Emei Shan is 150 km south of Chengdu in China’s vast western province of Sichuan. I visited at the end of 2010, and despite cracking a rib after falling down icy steps and enduring what I refered to at the time as “the most miserable night I’ve ever spent anywhere,” I’m desperate to go back – back to mingle with the monkeys and spend the night in temples, back to explore more of Sichuan and get deeper below a surface which I only scratched the first time.
Western China has long been my favourite part of China to visit. It is less developed, on the whole, when compared to the prosperous east. There are far more natural wonders and wilderness areas to explore. It is also, in a way, less Chinese, or at least you see a very different side of China to that which is encountered elsewhere.
With the majority of China’s minorities living in provinces like Yunnan and Sichuan, and the Buddhist influences drifting over from Tibet, the western Chinese culture tends to be much more varied, which makes travelling there even more a voyage of discovery than usual. And then there’s the napalm-like food.
Read More: For more about my painful experience on the top of Emei Shan, together with some useful info about getting there and getting to the top, see my post Emei Shan: Snow, Monkeys and Broken Ribs