Mount Emei is one of four holy Buddhist mountains of China. Its spiritual meaning, golden top and teasing monkeys make the mountain famous. You can cheat your way to the top by taking cable cars and buses. We decided to go for the real deal and did a two-day trekking. I regretted the decision after hours of climbing, but can look back with a satisfied sense of achievement.

Hiking our way to the summit was extremely exhausting. Luckily, the trail was dotted with nice little temples where we could come to our breath (to be honest: where I could come to my breath – Lucas is always feeling perfectly fine). One of the passages of the trek is called The Steep Monkey Hill. As the name says, a steep hill where wild monkeys group together. Due to tourists feeding the monkeys, they are not afraid of people anymore. The first monkey I saw jumped on my back and showed his teeth to me. I love cuddling animals, but that thing was terrifying. They try to steal everything that isn’t part of your body. We were shocked to see monkeys drink soft drinks and eat chips and cookies. It also brings a lot of garbage with it; such a shame. Please, I beg you, do NOT feed the monkeys, no matter how entertaining that might seem to you. Nevertheless, there were also a lot of shy, calm monkeys with babies, which were so lovely to see.

We arrived at 2.30 PM in the Elephant Bathing Pool Monastery, where we planned to stay the night. However, we didn’t want to suspend our trekking yet. While taking a break, we met a nice Chinese young couple, Pian and Fish (so sorry for not being able to write the names correctly!). We decided to continue the trek together, which was great, since Fish (the girl) found it as fatiguing as I did. We motivated each other and enjoyed the views, despite the rain, cold and aching muscles.

After a trek of 9 hours and 25 kilometers, of which 2 kilometers climbing, we arrived at the monastery that is almost at the top… To hear that there was no food or shelter left for us. Luckily, we had Pian with us to talk our way in a creaky old attic where we could spend the night.

At 4 in the morning we woke up to finish our trek to the top. The atmosphere was very unique. You could only hear the sound of your own breathing, tapping walking canes and animals deep in the mountains. Accompanied with Pian, Fish and a flashlight we continued the final 500 m to the top.

The sunrise was hidden by clouds, but the beautiful people we met on our way, the views, the animals and the atmosphere made Emeishan one of my best memories of China.

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