Emei Shan

Emei Shan Overview

The mist-shrouded peaks, forested slopes, Buddhist temples, well-worn paths and winding stone stairs of Emei Shan (Éméi Shān, 峨眉山) or Mount Emei have drawn countless travelers over the centuries. Today, it is one of Sichuan's most popular tourist destinations.

Though huge crowds converge on Emei Shan during peak seasons, you can still find plenty of secluded spots on this vast mountain if you're willing to hike off from the main attractions. Whether you walk and climb all the way or take shortcuts via bus and cable car, Emei Shan offers splendid views of rugged mountains, classical Chinese temple architecture (with some Tibetan characteristics) and insight into Chinese religion and aesthetics.

Keep an eye out for the six-tusked elephant, a symbol of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (Pǔxián Púsà, 普贤菩萨), the patron bodhisattva of Emei Shan's monasteries. Also watch out for pesky monkeys looking to snack on whatever food you might have on you—if held up at a monkey checkpoint, show your hands, palms up and empty, and don't let them intimidate you.

The mountain is huge—its long profile, seen from a distance, gives it its name, which translates to "Eyebrow Mountain" (one belonging to a beautiful woman, of course)—and you can easily spend two or three days trekking about, sleeping in temple guest houses and exploring both natural and man-made sites. Sunrise from Jinding, also known as the Golden Summit, can be exquisite. If you're lucky, you might catch sight of "Buddha's Aureole," (Fó Guāng, 佛光) a phenomonon in which your shadow, cast against clouds beneath the peak, takes on a rainbow aura. For more on individual Emei Shan attractions, from Baoguo Temple to Wanfo Ding (Ten Thousand Buddha Summit), visit our Emei Shan Attractions page.

Entrance to the mountain is RMB 150.

Sichuan Guide | Emei Shan guide | Emei Shan attractions
Emei Shan flights (Chengdu) | Emei Shan hotels
Chengdu tours & activities | Emei Shan on the China Travel Blog

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