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Wutai Shan (Five Terrace Mountain), Wutai County
(4/5 based on 380+ reviews on the web)
One of four holy mountains in Buddhism, the World Heritage Site of Wutai Shan (Five Terrace Mountain) is renowned for being home to more than forty temples and monasteries. Explore the scenic landscape, dominated by the mountain’s five plateau peaks, usually covered in snow, and visit the temple complex, surrounded by lush pine forest and verdant grassland. You can visit numerous temples, admire their architecture and works of art, and enjoy the busy, but spiritual atmosphere. Sample some of the many shops and restaurants in the area. Plan to visit Wutai Shan (Five Terrace Mountain) and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Wutai County attractions using our Wutai County family vacation planner.
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  • The spirituality is strongly felt in many places. You must overlook some commercial areas, then we stay into an experience.
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  • We have come from Beijing by train to Taiyuan, hence road to Wutai. The road is good, although there is heavy traffic of trucks full of coal; almost all the information is in Chinese, and there is little information in English. But it is worth coming to Wutaishan, the most important Buddhist complex in China. A person from the hotel where we are, with which you were talking about, and which came from Indonesia, said that the mountain was beautiful, and we fixed saying that "the mountain is full of Buddha". And it is that this is a very important artistic and cultural visit site, but above all, it is a place of pilgrimage. Until the 1980s, and during the Cultural Revolution, was virtually abandoned and censored (in one of the walls of temples there are traces of murals of red guards that can still be seen, if you look carefully, because the current Government is trying to delete somehow this time of repression) but is now a care place, where the restoration of buildings and works of art are cared for , and the landscape is protected. Mostly used to be a place of Tibetan Buddhism – let us not forget that South Mongolia is only a few kilometers to the North, and the huge relationship which these monasteries have with the ancient kingdoms of the North: many Mongols do everything possible to be buried in Wutai still. It was declared artistic monument of humanity, and as a result, the Government is very strong, but so are the restoration and preservation, and thanks to this everything (except private dwellings) can be visited. First thing: don't forget your Passport. Before entering the mountain, there is a reception area (where you buy tickets), must be stopped, and the first thing you ask is the Passport. They will return you to ask, and then the police will inspect who's going in vehicles. We have arrived in low season, and there are tourists but not many (any other Western apart from us); the monks and nuns who are friendly and often greet, and there is no problem to take photographs in buildings (in and out). But some people do not like photographs make them and is best to ask for permission (on the other hand, many Chinese will want to have your photo taken with you). Though you see masses of people, don't forget the reality: are a small minority in the whole of the Chinese population. By the way, you'll see many small temples, pagodas and stupas... Some abandoned, but many in the process of restoration, and many new construction. Many small pennants of colors, mark roads going up to the mountains, on both sides of the road and which are paths of pilgrimage to temples and tombs. The best thing is that the bus ride to the temple that is at the top, and you go down. A minimum of 3/4 hours is needed to see a not-very-detailed way the main set, and eso if there aren't many people. Practically in front of every building there is an explanation in Chinese, Mongol, and English. Everything is clean, but there are no restaurants or shops in the area of the temples (although if lots of people selling devotional items); There are also many pilgrims (of all Buddhist sects) monks and many elderly begging. But it is also the opportunity to admire, along with magnificent works of art (Wutai carries nearly 2,000 years accumulating gifts, monuments and works of art, allowing you to see a kind of Museum of Buddhist sacred art of times Han, Ming, Ching, etc.) humble people, farmers in the area, which gather in the field product to then sell them in the temples to offer as sacrifices (sacrifices here are food and incense (: fruits, juices, etc) on the altars of the various temples (a peasant selling wonderful pieces of wild hive with honey). In the lower area of the temples, there is an area where accumulate stores, restaurants, fruit bowls, etc. Is where you can eat calmly (recommended us an excellent restaurant - everything is Chinese food, of course - the Wutaishan Jingxinzhai, where we were able to take a very good vegetarian Chinese food). You don't see this very important set, before they become an international tourist attraction and between circuits, and is, actually, an amusement park.
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  • We were 2 days hiking in the Wutai Shan. It was a fantastic experience to climb several the Holy mountains surrounding the central place and the believers to accompany including wandering monks, on their way to the temples and monasteries. In this area, there are more believers than tourists, in contrast to other places where one sometimes has the feeling that the monasteries only for sightseeing are used.
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