Next stop was Dujiangyan (都江堰). It’s only 60km northwest of Chengdu and it offers two UNESCO world heritage sites.
The Qingchéng Shan is most notably famous as the birthplace of Taoism. It offers the chance to hike through misty forests past cascading waterfalls and ancient Temples with views back down to Chengdu. It has been a Taoist spiritual centre for more than 2000 years.
The Dujiangyan irrigation system is the first in the world to control river flooding without the use of dams. It was completed in the Qin dynasty in 256BC and it’s still used to control water levels of the Min Jiang River.
Afterwards, I went down south to Emei Shan mountain (峨眉山)
Emeishan is 3099m high and is one of China’s four sacred Buddhist mountains (the others are Putou Shan, Wutai Shan and Jiihua Shan). A farmer built the first Buddhist temple near the famous Jinding Summit (South part of Emei Shan) in the 1st century, marking the Buddhism’s arrival in the Eastern world. That temple stood until it was gutted by fire in 1972. The oldest temple on Emei Shan still standing dates back to the 9th century.
Beyond its rich cultural heritage, the mountain also stands in the edge of the eastern Himalaya highlands and hosts a diverse range of plants and animals, such as monkeys:
The monkeys like to steal food
If you go in the early morning, you have the chance to see the sunrise:
At that time, the mountain is still full of haze.
The Jinding Temple is commonly referred to as the mountain’s highest peak. The prominent 48m tall golden statue of multidimensional Samantabhadra honors mountain protector Puxian and was added in 2006.
The whole summit is just super beautiful and you can stay there for a while and enjoy the temples and views.
The whole Emei Shan mountain area is super huge and you have to take buses to transfer in this complex area.
Eventhough you might take the bus, you’ll still walk a lot and since you’re visiting a mountain, you’re climbing a lot!
But the views are fantastic and you can feel the great atmosphere there with every step.
After climbing the mountain, you’ll feel super tired and what you need now is a Doufunao 豆腐脑: Jellied Tofu, which is a specialty in this region. You can add spicy flavor to the dish and you’ll feel like in heaven. What a delicious dinner!!
What else do you need after climbing the mountain?
Yes, I felt like reborn and was ready for my next stop: the biggest Buddha in the world!