Hanging Monastery (懸空寺 - Xuánkong sì)

Rem Sapozhnikov / August 2016
The Hanging Monastery was built in 491 year, i.e. at the same time, when the Yungang Grottoes were carved. It has retained its original appearance thanks to the numerous restorations in different centuries, the latest of which was completed in April 2016. It is admirable, how harmoniously the ancient architects built the monastery on a cliff.

The entrance ticket costs 100 yuan and additionally with it goes another one for 25.
I arrived at the worst possible time – I had to stand one hour in the noon under the sun in line to get inside the monastery.
Walk inside the monastery was scary – low bumpers and too many people.
If just for a moment a tourist is not careful here, he can fall from a height of 50 meters.
Not so many believers among the visitors.
Panoramic view from the monastery across the gorge.
↑ Click for detailed view ↑
There is a dam near the monastery. I came close to it, there is no way to climb up.
I had a curious meeting when I wanted to be photographed against the monastery. I asked some passing man to take a picture of me, in Chinese. In response, he said in Russian: "Wait, I'll call my daughter". I thought I got overheated in the sun, and just misheard him. But soon he returned with his wife and daughter. It turned out they were from Mongolia. At school, they studied Russian and eventually spoke very well.
Tourist map of Hengshan Mountain.
↑ Click for detailed view ↑
After visiting the Hanging Monastery, I began to figure out how to get to the Hengshan Mountain. Upon arrival at the parking lot near the Hanging Monastery I saw a sign which says that the mountain is just 1 km away. Taxi drivers claimed that the cableway station is 4 km away and the upper car parking lot is 14 km away. In fact, the distance to the cableway is 2.5 km away and the upper car parking lot is at 7 km. You can't reach the cableway station by foot from Hanging Monastery, because they are separated by a 500 meter long road tunnel. The buses don't run, i.e. in any case you will need a taxi to reach the Hengshan Mountain, or to return to the town of Hunyuan. I decided to climb Hengshan Mountain by cableway, so for 20 yuan I drove to the cableway station by taxi.

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