Looking for mountain hiking in winter? E-mei Mountain should not be missed! Famous as both world natural heritage and cultural heritage, it attracts numerous visitors every year for hiking, photography and profound Buddhist culture. It is also home to more than 3200 plant species and over 2300 animal species. Leshan Giant Buddha, the tallest stone Buddha in the world, is another highlight attraction in Chengdu. Spending 2 days, you will be able to fully enjoy the fantastic hiking with a lot of fun!
*Enjoy fantastic winter hiking on E-mei mountain
*Appreciate the gorgeous sea of clouds on the holy Golden Summit
*Discover the splendid Buddhist culture in E-mei mountain
- Day 1: Chengdu–Leshan–Mt. Emei (L)
Today you are going to admire the tallest stone Buddha in the world, Leshan Giant Buddha. It took 90 years for three generations of craftsmen to accomplish this 71-meter-high statue. There is more to it than what you see with your eyes. For example, there are 1051 buns of curly hair on the head of the Buddha, and it has an invisible irrigation system just behind its ears and head. Your knowledgeable tour guide will share the history and some fascinating stories of the colossal Buddha. Please note that it involves lots of stairs. Highly recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes and watch your steps.
Friendly Tips: There are 2 ways to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha, one is climbing up the mountain, one is taking a cruise along the river to take a far view of it. Climbing up the mountain was included in the package as most tourists said this way is better. Taking a cruise is optional. If you would like to take a cruise instead of climbing up the mountain, or if you want to try both these 2 ways, just ask your tour guide for assistance.
After visiting Leshan Giant Buddha, drive to Emei Mountain. Stay overnight at the foot of Emei Mountain and get well prepared for tomorrow’s hiking over there.
Emei Mountain located in Emeishan City boasts both picture-perfect scenery and long-standing Buddhist culture. Taking on the aura of one of “Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains” in China, it’s a real holy land for Buddhist pilgrims. The tales of its mysterious Buddhism and images of its breathtaking views have flittered through to the whole of China and other countries, making it a must-visit site in Sichuan Province after Chengdu, Leshan Giant Buddha, and Jiuzhaigou. It does have plenty to excite the eyes and the mind on Emei Mountain: stunning sunrise and the sea of clouds, Buddha’s Halo (it’s unusual and only if lucky enough will you meet it), Monkey Zone, Elephant Bathing Pool, and those Buddhist temples with lengthy past like Baoguo Temple and Wannian Temple.
Accommodation: Overnight on Mt. Emei
- Day 2: Hiking on Emei Mountain (B,L)
After breakfast, come to the Tourist Center of Emei Mountain and hop on a shuttle bus to Wannian Temple Parking Lot. Have a short warming-up and step on the stairs to Wannian Temple (Hiking there is about 30-40 mins, cable care is available and optional with cost on your own). Wannian Temple is one of the oldest temples on Mt. Emei with birth dating back to 399 BD. Sheltered in the dense trees, Wannian Temple stands quietly like a wise old man experiencing the whirligig of life and negating the surface desire. A statue of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva sitting on a white elephant built in 980 BD is housed in the temple as a priceless treasure.
The main part of hiking begins from Wannian Temple and Leidongping waits for you 22 km away as the final destination. Alongside the hiking route, you will pass several sites treating you both stunning natural sights and culture at temples: Xixin Temple, Chudian, Huayan Temple, Jiulinggang Hill, and Elephant Bathing Pool. The strong religious atmosphere in those temples joined with the fascinating environments on the mountains drives the mental exhaustion of busy life and work out of your body. Hiking about 14km, you will come to Elephant Bathing Pool at an elevation of 2070 meters. It’s misty around there due to the dense woods and higher altitude. A mirror-like pool is embedded on the mountain reflecting the overhanging eaves of the temple and green twigs of trees. Pause for breath there for a while and continue the challenging hiking.
After 7.5km’s hiking, you will get to the destination: Leipingdong where you will overnight. Get your legs to relax and have a good rest at the local hotel.
Accommodation: Overnight on Mt. Emei
- Day 3: Emei Mountain-Chengdu departure (B,L)
Today’s highlight is the Golden Summit, also called Huazang Temple, located at the main peak of Mt. Emei. Sunrise and sea of clouds are strongly expected by each traveler. There are 2 options to get to the Golden Summit for sunrise from Leipingdon: hiking and cable car. If hiking (7.5km), you need to get up at 4 am while the cable car opens at 5 am and you can get up later. However, it’s up to you to get up early for sunrise. You can sleep in if sunrise is not on your must-do list.
The second half of hiking to the Golden Summit is a real challenge due to the sheer trail while the first half is easy relatively. Please watch out for your steps and grasp firmly the iron chains. The breathtaking views on the summit make everything worthwhile. Warp yourself up to alleviate the chill in the morning and wait for the red sun rising from roaring clouds. You can’t help crying for the amazing moments and press the shutter to record the beautiful scenes. Apart from sunrise, the sea of clouds and the Huazang Temple is also worthy of a visit. The grand temple nestled on the mountain top worships a bronze Maitreya Buddha statue and collects plenty of precious relics. Praying for fortune is a must-do thing for all travelers here.
Finishing a wonderful time at the Golden Summit, you will descend the mountain by cable car and shuttle bus. Board the private car to return to Chengdu train station/airport for departure.