Emei Shan (a.k.a. Emeishan, or Mt. Emei) is one of just four Buddhist sacred mountains in China. At 3,099m, Mt. Emei is more than 1,000m higher than the other three Buddhist sacred mountains. Thanks to its breathtaking scenery, mysterious natural wonders, and historical Buddhist sites Mt. Emei has been designated a World Heritage Site. The full day's hike to the summit is an unforgettable experience undertaken by many, but minibuses and cable cars make faster alternatives for travelers short on time.
The slopes of Emei Shan have been inhabited from as long ago 10,000 years. Originally a Taoist retreat the mountain became a sacred Buddhist mountain in the 3rd century AD. Puguang Hall on the Golden Summit was reputed to have been built in the 1st century AD and by the 3rd century when the Puxian form of Buddhism became dominant the Chinese monk Huichi built the Puxian Temple (now the Wannian Temple) at the foot of the Guanxinpo Terrace. Ever since, Mount Emei has been one of the most holy places of Buddhism. Extensive rebuilding during the Ming dynasty finally converted most of Emei's Taoist temples to Buddhism. There are over 30 Buddhist temples on Emei Shan.
Emei Shan literally means "Delicate Eyebrow Mountain" — it derives its name from two peaks which face each other and look like the delicate eyebrows of a Chinese classic beauty. Emei Shan features many temples, natural wonders and breathtaking scenery and the slopes are home to several different climates and much wildlife, especially birds and trees. Some of the trees are more than 1,000 years old.
Beware the Monkeys!
The local monkeys are accustomed to tourists and have become quite assertive; they are not dangerous but will beg for food and grab at bags as hikers walk along the trails. Many hikers carry walking sticks to shoo them away.