Mt. Emei Hiking Exploration

Highlights:

  • As one of the 4 sacred Buddhist mountains in China, Mt. Emei is a UNESCO world heritage site of culture and nature, with a history of over 1000 years in Buddhism while also being rich in botanical resources
  • In this paradise of Buddhism and animals, devoted Buddhists are burning incense all year round, beautiful and ancient temples are scattered throughout the dense forest, cold brooks jump down from the deep green valleys, monkeys swing up in the branches and birds sing of their happiness throughout all seasons
  • Get a first-hand look at one of the true wonders of the world in the Leshan Buddha, a masterpiece of Buddhist art as well as the world’s largest Buddha statue (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site)

(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1 arrive in Chengdu

You will either fly or take the train into Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China. Upon arrival you’ll be met by your English-speaking travel guide. After your arrival, you will be taken to your hotel for the evening.

The rest of the night is up to your own leisure. From traditional teahouses, theaters to modern pubs and clubs, Chengdu people know how to enjoy the night. Every corner in Chengdu offers the warmest welcome, and you are sure to find something to pique your interest during your time on the town.

Day 2 Chengdu-Mt. Emei (3 hours of hiking)

Following breakfast, we’ll take either the bus or train (about 2 hours journey) to Mt. Emei. t 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 a sacred Buddhist haven. It is one of the four most divine Buddhist 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.

After we arrive we will first go on over to the Baogou temple, which is located at the foot of 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.

After our visit to Baogou Temple we’ll begin our day’s hike on the mountain. The hiking is easy to do, suitable for most travelers with in normal health condition. We’ll hike until the afternoon, where we will reach the Wannian Temple. 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.

We’ll also explore the Qingyin Pavilion. A Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk, whose Buddhism spiritualism exists today around the mountain, built the Qingyin Pavilion. The pavilion presents a fine natural picture with pavilions, towers, and corridors that are exquisitely combined with waters and hills.

We will spend the night at a guesthouse on the mountain.

Day 3 Mt. Emei hiking (5 hours of hiking)

Today the hiking will turned out to be a bit difficult because of the deeper stage and longer trail. But the scenes will be more beautiful and quiet. In the late afternoon we’ll arrive at Xixiangchi, otherwise known as the Elephant Watching Pool.

The Elephant Watching Pool has misty white clouds with ancient tall tress all 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.

We’ll spend the night at a local guesthouse near Xixiangchi.

Day 4 Mt. Emei hiking (5 hours of hiking)

Today will be the last day of our hiking. In the afternoon we will arrive at summit of Mt. Emei, which is fittingly known as the Golden Summit. 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.

A major highlight of the Golden Summit is the Golden Buddha. 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.

After our visit to the summit we will descend the mountain by way of cable car and bus. We’ll spend the night relaxing and recuperating at a hotel at the base of Mt. Emei.

Day 5 Mt. Emei-Leshan-Chengdu-departure

In the morning we will take a private car (1 hour drive) to nearby Leshan to explore the Leshan Buddha. The largest representation of the Buddha in the world, the statue is of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture. The statue makes itself the most renowned scenic spot in Leshan City. In December 1996, the location of the Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites. Begun in the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and finished in the year 803, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve. During these years, thousands of workers had expended their efforts and wisdom on the project. As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, Leshan Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song and story.

Our visit to the Leshan Buddha will be complete with a river cruise, giving you a glorious vantage point (and photo op!) of which to view the Buddha. In the late afternoon you will be taken back to Chengdu, and you’ll be escorted to either the train station or airport, and you will travel on to your next destination, ending your tour with us.


        Mike Aberforth and family, Manchester, UK:

We wanted to thank you for the wonderful trip in Sichuan. It is definitely a place that we want to return to - the mountains, water, flowers, sky, scenery - the children say that was their favourite part (mine as well), and I am already thinking of what we would do there when we return. The food was fantastic, in large part because of your choices of restaurant and ordering of food. In particular, you have our heartfelt thanks for being so great with the children. It is not always easy traveling with children, but you were super. It would have been difficult for us to spend 5 days with a guide and river that we didn't get along with, or that wasn't very good (and also for the guide I imagine!). However, you were great - with the children, with our requests, with telling us about the culture and language, with everything. Quite simply, the trip would not have been half as good without.