Mount Hua (Hua Shan)
Located in Huayin County, Shaanxi, about 120 kilometers from Xi’an, Mount Hua, also called Xiyue (Western Mountain), is one of the five most famous mountains in China. With an altitude of 1,997 meters above sea level, it is known for its steep hill sides and sharp ridges and is called “the most precipitous mountain under heaven”. Mt. Huashan consists of five peaks, namely Chaoyang Peak in the east, Lotus Flower Peak in the west, Jade Maiden Peak in the middle, Landing Goose Peak in the south and Cloud Terrace Peak in the north. The five peaks look like a lotus flower in full bloom.
In the past, there was only one path leading to the top of the mountain (now, the long-distance cable car is also available). The narrow and zigzag path is 15 kilometers long, stretching from south to north. You can climb up a flight of steps on this path to appreciate the numerous fascinating scenic spots on the way. Every year, the competitors from different countries come to join “Mt. Huashan International Cliff Climbing Contest”.
Mt. Taibai is located at the junction of Mei County, Taibai County and Zhouzhi County, about 130 kilometers from Xi’an. With an altitude of 3,767 meters above sea level, Mt. Taibai is the main peak of the Qinling Mountain Range, which is an important geographic dividing line between North and South China as well as the watershed between Yangtze River area and Yellow River area. The natural environment of Mt. Taibai is very special, and the climate there is quite changeable. It has many traces of the fourth glacier movement and has many species of floras and faunas. It is a rare natural park of plants and animals and a peculiar tourist attraction as well.
Hukou Waterfall is the second largest waterfall in China, only next to Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou Province. It is located at the junction between Yichuan County in Shaanxi Province and Jixian County in Shanxi Province, about 360 kilometers from Xi’an. When the Yellow River reaches the place, the riverbed is suddenly narrowed from over 300-meter-wide to 50-meter-wide. The waterfall in the shape of a horse hoof is formed, with a drop of about 30 meters. The waves are roaring, the foams are emitting, and it seems that even the earth is shaking. On June 1, 1997, Ke Shouliang, the “No. 1 Flying Man of Asia” drove a car and flew over the waterfall successfully, which shocked the whole world.
Yangxian Crested Ibis Nature Reserve
Located in Yangxian County, southern Shaanxi, the preserve is 510 kilometers away from Xi’an. The crested ibis (Nipponia nippon), also known as the Japanese crested ibis or toki, is facing the threat of extinction in the world. Seven crested ibises were found in Yangxian County for the first time in May, 1981. Subsequently, the Crested Ibis Nature Reserve was established. The flock was nurtured and the numbers have been increased to around 200 now. They have attracted a lot of wild life experts, scientists and tourists.
Foping Giant Panda Nature Reserve
Located in the northwest of Foping County, south of Shaanxi, this natural reserve is 200 kilometers away from Xi’an. Covering an area of 35,000 hectares, the preserve is established in the forest that is 1,600-3,000 meters above sea level. With many river valleys, dense forests, cool climate, and abundant bamboos, the area is a perfect habitat for the giant pandas. The hall of giant panda specimen is already put up there. Many scientists and tour groups from different countries have paid visits to this place.
Zhouzhi Golden Monkey Nature Reserve
Located on the north side of Qinling Mountain Range, south of Zhouzhi County, this preserve is 140 kilometers away from Xi’an, covering an area of about 56,393 hectares. Golden monkeys are only found in China, and they are considered as the “treasure of the country”. They belong to primates. Golden hair is grown on their back, shoulders and limbs, and the hair is shining like silk tassel. Now there are 11 flocks of golden monkeys, totally 1,270 in number. The reserve has become a great attraction to professionals and tourists.