The World’s Scariest Cup of Tea

This teahouse is at the top of the southern summit of Mount Hua, in China’s Shaanxi province. It sits at an elevation of over 7,000 feet. Getting there is an intimidating ordeal.

The journey up Mount Hua, or Huashan, is fraught with intimidating challenges. The "Heavenly Stairs" carved into the stone are shallow, steep, and often unaccompanied by handrails or barriers to prevent you toppling down the mountain should you lose your footing. The cliffside "path" consists of uneven planks of wood nailed to struts that stick out of the near-vertical mountainside. These plank paths are so narrow that they can only accommodate one wall-clinging person at once. Should you encounter someone heading in the opposite direction, you'll need to get creative — and cuddly — to pass each other.

Read more about Mount Hua and see lots of terrifying photographs of the path to the top at Slate. The article doesn’t mention whether the teahouse accepts Via or Mastercard, so you might want to check before you start out. That’s a long way to go to be refused service.

(Image credit: Flickr user Alessandro Vernet)


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I spent the night up there once. No electricity, no plumbing, no noisy crowds of tourists. Really peaceful. And cold. Upon checking into the 'hotel', the old man gives you a candle (to see your way to your room with), a thermos of hot water (for either washing or making tea), and the room consists of nothing but 1 bed and 1 heavy quilt (that's the heater). No food, no TV, no karaoke. It was great.
The cost was 10 RMB/night. I might have gotten cheated, but I didn't care; the heavy quilt was worth the dollar.
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