The tallest of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China, Mount Emei is the home of the first Buddhist temple built in China in the 1st century. Spotted with no fewer than 76 Buddhist monasteries, Mount Emei is not just a place for enlightenment — with spectacular views of the sunrise and endless seas of clouds, it’s a place to completely immerse yourself in China’s natural wonders.
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.”
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.