Sichuan Province's

EMEISHAN

Global Mark : 12.37

Ratings by criteria :

Charm Scenery Parks Culture Minor. Market Relax Fiesta 

Cost

AVER.
3 4 1 3 2 1 3 2

2

9.33

Ratings by backpackers :

Surveyed Liked  Comeback  Recommend Notes AVER.
20 70%  (14) 75%  (15) 95%  (19) 9 to 20 15.40


Description :
A Buddhist pilgrim mountain for trekkers and Chinese tourists alike who come to see the sunrise at the submit. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996.

Comments : You can go up and down quite effortless by taking a bus/cable car combination but to really enjoy the site, you have to be prepared to walk and sweat a minimum...

What to do : Queue with the tourists for the cable car up or down or fight your way to the submit /  Loose your breath by going up / Kill your knees by going down / Rest in monasteries / Negotiate with the monks for a reasonable price / Fight or feed monkeys / Shout with the Chinese at the sun / Try to distinguish something in the valley below between the clouds / Meets thousand years old trees / 

What you may not like : Sweating too much / The admission fee / The hyper commercialism of the place / The traffic jam on the path / The concrete path with a lot of stairs / The freezing temperature at the submit / The very basic accommodations in monasteries and the high cost at the summit /  The magnificent view of rubbish on one side of the mountain / The way the Chinese tourists enjoy a sunrise / The sight of poor colored-dressed monkeys / The aggressiveness of non-colored-non-dressed monkeys /

How to come here ? The train station is 3.5 km from Emei Town, itself 6.5 km from Baoguo Village, the base of the mountain. Frequent bus ply the road during the day, usually up to 18pm. By public transport from the Train Station to Emei Town, it should cost 1Y but you will have to walk 300 meter from the Station to the main road (exit straight, turn right and wait for a bus on the opposite side of the road). Once arrived at the bus station in Emei Town,  take another public bus to Baoguo for 1Y (they go even if empty so it is worth waiting a bit for them) A lot of private bus will however try to persuade you to wait and to spend more...

Where to get infos ? At Teddy Bear Restaurant (5590135), on the right when you exit the Lian Yun Bus Station. Mr. He Yao Qing, the manager, speak English and will tailor you an itinerary according to your needs. He can also find you a good room, keep your bag (2Y per day), do your laundry or even bring you to his favorite swimming place... By the way, his restaurant also serve pancakes !

How long ? If you cheat, you can go up and down in one day. But if you wish to check the interesting behavior of the Chinese tourists at sunrise, you will have to spend one night at the summit. If you walk up and down, be prepared for at least 2 days of strenuous exercises, more likely 3 or 4. You can also consider taking the bus on the way up or down only.

What to see ?  The nicest scenery (and monkeys) are to be found between Xianfeng Monastery (1752m) and Wannian Monastery (1020m) via Hongchunping (1120m) and Qinyin Pavilion (710m).


How to go up ?

Take a bus from Baoguo to Qingyin Pavilion (2Y) and from there walk to Wannian Monastery (1020m, 3km, 45-60mn), to Xixiang Pond (2070m, 14km, 3-5hrs), to Jieyin Hall (2540m, 9km, 2-3hrs) and to Golden Summit (3077m, 2 km, 45-60mn).

As the buses to Qingyin are rather infrequent, you may have to take one to Wannian Monastery instead, 18km away (2Y).

If you are tired toward the end and feel like queuing a bit, you can take a cable car from Jieyin Hall to the Golden Summit (40Y up).

If you want to take it easy, you can take a bus from Baoguo directly to Jieyin Hall (20Y, leave when really packed).


How to go down ?

From the summit, walk down to Jieyin Hall (2km, 30-45mn), to Xixiang Pond (9km, 2-3hrs), to Xianfeng Monastery (1752m, 6km, 1-2hrs) to Hongchuanping (1120m, 5km, 1-2hrs) to Qinyin Pavilion (710m, 6km, 1-2hrs). From Qinyin, walk or take a bus (Y5) down to Wuxiangang and from there a bus back to Baoguo (Y5, late bus at 18:30)

If you still have a lot of energy, you could also walk the 10km from Qingyin to Fuhu Monastery (2-4 hrs). Baoguo is another km away.


How long going up ?

First option (6 to 10 hrs) : Bus to Wannian (18km, 2Y). Walk to Xixiang (3-5hrs) to Jieyin (1-3hrs) to Golden Summit (1-2hrs)

Second option (12 to 15 hrs) : Bus to Wannian. Walk to Qingyin (1 hr), to Hongchunping (6km, 2 hrs), to Xianfeng (2 hrs), to Yuxian (2 hrs), to Jiulingang (1hr) to Xixiang (2 hrs) to Jieyin (1-3 hrs) to Golden Summit (1-2 hrs)

Third option : Walk to Qingyin (1hr) to Monkeys (1hr), back to Qingyin (1hr) to Zhongfeng (2 hr) to Chunyang (1 hr) to Baoguo (1 hr)

Backpacker' s Tips : Anonymous, France (Jan 04)
 Bus Baoguo temple - Wuxiangang : 9 yuans
You can buy some Emeishan maps for 3 yuans (2 yuans if you bargain a little)
Emeishan entrance ticket : adults : 120 yuans, students : 60 yuans. A little bit expensive to climb some stairs ! At the entrance, they will photograph you for the ticket. You don't need to carry some drinks : small shops sell water, fruit juice and coca cola along the course. For snacks and meals, if you don't like chinese snacks and instant noddles, it's better to bring some reserves. You can find some fruits, but they disappear with altitude. Monasteries provide rooms, dormitories and also vegetarian meals. During the winter, rooms are very cold and humid, you need a warm sleeping bag (room temperature is around O degres in january).
Cablecar between Jieyin Hall and Golden summit : 40 yuans the way up (5 min after a very long queue), 30 yuans the way down.
Golden summit (3077 m) - 10 000 Buddhas temple (Wanfo ding, 3099 m) : impossible to walk to the highest temple, you must take a monorail (50 yuans for return ticket,10 min) then you finish climbing by walk. The trip (monorail, walk and temple visit) is around 1h30. The temple is splendid but, if before there were 10 000 buddhas (the name), today you can only see the niches, no buddhas inside ! At the top, there is a nice and big bell. You don't go there to see the buddhas but only the temple, so the ticket price is rather expensive.

Backpacker' s Tips : Mark W., Australia/UK (Dec 02)
 Entry price to the mountain is now 80 Yuan and the bus to the top from Baguo Si is 30 Yuan (each way). Referring to Baoguo village will cause locals to look at you in a funny way and tell you it doesn't exist. Everyone calls it Baoguo Si. If you go in the autumn/winter (I was there a few days ago) it is almost empty, I walked from Fuhu to Qingyin and the only Chinese I saw were repairing the sitting areas. The mist in the valleys looks beautiful too. :) Qingyin to Wannian is packed but after that it is pretty empty again until Leidongping. I don't recommend going in December unless you like walking on 5mm thick rock hard and VERY slippery ice 2 meters away from 300 foot drops. I have not been as scared since I did my first sky dive and on reflection the skydiving is A LOT safer. I think November would be ideal to visit the area.

Backpacker's Tips :  Quang-Tuan Luong (Dec 02)
 The Teddy Bear hotel has moved from the Post and Telecommunications hotel and is now far from the Teddy Bear cafe, but the friendly Cafe staff can direct you to there. You are sure to meet other backpackers there. If you are going to go up the mountain, you can leave excess luggage with them for a modest fee. I have found an umbrella extremely useful against rain and monkeys. You can buy one in town, or at the base of the mountain, but not once you get on the trail. Most temples charge Y30/night excluding food. I would recommend against staying at Yuxian temple where the room and blankets were damp and cold and too close to the active area of the temple for good rest. The whole trail is paved and not slippery even when wet because workers create textures on the stones with a hammer, so sneakers or sandals are adequate. The summit temple charges Y60/night for a better room. Even in May it gets quite chilly on the summit in the evenings or mornings, and if you don't have a sweater and windbreaker, you should rent a parka at the office next to the cable-car station. Buses leave every half hour from the summit and it is easy to get a ticket on the spot even if you don't have a reservation. The easiest way to go from Emei to Leshan would be to hang around the station next to Teddy Bear cafe from where the bus for the sacred mountain depart.

Backpacker's Tips : Davide Gallino, Italy (Aug 01)
 Emei Town : A nice market of fruit - meat - fish. Also a fast and reliable Internet service located on the SW corner of the square with the golden statue (Fuguan) for 3 y per hour. It is a bit difficult to find the entrance as it is into a yard, although entrance to this yard is on the street proper, on the corner. 
Emei Shan : This is one of the least interesting places in the whole of China, I'd say. Anyway, for those who want to try, here's a one day strategy (have eventually your train ticket booked in advance for Panzhihua/Jinjiang) : You can take the first bus (28,5 Y) to Leidonging from Baoguo Si (modern transport center 10m away from Teddy Bear Cafe) at 5.00 AM; then pay 60 Y admission ticket to Emei Shan on your way to the top; then walk to the top for 6Km and come back the same way (you take the bus again) or come back walking to Baoguo Si (7-9 hrs.) 
Following the advice of my guidebook, I bought my train ticket with Teddy Bear Cafe and this was the only time when I was grossly overcharged (290 Yuan instead of 175 for a double hard sleeper ticket to Panzhihua). It would have been much wiser to take a public bus to Emei (1 Yuan), than another to the station (1 Yuan), buy the ticket and get back. Anyway....the hotel suggested by Teddy Bear Cafe is behind the main street and I've negotiated a clean double room with aircond for 85 (although they insisted to ration it because "their" price was 90...).

 << Discover a sacred mountain...


Where to stay ?  

Hotels  << Get precise info, book online and save money !

At the train Station : (if you arrive in the evening)

Fu Guang Lu Guan (5521 353), opposite the train station, on the left of the tourist info center / Dorm 15 / Comfortable Sgl (big bed) or Dble with bath 30 and 40 /

Other hotels at similar prices in the area with touts waiting for you at the station.

At Baoguo Base :

Teddy Bear Restaurant, on the right when you exit the Lian Yun Bus Station / Mr. He, the manager, can get foreigners a 50% discount in the relatively nice opposite hotel. This means that a good Dble with attached bath will cost 120 and a bed in a more basic 4 beds or 2 bed's rooms 20 or 30 

Teddy Bear Resto

wanju xiong canguan

Baoguo Monastery / For more exotic accommodation, stay in one of the big & correct dorm room. A bed cost 20 in a 4 or 6 bed's room, 30 in a 3 beds' room and 40 in a Dble / Clean toilets / HW 18:30 to 21:30

On the path :

Most of the monasteries have basic accommodations. Most will try to charge a rip off rate of 20 to 40 for a bed in a very basic dorm. If you are walking in the HS or if the night is coming, there is little you can do and they know it. Trying to bargain the price down with a smile doesn't cost anything however...

At the summit :

It is even worse at the summit than it is in the path. The monastery will charge from 30 to 50Y for a bed or even more. The other places are much more expensive. You can therefore consider staying a bit below the summit, at Tai Zi Ping Monastery, about 1 hour walk to the summit : there a bed should cost 20 to 30Y.


Bus Schedules : from Emei Town

To Price Type Duration Time Nb Freq.
Baoguo 1 ordi 20 mn day time ++ 30mn
Leshan 4 ordi 45 mn day time ++ when full
Chengdu 15 to 30 ordi/luxe 3 up to 18 ++ ?

Note : Bus to Baoguo or Leshan are also waiting for passengers at the train station but they are usually more expensive

Trains
<< Click there


The trip to Leshan
Minibus / S / L / Y4 / 1hr

"Leshan ! Leshan ! You go to Leshan ? Get in ! We leave immediately !" Considering that the bus was empty, this was highly improbable. "Immediately" in this part of the world  means often "immediately when packed"... So I walked another 20 meters and found a ready-to-go one. I don't know how long the first passenger had to wait but the driver was obviously eager to catch up with time. We stopped a lot but arrived within one hour. The only interesting sight was on the left, in Leshan, just after the bus leave the river, probably the most erotic sculpture in whole China : a pulpous naked girl giving a body massage to a crocodile ! A nice change to all those Mao statues...

See also the trip from Zhongdian/Lijiang/Jinjiang to Emeishan...

Backpacker's Tips : Davide Gallino, Italy (Aug 01)
 The trip to Lijiang via Panzhihua : Getting out from the Panzhihua station, head immediately for one of the buses leaving for Lijiang as places are limited. 40 Yuan and 12 hours of uncomfy (I'm 1,85) bus and voila' you're in Lijiang ! The road up here is beautiful though. Before getting to Lijiang (2 hrs before ca.) there are two villages. One is rather a set of pleasant little villages scattered in an impressive and vast valley. The other one (1 hour before Lijiang) is clearly an effort from the Government to set up a nice modern village from scratch. I would have stopped in the first place if I had more time (or was sure to find another bus....). People with more time may make it.