As you will see, things are quite different from the previous theme that I was using. The changeover hasn’t been nearly as complicated as I thought that it would be, though I have been having some trouble getting a good header in place. Its next on the to do list.
China is a land with a strong Buddhist tradition, originally brought over from India and morphed into a form that sits strongly with Chinese characteristics. Though the country is officially an atheist state, there is a longstanding Buddhist tradition. About an hour outside of Leshan stands Emei Shan, the tallest of China’s four sacred mountains. These legendary peaks are major points of interest and attract visitors from around the world, Buddhist and others alike.
Emei Shan stands over ten thousand feet in elevation, making it more than a simple day trek to get to the summit. The peak of the mountain is frequently called the Golden Summit, in reference to an ancient structure close to the highest point. The hike to the top is considerable, and many hikers opt to spend the night on the mountain at one of a multitude of monasteries that dot the sides. The peak is also revered for remarkable sunsets and peculiar cloud formations.
This said, I was disappointed that we did not have the time to make it to the top or, for that matter, even onto the mountain itself. I love hiking and the mountains, and had been looking forward to this destination. Instead, we spent some time at the base, viewing one of the older, more fixed up temples, as well as a museum with specimens of the variety of life that exists on the mountain itself (they were particular proud of the wide array of butterflies). I will also note that the mountain is home to a species of monkey, known to attack hikers who do not feed them. It is a convenient bit of luck for those down below who sell the so called ‘Monkey food’. There was a large, stuffed Panda Bear inside of a re-creation of their natural habitat. I explained to our guide that many of the students on our trip had wanted to visit the Panda reserve near Chengdu and have their picture taken while petting one of China’s sacred creatures. The man let a huge laugh and pointed at the panda, grinning.
“A picture with that? Most tourists probably don’t know about out Pandas. Very slow and sleepy, but very dangerous and vicious if it wants to be”.
After we left, we briefly stopped at the worlds largest school for Buddhist monks. It was still under construction, but it was absolutely massive.