Mount Emei is located at the southwest of Sichuan Basin, and it belongs to Emeishan City and is 7km to the city center and 37km to Leshan City. It’s listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO for both cultural and natural heritages in 1996. Covering an area of 154 square kilometers, the highest peak – Wanfoding of Mount Emei is 3099 meters in altitude, and Golden Summit (3079.3m) is the highest spot tourist can reach.
As one of the Four Great Buddhist Mountains in China and the ashram for Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Mount Emei is reputed for its profound Buddhism culture and it’s the Buddhist sacred place in China. There are 28 temples in the mountain at present, many Buddhist ceremonies are held here. Important temples are Baoguo Temple, Fuhu Temple, Qingyin Pavilion, Wannian Temple, Hongchunping, Xianfeng Temple, Xixiangchi and Huazang Temple.
Mount Emei is also famous for its stunning natural scenery, and it’s called as vegetable kingdom, animal paradise and geological museum. Green trees can be seen all year round. The average temperature difference between the mountain top and mountain foot is 14℃, thus people always say there are four seasons in Mount Emei. Owning over 5000 kinds of plants, which is more than the total plants of Europe, there are 103 kinds of plants are named with Emei as its front. There are also over 2300 kinds of wild animals, including some protective species, such as leaf butterfly, black stork, rana adenopleura, red panda, tragopan temminckii, etc. There are many monkeys in the mountain, and they often flock together to ask for tourists’ food, and this has become one of the features of Mount Emei.
With an altitude of 3079m, Golden Summit is the second highest peak of Mount Emei. It’s the symbol and essence of Mount Emei. On the summit, there is a small plain and a bronze hall. When the sun shines on the bronze hall, its brightness dazzles the eyes just like the golden light, thus there is called Golden Summit. Stand on the Golden Summit and look afar, Chengdu Plain, Ming River, Qingyi River, Dadu River, Gongga Mountain and Wawu Mountain are all been seen.
The Golden Buddha on the summit is the tallest Samantabhadra golden statue in the world. The statue is 48m high and weighs 660 metric tons. It’s a gilded bronze statue which is designed by famous designer Li Zuyuan in Taiwan. The statue has ten heads in three layers, and they are facing ten different directions, which symbolize those Buddhas in the three periods of time and in ten directions.
In the Golden Summit, travelers can also see the four wonders of Mount Emei: Sunrise, Cloud Sea, Broken Spectre and Holy Light.
Leidongping is located at Lianwang Slope, with an altitude of 2430m. The snow here can last for a long time and the slope is also very suitable for skiing, thus, a ski resort has been opened nearby. On the way from Leidongping to Jieyindian, there are covered with alpine azaleas. Early summer is the most beautiful time for the azaleas, and bright purples and reds will cover the ground during this time. There is an azalea tree which is 13m high with 2.7m diameter. The tree is over 450 years old and it’s definitely the “Queen of Azalea”.
Leidong Smoke Cloud is a meteorological phenomenon in the high and cold zone of Mount Emei. After a night rainfall, the smoke cloud will rise from the forests and sway with the wind, which forms a stunning and changeable scenery.
Notice: the best time to observe Leidong Smoke Cloud is 9:00 ~ 10:00 and 15:00 ~ 16:00.
As one of the top eight temples in Mount Emei, Xixiangchi is located at Zhuantian Slope with an altitude of 2070m. Xixiangchi is about 13km from Golden Summit. This is a high and cold area, and snow and rainfall are normally heavy, thus the halls of Xixiangchi are short and small and use tin roofs.
Xiangchi Moon is one of the Ten Classic Sceneries in Mount Emei. Xixiangchi is the best place to appreciate the moon in Mount Emei. When the bright moon hangs high in the sky, the moonlight shines over the fir forest, and everything is covered with a silver color. Monkeys often haunt in this area, and try to keep a distance with them.
Wannian Temple is also one of the top eight temples in Mount Emei and it’s the largest temple in Mount Emei. Located 15km from Baoguo Temple and with an altitude of 1020m, it is first built in Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 ~ 420). Wannian Temple is featured for worshiping the bronze statue of Samantabhadra. It has many Buddhist halls, and among the halls, there are gardens, pavilions and ponds. One of the highlights of Wannian Temple is the Brick Hall, which was built with bricks and no beams are used in the construction. The Brick Hall has survived 18 earthquakes over 400 years, and it’s one of the construction miracles in China.
Located at Niuxin Ridge, Yixiantian is also called Baiyun Gorge. The trail between the two cliffs of the gorge is very narrow, and the whole gorge is just like a big mountain chopped by a sharp axe. Once enter into the gorge, you will find two precipitous cliffs reaching up to the sky for over 200 meters. Look up through the cirrus, and you can only see a thread of the blue sky. The widest part of the distance between the two cliffs is about 6 meters, while the narrowest place is only about 3 meters.
Located under the Niuxin Ridge, with an altitude of 710m, Qingyin Pavilion is one of the top eight temples in Mount Emei. Tourists can reach Hongchunping and Xianfeng Temple by take the left road of Qingyin Pavilion, while take the right road, tourists can get to Bailong Cave and Wannian Temple. To climb on the mountain, travelers must pass by Qingyin Pavilion. The temple is not big, however, it’s very beautiful and it’s a classic garden architecture of Buddhist temple in China. Travelers can enjoy a vegetarian food in here, and there are many farmhouse resorts around the temple, and travelers can enjoy local food of Emei city.
Located at the piedmont of Mount Emei, with an altitude of 551m, Baoguo Temple is the first temple of Mount Emei. As the portal of the whole mountain, it’s the center of various Buddhist activities, and the Emei Buddhist Association is also in here. First built in Ming Dynasty (1368 ~ 1644), Baoguo Temple has five halls at present, and all of them are aligned along the central axis. The whole temple covers an area of 40,000m2, and the halls were built along with shape of the mountain, thus the back halls are higher than the front halls. The Depository of Buddhist Sutras of the temple has stored many cultural relics, paintings and calligraphies, biological samples in the mountain and the panoramic model of Mount Emei, which provide rich information for those who want to get to know Mount Emei further.
Hot spring in Mount Emei is very famous, for the spring here is the rare radon hot spring. Radon hot spring can stimulate the contraction and expansion of the skin vascular and adjust the cardiovascular function, thus the radon spring is good for high blood pressure and angiocardiopathy. Lingxiu Hot Spring is the best hot spring resort and tourists can choose indoor or outdoor hot spring here. It’s located near the Baoguo Temple. After finishing the tour of Mount Emei, enjoy the hot spring here and relax your body among the green hills, that’s comfortable.
The Ski Resort of Mount Emei was built in 1998 and it’s the first ski resort in Sichuan Province. Located at the right side of the parking lot of Leidongping, the Ski Resort has an altitude of 2500m and covers an area of 10,000m2. The average temperature is about 5℃, and snow fall period is from November to the next March and the snow thickness is about 1m. The resort has different ski fields to satisfy all kinds of tourists, no matter you are beginner or professional.
The best time to visit Mount Emei is from March to December. Spring is the season of azaleas, and colorful azaleas will spread all over the mountain. Besides, tourists can enjoy the Buddhist Ceremony of Mount Emei (from March to April and it will last about one month) and appreciate thousands of lamps which are lit up to worship the Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. Spring is also the great time to taste the Emei fresh tea. In summer, the weather is clear and fine, and it’s the best time to observe sunrise, sunset, cloud sea and broken spectre. Autum is short but beautiful (from mid-September to October). During this time, the mountain is covered with by the glittering red leaves. The snow scenery on Mount Emei is gorgeous, and tourists can also ski and enjoy hot spring in winter. The temperature on the mountain top is low all year round, so make sure you take enough warm clothes with you.
Sunrise: 6:00 in summer, 7:00 in winter
Cloud Sea: 9:00 ~ 10:00 / 15:00 ~ 16:00
Broken Spectre: 9:00 ~ 10:00 / 15:00 ~ 16:00
Holy Light: night on the beginning or end of the lunar month / when the sun shines again after rain
Appreciating Azaleas: April to May for Leidongping, May to June for Wanfoding
Avoid Summer Heat: June to October
Appreciating Red Leaves: October
Skiing: November to next March
By Flight: the closest airport from Mount Emei is Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, which is only 120km from it. After the flight, travelers can take bullet train to Emeishan and then transfer to public bus (only one stop) to get to the scenic spot.
By Train: at present, there are two railway stations in Emeishan, and the old Emeishan Railway Station is the stop of Chengdu – Kunming Railway. The new Emeishan Railway Station is a high-speed train station. Now, the most convenient way to get to Emeishan is taking the Chengdu – Mianyang – Leshan High Speed Railway to Emeishan, and this Emeishan Station is very close to Mount Emei, and travelers can take public bus or just walk to there. This high speed railway will pass Mianyang, Chengdu East Railway Station, Chengdu South Railway Station, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Leshan, etc. and finally reach Emeishan. From Chengdu to Emeishan, it will only take about 1 ~ 1.5 hours.
By Bus: Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station has long distance coach to Emeishan. The coach will departure every half hour and it will take 2 hours. Leshan Xiaoba Bus Station has coach to Emeishan, and it will departure every 10 minutes and the ride will take 30 minutes.
Travelers can take public bus, taxi or tricycle to travel around the Emeishan City. The prices for those transportation tools are very cheap.
Notice: Leshan city is rather small, so take taxi to get around is a good choice.
There are five parking lots in Mount Emei, and both sightseeing bus and private cars can drive to these parking lots.
Baoguo Temple Parking Lot: tourists can go to Baoguo Temple and Emeishan Museum from here.
Wuxiangang Parking Lot: tourists can walk to Qingyin Pavilion, Yixiantian and Ecological Monkey Area from here.
Wannian Temple Parking Lot: from here, tourists can take cable car or walk to Wannian Temple, or walk down to Qingyin Pavilion.
Linggongli Parking Lot: there are no famous attractions around this parking lot.
Leidongping Parking Lot: sitting next to Leidongping, tourists can walk to Jieyindian, and then walk or take cable car to Golden Summit.
There are two cableways in Mount Emei.
Wannian Cableway (from Wannian Parking Lot to Wannian Temple)
Ticket: January 16th ~ December 14th: up is ¥65 and down is ¥45; December 15th ~ next January 15th: up is ¥30 and down is ¥20.
Running time: 6:40 ~ 18:00
Jinding Cableway (from Jieyindian to Golden Summit)
Ticket: January 16th ~ December 14th: up is ¥65 and down is ¥55; December 15th ~ next January 15th: up is ¥30 and down is ¥20.
Running time: 5:30 ~ 18:00
Bamboo Sedan Chair is also called “Huagan” in Sichuan Dialect, and it’s a featured vehicle made up of two bamboo poles and a chair used in Mount Emei. One Bamboo Sedan Chair will be carried by two people on their shoulder and one chair can only sit one people. For those who have run out of strength and have enough budget, taking a Bamboo Sedan Chair can save your strength and you can also appreciate the beautiful scenery along the road.
Normally, travelers will spend 2 ~ 3 days for Mount Emei tour, however, for travelers are short of time, one day will also do. Here we provide you some popular travel route for Mount Emei. All of the routes are started from Chengdu.
In the morning, take sightseeing bus from Emeishan Tourist Bus Center to Leidongping (about 2 hours), and then walk to Jieyindian (about 20 minutes), next take cableway to Golden Summit to worship the Samantabhadra statue, and after that, go back to Huazhang Temple to have lunch. In the afternoon, take cableway back to Jieyindian and walk to Leidongping, then take sightseeing bus back to Emeishan Tourist Bus Center, next visit Baoguo Temple and Fuhu Temple. At last, go back to Chengdu.
Day 1: after arriving the scenic spot, walk to Baoguo Temple for sightseeing, and then take bus to Fuhu Temple. After that, go to the Tourist Bus Center to take sightseeing bus to Leidongping, and then walk to Jieyindian (about 20 minutes), next take cableway to Golden Summit. Stay overnight at Golden Summit.
Day 2: get up early to see the sunrise at Golden Summit, then walk to Leidongping. Take sightseeing bus here to Wannian Parking Lot, and walk to Wannian Temple for sightseeing. After that, walk to Qingyin Pavilion. Next, walk to Wuxiangang Parking Lot to take bus to Tourist Bus Center.
Recommended Mount Emei Hiking Tour
For more information about hiking highlights, how to plan Mount Emei hike tour and other tour packages including Mount Emei, please see Mount Emei Hiking>>
Mount Emei has many attractions, however, they are scattered all over the mountain. Thus, you need to stay at least one night on the mountain if you want to see most of the highlights of the mountain. Choose accommodation according to your tour itinerary. Hongchuanping, Xianfeng Temple, Xixiangchi and Leidongping are all good choices.
Low Mountainous Region: most starred hotels are located around Baoguo Temple and tourists can also have a hot spring bath here. If you want to save some money, then you can choose to accommodate in the city center, where has more cheap priced hotels, and it will only cost you about ¥10 ~ ¥20 to Baoguo Temple by taxi from the city center.
Middle Mountainous Region: this area is chose by most hikers. There are many family inns around Qingyin Pavilion, and average fee is from ¥30 to ¥50, it’s very cheap, however, the facility of the family inns is rather poor comparing to the starred hotels.
High Mountainous Region: if you accommodate at Golden Summit, Leidongping or Xixiangchi, it’s very convenient to watch the sunrise on the Golden Summit. Rooms on Golden Summit are very tight in peak season, and the price is rather high, so it’s better to choose slack season to accommodate in Golden Summit. There are many hostels and family inns around Leidongping and Xichangchi. And the tourists can also accommodate at the temple in those two places.
One of the great features of Mount Emei is that travelers can accommodate in temples. Almost all temples on the mountain have guest rooms for tourists. Normally, the price for one bed is from ¥30 ~ ¥60, and for one room is from ¥100 ~ ¥160. Popular temples are Baoguo Temple, Qingyin Pavilion, Hongchunping, Bailong Cave, Wannian Temple, Xixinsuo, etc. One thing need to be noticed: the temples do not accept reservation, so in peak season, if you want to accommodate in temples, please make the arrangement early.
1. Wild monkeys are mainly distributed near Qingyin Pavilion, Yixiantian, Hongchunping and Xixiangchi. The monkeys are not afraid of tourists, and they often ask food from the tourists. If you want to feed the monkey, it’s better hold the food on your hand and throw to them. If you pick food from you bag, don’t forget to rummage the inside out to show your bag is empty, or else they will rummage your bag uninvited. Do not touch the monkeys, even if they seem harmless; do not take valuables with you for some monkeys may grab them from you; do not show fear to the monkeys, for they can be bullies in some cases. If you are in trouble with the monkeys, call for the help of the official staffs. One key to keep safe is bringing a walking stick with you, for the official staffs use walking sticks to disperse the monkeys, and thus, the monkeys often are afraid of people with walking sticks.
2. In winter, tourists need to wear antiskid straw sandals or crampon or prepare other antiskid equipment. Some roads on the mountain are difficult to walk and bring a walking stick is very practical.
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Chengdu / Leshan / Mt. Emei
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