Photoblog: Floating Above the Clouds on Mount Emei

Posted on October 9, 2012 by

Thick, white clouds surround us almost as if we are floating above them. All the concrete of the city have disappeared beneath us, under that layer of marshmallow white clouds. There are only the soothing sounds of chanting prayers echoing in the distance. At 3,099 meters above sea level, all we see in the horizon are the clear blue skies and the sea of cloud at our feet.

We are standing on the peak of Mount Emei, the highest of the four sacred Buddhist mountains of China. Located on the western rim of the Sichuan basin, Mount Emei dominates the landscape of the Leshan county along with the world’s tallest Buddha. Dotted all over the slopes of the mountain are 76 Buddhist monasteries, and on its peak is where the first Buddhist temple in China was built, back in the 1st century CE. Today, the mountain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hugely popular with Buddhist pilgrims from all other parts of China.

During our visit, we made it up to Jinding, or Golden Summit, and hiked over an hour to get to the mountain’s peak. As a child, I’d heard of many Chinese mythical stories and legends surrounding this mountain, but nothing prepared me for this experience. Coming here felt surreal and I had an instant connection to the mountain. I’ll let Alberto’s pictures take you there with us and perhaps you can understand why.

Peak of Mount Emei

The sea of clouds floats beneath the peak of Mount Emei

The highest peak

The highest point of the mountain, where entrance is prohibited

A photo of Nellie

A photo that Alberto took of me sitting at the edge of the stone mountain

Silver temple floating on clouds

The Silver Temple at the summit

Inside the silver temple

In the courtyard of the temple

Stairway to heaven

Stairway to heaven: the steps that lead to the sea of clouds

White elephant figures

A row of white elephant figures line the stairway


 The Golden Temple at Jinding, the summit

Locks of love

 Locks of love – people give their blessings using locks attached to the railings of Jinding

The Buddha statue

Massive statue of Samantabhadra shimmering in gold at the summit of Mount Emei

Disclaimer: This trip was made possible by China Odyssey Tours, but all opinions expressed above are our own.

About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

17 Responses to “Photoblog: Floating Above the Clouds on Mount Emei”

  1. Arun October 9, 2012 8:41 pm #

    This place looks amazing. Loved the way sunlight has been used on Samantabhadra in the last image.

  2. Jeremy Branham October 10, 2012 9:21 am #

    Those clouds are awesome!

  3. Helen October 11, 2012 4:06 am #

    What a view! How does it feel at this altitude?

    • Nellie October 13, 2012 7:32 am #

      Not too bad really. I only got altitude sickness in Uyuni, Bolivia – the altitude was over 5,000m!

  4. Gina February 9, 2013 7:15 pm #

    Oh, wow, these pictures are amazing! Is it common for the clouds there to look like this? Gorgeous.

    • @WildJunket March 29, 2013 7:21 pm #

      I think we were extremely lucky! It was a gorgeous day and the clouds just looked so poetic.

  5. nandini February 23, 2013 4:06 am #

    wow what a place really so sooooooooooooooo beautiful amazing

  6. biba February 25, 2013 8:57 pm #

    sooooooo want to visit this place

    looks amazing

    how cold it was there? will be visiting with a 1-year old baby?

    • @WildJunket March 29, 2013 7:22 pm #

      It wasn't too cold because the sun came up once we got to the peak. I had a thick Gore-tex coat on, but had to remove it when the sun came out. It's still advisable to bring a thick coat with you. You have to walk for around an hour or so, perhaps you'd like to bring a comfortable carrier for your baby.

  7. Canyoning Wales March 27, 2013 8:59 am #

    What an amazing view. Did you not suffer from altitude sickness at all?

    • @WildJunket March 29, 2013 7:23 pm #

      No, it's not that high so we didn't feel any effects of altitude sickness. I did get huge bulks of altitude sickness in Bolivia when we were traveling around the Salar de Uyuni. Let's just say it wasn't the best experience!

  8. Alex Cardo September 24, 2013 12:40 pm #

    An excellent landscape of of Mount Emei! I'll visit this place next year. Thanks for sharing. Did you visit this place by yourself? How long time it spent to grow up???

    • Nellie October 1, 2013 3:03 am #

      Thank you! Awesome that you are going there soon. We were on a trip with China Odyssey Tours, and our guide gave us some useful information about the history and geography of the place, but yes you can also visit on your own. China isnt easy to get around without some basic knowledge of Mandarin but it shouldnt be a problem. There are TONS of Chinese tourists in Mount Emei but not alot of foreign visitors. We took the cable car up and only hiked around one hour after that to get the peak and spent around three hours on the top soaking up the beauty. :)


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