Mt. Emei in Sichuan Province in Southwest China is one of the most well-known summer destinations in China thanks to its pleasant weather, congenial atmosphere, the inspiring natural scenery and the influence of the Buddhist culture. The mountain is characterized by lofty ancient trees, impressive waterfalls, pristine brooks and numerous Buddhist temples.
Mt. Emei is noted for considerable weather difference between various spots on the mountain. A 14 centigrade degree difference in temperature has been reported between the foot of mountain and its peak. It's not uncommon for it to be blistering at the foot of the mountain and cool and pleasant higher up the mountain. The average temperature during July and August, the hottest period in China, is around 11.8 degree centigrade.
Mt. Emei is a natural "Oxygen Bar", where the average Negative Oxygen Ions in one cubic meter reach 0.1 million to 1 million which is 500-1000 times more than that in its city cousins. Scientists have confirmed that adequate negative oxygen ions (10.000 or above in one cubic meter air) in air can motivate the metabolization of the human body to repel exhaustion, improve sleep, and prolong life.
Mt. Emei is a sacred Buddhist haven. It is one of the four most divine Buddhism Mountains in China. This Buddhist legacy mainly contained in the numerous temples and the buildings bears witness to the unusual historical role of the mountain in Buddhism development since the religion was introduced to China over 2,000 years ago. The mountain enjoys great popularity among Buddhists in China. Every morning streams of Buddhism pilgrims armed with joss sticks conquer the steep stairs of the mountain and swarm into the countless temples.
The Mt. Emei not only provides physical space to travelers but affords a personal exposure to the intimacy of nature and China's Buddhism culture. A gnarled ancient tree, a winding stream, waterfall and a Buddhist temple will be a reminder of the resiliency of nature and pristine civilization. View famous mountains in Chna.
The Baoguo Temple at the foot of the Mt. Emei is the largest temple on the Mt. Emei and the starting point for taking a tour of the Mt. Emei. The temple was built during the years of Wanli period in the Ming Dynasty. The horizontal tablet of "Baoguo Temple" was written by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. It is the place where the Mt. Emei Buddhist Society is located. The Baoguo Temple is originally named Huizong Hall, which has the meaning of blending the three religions of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism into one. Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty granted the name of "Baoguo Temple", which adopts the meaning that dedicating to the service of the country comes first in "repaying four kindness" in the sutra. The whole temple is a typical courtyard house covering an area of more than 10 acres. Each courtyard has one view and the scenery changes as you go deeper and deeper, which is rather a spectacular scene. The main hall of the temple built along the mountain has four layers with one layer higher than another, which presents a grand and natural appearance.
Wanian Temple is one of the eight largest temples on the Mountain. It was first built in the in the East Jin Dynasty and was renamed as White Water Puxian Temple after a series of devastation and reconstruction. The temple contains five halls lay in a tier style including the Mountain Gate, Buddha Miatreya Hall, Brick Hall, Wei'e Treasure Hall, the Treasure Hall of Great Hero. The Brick Hall of the Wannian Temple is a wonder of ancient buildings. During the past four hundred years, it has gone through several earthquakes of magnitude 5 to 7.9 but it is still standing to this day. Hence, it is reputed as a miracle in the history of ancient architecture in China. A highlight of the temple is a bronze statue of Puxian riding an elephant, which was cast in Chengdu by a Buddhist monk named Maozhen under an imperial order during the Song Dynasty. The bronze statue has a symmetrical proportion with superior casting craftwork. It is 7.85 meters high and weighs 62 tons. What How such a huge objective was transported and placed on the mountain remains a mystery.
Wannian Temple has cableway to mountain climbing and sightseeing areas like the Gold Summit. Many tourists take the Wannian Temple as the starting point for climbing the mountain while other tourists take it as the ending point for completing the tour of the mountain. The admission fee for this scenic point is 10 yuan. If tourists want to use cableway the cost is 40 yuan and 30 yuan for going down.
Qingyin Pavilion was built by a Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk, whose Buddhism spiritualism exists today around the mountain. The pavilion presents a fine natural picture with pavilions, towers, corridors exquisitely combined with waters and hills.
The number of the Buddhist temples dotting the mountain is quite inspiring but the views from the Golden Summit at an elevation of 3,077 meters above sea level steals the glory. The Gold Summit is an extravagance of natural wonders and Buddhism spiritualism, which comprise of four marvelous spectacles of Sunrise, Cloud Sea, Buddhist Light and sacred lamp. The scenery of a red glowing sun dancing over the sea of clouds in the east is fabulous. A few lucky visitors will encounter the Buddhist Light which only occurs 14 times a year. On these occasions, your shadow is cast before you in the mist and a colorfully glowing lights circle you as if you are attained enlightenment.
The four-side ten-direction golden statue of Puxian on the Golden Summit of the Mt. Emei is the highest golden Buddha in the world and also the first artistic design of ten-direction statue of Puxian. The golden Buddha is a Buddhist statue built by employing the craftwork of copper casting and gold-plating. It has a total height of 48 meters and a total weight of 660 tons. It is composed of the dado and ten-direction statue of Puxian. The golden Buddha's total height of 48 meters stands for 48 wishes of Amitable Buddha. "Ten-direction" firstly means ten practices and wishes of Puxian and secondly symbolizes the ten directions of east, south, west, north, southeast, southwest, northeast, northwest, up and down in Buddhism and means the boundless practices and wishes of Puxian can satisfy Buddha of ten directions and three lives and all living things. The ten head sculptures of Puxian are composed of three layers with varied expressions, which stand for ten mentalities of earthlings.
Elephant Watching Pool
The Elephant Watching Pool has a height of 2070 meters above sea level. It has misty white clouds and ancient tall tress around. When the bright moon shines high in the sky in autumn, all is quiet with boundless pure light. Looking up at the sky, you will feel like an immortal. The "Night Moon over the Elephant Pool" is the famous sight here. At night when the bright moon is high in the sky and moonlight is reflected in the pool, the water and the sky are in one color with serene and beautiful scenery.
Best Places to See Red Leaves on the Mountain
Mount Emei is a good place to take in Autumn leaves. The Mountain puts on a show of glorious colors in Autumn. Red leaves are all over the mountain, but some spots offer better views than the others. Some of the best places to catch the gorgeous scenery are listed below:
Viewing route: Along the route from Wannian parking lot to Wannian Temple
Reason for recommendation: Families live in the deep red forest. Tourists who stay at the farmhouses near Wannian Temple can enjoy the red autumnal leaves through open windows.
Elephant Waching Pool
Viewing route: Nearby Xixiang Pond Temple
Reason for recommendation: Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the red autumnal leaves as well as the glorious full moon from Xixiang Pond. Along this route, you can see falling red leaves on the winding mountain path and can view the enchanting scenery of the steep peaks. Enjoy the endless charm of the natural scenery along the way.
Viewing route: Along the way from Xixiang Pond to Leidongping
Reason for recommendation: While viewing the main peak from a distance, one sees the greenwood set off from the red leaves, and the red leaves are overspread around the green hills. The red leaves, the greenwood, and the green hills bring out the best views of each other, presenting a colorful scene.
Viewing route: The sightseeing bus terminal
Reason for recommendation: While viewing the main peak from a distance, one sees the greenwood set off from the red leaves and the red leaves are overspread around the green hills. The red leaves, the greenwood, and the green hills bring out the best views of each other.
Reason for recommendation: Mount Emei is 2,500 meters high. The clouds and mist surround the colorful forest. You can best feel the clouds and mist while climbing Mount Emei, giving you a sense of being surrounded by the Buddha air.
After arriving at the Golden Summit and leaving Suodao Station, enjoy the trees growing on the 3,000-meter mountain. The towering trees stand among groups of red leaves. Standing at the peak of Jinding, you will also find groups of red leaves on the steep cliffs. The mist and fog embrace the mountain, and you feel as if you are in fairyland, relaxed in mind and happy in mood. If the weather permits, you will be lucky to see the clouds, the sea, and the Buddha light while enjoying the red leaves in Jinding.
A. From Baoguo Temple of Mount Emei to the Leidongping parking lot, you can take a sightseeing bus at the scenic spot station. (up: 40 RMB (USD 6) per person; down: 30 RMB (USD 5) per person. The temperature is quite low above the mid-level of Mount Emei. If you are not active, you will feel very cold on the mountain, so carry a coat. While at the parking lot, enjoy the red leaves that cover the entire mountain. The scene is spectacular.
B. The tourist route from Leidongping to Jieyin Palace is a favorite. Along the way, enjoy the dense forest filled with red leaves. If you are lucky enough, you will see the monkeys (be careful, the monkeys are naughty and will steal your backpack). After reaching Jieyin Palace, take the Suodao (cable car) to Jinding (up: 65 RMB (USD 10) per person; down: 55 RMB (USD 8) per person). On a fine day, take the Suodao and cross the red leaves forests.
C. When you get to Wannian Temple, don’t be anxious about taking the Suodao to the parking lot. Enter the temple and enjoy the plentiful osmanthus flowers, whose fragrance strikes your nose. October is the best time to enjoy these flowers. Afterwards, walk to Wannian Temple and view the beautiful scenery along the way. You will have different feelings while enjoying the red autumnal leaves on the mountainside and at the mountaintop. Overall, Mount Emei is an enchanting place full of surprises.
- There are many monkeys at Mount Emei. The monkeys are very cute, but please keep your distance from them. If you come across a "monkey tollgate", the standard procedure is to thrust open palms towards the outlaw to show you have no food.
- Temperatures are significantly different between the bottom and the top of the mountain so carry a jacket or sweater. Local people offer a warm clothes renting service on the top.
- The Emei Mountain is a very large scenic spot however private vehicles are not allowed to drive up the mountain. Private vehicles are required to park at the foot of the mountain and tourists travel to the Godden Summit or Wannian Temple by public bus leaving from the Passenger Transport Center. Please notice that the road up to the mountain is quite bumpy. We suggest you take motion-sickness medicine before get on the bus if you suffer from car-sickness.
- It takes about 1 hour from the Passenger Transport Center to get to the Wannian Temple and another hour to reach the Godden Summit. There are very few restaurants on the Emei Mountain. The food may not be to everybody’s taste because of the difficulty to getting supplies on the Mountain. For lunch, you can bring snacks such as chocolate or bread. The overwhelming majority of visitors to the mountain are local tourists so all services are slanted towards that market. We trust that you understand.
Questions and Answers About Mount E’mei
Hi Thomas, yes, there are direct buses from Ya'an to Mount Emei. The bus is available from 08:15am, takes about 2 hours.Whitney Liao replied on 2014-02-20
This is Christy from China Highlights Travel.
Weather in Mt Emei is a little cold:6℃-11℃ and it will rain. It would be worse on the mountain. Thus long sleeve, trousers, jacket or even sweater would be well-prepare for senior citizens.
Good luck!Christy Luo replied on 2013-09-16
I updated this article on November 27, 2012
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