This week is my first week working in InternChina and my first trip I attended organised by them.
We had all planned to meet at Xinnanmen Station for an early 9am departure to make our way to Dayi. We had a slight hiccup as the lady at the bus station gave us the wrong information and to get the Dayi we had to get a bus from Chadianzi Station, which was on the other side of the city! Six tired interns and one journey across the city we finally left Chengdu at 11am.
Dayi is a county of Sichuan Province, about 68km west of Chengdu. The journey from Chengdu to Dayi was about an hour, so it didn’t really take too long. But it was definitely long enough for that much needed nap all of us took on the way there.
Once we had arrived at Dayi, the first thing we noticed was how clean the was air was and we even got to enjoy a bit of sun (the sun is a rare thing in Chengdu).
We went to visit a place called Baiyansi, it had lots of nature and beautiful scenery. It was shame that that the leaves had already fallen and we were not able to see the trees full of golden leaves which was one of the main reasons for our visit to Dayi! We felt so sad that some of our interns put leaves in their hair.
I knew that there would be lots of walking but I didn’t expect it to be hilly as it was. I didn’t manage to make it all the way up, but the majority of the interns did. I think that next time I would definitely take more food with me, I’m not the one who can manage on just snacks!
My favourite part of the trip was seeing the white pagoda that we had passed on the way up.
It was also interesting to see the long stairway that was lined with different Buddhas at either side.
It was definitely worth the trip and having enjoyed the nice air of the countryside I feel that escaping the city once in a while is definitely on my list.
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Two weeks ago a friend and me made a two day trip to beautiful Mount Emei (峨眉山 – E Mei Shan) ca. 150km / 2,5 h bus ride south of Chengdu to do a little bit of hiking.
With its peak at 3,099 m Mount Emei is the highest of the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism in China and since 1996 also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are more than one hundred monasteries and temples doted along the slopes and peaks of the mountain.
First we arrived at the village at Bao Guo Temple (报国寺) which is the entry gate to Emei Shan National Park and equipped us with food, drinks and –following the advice of the locals – a walking stick to protect ourselves. From there you can either cheat and take a bus straight up to the cable car at 2,500m or go to one of the hiking tracks at the foot of the mountain – of course we opted for the strenuous hike!
After we walked past the various food and souvenir stalls around the bus station we made our way up the mountain through the ‘Natural Ecology Monkey Zone’ where we soon realized what the stick was meant for. The Tibetan macaque monkeys in this area are stealing snacks, drinks, cameras or anything else within their reach of careless tourists walking by. This can be quite fun as long as you are not the one being looted by them! 😉
We finally managed to pass the monkeys without losing anything of value and went on a 5 hour hike up to the Yu Xian Monastery (遇仙寺) which would be our home for the night. On our way up we were literally the only ones on the track, which, since you are actually never alone in China, can be a very relaxing feeling. This gave us the chance to really enjoy the gorgeous scenery.
When we woke up the next day the whole mountain was covered in a thick layer of clouds which made the giant statues on the Golden Peak Summit (金顶) look a bit surreal, but I managed to snap a photo when the sun came out for a few seconds.