When exploring China for a few days, you begin feeling one of the stronger traveller’s blessings – the opportunity to embrace a country and enjoy moments that touch a traveller’s soul. This blissful feeling of fulfillment happens every time you tick a moment or item off your bucket list, catch a heartfelt story of a local, or see something from someone else’s eyes. There is so much to see in China that it can be hard to choose what to include and what to omit from your itinerary. However for each trip, you should have a spot to slow down and unwind. And in China, this ideal spot is atop Mt. Emei at a peaceful monastery.

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Mt Emei, China
Mt Emei, China

A Little About Mt. Emei

Mt. Emei, is located in the perfect city (Emei), surrounded by mountains, meadows, forests and pure tranquility. This place is a complete contrast to the city life most automatically link to China. The most exciting and unique part of staying on Mt. Emei is the accommodation options. Consider a beautiful and humbling monastery. When I was there, I could not wait to have such an experience staying among peaceful and faithful Buddhist monks. This monastery was a piece of solace within the Chinese borders.
The Mt. Emei Monastery
The Mt. Emei Monastery

Your Stay at a Mt. Emei Monastery

 Upon arrival in the grounds stop and take in the atmosphere of peace. You are surrounded by simple, yet blessed pagodas and buildings of ancient tradition. A large fountain containing holy water and floating candles sits at the centre. Walking past, you cannot help but whisper a blessing or a prayer.
Centre of the Mt. Emei Monastery
Centre of the Mt. Emei Monastery

I had few expectations for this accommodation except for providing me with a safe place to rest for the night. The showers and washrooms were outside the rooms and no elevator was available; however, it was nothing near “roughing it.” The gentleman running the monastery’s accommodation area was incredibly helpful and willing to do whatever it took for patrons to be comfortable.

Since I arrived to Mt. Emei in November, I needed a double helping of blankets to stay warm, but other than this the rooms did the trick for a peaceful night’s rest.

Pro-Tip: If you tend to feel cold, it is highly recommended to request additional linens and wear flannel pajamas to bed. There is no heating provided and the night air can get quite chilly being within a mountain range.

Monastery Accommodation on Mt. Emei
Monastery Accommodation on Mt. Emei

Mt. Emei Monastery Food Details

Vegetarians will truly enjoy the meals at the monastery as meat is not allowed on the premises. Various vegetable stir-fries over rice are available in a variety of sauces and spices for the hearty appetite. Should you wish a meaty dish, the small village off the property offers a variety of flavourful hot chicken and pork noodle dishes.
The evenings here are quiet and very inactive. The onsite shops close before dinner and only one café offers WIFI. Prepare yourself in advance to leave modern technology at the gate, unplug, and enjoy a screen-free cultural experience you may not have again.

After dinner I decided to explore the grounds. I stopped at a giant Buddha. The Buddha’s location had a “Stairway to Heaven” effect as you were in front of such a sacred being. Although Buddhism is not my faith, I respected him so much, closed my eyes and sent a message of thanks for being blessed to share this time and opportunity in one of his sacred homes. I thanked God for bringing me to this peaceful place and expressed my undying gratitude.

Buddha - Mt. Emei
Buddha – Mt. Emei

The Chanting on Mt. Emei

If the aforementioned wasn’t enough to describe an incredible experience, one of the most memorable moments here is waking up to something other than an annoying alarm clock. Instead, enjoy waking up to beautiful unison choruses and chants. The monks begin chanting and their daily rituals at 5 am as the sun rises above the mountains welcoming the day.
I am not one to enjoy being awakened at the wee hours of the morning, but I cannot deny that hearing their peaceful voices was amazing and these hymns at sunrise made for a beautiful beginning to a beautiful day. I lay there under my 4 blankets, with my eyes closed, debating whether I would get up and capture the sky’s magical colours…
Did I cave and get up?
Nope. I lay there listening to the beautiful sound and let the sun rise without being photographically captured.
Mt. Emei Monastery Welcome Fountain
Mt. Emei Monastery Welcome Fountain

Book a Tour: Chengdu Panda Base and Leshan Giant Buddha Tour

Staying at the monastery provides such beneficial rejuvenation while travelling through China. The mountainous views, natural splendor of birds and butterflies, and the sunrise chants are worth every moment spent here; not to mention providing a glimpse of the monks incredible life of solitude and dedication to those who had no clue how dedicated and peaceful they are.

I enjoyed being screen-free and I highly recommend for everyone to embrace it; use the time spent here to share a conversation, catch up on your journal, write postcards home, or gaze at the stars in the moonlight. Enjoy those lost arts and traditions replaced by technology.
Blessing Ribbons you could purchase at the Mt. Emei Monastery
Blessing Ribbons you could purchase at the Mt. Emei Monastery

This place was definitely one of my favorite places on my 3 week trip….it was cold, and basic, but truly incredible.

Buddha, thank you.

 

Mt. Emei China
Mt. Emei China

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