Walking Holidays in China - China - Mount Emei - Birthplace of Buddhism

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The Area

Mount Emei is located in the province of Szechuan (pronounced sech – one) the 5th largest in China and almost the size of Spain. The capital is Chengdu - a city of 7 million inhabitants with a rich history and fast growing economy. The province has many mountainous areas and places of interest, of which Mount Emei is the jewel. 

Mount Emei 
Mount Emei is a UNESCO world heritage site rising abruptly from the surrounding plains to a height of over 3000 metres as you approach from Chengdu. Although not technically part of the Himalayas, it is high mountains from here all the way to Everest. This mountain has intensive religious significance to the Buddhists of China as this is where Buddhism was first established on Chinese territory. The first Buddhist temple was built on the summit of Mount Emei during the 1st century and is now accompanied by 30 further temples scattered over the mountain. In addition many monasteries and Ming tombs enhance the atmosphere of this sacred, atmospheric mountain.montre homme festina  The range of plant species is exceptional with some 3,200 varieties of which 31 are under national protection. Also sharing the mountain are many species of wildlife, the most prevalent are the Macaque monkeys.  Mount Emei is also enshrouded in glory during its spectacular sunrises against a backdrop of unusual cloud formations visible from the mountains’ Golden Summit. Nearby is the impressive 8th century statue of Buddha which took more than 90 years to carve and is the largest in the world at 71 meters high.


A city of 7 million inhabitants and a rich history, Chengdu makes an interesting entry point to our trekking programs in this part of China and benefits from excellent accommodation and a strengthening economy. A walk through the narrow ‘old’ streets full of Chinese artists, shopkeepers and food vendors makes a colourful night time spectacle as well as sampling the mouth watering Szechuan cuisine. A visit to Chengdu would not be complete without a visit to the renowned Panda Research and Breeding Centre. The reserve is beautifully landscaped and offers Pandas the most natural habitat possible in captivity. A visit to the nursery where newborn babies are carefully nurtured is a special experience. 

The Walking
Climbing Mount Emei is no walk in the park as at least two days are required to ascend the 2,400 metres to the summit. It is however, a well-used route by many Chinese visitors and residents as so much of the mountain, its temples and monasteries are only accessible on foot. The trails are well maintained and most sections are stepped. As the trails wind around the mountain, cliffs tower above, waterfalls tumble to the ravine below and mist swirls above.  There are no vertiginous sections and the trail is protected at all times by fence or rails. As you ascend, you pass many temples and tombs and with time to explore these, will have a taste of the Buddhist way of life. There is a labyrinth of paths on the mountains so the use of a guide is essential.

Day 1
* Arrive in Chengdu, transfer from the airport and visit the world famous Panda Sanctuary before lunch. Then drive to the base of Mt Emei with a stop of course, to visit the Giant Buddha at Leshan. Overnight base of Mt Emei.

Day 2 Begin your ascent of this religious mountain and climb through the luxurious vegetation, past temples, tombs and monasteries. You will overnight halfway in a monastery which offers simple guest rooms and vegetarian cuisine in its communal dining room. Ascent 1100m Descent 0m, 13 miles 4-5 hours.

Day 3 Continue ascending through diverse, lush vegetation, perhaps encountering families of monkeys on this higher section. On reaching the road route which many tourists arrive by, you will have a choice of ascending the final section by cable car or to continue upwards on foot. This is usually best the following morning. Check into your hotel in Leidongping and have a restful afternoon after a late lunch.  Ascent 650m descent 100m 13 miles 4-5 hours.

Day 4
Rise early to reach the summit to see the sunrise, one of the ‘sights’ of China. Here, you will see the golden and silver Temples and a huge golden buddha resplendant against a blue sky. Views are amazing as near vertical cliffs fall away to the lowlands far below. Then return to the base of the cable car where where you descend by bus to meet your transport which will return you to Chengdu City train station or airport. Ascent to summit 2 hours.

You have the option to ascend the summit and return to Chengdu at the end of day 3 or to stay in a 5 star lakeside Spa hotel near Emei town and return to Chengdu the next morning.

Alternative if arriving directly from overseas:

Day 1 Arrive in Chengdu and transfer to your city centre hotel.

Day 2
Recover from your journey before visiting the world famous Panda Sanctuary followed by a visit to Chengdu’s Old Town maybe for some dinner if adventurous! Alternatively, visit the Sanctuary in the afternoon.

Day 3
as day 1 above, if you have visited the Panda Sanctuary, then you can leave a little later for Mt Emei via Leshan.

Day 4-6 as day 2 - 4 above.

Luggage Transfer 
Your bags will be stored for you after leaving the base hotel in Mt Emei and you will need to take overnight clothes for 1 or 2 nights depending on the itinerary you choose. Your bag will be returned to you once you rendezvous with your driver.

Walk Grading 
Moderate to Challenging, the latter due to a long ascent in possibly humid and hot weather. 

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Mount Emei trek

At the mountain base where your trek begins, the Chinese Style hotel is of 4* category. The hotel is located in the centre of Emeishan City with a park and shopping mall near by. Rooms are modern standard with bath. Dinner and breakfast are taken in the hotel restaurant. 

The second night is spent in a Monastery at mid-stage which offers simple guest rooms and vegetarian cuisine. Some rooms with private bathrooms are available and will be secured, but if not available simpler rooms with shared very clean shower and toilet will be substituted. 

On the mountain by the cable car station, the hotel is Chinese all round and has pleasant rooms with private bathroom and a good restaurant.  Please note not all bathrooms have western style toilet. 

At Emei base we also feature a 5 * hotel in a relaxing lakeside location close to Emei town.  Rooms are very comfortable and of an international style with excellent bathrooms. There is a pleasant outside bar overlooking the lake and hot pools for relaxing. The restaurant serves superb Chinese dishes at dinner and an excellent buffet breakfast. 


Chengdu - Buddha Zen - 4 Star

In Chengdu  - A traditional and classy courtyard-style hotel located within the narrow streets of the ‘old town’, the Buddha Zen offers rooms with modern Chinese décor with classic wood furnishings, flat screen TV, tea/coffee making amenities, safe and private bathrooms. The hotel also features a Chinese restaurant, Tea House and Spa where guests can relax. English is spoken.


Chengdu - Dorsset Grand Hotel - 5 Star

In Chengdu - This is a modern 5 star hotel 4km from the centre of Chengdu and has everything which you would expect from a hotel of this standard. 


Chengdu - Wenjun Hotel - 3 Star

In Chengdu - A courtyard hotel, the Wenjun is a modern Chinese style hotel located in a pleasant shopping street.  Rooms are air-conditioned  with WIFI, tea/coffee-making facilities and a satellite TV. Slippers and free toiletries are provided. Each room has a seating area outside and the courtyard has a bar and tables for outside dining. English is well spoken.


Availability Information

Mount Emei can be visited all year around however best avoided is July and August as they are the wettest and hottest months. December to February are the coldest with temperature average around 5C but rarely above 10C or below 0C however views at this time are enhanced by clear skies.

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit. 

When to book your walking holiday in China - China - Mount Emei - Birthplace of Buddhism

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