From our south-facing hotel room in Qingzhou, we had a great view of Mount Yunmen, or “camel mountain”. It seemed so close from our hotel that I decided to run there one morning. The first thing we came to was a tourist information center. We went inside and found a Qingzhou tourism pamphlet in English. There was also a baggage/coat room, an introductory movie in Chinese, bathrooms and water.
From the beginning, I knew we could not get all the way up to the top of the mountain on foot, but I wanted to check it out and see if it was worth revisiting on another day. We continued up the road toward the mountain and found a mini-train station. Unfortunately, I think the small tourist train only runs on weekends, but we were prepared to take it up the mountain had it been running! From the train station, we entered a beautiful and huge hillside park. Small streams ran alongside some of the paths. People on scooters, bikes and on foot explored extensive trail network. We found a small stage and benches. Everything was clean and well-kept. We had a wonderful morning exploring the paths, going over bridges, and playing in the dirt. We brought a picnic lunch of PB&J, fruit and crackers that we enjoyed while taking in the cleaner air and natural scenery.
Like anywhere in China, the boys were quite the novelty. Moms driving by on scooters pointed them out to their kids, and the boys were the subject of many photo ops and selfies. The difference between here and our last time in China is that these kids were not afraid of my kids, so they played together! The parents tried to speak to me in Chinese, even though I can’t speak any Chinese. Everyone was friendly, overall, and excited to see us.
Mount Yunmen is part of the Taiyi mountain range, and one of its famous features is a giant carved cliff. I wish we could have made it up the mountain to see it, but it was a little too far for me to push the stroller up the mountain. On our way out, I found a path that brought us to the main road. We found this cool stone lion and tall pagoda! I loved that in Qingzhou, history and culture were around every corner! In general, I gravitate more toward natural environments in our travels, because I feel that these features are really what makes each part of the world unique. I also love sites of historic/religious significance. If we had more time in Qingzhou, we would have definitely explored Mount Yunmen more, as well as checked out the Ancient Town Tourist Area of Qingzhou. We did not visit this place during our time there, but according to our pamphlet it’s a “well-preserved ancient city of Ming and Qing dynasties.” I loved our visit to the mountain. It was quiet and peaceful and green and lush and beautiful. I wish we could visit every day!