Travelogues .............................................................................................................................

Mt Emei Teddybears
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Editor: Jessica from Hong Kong  Edited Date:2006-8-2 20:03:12   Visitors:2717   
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Mt. Emei is only a short trip south of Chengdu by bus. We first took a side trip to see the giant Buddha at Leshan and was rather impressed by the size of the rock carving. Its an extortionate fee for the park entrance which we declined after already having taken the boat cruise from the opposite bank and a great viewing opportunity. (Thou we were more amused by the rich young kids vainly obsessed with taking photos of themselves and checking the results on LCD screens.) We were charmed by Leshan town, especially the riverside boulevard, and enjoyed a local dish in a tourist restaurant.

We made our way to Emei in the afternoon and to Teddy bear Hostel. We were instantly charmed by the owner and manager, Andy, who put us in a wonderfully comfortable room and proceeded to give us plentyful information on the area, his life, his family and business. Full of quirks and entertainment we felt at home and planned our next day with him.

Mt. Emei is well controlled. There are regular busses running up the mountain to various spots. We took the furthest destination and walked from there to the summit. The walk up was shrouded in mist and pleasant, but the peak was disappointing. As far as buddhist mounts go, this has got to be the ugliest. Three main buildings, shops teemples, hotels, seemingly spray painted solid colours of gold, silver and bronze, truly ghastly. In the centre stands the most ugly statue of elephants i could conjure (they have a perfect set of aligned human teeth and ears). We found one lovely sight; we were up above the clouds and watched them break against a montain like slowmotion waves on a shore.  There were some nutty tourists up there too and so we quickly cable car'ed it down.

The following day we headed for the lowlying valley. Stunning lush and well maintained we were so impressed by the management of this area. That was until we came to the 'ecological monkey habitat'. The locals have a confused relationship with the animal locals. The Macacques were equally confused by the habits of the 'monkey guards'. These monkey guards were here to becom monkeys with snacks to make photo opportunities for the tourists who more often than not lost their human snacks (cake, chocolate) to the wiley primates before they could blink an eye. Monkey guards were armed with long bamboo sticks and violently disciplined any untoward behaviour (of the monkeys, not the tourists, unfortunantly). After seeing a monkey guard sling shot a peacfully sitting monkey we decided our time in 'Eco monkeyland' was over and high tailed it out of there. Disappointed but not really surprised.

Overall, Emei was a pleasant, if not eye opening trip. Andy at Teddybear Guest House made the trip for us and i would love to go back if not just for the yummy food from his kitchen.

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