Damian mountain (1.7km from the Nirvana farm) offers amazing views over the Li River and the Xingping village, and also will give you memories of an adventure that will be hard to forget.
This mountain can be quite hard to find, as the path is not very well signalized and sometimes, depending on the season the path itself can be difficult to see or obstructed with some trees. Below is a detailed description with some images:
Exit the property using the paved path to the left and keep walking passing the hotels until you reach the main road, then go to the right and walk until you see the signal of the Eco trail (5 min)
Follow the path until you get to the Tengjiao bridge, cross it and go to the path on the left.
Keep following the path until you see the stone stairs, then go up (i.e. right). Follow this path until the end. At some point you will see other stairs that go down the hill on the left, but ignore them by now as those are connected with the path to go to the Nunnery.
When the stone stairs end there is mud path, go to the left and keep walking till you see a bridge, stay in the path until it seems to be over and then cross the orange tree field on the left, in this area the path is hard to see but you will see a short stone wall going straight, follow that wall and you will arrive to a road.
On the right side of the road there is a road path that goes uphill, that is the way to follow. Be careful as it might be very slippery, it is easier to walk on the sides of the road where the plants make it less slippery.
When the road ends keep following the path uphill, is a bit narrow and steep but it will lead you to the beginning of another stairs. This part of the path might be blocked or hard to get through depending on the season, but if you get here, congratulations, you are almost there.
There are quite a few stairs, including some steep steel stairs (6) that have no handrail so be very careful. It takes a while to get to the top but when you get there you will be welcome with an incredible view of the area, and if you keep going forward the trail goes a bit down but there is a fantastic view point, short of a balcony.
To return from the top to the hostel, there are two options:
Option A: If you haven’t been yet to the Nunnery and wish to visit it: when you get to the intersection between stone stairs (see text above) go to the ones on the left and after a steep way down you will arrive to the path that goes by the river. Go right and walk for around 5 to 10 minutes to find the temple. To return from there just follow the path by the river again, the first time the path divides go left and the second go right and you will arrive to the Tengjiao bridge.
Option B: Alternatively, there is also another – shorter – path that you can take to find your way back to the farm. When going back down from Damian mountain, after the stairs, follow the path straight instead of turning left into the steep path that you took on your way up. Follow this path for about 150 meters. The pavement will end, and shortly after, you will walk through a little field and then a small forest. In this forest, there’s a small path leaving towards your right (branches lying on the ground make it a bit hard to find, but if you look carefully you should find it). Follow this path downhill (through a field and also crossing a little stream – see picture 1 and 2 below) until you reach the guesthouse (see picture 3). Leave the guesthouse on your left while continuing downhill. The trail is not well marked and you will have to walk through pomelo fields. Continue straight downhill and at some point you will end on the road that heads back to the hotel (you have to cross the mini bridge, see picture 4 below)
Here is the link to the trail map where you can also download it as GPX file.