Emei Shan – A Heavenly Mountain on Earth

Wanfo Ding (3,099m), the Ten Thousand Buddha Summit with a sea of clouds below it.

Emei Shan is situated 130km southwest of Chengdu and is one of the Middle Kingdom’s four famous Buddhist mountains. At 3,099m, Emei Shan is considered holy by Taoists and Buddhists since the Eastern Han dynasty. Many of the temples along the mountain’s lush slopes are dedicated to the Bodhisattva of Universal Benovolence, Puxian, who is said to have ascended the mountain during the 6th century atop a six-tusked elephant.

To reach Emei Shan, you will have to take a 2-hour bus journey from Baogao to Leidongping. You could clearly see that the Baogao bus station is managed by some really die-hard communist party members – you have to go through the automated gate where your mug shot will be taken, counted like lambs going into the slaughter house and then packed like sardines into a bus appropriately from hell.

And to top it off, I have the pleasure of sitting next to a gentleman dressed in expensive wool jacket, whom in the entire journey up to Emei Shan, probably have dug out half a kilo worth of gold from his nose. And that’s not the end of the story – he generously deposited all his golden loot on the head-rest cover made of cotton in front of him. And I have the photographic evidence to prove it should a CSI investigation be initiated. So be careful where you touch the next time you take the bus to Emei Shan. You may strike gold!

But on the serious side, Emei Shan is really a beautiful place. I am a little disappointed because I do not have the skill to capture all the beauty and splendor of this heavenly place. Below are some snapshots to share.

This photo was taken near the Leidongping bus station. When you arrived there, spend some time exploring the surrounding area and enjoy the fantastic view before going through the Emei Shan's trail.

This is common view along the Emei Shan's trails during autumn. Besides the view you only need to contend with a bunch of monkeys collecting tolls along the way. These simians could become aggressive and attack tourists if they could see food and drinks on them. So be careful.

This is the view when your climb take you to Jieyin Monestry. This is also the place for you to take the cable car ride up to Jinding Temple or the Golden Summit.

A view of the Golden statue of Puxian on his six-tusked elephant. The terrace in front of the temple is a favorite spot for watching the sunrise, cloud seas, and other atmospheric phenomena.

Close-up of the temple structure atop the Summit.

If you walk along the staircases near the summits, you could see bunches of padlocks hanging on the metal railings. According to Chinese customs, couples will have their names engraved on the padlocks and then lock them there forever. I guess it signify eternal love and maybe with a little help from the heaven, their love will last a life time. Truly for romantics only.

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