China-2023: Mount Langshan. Squeeze through – if you can!

The final installment of our China-2023 vacation was a visit to Mount Langshanhere. Spoiler: it’s a beaut! ->

…But of course it was: we were in good hands – Chinese natives who know their way around the country’s greatest hits ).

Langshan is not as popular for tourists as the other sites we visited, meaning there were fewer tourists around [+1 (+)ve], but the tourist infrastructure is as a result somewhat less developed [+1 (-)ve]. The location is still a great one for spending two days walking up and around mountains. In all here there are four main must-see places of interest, + one river which must be experienced on a traditional Chinese raft. Five musts in two days? Ok then: best get going!…

Our hotel was in the nearby town of Xinning (it’s actually a county) – here, so we were up early, into the minibus with Shi Fu, of course, at the wheel, and 20 minutes later were at the first of the four must-do’s…

Tianyi Alley.

This “alley” is best known for the super-thin crevices cut into the cliffs; super-thin – as in less than half-a-meter in places! Here’s one ->

And paths – you guessed it – go through said crevices. But more on those later. As per – let’s start from the beginning…

Since this isn’t such a well-promoted tourist destination for the Chinese, the tourist center at the entrance to the site isn’t the usual grandiose affair ->

As per: map on a brown background. Straightforward layout: we walk along the main – one-way – route, with only one or two alternative detours along the way. It’s one-way as the crevice-paths get hellish thin: there wouldn’t be enough room for two-way! ->

The walk is a mere 2.5km, but given the many stops needed for taking photos, it takes around three hours. Or – you could see the sights from… a helicopter! Interesting, but they were fully booked-up on the day we were here (…

Rickshaw rental here too – but it’s of limited use: they can’t squeeze through the thin gorges!

And we’re off – through the jungle ->

All as per: good paths, steps, and signage ->

Also as per – cliff-hugging paths and their faux-wood hand/safety rails:

And here we are at the bottom of our first “alley”; but not just any old alley; the “First Alley of the World” ->

The crevasse is 240 meters long, its walls are 80-120 meters high, but it’s only around half-a-meter wide! To be sure that your… dimensions will fit through comfortably, there’s this here calibrator! ->

If you don’t fit in the 60cm gap – you’d best not attempt a climb. You’ll end up like Winnie the Pooh stuck in Rabbit’s burrow.

…So far – so good. Let’s see if I’ll fit in the 20cm one ->

Not a chance – even with assistance!

Still – if you don’t fit, it’s not the end of the world – there’s another route round the side ->

Snakes? Yikes! Thankfully, as mentioned in a previous post, they don’t come out to play in October ->

All righty; let’s get up this. Me first! (AD’s photo) ->

At first the crevice is rather wide but gets narrower and narrower – so much so that I needed to walk sideways ->

Breath in! ->

Never seen a crevice like this!

And here comes the “light at the end of the tunnel”! ->

We timed it just right: when the sun was directly above us and shining down into the crevice (at 11:35, for those of you, dear readers, who may also want to time it right on a visit) ->

The sun’s rays reach almost all the way down – lighting up both walls! ->

An incredible spectacle! ->

Minutes later – shade; shame! ->

Approaching the end ->

An unforgettable stroll – highly recommended!

The crevice walk takes around 10 minutes, taking you out to this here pleasant spot for a breather ->

Super views therefrom…

Next up – along paths and up steps to…

…the “younger sister” of the main crevice (shorter (180m) and lower (60m), but… fatter (2m+)!) ->

Where it starts, there’s a shelter, but – no benches! Guess it’s literally a shelter (from the rain) and nothing else. I guess it can get hellish here during a downpour (imagine all the run-off rainwater being funneled into and down the thin crevice?!) ->

And we’re off – along and up ->

Up top – rest spot / souvenir-&-snacks shop with a clearly bored but veeerrrry friendly and pleasant salesperson ) ->

And back down again ->

Next, the day’s third and final crevice – Cuizhu Alley. This is much smaller in scale than the other two; not that we were complaining: we were getting tired already…

Yoo-hoo! ->

Yoo-hoo to you too! ->

All these steps, and the going was hot and sticky ->

And that was that. Three unforgettably curious crevice-walks/climbs – done, and it was time for us to head on back down to get the bus back…

On the way down – bamboo forest! ->

PS views…

Oof. Three hours of climbing steps had taken its toll. Time for a lay-down before the bus arrived ->

Here we noted Japanese translations on the signage. Don’t see that often in China… ->

The rest of the photos from our China-2023 trip are here.

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