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Monks save six Chinese tourists lost on scenic mountain after they try to sneak in free

Six Chinese tourists had to be rescued by monks after becoming lost in a mountain forest for four hours while trying sneak into a scenic attraction without tickets over the National Day holiday, mainland media reports.

Two monks living in a temple on Mount Wutai, in Shanxi province, were alerted by the stranded travellers’ cries for help on Tuesday, the news portal Thepaper.cn reported.

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One of the tourists, using the pseudonym Zhang Jianhui, said he and five others had driven from Jinzhong to the Mount Wutai scenic area in Xinzhou.

Zhang, who works for a large state-owned enterprise, was travelling with his younger sister and brother-in-law, who had run a hotel at the scenic spot for more than 10 years and knew the area well, the report said.

They decided to avoid paying the 145 yuan (HK$170) entrance fee by bypassing the ticket office and climbing up the mountain themselves – just as Zhang’s sister had done in the past.

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After setting off at 6pm they became lost in the forest halfway up the mountain, about 20km away from the scenic spot, the report said.

After being led to safety by the monks the lost tourists paid for entry tickets to the scenic spot.

A local police officer said between 10,000 and 20,000 tourists climbed the mountain each year so they could avoid paying the entrance fee, even though they had been warned they could face severe punishments if they were caught.