Jellylegs

Emeishan Travel Blog

 › entry 12 of 14 › view all entries

I got up at 6:30 the next morning, as everyone says you should head out early to Emei.  I walked over to the bus station and bought a ticket to the highest bus stop on the mountain.  I had gotten a suggested path from the hotel owner the previous night.  I was going to take the bus to Leidongping, then take a cable car up to the summit, climb to the top, take the cable car back down, take the bus to a lower station, then hike through some of the monkey zones.  I had brought 220RMB with me--more than I've needed on any other day.  According to the Lonely Planet book this would be enough for all of the costs.  But I soon found that the costs had been jacked up since the book was researched just last year.

The drive up the mountain took about an hour and a half.

  I fell asleep for much of the trip.  I think I may have been affected by the altitude a little--I developed a headache and felt slightly nauseous.  I had borrowed a walking stick from the hotel, but forgot it on the bus.  (Woops.)  Now what would I do in the monkey zone?  Those monkeys can be real asses. 

The bus stopped at Leidongping and let us all off.  And thus the climbing began.  First I climbed up to the cable car.  Upon reaching it, I realized that prices has been raised quite a bit, and I was not going to have enough money to follow my original plan.  The ride up the cable car was 65RMB, or $10!  And that was a one-way ticket.  To come back down you must spend another $8.

50.  I needed to save another 40RMB for the return bus ride.  After counting out my money I decided that I would ride the car up, then hike down.  So I joined the group going on the car.  This one was much different than the ones I saw on Cangshan.  This one was a huge room that held up to 100 people.  It only took about 5 minutes.  (Such a rip-off!) 

After we reached the other end I got off and began to climb up more sets of stairs to the summit of the mountain.  And I must admit, this was pretty darn cool.  There is a huge golden statue on the summit with many elephants and Buddhas.  It was sparkling brilliantly in the early sunlight.  I've read that it can be tricky to see it sometimes, because the fog can be very thick.

  But I was lucky and the cloudline was actually beneath the summit.  I had a perfectly clear vision both from a distance and up close.  The base of the statue was a temple.  There was a monastary and a nunnery on the summit as well.  There was chanting coming from one of the buildings.  It was a surreal atmosphere.  The temple held several more Buddha statues.  The vast majority of people up there were practitioners and were kowtowing to the statues.   

I spent about an hour up on the summit soaking in all of this.  Then I decided that I had better get started on the descent, since I didn't know how long it would take.  I didn't have much money to buy food, so I ended up buying a piece of corn-on-the-cob for 5RMB.

  Then I found the walking trail and began to climb down the stairs.  Oh my god, there were sooooo many stairs.  And after about 20 minutes I noticed a problem.  All of the climbing from the day before with the pack had taken a toll on my legs.  As I began trekking down the mountain I found that my legs were hurting more and more.  After about 40 minutes of non-stop stairs, I found that when I stood still my legs would tremble violently.  I passed several dozen people who were climbing up instead of taking the cable car.  I can't imagine how they did it.  I'm sure I would not have made it climbing up.  By the time I actually reached the bus station at Leidongping over 2 hours had passed.  My legs could barely support me.
  I knew I wouldn't make it to the monkey zones--there was no way my legs could take any more climbing.  (Fortunately I had seen a few monkeys near my arrival point, so I felt ok about skipping the heavily populated zones.)

I bought a bus ticket back to Baoguo and we started the twisty drive back down.  I wasn't feeling great, but apparently I felt much better than one poor older woman on the bus.  We stopped at a rest stop about 30 minutes into the trip, and she ran out of the bus and threw up on the grass.  I'm guessing it was heat, altitude sickness, motion sickness, or a mixture of all three.  Unfortunately she had to get back on the bus and endure another hour of sharp and fast turns.  I wasn't sitting by her, but I could hear her continue to get sick while we drove.

I was originally going to say this was the strangest thing I ate in China--a Chinese hamburger. It was a really odd texture, and had odd flavoring. And whatever tuber they used for the fries, it was green.
  I had noticed some plastic bags hanging from hooks on the ceiling, and originally thought they were for trash.  But now I had a pretty good idea that they were barf bags.

When we got back to the town I tried to walk off some of the stiffness in my legs, but it didn't work.  Then I went to the hotel, took a shower, and took a nap.  I had arranged to have a massage in my room that evening.  The woman came and did the full deal, like the massage I'd had in Dali.  But this one was half the price.  When she worked on my legs I wanted to cry out in pain, but I figured it was probably quite good for my muscles even if it really hurt.  After that I didn't feel like going back out on the town, so I had some Sichuanese food offered by the hotel for dinner.

My room at the Teddy Bear Hotel. It was really quite large.

This part of my trip really wasn't too great, as you can tell.  On top of everything else, Emeishan and Baoguo were really expensive.  They charged outrageous amounts of money for everything, compared to other cities.  If I had it all to do over again, I would have chosen to go somewhere else instead of Leshan and Emeishan.  But hey, no trip can be without trials.  And now I have stories to tell. 

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I was originally going to say this…
I was originally going to say thi…
My room at the Teddy Bear Hotel.  …
My room at the Teddy Bear Hotel. …
On the mountain.
On the mountain.
So many stairs!  Sure am glad I ch…
So many stairs! Sure am glad I c…
Locks near the temple on the summi…
Locks near the temple on the summ…
Hard to tell, but here Im looking…
Hard to tell, but here I'm lookin…
This was the monument on top of Em…
This was the monument on top of E…
One of the hundreds of stalls on t…
One of the hundreds of stalls on …
1,752 km (1,089 miles) traveled
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Emeishan
photo by: spocklogic