Other Places of Interest in the SurroundingsMount Huashan, also known as Xi Yue (West Mountain), lies some 100km/60mi from Xi'an and dominates the east of Shaanxi province. It is one of the Five Holy Taoist Mountains. Steep and rocky paths wind their way up between its five peaks to the east, west, north and center. The highest point is Lotus Peak (Lianhua Feng) to the south, which is 2100m/6892ft. Mount Huashan has been famous since time immemorial. Along the paths which lead past precipitous rock faces and yawning chasms the scenery changes at every step and seems to cast a magic spell over all who pass.To get to Mount Huashan take the train to Huayin. The ascent of the mountain begins 8km/5mi from there, in the Garden of the Jade Spring (Yuquan Yuan). The path winds through what are known as the Eighteen Bends, past some interesting rock formations and a stone gateway, and thence to the Gateway of Clouds (Yunmen), from where there is a magnificent view of the mountainous scenery. From here onwards the path gets steeper. Stone steps lead up to North Peak (Beifeng). The path which follows is dangerous and is only for those with a good head for heights. The climber will pass The Place Where the Ear Scrapes the Rock (Ca'er Ya) and the Ridge of the Blue Dragon, where the rock faces fall away precipitously.Those who decide to climb the South Peak must scramble up using the footholds cut in the face of an extremely steep slope, holding tightly on to an iron chain for safety. One of the most difficult sections is the 100ft long gorge, which is so narrow that only one person at a time can squeeze through.