"Finding Myself in China" Mt. Emei is 3000 metres high, and one can avail oneself of several or all of a variety of methods of ascending and descending the mountain. From a hard slog hike, to an easy access bus ride and from being carried in a cable car to being carried in a 'jampan' (sedan chair) by locals, there are a variety of ways to get around. As a foreigner, I was given special treatment, and the normal price of 220 rmb per night at the hotel, was reduced to just 140 rmb (which was just twice the price that other guests we spoke to had paid.)
Visiting Mt. Emei Golden Summit Sichuan Province
by R.P. BenDedek (12:07 PM 2/21/2015 Beijing Time)
On February 21, 2015, in preparation for publication of my book "Finding Myself in China," I transferred the text of the original article to this page at KingsCalendar. I have carried over the photographs in the original article and have edited the article for American spelling and grammar.
Summer of 2007 - Trip Number Three
I have in the previous month written about my summer trips to Macao and LeShan in Sichuan, and today, I will continue the story of my trip, by relating a little of my experience in climbing Mt. Emei in Sichuan.
Mt. Emei is 3000 meters high, and one can avail oneself of several or all of a variety of methods of ascending and descending the mountain. From a hard slog hike, to an easy access bus ride and from being carried in a cable car to being carried in a 'jampan' (sedan chair) by locals, there are a variety of ways to get around. One has access to a certain part of the mountain without paying any fee, but thereafter, depending upon whether you want a one or two day access, one must pay. (120 RMB for 2 day photographic ticket.) Whilst all of it is beautiful, it is the Summit that just takes the breath away.
Emeishan - Mt. Emei
Left at the bottom of the mountain Right at the top of the mountain
Welcome to the Golden Summit Scenic Area of Mt.Emei!
The re-construction of the Golden Summit cable-car may have given you inconvenience. We are truly sorry for that.
From Jieyin Temple to Golden Summit, you can choose two ways to get there: one is to ride the small cable-car to the top (up 40 RMB Yuan per person, and down 30 RMB Yuan per person) in 20 minutes.
On the way, you may enjoy the sea of clouds, sunrise and the fog and mist around Leidong Plateau. If the cable-car slows down or stops on the halfway, do not panic. It slows down for the old and the disabled to get on and off the carriage. For safety, the cable stops on very rare occasions like thunderstorms. The other way to get to the top is to walk up the step trail about 6 km (walking up takes about 2 hours, and down about 1.5 hours). If you couldn't bear the steep steps, then you can take a jampan instead of walking (carrying up 250 RMB Yuan per person and down 220 RMB Yuan per person). And you can pay the jampan porters according to the distance if you catch a jampan half way to the top. If you have any question or problem, please dial 0833 5098074 to the Golden Summit Management Office, where you can get timely help. This area is a primeval forest at top fire prevention level, so in order to protect the precious world natural and cultural heritage, please don't smoke, make fire, and pick flowers and plants or litter. Have a nice trip!
Top Frames Below: Left: Temple at the Cable Car Terminal on final leg to the top of the mountain. The Temple kept disappearing into the clouds Right: Looking down on a hostel on the summit and looking over the clouds
Left: View from the hotel room Right: Shrine at the Entrance to the Mountain Park
Mingxing and I traveled to Emei by bus from LeShan, and after some discussion at the bus station, agreed to a 15 rmb private car ride to a hotel at the base of the mountain. As a foreigner, I was given special treatment, and the normal price of 220 rmb per night at the hotel, was reduced to just 140 rmb (which was just twice the price that other guests we spoke to had paid.) We set off on our first day of travelling the mountain on July 24th. This I know because it is on the ticket stub. I think it was a Friday. We took off not knowing exactly what we were doing, but we went well prepared anyway. Loaded with 'sports drinks' (highly recommended) we picked up our 'mud map' of the mountain and set off. I personally had no clue what lay in store, but even if I had, I would not have been prepared for the steep climb. When you enter the park from the main road, there is an 'open park' with a beautiful golden shrine, and lovely waterfalls. From there you go up the steps that lead to a museum, and after that, like everyone else, you try to figure out where you are and where you want to go.
Top Left: Shengji Bronze Bell Top Right: Baoguo Temple
Above Left: Baoguo Temple residential complex Above Right: Local People walking the mountain
After a short walk one arrives at the Baoguo Temple Scenic Area (built in 1573 in Wanli year of Ming Dynasty). Passing through some of the temple living areas and after arriving at the Shengji Bronze Bell, one descends a little way to the Temple area itself.
Shengji Wanzhong (Shengji Bronze Bell)
This bronze bell weighs 12500 kilograms and has a height of 2.3 meters. It is said to be "King of Bells in Sichuan," and is well perserved as a valuable cultural relic.
It was whilst in the Baoguo Temple complex that I took the photo in the left frame of the composite photograph below. Taken from inside the Temple looking out through a side exit, it just shows a group of ordinary people having a rest and a chat. Only moments before this, Mingxing and I had taken a moment to rest and chat with a small boy and his parents. This encounter proved fortuitous, because it provided us with some interesting experiences the next day, when we ran into them again further up the mountain.
Top Left: Inside the Baoguo Temple looking out Top Right: Not the boy mentioned above but just as curious
Above Left: Monk's washing hanging out to dry Above Right: This is a steep mountain and that is a stone slab the guy is carrying
After leaving Baoguo Temple we headed off to Fuhu Temple - Built in Tang Dynasty, originally called "God Dragon Hall." It was quite a long walk to Fuhu Temple and we were accompanied part way by the young Chinese family we had spoken with. We passed some interesting 'do's and don’ts' signs posted by the municipal government (listed at Kingscalendar), as well as some wonderful combinations of natural and man-made art around the banks of the Huxi Brook. At the Temple complex which was quite large, we met two American ladies from (currently) New Hampshire and we had a rather colorful conversation with them. Apparently they were teachers attending some type of Yoga convention.
While the top frames show some very ancient things indeed, the ladies from New Hampshire are in the bottom left frame and the young Chinese family are on the right.
Huxi Brook Below:
By the time we made it to our next stop, I was thoroughly exhausted and had finished off 2 sports drinks plus 2 bottles of water. The mountain just went ever upwards. Mind you, on this particular day, we only walked to the 900 meter mark. Nevertheless, it was one continuous climb up the man made steps, along which frail looking men carried huge 'tablets of stone.' These next photographs will give you some idea of the climb.
Pack Horses and Asses
I have written before that one's very real experiences in China take precedence over 'exotic' western conceptions and political correctness ideology, and I have warned that one must constantly be vigilant when it comes to money and prices of things. On our trip to the Chunyang Monastery, which never seemed to arrive no matter how close it looked on the mud map, I got right royally cheated, and it was my fault. We had been climbing and climbing and climbing stairs and trails and were exhausted. I was desperate for both a rest and something to drink. We had no idea how far away the Chuanyang Monastery was, and so when we came to a little shop, I insisted we stop, and I ordered a cup of tea. I never even thought to ask how much it would cost. I just ordered.
Imagine my surprise when they charged me 20 rmb. I nearly fell over backward. I could have bought 4 x 600 ml sodas for that price. To top off my disgust, when we got up to leave, we discovered that the Temple was actually just out of sight but right next door. What was worse was that there were plenty of stalls there from which we could have purchased cheaper tea and soft drinks.
Top Left: Chuanyang Monastery Bottom Left: The entrance into the Chuanyang Monastery The Chuanyang Monastery building is architecturally interesting
Above Right: Shengshui Pavilion
From the Chuanyang Monastery we followed the trail to Shengshui Pavilion. Although we didn't actually enter it (seen one - seen 'm all), Mingxing and I did offer up some incense to the ancestors, about 20 meters from where I took the Shengshui Pavilion photo above. From here it was a just a quick step and a jump to Shengshuige where there are stone carvings of poems and legends, recording the love of poets and worshipers in history for the beautiful mountain. Hey! I'm just telling you the story as I found it recorded! From there we headed off to Zhongfeng Temple. Zhongfeng apparently means "halfway up the mountain"; an appropriate name if ever I heard one. As neither time nor inclination was on our side, we chose to translate the name as 'halfway down the mountain,' and set off to follow the map down to the Wu Xian Gang bus station located on the mountain. We had by this time been climbing the mountain for 6 hours.
Back at the hotel, Mingxing spoke with the proprietor about taking a bus tour next morning to the Summit. I forget now what the fee for the bus ride was, (around 100 rmb each I think), but everything was arranged for us to join a Chinese tour at something like 5 am. The bus station, which was within walking distance of our hotel, was jam packed with people. In due course, our particular tour group was loaded onto a bus and we set off up the mountain. I don't know quite what I expected, but it took something like 90 minutes to arrive at the 'official entrance' to the park. At that point everything came to a standstill as everyone in every bus had to line up, pay their entrance fee, and have their photographs taken. (Tickets are photographic). We at least were able to lounge around on the bus as we had purchased our two day ticket the day before. After we got underway again, it still took us quite a long time to reach the bus station up 'near' the top of the mountain. Relieved to have arrived at the bus station, I mistakenly thought that we had in fact arrived near to our final destination. "Not Quite!"
From the bus station we had to go just 200 meters up the mountain to the 'cable car' lift to the summit. Just 200 meters to the cable car didn't sound so bad. I have no idea at what degree of incline we were walking, but those were the longest 200 meters of my life. To make it worse, all the 'so-n-so' Chinese were laughing at my red face and sweat drenched forehead. Later coming back down, it was I who had the laugh at the new arrivals. That 200 meter walk, the last part of which was a set of stairs at about a 70 degree angle, took us to the cable car station, opposite which was a temple.
Although we never went into the temple, it was worth a photograph (Second Composite photo on this page) because we were so high up that while waiting for our tour group to buy their cable car tickets, the temple kept disappearing behind and reappearing from the thick clouds that were sweeping past. The cable car ride cost 30 rmb each way. The angle of ascent was unbelievable. If you have ever taken the cable car up to the castle in Salzburg Austria, then you might have some idea of the angle. Even when one arrives at the summit, there is still some distance to walk and some steps to climb. But oh was it worth it!
Views at the top The photo top right actually reveals two temples. The photo top left is the third. Inside the golden Buddha is another temple.
Summit Photos in the additional photo files are much larger but even they do not do justice to the magnificence of the place. To look down on the clouds; to see people and buildings disappear in front of you; to observe the opulence of the place is to experience the surreal.
The Golden Summit Scenic Area
The Golden Summit Scenic Area is 16 square kilometers, and its yearly average temperature is 3 C. Golden Summit is 3,079m and the Wanfo (Ten Thousand Buddha) Summit, known as the highest peak on the mountain, is 3,099 m above sea level. The most wondrous sight-seeing platform and the biggest pilgrimage centre of Chinese Buddhism, it is crowned as a scenic masterpiece in the Chinese World. Golden Summit, Qianfo (Thousand Buddha) Summit, and Wanfo Summit stand in parallel, showcasing its grandeur. There are four natural miracles: the Sunrise, the Sea of Clouds, Buddha's Halo, and the Holy Lamps. Aureole of Golden Summit, smoggy mist of Leidong Plateau, Flower Sea of Cuckoo, and secluded forests of fir are also well-known at home and abroad. Silver thaw and icy trees highlight marvelous snow-capped mountains in South China. Walking in the sight-seeing corridor as long as 2 km, you will be carried away by the gorgeous scenery. The Golden Hall, Silver Hall (Woyun Monastery), and Copper Hall (Huazang Temple), surround and protect the "Multi-Dimensional Samantabhadra," 48 m in height and 660 tons in weight, enabling tourists to purify their souls in such a scared environment full of Buddhist wisdom and spirit.
Words cannot describe the feeling one has on the summit, of being "in the clouds and above everything else in the world." It really is a spectacular place to visit. As the clouds would roll in and out, whole buildings would disappear from view, and at one point, we were walking along a path beside the cliff, and the clouds simply caused the whole world to disappear from view. It was magical.
When we left the Summit of Emei Shan, we took the tour bus to a bus station, and from there, we headed off to Wannian Temple. The rest of our tour group took the Jampans (sedan Chairs carried by 2 men - 40 RMB), but Mingxing and I took the enclosed chair lift (40 rmb), and thereby effectively left our tour group. Once we exited the chair lift, we made our way to Wannian Temple. Wannian Temple is also called Baishui where there is a pond by the name of Baishui Pool. In each autumn, leaves get red and fall down onto the pool. Wind sometimes blows red leaves to flutter on the surface of the pool, which turns out to be a tourist attraction.It was here that we ran into the Chinese family we had chatted with the previous day. Their tour group which originally numbered 26 people was down to just those three, and Mark Halperin and his wife and daughter. As their tour group was no so small, and since we all appeared to know each other, their guide invited us to remain with his group. And so we did.
Left Frames - General Views
Top Right This building contains a Gold Buddha Bottom Right This temple is 'THE' place to come and pray apparently
Photo Below: Top left: The Wannian Temple Entrance Top Right: The boy we met the previous day and whose tour group we joined on the second
Left: Mark Halperin - Right: Mingxing
From Wannian Temple we proceeded to NiuXin Pavilion although we did not actually go in. From there we followed the Baoxian Stream right back down the mountain to the bus station. The views along the way were simply wonderful. The only thing to spoil the splendor were the tourists themselves; and of course the 'souvenir stalls'
A Brief Introduction to Shuangqiao Qingyin (Melody of Twin Bridges)
Rushing out from behind the rocks. the black and white streams meet at the foot of Niuxin Pavilion. Falling from the high hills. both streams are roaring to create a magnificent melody.
A Brief Introduction to Dragon-fighting Riverside.
According to the local legend, a snake immortal named White Lady practiced in Bailong Cave and often enjoyed her spare time nearby the Baoxian Stream. A male green snake was attracted by her beauty, hoping to marry the white snake, who was unwilling and figured out a refusal means-fighting with her. If she failed, she agreed to marry him. So these two snakes resorted to violence on the riverside of Baoxian Stream, with the result that the white snake beat the green one into her maidservant named Litter Ching. The fighting spot was later called Dragon-fighting Riverside.
Photographs cannot do justice to the experience
Our walk back down the mountainside was so leisurely that the original tour group of which Mingxing and I were a part, actually overtook us. But it was a wonderful walk with a chance for me to chat with Mark Halperin about Buddhism in China and Tibet and a wonderful chance for Mingxing to talk with others who spoke both Chinese and English. (At the moment he is additionally studying German).
If you look at the photographs at Kingscalendar, you will see one of the souvenir stalls, and it was at that point that Xiaomei, Mark's wife, took a Jampan (sedan chair carried by porters). It was certainly a tiring walk.
When we finally made it back into town, Mingxing and I showered and then went outside to have dinner and ran into the Chinese family again. We spent a wonderful evening together, walking around the park (where the shrine and waterfall are), and I spent considerable time chasing the young boy around and threatening to throw him into the water.
It was a perfect end to a wonderful day.
I hope you have enjoyed this series of stories about my summer holiday, and please don't forget to go to KingsCalendar and see many many more photos, especially of Mt. Emei.
When you stand to speak you are doing more than reciting words. You are in fact engaged in communicating with an audience your opinions, ideas, feelings, passions and/or knowledge on a subject. They expect you to express yourself with feeling and passion and to actually know what you are talking about. Therefore it is essential that you KNOW what you are talking about – and – show the appropriate body language, gestures, actions and emotions associated with your topic.
The kids used to turn up repeatedly throughout the day just to look at the foreigner, touch him, feel the hair on his (the monkey’s) arms and generally just gawk. China has changed a lot over the years but there have been times when a foreigner in a small town or village would attract huge crowds. Sometimes people would be known to suddenly come upon you, look up at your face and just plain scream! I’m not joking!
The presence of a foreigner, in drawing the usual inquisitive response, also resulted in a stern admonition from the proprietor to the workers to return to their station. Not before I managed to get some photos however. This complex is a genuine operating place of worship, that abounds in monks and other religious persons. It has both very old temples, and some very new ones, some of which are not even completed yet. Additional Photographs
(2007) Really, we only went there to eat pizza at Carole's Restaurant, but noting a few changes in the area, decided to take a few new shots. From the vantage point on the upstairs balcony of the restaurant, I started off the process by taking photos of people in the street who kept pointing out the foreigner
I watched one old man stand next to me and urinate into the garden. I watched a policeman running around trying to catch a street urchin who momentarily took refuge beside me. I watched an official of some sort ask for identity papers of two locals who threw their cigarette butts on the ground and was in the middle of a funny debate with a Tibetan woman about my lack of desire to buy a crucifix, when a policeman appeared and chased her off into the distance. Additional Photographs from LeShan
The Sichuan region is designated as a global hotspot for biodiversity, ... 12,000 species of plants and 1,122 species of vertebrates, the area includes more than half of the habitat for the Earth's wild giant panda population. The photographs displayed here were actually taken in 2006.
Mt. Emei is 3000 metres high, and one can avail oneself of several or all of a variety of methods of ascending and descending the mountain. From a hard slog hike, to an easy access bus ride and from being carried in a cable car to being carried in a 'jampan' (sedan chair) by locals, there are a variety of ways to get around. As a foreigner, I was given special treatment, and the normal price of 220 rmb per night at the hotel, was reduced to just 140 rmb (which was just twice the price that other guests we spoke to had paid.) Additional Mt. Emei Files: 1)Climbing Mt.Emei2)Top of Mt.Emei3)Following the Baoxian Stream
I had so many photographs from Chengdu, that I created this special file to display just a particular aspect of the beauty of Wuhou Temple: Chengdu: SiChuan Art and Flowers. This file contains no commentary.
The Relic Exhibition Hall is the most important Part of Du Fu Thatched Cottage Park. It is located on the site of Du Fu's former Residence. In the late winter of 759, Du Fu went to Chengdu to avoid the disasters caused by An Lushan Shi Rebellion. In the next year, he built a thatched cottage on the bank of the beautiful Huanhua Brook, where he lived for four years and wrote more than 240 poems.
It is uncertain what caused the following event, but something on the pylon hit one of the windows. The people in the immediate vicinity fled their seats, and as the ship continued reversing, the window buckled and smashed, sending shards of glass everywhere. One man received a cut to his arm, and while not bleeding profusely, nevertheless was bleeding. A young boy was covered in glass, and although unhurt, had to be deftly 'de-glassed.' I felt someone's hand on my back pocket. Always cautious, I was walking with my hands in my pockets, specifically to keep the cloth on the seat of my pants tight. I tightened my grip. When this did not seem to discourage the brazen (and inept) thief, I quickly sidestepped to the left, and left him both surprised and embarrassed. He dropped his head so I could not see his face, and quickly retracted the jacket that had covered his hand to conceal his actions. He disappeared quickly.
After following the pathway around the mountain we were faced with a choice of either a path downward or a trail upward. We chose the upward trail, and hoped to find something. After climbing over boulders and headed in the direction of some boys sitting atop one, we arrived at a spectacular viewpoint. We had an almost 360 degree view of Mudu. While we were marveling at the view before us, I heard a few voices off in the distance behind us. When I turned to look, I was surprised to find that there was a ridge there, completely jam packed with people taking in the 'better view.'
Between September 1st and October 5th quite a number of things have happened, not the least of which is that the city Sign has disappeared. Over a period of days I saw the sign being dismantled and had assumed that they were going to 'refresh' the place so to speak. One evening on my way home from visiting Judy, the traffic at the roundabout up from the school, was stopped. The road was blocked off with a rope, and a number of people in hard hats were running around. I had no idea as to what was going on and as there were only two of us left on the bus I decided to walk the rest of the way. A very officious 'hard hat' started signaling me to go back. A student ran up to me and warned me that it was dangerous to proceed.
China has become "home" for me, and I love living here. Of course, even though I absolutely love Hong Hu ("You are crazy!" say my students), and had hoped to stay here for many years to come, I know it is time to move on. China is still a backward country, and still suffering the effects of Communist propaganda. Nothing changes fast here, and very few people are willing to "do anything" to bring about change, even when they know that change is both necessary and beneficial. Every foreign teacher knows the reality of the statement: "Teaching in China is the most frustrating job ever!"
We were also treated to a demonstration of 'Shaolin' arts. Not only did the performer put himself through the hoops (pardon the pun) but got Sam up to 'trip the lights fantastic!' When they called for volunteers to take part, Sam eagerly volunteered. Never ones to miss an opportunity to see a foreigner make a fool of himself, the Chinese MC readily accepted Sam's offer. The tiny performer took one look at him and said: 'Whoa! How heavy is he?' Just to see if he could do what he wanted, he picked Sam up in a bear hug. That was certainly entertaining. What Sam thought when the guy grabbed him front on and lifted him, I have no idea!
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]