Emei Shan

Emei Shan(Mt.Emei)Travel Guide, Sichuan

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Overview

Emei Shan, also known as Emeishan , Mt. O-mei, Mt. Emei or Emei Mountain, is located 7km southwest of Emeishan City and 37km from Leshan, 200km southwest of Chengdu in Sichuan Province. It is one of China's Four Holy Buddhist Mountains. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site  well-known for its breathtaking scenery, mysterious natural wonders, extensive Buddhist culture, abundant range of species and unique landformand.

Emeishan
Emei Shan Sunrise
Emei Sunrise
Emei Shan

Emei Shan literally means "Delicate Eyebrow Mountain" — it derives its name from two peaks which face each other and look like the delicate eyebrows of a Chinese classic beauty. The range stretches more than 200km from south to north, with its main peak, Wanfo Top, 3,100m above sea level. Since ancient times, Emei Mountain has been described as "Beauty Under Heaven."

Emeishan's history has been recorded for over 2,000 years, during which time a rich Buddhist cultural heritage has accumulated. Mt. Emei is historically significant as being the site of the first Buddhist temple in China, which was built at the base of the mountain as early as the Eastern Han Dynasty (24-220) . From the first temple, Buddhism spread widely throughout the East. In the Ming and Qing dynasties there were more than 150 temples. A legend claims that the mountain was where Samantabhadra gave lectures on Buddhism and most temples house a statue of Samantabhadra.

Mt. Emei is also notable for its very diverse vegetation, ranging from sub-tropical to sub-alpine pine forests. Some of the trees are more than a thousand years old.

Climate 
From the foot of the mountain to the peak, the temperature difference is dramatic. In summer, the town is hot and humid at the foot of the mountain, but it's pretty chilly on the peak. You may bring warm clothes with you or rent the Jacket on the mountain.

Rain season is from June to September, rain coat is necessary.

Best Season to Visit
Emeishan is an all-year-round sight. In winter it becomes a snow amusement park.

Getting there & away 

By Bus
Take the bus in Xinnanmen Bus Station, after 2.5 hours you'll arrive in Emei Town. From where you get dropped off, catch a taxi to the entrance of Emei Shan (Bao Guo Si Temple, the Teddy Bear Hotel is near there), which cost you 15Yuan.

Tip: For lazy hikers, catch the bus near Teddy bear to the top of the mountain then walk down. The bus back to Chengdu is parked in Bus Station near Teddy Bear, latest one leaves at 6pm. But the timetable may be changed, please check it when you arrive.

Attractions

The Four Wonders of Mt. Emei are Buddha's Halo, the Sea of Clouds, the Holy Lamp (or Divine Lights) and the Golden Summit Sunrise,best seen from Golden Summit monastery. Atop the Golden Summit,  one can enjoy the sunrise, seas of clouds, the "Buddha's halo" and the sunset glow.

Leshan, one hour from Emei's base, has world's largest Buddha statue. The main attractions include the Baoguo Temple (at the base) , Fuhu Temple, Leiyin Temple.

Built in the 16th century, Baoguo Si  is the usual starting point for any serious exploration. The monastery  comprises a library of sutras and a huge porcelain Buddha. Further up the mountain lies the Monastery of the Lurking Tiger (Fuhu Si), which features a lovely seven-meter high copper pagoda.

Activities - Hiking

It is 5km to the top, which takes around 10 hours on foot. If you choose to walk it all, plan for a full day up and a full day down. Monasteries along the way offer reasonably-priced lodging, and there are several comfortable lodges on the summit. Remeber to dress in layers - a 20°C temperature variance between base and summit is normal.

A full day's hike to the summit is an unforgettable experience undertaken by many, but minibuses and cable cars are faster alternatives for travelers short on time. Some spend the night to see the sunrise, others quickly turn around and head back.

Admission Fee
Entrance: Y120
Wannian Temple:  Y10
Huazang Temple: Y10
Fuhu Temple: Y10
Baoguo Temple: Y10
Golden Summit cable car: Y70 (round-trip)
Wannian Temple cable car: Y60 (round-trip)

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