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Fun amid folklore in C China's Hunan

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-16 07:35
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Jiyuan, Henan province has a link to folklore that is familiar to practically every household across the country. [Photos by Yang Feiyue/China Daily]

Many Taoist temples dot the mountain, which also boasts geological marvels. It became a world geological park in 2006.

A grand plaza with its imposing stone gate and pillars greets us when we reach the foot of the mountain after traveling 90 minutes from the downtown area.

Its sculptures showcase an ancient worship ceremony by the Yellow Emperor.

As we ascend the steps, the Yangtai Palace presents itself. But several giant cypress trees with luxuriant foliage block the full view of the palace. The trees are all more than 1,000 years old, we are told.

The palace has three halls. The anterior hall is believed to be the biggest timber structure of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in Henan.

The reliefs on the stones in the hall feature dragons, birds, flowers and fairy figures.

Many visitors are seen offering incense and praying at the hall.

Leaving the palace, we opt for the funicular car that take us to the top of the mountain. Hiking up the peak takes roughly two hours.

Everything on the peak is clad with white mist, giving the area a mystical atmosphere.

The cliffs and view down below are magnificent, especially when wind dispels the mist for a brief moment.

A plump monkey then casually swaggers into the temple there. It doesn't seem to be bothered by our presence at all.

"Monkeys here are used to humans, and they are here to find food," Chang tells us.

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