Welcome to Hua Shan
One of Taoism’s five sacred mountains, the granite domes of Huá Shān (华山) used to be home to hermits, sages and Taoist mystics (some of whom could fly, they say). These days, though, the trails that wind their way up to the five peaks are populated by droves of day-trippers drawn by the dreamy scenery. And it is spectacular. There are knife-blade ridges and twisted pine trees poking from crevices and clinging to ledges, while the summits offer transcendent panoramas of green mountains and countryside stretching away to the horizon. Taoists hoping to find a quiet spot to contemplate the dào (道) may be disappointed, but everyone else seems to revel in the tough climb and those who overnight can bask in the first glow of sunrise.