Activities in Jiǔhuá Shān
The real highlight is walking up the mountain alongside the pilgrims, following a trail (天台正顶) that passes waterfalls, streams, and countless nunneries, temples and shrines. The summit is on a mountain range behind the village. The hike up takes a leisurely four hours; count on about two to three hours to get back down to the village.
You can begin just after the village's main entrance, where a 30-minute hike up the ridge behind Zhīyuán Temple leads you to Bǎisuì Gōng, an active temple built into the cliff in 1630 to consecrate the Buddhist monk Wu Xia, whose shrunken, embalmed body is coated in gold and sits shrivelled within an ornate glass cabinet in front…