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bei Xinshan, Guangdong (China)
Start / End Point - Feng Du Jia Shan Zhuang
The start / end point is from the car park of a small temple part way up the valley, its accessible from the S27 through a town called Xia Xin Tian. The temple area is a really secluded spot perfect for a hiking base, at the entrance to the car park there's a small guest house which offers cheap simple rooms (RMB160 per night) and good cheap food for an after hike dinner (the local town at the bottom of the valley is a dump, don't go there, just drive though it as quickly as possible).
My preferred route is in a clockwise direction, starting from behind the temple go up through the gate and follow the trail up the valley side and at the saddle you will enter the country park on the other side. Follow the pathway / steps down (the right hand trail is the most scenic) to the gated entrance at the bottom. Outside the gate there are a number of small shops and eating places, this is the last point on the trail to buy any drinks and food, make sure you are well stocked with water.
From the gate follow the road down, after about 500m you will see a fork going up to the right with an archway signed as the Ancient Road, follow this road up and along the valley for about 1.5km until you reach a small car park and toilet building. This is where the fun begins, the trail continues behind the restroom building, go to the right side of the building over a small wall and scramble up slightly to the left side, about 10-15m up there's a trail leading along the valley away from the car park. Eventually you will come to the river bed and can follow it up over the rocks to a small waterfall (see pictures), from the waterfall continue on up the riverbed / valley the best way you can. Here comes the challenge, about 8.5km into the trail there's a 500m section on the left from the riverbed to the ridgeline that is really hard to follow, it's steep, it's jungle, it's a nightmare, good luck.
(Its easier to follow coming down the other way round, but probably more dangerous). Once you've made it to the ridgeline you're home and dry (if it's not raining) only another steep 300m accent left to go to the peak through some pretty interesting vegetation. Make sure you get the right trail down from the peak, its a steep and rocky decent and there are a few trails back down to the start point.
The trail has quite different characteristics depending on season and weather, in the winter months it gets quite cold on the top, you'll need a jacket or fleece, when we went up in Feb it was cloudy and misty but the terrain down the river bed was dry. In May it's much warmer but very wet and the river bed really is a river after the rain. I think I'd give it a miss in the summer months June to Sept, it would be far too hot.