“Changzhou has a mountain? Where the hell is that?”
People who say this are usually a little dumbfounded, and they have a right to be. Changzhou is a relatively flat city along the Yangtze River. Both nearby Zhenjiang and Wuxi have more hills. In a way, it’s sort of fitting that the mountain in question is in a north eastern part of Wujin and Changzhou.
The name, according to every map I have looked at, is Qingming Mountain. There are graveyards and at least four temples here. One time, I decided to take my ebike to the top. A small concrete road winds its way up the slope. However, I stopped halfway. I wondered if my bike could even make once the road became steep. So, I pulled over and put my D-lock on my wheel. I walked the rest of the way, and realized that parking was for the best. The road turns to uneven dirt.
As I walked, I noticed a number of people doing the same. Parents were with their kids. Chinese men on ebikes were braver than me while trying to ascend the hill — with considerable less powerful rides than mine. This reminded me of a friend who seen this place before I could, he got his bike to the top as well. Oh well, and too each their own. There was even a guy on a mountain bike getting in some good exercise.
The peak of the hill seemed a little underwhelming. The trees and the forest line obscures much of the view. So, if you are up here with a camera, there are no great landscape shots of eastern Changzhou to be had. There is also a locked and seemingly abandoned pagoda. It’s one of the mountains prominent features when looking from a far distance. Close up, it appears somewhat neglected. People have scratched Chinese graffiti into the yellow paint, and grass and weeds have sprouted on some parts of the roof. Also, there are a series of rocks surrounding a single tree and an antenna. These stones feature engraved chinese characters displaying the name of the peak, Zi Xia Feng. According to a very good Chinese friend, another rock features a poem, and there are pleas to protect the environment from litter.
Qingming Mountain has plenty of interesting cultural attractions like Dalin and Bailong Temples. The Zi Xia Feng Peak is not one of those cultural attractions. However, there are plenty of hillside paths, and these are a good if somebody wants to get good exercise via hiking.