according to the topographical features of the mountain with the Tianshi Celestial Cave as their center. Mount Qingcheng has a great historical and artistic value in researching the Taosim philosophy of China.
09:30am-11:10am, drive from Chengdu city to Qingcheng Front Mountain
Qingcheng Front Mountain is around 70 km from Chengdu city. It takes 1 hour and 40 minutes on the way. After the parking, we took the shuttle bus to the entrance parking lot, which is RMB10 per person for single way, around 2 km and taking 5 minutes. All the private vehicles can only parked at the outside parking lot, the inside parking lot is just for the shuttle bus. Counting the waiting time of the shuttle bus, we reached the entrance at around 11:30am.
-Map of Chengdu to Mount Qingcheng-
11:30am-17:00pm, Hiking and Touring Qingcheng Front Mountain
11:30am: My daughter and I before entering the mountain, the words on the plaque is “the First Mountain of West Shu”, Shu is the old name of Sichuan Province.
11:30am-11:50am: We then visited the Jianfu Palace. Located at the left side of the entrance of Front Mountain, Jianfu Palace was built 730. At present, the palace has three halls and there is a 394 words couplet on the pillar in the hall, and the couplet is the third longest couplet in China. The architecture style of Jianfu Palace is kind of antique. It seems normal from outside; however, you’ll be surprised when you enter in. Red lanterns hang all over the palace; they look even brighter under the contrast of the green trees in and around the palace.
11:50am-12:30pm: After checking in, we hiked from the entrance to Yuecheng Lake, and then took the boat to cross the lake and then reach the lower station of the Buyun Cableway. The price of the boat is RMB5 per person per single way. And then, we took the cable car up for lunch. The price for the cable car is RMB35 per person per single way, and RMB60 for round way. Since we will hike down, we only bought one way ticket.
Yuecheng Lake is located between Zhangren Peak and Qinglonggang. The Ghost Mountain under Zhangren Peak is also called Yuecheng Mountain, and the lake is named as the mountain. Qingxi, which originated from Gaotai Mountain, overflowed into the open mountain valley here. In 1985, a new dam was built with a width around 20 meters and a height around 10 meters, formed a small mountain lake with a water surface of about 24,000 square meters. It is surrounded by green mountains, with vivid paintings. The turquoise lake water is like a mirror, surrounded by valleys, reflecting in the water. There is a promenade on the embankment to give people a scenic view to relax; there is a cruise boat in the lake for tourists to enjoy a leisurely trip.
12:30pm-13:10pm: We had lunch at Ciyunge with some snacks, like Cold Noodles, Meat Dumplings (Chaoshou) etc. We prepared some packed food also for lunch. (There’s no big restaurant on the mountain, if you don’t want the snacks, you can have lunch at the restaurant at the mountain foot before doing the mountain tour.)
-Lunch at Ciyunge-
13:10pm-13:30pm: We then continue hike to Shangqing Palace. It is located at 500m to the summit of Mount Qingcheng. First built in Jin Dynasty (265 ~ 420), and the existing palace was rebuilt and restored in Qing Dynasty (1644 ~ 1912). On the way, you would see the “Taosim” and four letter principle “Da Dao Wu Wei”
-“Taosim” and four Letter Principle “Da Dao Wu Wei”-
13:30pm-14:30pm: We continue hike from Shangqing Palace to Laojun Hall, which is the top place of the mountain at an altitude of 1260 meters. However, we didn’t get in for it is closed at the special time during the covid-19. We just took a photo outside Donghua Hall. The first picture was the Shangqing palace, and the second picture was far seeing of the Laojun Hall.
14:30-17:00pm: It was our time to hike down the mountain without cable car and boat. We hiked from Donghua Hall to Chaoyang Ancient Temple, and then to Tianshi Celestial Cave, and then to Nature’s Pavilion, till the entrance. At the Chaoyang Temple, we saw some mountain chickens, who were feed by the peoples on the mountain. And at the Nine Turnings, we even saw a wild squirrel (no picture this time, I promise I will take a picture next time when I visit and see it again ^-^). The animals like the green mountain so much.
Hiking to Chaoyang Temple:
-Tianshi Celestial Cave-
Tianshi Celestial Cave is one of the major Taoist temples in Mount Qingcheng, and the Qingcheng Taoism Association is located here. First built in Sui Dynasty (518 ~ 619), Tianshi Celestial Cave is surrounded by mountains in three directions. Legend says that Zhang Daoling, the founder of Taoism, had cultivated himself at here. Till now, the temple still worships the sculpture of Zhang Daoling. There is a thousand years old ginkgo tree in the temple, which, according to the legend, was planted by Zhang Daoling himself. The ginkgo tree is most beautiful in autumn and it’s a must-see when you visit Tianshi Celestial Cave.
Hiking road on the way:
-Hiking Road on the Way-
Some flowers on the way (since I need pay attention to take care of my girl, I didn’t take many pictures of the flowers, but they were very beautiful):
-Flowers on the Way-
We finished the hiking tour at around 17:00 pm, totally spend 5.5 hours on the mountain, at a relatively slow speed. It was because we were trying to lead our daughter to hike more. Normally, you would not spend that much time. During the tour, we did think it is a great place to breathe some fresh air and escape from the noises of the city, we enjoyed it. When we finally ended the tour, we took the picture at the entrance gate. See it below! And also show you the map of Qingcheng Front Mountain in Chinese and English. Hope it can be helpful to you!
Hi, I'm Rita. Are you interested in my 1 Days Mount Qingcheng Tour? Feel free to contact me, and I will be glad to tell you more stunning stories about the places I have visited. Or, if you want to customize a tour on your own, I'm always ready to help at any time. With my passion, knowledge and understanding of the essence of travel, I promise I will try my best to make the tour memorable and meaningful for you.
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