The Huffington Post just published a piece a few days ago about hiking Mount Huashan. Billed as the most dangerous trek in the world–and all you need to do is take a look at the pictures to see why they call it that–Mount Huashan comprises five sometimes vertical peaks. As I scrolled through the pictures, though, it wasn’t the three-wide planks built into the rock that caught my fancy, but the locks attached to the thick iron chains. Perhaps they mark where travelers gave up, I thought. Nope. They’re for luck–the lucky golden locks of Mount Huashan.
The history and legends surrounding the mountain are beautiful, filled with searches for truth and love and enlightenment. Now, the narrow paths are filled with tourists, seeking the same truth or love or enlightenment, or to cross another item off their bucket list, or to share a perfectly like-able photo on Instagram. It takes hours to travel up the steep slopes, and so small villages have popped up for the sojourners. There are bunk rooms that can be rented, much like hostels. There are restaurants to sate your hunger. And all these are serviced by carriers that tote wares in baskets up and down the mountain, so naturally, everything is terribly expensive. And you thought the Bahamas were pricey…
But back to the locks. Legend has it the higher you carry your lock, the greater the chance your wish will come true. The higher the elevation, the heavier the chains.
And of course, you can buy your lucky lock for just 20 RMB.