• Second attempt to see the sunrise
    After I returned from the summit the manager at the 'Spring Guesthouse' asked me if I saw the sunrise, I said I did not because it was cloudy; he said I should get up early the following day and climb the hill next to the 'Midway Gate to Heaven' (in this picture).
  • 'Dao De Jing' bell
    So I listened to his advice and climbed that hill (which was officially closed for tourists) but I did not see the sunrise because the sun was rising on the other side of the Taishan peak, but I found this wonderful bell inscribed with the text from Dao De Jing!
  • Stone next to the bell
    I'm not sure what it is the meaning of the text, probably a Daoist saying...
  • Looking down at the 'Midway Gate to Heaven' point from the hill above it
    This is probably around 5:00AM the day I walked down to Tai'an (using the Western route).
  • Hiking the Western Route (just after leaving the Midway Gate to Heaven)
    Western Route is not nearly as busy as the Central route (sometimes called the Eastern Route)
  • Taishan wish list...
    If you climb Taishan you will live to be 100; that is the popular belief. On top of that many people leave small pebbles in the branches of the trees which is their request to the mountain gods to help them get a son. This is one of those wish-pebbles.
  • Taishan flowers (is that Shanzi Ya rock formation in the distance???)
    From the 'Midway Gate to Heaven' untill you reach the main road (which takes the tourists to the cable car station) you will walk through the woods, most likely alone...
  • Light...
    Is it me or this flower is radiating the light from its centre?
  • Don't lose your Way...
    The Western Route trail is not clearly marked, sometimes it's no more than a couple of feet wide, I suggest you take a small compass with you, although you should not have trouble finding your way down (only if it's too dark or under a heavy rain you may get confused).
  • Small bridge
    After maybe 45 minutes of walking through the forest, after you cross the main road to the 'Midway gate to Heaven', you will reach a small bridge; this is the writing on the bridge...
  • Water under the bridge
    There is very little water that comes from under the bridge...
  • Very nice...
    Again, very cool looking rock, I'm not sure abouth the meaning, though (next to that small bridge).
  • Down the main road
    I walked for 15-20 minutes along the main road untill I reached the Longevity Bridge (Changshou Qiao) because I could not find the western trail after I crossed the road.
  • A pool of water (before I reached the Black Dragon Pool)...
  • Then I passed by this Buddhist temple (Dragon King/Wuji Temple)
    Taishan is a Daoist mountain however Budhissam and Daoism have been co-existing in China for thousands of years and genellay speaking the Chinese have an attitude of tolerance when it comes to different (religious) teachings.
  • Dragon King Temple
  • Just before crossing the Longevity bridge
  • Black Dragon Pool
    It says: The Black Dragon Pool was created by the acion of the stream as it splashes into the deep pool throughout the year. The pool is large and deep. As if there were a Black Dragon hiding in it, from where its name originates. Above the pool stands a high cliff down which the water falls like a silver chain.
  • Black Dragon Pool (Heilong Tan)
    Please notice: the Longevity Bridge in the background (known by some as 'the boundary between life and death')! The famous red-scaled carp is supposed to live in the pool (once it was considered to be so special the fish was used as tribute to the court)!
  • White Dragon Pool
    The text reads: The White Dragon Pool gets such a name because the waterfall from teh Baizhangya Cliff flows like a white dragon flying into the pool. Since it was said that a White Dragon could bring clouds and rain, a number of emperors and kings sent specail commissioners here to pray for rain in the ancient time.
  • White Dragon Pool (Bailong Chi)
    Near White Dragon Pool is the tomb of Feng Yuxiang (1882-1948), a famous general of the War of Resistance Against Japan. Feng Yuxiang, also called the 'Christian General', the local warlord who supported Sun Yat-sen, stayed in the hall in the back of the Puzhao Si temple between 1932 and 1935 (he used to baptize his troops with a fire hose).
  • White Dragon Pool (Bailong Chi)
    I saw some people swimming in another pool just 100m down the stream, it was September (of 2005). You will notice that over a dozen of mountains in China have Black Dragon Pool and White Dragon Pool!
  • This is the end point of Longtan Reservoir
    After White Dragon Pool spot you will pass through a village called Tianwai Cun and finally reach the terminus for the Zhong Tian Men buses and Dazhong Qiao (they are maybe 1km far from each other).
  • The beginning of the Western Route to Taishan.
    Just 3-40m from this spot you can take a bus to Midway Gate to Heaven and from there you can either walk or take a cable car to the summit. Time to go to Xi'an! Check out out next gallery!
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