Mount Emei

A sacred Buddhist mountain of China

Mt. Emei is located near the county-level city of the same name (Emeishan City) on the southwestern edge of the Sichuan Basin in China. It is not only one of the four Buddhist mountains (the other three being Jiuhua Shan, Putuo Shan and Wutai Shan) in China, but is also rich in natural resources. The highest peak, Wan Fo Ding (thousand buddha peak), is 3099 meters above sea level (but not open to tourists).

Quick Facts
  • Chinese name: 峨眉山 Eméi Shān
  • Duration: 2-4 hours
  • Entrance fee: for peak season, it is RMB 185 per person and for off season, it is RMB 110 per person.
  • Opening hours: in summer and fall: 06:00-18:30 and in spring and winter: 07:00-17:50
  • Address: No. 2, Jinsha Site Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, China
  • Best time to visit: all year around
  • Address: Emeishan City (county-level), Leshan City, Sichuan Province The best season: the steady climate in the spring and fall offers charming scenery and the opportunity to watch the sunrise, sunset and a sea of clouds.
  • How to get there:
    High-speed rail: take the high-speed train from Chengdu and get off at Emei Shan Station. Walk for 10 minutes to the bus station of No. 5 Emei Shan Bus. Get off at Bao GuoSi Station and Mount Emei is only within walking distance. The journey takes about 2 hours in total.
    Intercity coach:
    1. Take the intercity coach from Xin Nan Men Intercity Bus Station in Chengdu and arrive at Jiuzhu Transportation Center. The fee is about RMB 45 per person. It is convenient to take a taxi to Bao Guo Si (Baoguo Temple).
    2. Or take a tour coach to the Emei Scenic Area in Kuanzhai Xiangzi (Alley). The Coach departs around 7:00 in the morning and the journey takes about 2.5 hours. The fare ranges from RMB 65 to RMB129.

Jinding Wonder

Jinding Wonder

1. Jinding (Golden Summit)
- where there is the largest golden hall in China

Golden Summit is the highest peak a tourist could reach in the tour to Mount Emei (Wanfoding is not open to the tourists for ecological reasons). The platform on the peak, at an elevation of 3,079 meters, allows for the construction of a temple. As it looks dazzlingly golden in the sun, it is named the Golden Summit. One of the halls in Huangzang Temple on the Summit is made with gilt bronze and is currently the largest golden hall of the temple in the country. On the Summit are the top temple and the best scenes of Mount Emei. They are the essence of the Mount.

2. Massive Statue of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (Shifang Puxian Shengxiang)
- the highest golden buddha statue in the world

The 48-meter high and 660-ton Statue was built in 2006. It is a copper-casting gold statue with gold stick. It consists of a Seated Lotus and Samantabhadra. Ten avatars of the Buddha arranged in three layers all have different looks. This Buddha statue is the center of the Golden Summit of Emei Mountain. The whole Buddha statue glows when the sun rises.

Buddha's Halo

3. Buddha's Halo

When a tourist stands facing the clouds in the west and the sun is not blocked by the clouds in the east, a giant aura of purple inside and red outside would appear. If watched carefully, a figure of what is actually the tourist is right there in the halo. This optical phenomenon, or the spectacular "Fo Guang (Buddha's Icon)", was first discovered in the old days right on Mount Emei in China. Only when the strong sunlight appears after the thick clouds shift would the Fo Guang occur. People have more opportunities to see Fo Guang in the summer or the early winter. But there is no guarantee of such a thing.

4. Sunrise and a sea of clouds

Sea of clouds

The combination of the weather and the season will largely determine whether the final effect is rendered by nature. On clear days, a magnificent scene appears the moment the sun rises above the horizon. The sunrise can be accompanied by a ‘sea of clouds’ on good winter days. The remarkable sea of clouds is surging and raging in a peculiarly delicate manner. However, the dimmed rays and blurred sea of clouds could disappoint people who are coming from far off.

Tips:

1. The temperature difference between the Golden Summit and the foot of the Mount can reach 13 degrees. The temperature is only 8-10°C in the summer. Please bring along spring and fall outerwear. The temperature on the Summit will have already dropped to around 0-7°C in October. Please be prepared with jackets and raincoats. There are also coats for rent on the Summit and Leidongping (peasants in the old days would come and pray for rainfall as Lei means thunder and rain) for RMB 25 to 50.

2. It takes about 2-3 hours to hike to the Golden Summit (or Jinding) of Mount Emei. There is not much literati works (such as handwriting) along the way, just the natural scenery. A vehicle or a cableway are the other two options for visitors. But note that the winding mountain road is really a cause for bringing your travel sickness drugs.

3. To avoid possible scary wild monkeys (Mt. Emei Natural Ecology Monkey Reserve is set up), please follow your tour guide's advice and stay in a group with others. When entering the "monkey area", put away your food, lock your backpack and hold your belongings tight. Never feed the monkeys.

4. As the elevation of the Summit is 3,079 meters, please suspend all the ongoing activities in the hiking if you feel chest pain, tinnitus (ringing ears) or shortness of breath.

By Shirley Li
Web Editor