Spectacular Views - Feng Shui Ta
NOTE: Please do not do what we did - do not attempt this climb without a local guide.
You can see Feng Shui Ta from Meidai Monastery (see previous tip). In early May, 2005 my wife Jane and I, accompanied bv Rich, another foreign teacher and a Chinese friend, set out to climb to up there. Rich has developed mountain walks in Armenia and our friend had a mobile phone, but I still felt pretty nervous at some points in what turned out to be a tough climb with no one clearly marked path.
Feng Shui here means something like 'good vibrations' - the tower's meant to bring happiness and luck to the local people. It's also rumoured to be the tomb of Alatan, Meidai's founder, but I got the impression no one really believed this.
When we finally got there, the tower turned out to be a small, rather uninteresting building, graffited over with the names of those who'd made it up there - nearly all Chinese, of course, but greetings to fellow Western mountaineer JW!
The views down were as good as we'd expected. We could see the layout of the monastery and the surrounding walls as a whole, and appreciate more strongly the greeness of the gardens than we'd walked through them.
However, enjoyment was mixed with apprehension at having to climb back down. In the end, though, this proved a lot easier than the way up, as we knew which bit of the mountain to avoid.
An excellent climb, but please heed my warning and give one of the local people a chance to earn a little money too!