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Quick Travel Guide to Mount Fanjing

Mount Fanjing or Fanjinfshan is the most famous place in Guizhou province. Follow my quick guide to find out how to organize your trip.


Fanjingshan (梵净山) also called Mount Fanjing is one of the most beautiful places in China. It looks like it comes straight out of a fantasy movie but it’s actually a real place. After having traveled extensively in China I’m not easily impressed but this place stands up to its reputation. Here are some quick facts about it:

  1. UNESCO World Heritage Site: Fanjingshan was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2018 due to its unique biodiversity and cultural significance.
  2. Sacred Buddhist Mountain: Fanjingshan is considered a sacred mountain in Buddhism and is home to several Buddhist temples and monasteries. It is often referred to as the “Buddhist Kingdom on the Clouds.”
  3. Diverse Flora and Fauna: Fanjingshan is renowned for its rich biodiversity. It is home to numerous endemic plant species, rare animals like the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey, and over 2,000 species of plants.
  4. Red Clouds Golden Summit: The highest peak of Fanjingshan is called the “Red Clouds Golden Summit” and reaches an elevation of 2,570 meters (8,430 feet). It is often covered in mist, creating a mystical atmosphere.
  5. Stairway to Heaven: To reach the summit, visitors can climb a series of staircases called the “Stairway to Heaven.” The stairway consists of over 8,000 steps, offering a challenging but rewarding ascent.
  6. Conservation Efforts: Fanjingshan is dedicated to environmental conservation and sustainable tourism. Strict regulations and measures are in place to protect the unique ecosystem and wildlife found within the reserve.
  7. Rich Cultural Heritage: The mountain holds significant cultural value for the local ethnic communities, particularly the Tujia and Miao peoples. Their traditional customs, rituals, and festivals are intricately linked to the mountain and its religious importance.

Best Time to Visit

The months from April to November are supposedly the best time to visit Fanjingshan but every season has its pros and cons. Avoid national and local holidays at all costs. I visited the Mount during a random holiday that was celebrated only in Guiyang (Guizhou’s capital) and it took me SIX hours to get to the top. I can’t even imagine what it will be like during the national holidays.

In terms of weather, it’s usually overcast and rainy, which in this particular place is a good thing: it gives Mount Fanjing the perfect mood. This is one of the few places where a sunny cloudless day actually detracts from the beauty of the location

Where to Stay and for how long

It’s not possible to spend a night up in the mountain. It took me a while to figure it out but Fanjing it’s a gated park with no accommodation. The best alternative is to stay in one of the many guesthouses right before the entrance, about a couple of Km from the main gate. I stayed in this nice hostel and I recommend it. The owner is friendly and she drove me to the main gate in the morning.

Alternatively, you can stay in Jiankou, the main town located about half an hour from the park.

Fanjingshan can be reached either by hiking the 8888 steps (which takes about 5 hours) or via cable car. If you are planning on hiking then you should spend two nights there, otherwise one night is enough. You can arrive a day earlier, spend a night there, and the following day visit the mountain. Usually half a day in enough to explore the main area at the top of the Mount.

How to get to Fanjingshan

The ideal starting point is Tongren (同仁). The city is well connected to the rest of China since there is an airport and a high-speed train station. From Tongren, you can take a bus to Jiangkou (江口), the main town before Fanjingshan. There are many bus stations in Tongren but the best option is the Tongren Tourist Bus Station (铜仁旅游客运站). Once in Jiangkou, you can head to your hotel via taxi.

Fenghuang Old Town and Zhangjiajie (here my guide) are not too far and people often combine the trip to see all three places, but unfortunately, Fanjingshan is not directly connected to these other places. You’ll still have to transfer to Tongren as I explained in the previous paragraph

How to explore Mount Fanjing

There is a main gate from where you have to buy the ticket to the park. That ticket includes also a minibus ride that will take you to the actual mountain, located about 10 km further away. What’s not included is the cable car because, technically, once you are inside the park, you can hike all the way to the top. You can buy the cable car ticket later on.

As you can see there was a ridiculous amount of people when I visited, but most of the time it shouldn’t be that crowded.

Once at the top of the mountain, there is a fairly straight path that will take you to the peak.

Keep in mind that drones are technically not allowed in the park unless you have a permit (which I had). From what I understand is not a restriction from the Civil Aviation Authority but it’s a policy made by the company that manages the park. That’s why you will not see any geofencing on your drone app. Here more info about international laws regarding drones.

If you are planning to further explore Guizhou province don’t miss my travel guide to Xijiang, a beautiful village where you can learn more about the Miao minority.

Here are some more pictures I took in Guizhou. Here my travel guide to the beautiful Furon Ancient Town, not too far away from Fanjingshan

2 thoughts on “Quick Travel Guide to Mount Fanjing”

  1. Alberto

    Hello, I was wondering if you remember what a normal price for the taxi you mention can be. Thank you!

    1. Hi Alberto. I suggest you check on Didi. It’s an app and it’s in English so it’s quite easy to use.

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