Wednesday, April 25, 2012

...@ North Peak Hotel, Hua Shan &Cable Car descent...

North Peak Hotel is perched on the hill behind us. 
After climbing all day on Saturday, we searched for lodging on the mountain top.  Lonely Planet indicated there are only a few hotels and hostels and admonished that they are “basic and overpriced”.  The websites we searched did not have any English reviews for North Peak hotel.  Perhaps this post can serve some informative purpose to anyone who is considering an overnight stay on this peak.  This hotel is quite near the cable car terminus.  During the day, as you can see in the background, there are several people milling about.  

As night falls, the peak becomes very quiet and peaceful.  The staff at the hotel was very polite, and the room/bed rates are clearly posted.  Our room was called a double.  Guests pay by the bed, not by the room.  This room was 290 yuan per bed.  So, the “overpriced” description may be applicable, but considering the location, we felt that it was quite fair. As with any excursion here, be sure to bring your passport to book a hotel room. 

There is no running water on the mountain.  The room had an electric tea kettle which would make the water safe to drink.  We weren’t too interested in the flat screen TV, as the view from the window was much more attractive.  There were several electrical outlets and a port for a computer cable.  We charged our cell phone.  The cell signal on the mountain is very clear.  We were grateful for the electric heater to take the chill out of the air.  So, compared to sleeping in a tent, this is a far cry from “basic”.  Compared to a four-star hotel, it is definitely rustic.  Everything is relative. 

After moving in, we had dinner in the hotel restaurant.  The tomato egg drop soup was delicious.  We also had eggplant-vegetable stir fry, a meat dish and rice.  It was about 120 yuan, which certainly more than we’ve paid for much better meals at lower elevations.  However, it was hot, flavorful, and we were glad for some real food.  Along the way, many rest stops offer instant noodles.  We had brought snacks of almonds, jerky, dried fruit and Snickers bars. 

Our room, 303, is the 2nd lowest window you see with a light on.

The restrooms for the hotel are typical Chinese public toilets.  If you’ve never been in one, I won’t spoil the surprise of your first experience. J

These men are looking at the map posted just outside the hotel.  They have rented the heavy green coats for 40 yuan.  Several Chinese people begin their climb at nightfall, hiking all night long with flashlights, and reach the top of the mountain in time to watch the sunrise.  We could hear them in the distance calling out to their echoes. 

Check out for the North Peak hotel is noon.  The four of us decided to take the cable car back to the base of the mountain. The Lonely Planet guide book notes that this is an Austrian built cable car. 

For a one way ticket, it cost 80 yuan.  There are reduced prices based on height.  Kevin didn’t qualify for any discounts. J

At the cable car station, there is another bus (15 yuan) that drives hikers back to the small town and the main bus stop.  We found a small restaurant that served a special kind of noodle from this province.  We had just enough time to eat and then get in line for the 1:00 bus back to Xi’an.

Ben never missed a chance to review his Chinese phrase book!
Mountain climbing is tiring!

Nothing seems to take away Stacey's smile.


1 comment:

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