I'm fascinated by tourism, especially in China. So last summer, I jumped at the chance to go to Hua Shan (Mount Hua), one of China's five great mountains. It's a little ways outside of Xian, Shaanxi Province, and it's full of tourists, photo hawkers, and workers carrying heavy loads up what seem like indefinite staircases. Most skip the stairs and just take a cable car to the top where they can check out temples and hazy views of surrounding peaks and farmland.

The group I was with was on a fast schedule, so I could only visit one of the 5 peaks at Hua Shan in the hour we were on top, and unfortunately I didn't get anywhere close to the infamous plank path.

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