Visiting a temple with "magic waters" and then the most beautiful spot on Emei Mountain
Today is the day we return to Qingyin Pavilion. We first visited there our first year at Southwest Jiaotong University, walking down from Wannian Temple, the half-way point up the mountain. It was a beautiful spot and we often talked about going back to see it.
We first caught a ride from our hotel to Sheng Shui Temple, an off-the-beaten-track temple which is very old and not often visited by tourists. We had met two nuns from the temple years earlier and had tried to visit them each time we returned to Emei Mountain. Last year we were able to visit them and it was good to see one of them again. The other had gone to visit an ailing mother.
Our group arrived around 1030 or so and got an invitation for lunch with our friend. We had a great vegetarian lunch and visited before we set off to walk over to Qingyin Pavilion, about an hour an a half walking time if one walks fast. The nun wanted to walk with us but was called away on business at the last minute. Our walk to one of the most beautiful places on Emei thus began.
Shengshui Temple is translated as "faery waters" temple and the water is supposed to have magical properties. The properties for Westerners would probably resemble amoebic dysentery or some such magic. Rule number one while traveling in countries with questionable sanitary conditions is - NEVER EVER drink water that has not been boiled, bottled or sealed with an approved government stamp bought at trustworthy outlets. Nice looking water though, wouldn't you say.
In the front of the temple next to the "magic waters" is this obviously old stele that introduces tourists and monks to the temple.
I brought my Tamron 90mm Macro along for occasions of beauty like this one.
Tang Dynasty Relic
This is supposed to be one of the oldest artifacts on the mountain. A genuine Tang Dynasty column, well worn but definitely impressive. The whole temple complex just feels much more authentic than the majority of other temples on Emei. Shengshui Temple speaks loudly that it has been this way for a long, long time.
This is the group of travelers who accompanied us on our journey to revisit Qingyin Pavilion. From left to right is Mr. Ching (husband of Mam), Yours Most Truly, Xingming (our friendly monk from Baoguo Temple), Teacher Ai (Sunee's long time instructor of Chinese watercolor), Sunee, our friendly Nun assigned to Shengshui and Ms. Mam. Mr. Supal is taking this picture rounds out our travelers. Unfortunately, our friendly nun was called away on business before we could get on the trail.
Before we began our trip, we enjoyed a great vegetarian lunch with our friendly Nun hostess.
The Way To The Pavilion
We begin our trip along the WAY TO QINGYIN.
Trying To Keep Up
We wondered if our old bodies would be able to make the walk or keep up with the younger members.
A Quick Shopping Stop
Not long into our walk we came across a shopping stand set up for commercial purposes, often called capitalism. No one bought a monkey.
The WAY started out as a gentle slope downward but then we had to set off up the mountains along ever increasing stairs. A break was called for not long after the start of the upward trend. Our break area features a modern satellite dish connected to some pretty old buildings. Technology has already come to Emei Mountain.
An Emei Mountain Spider
As most of the members of our group relaxed, I was looking for macro shots in the area. I came across this guy not far from the resting area. Normal people would not have seen him, but a guy with a macro lens would never miss such a tiny image. And the spider was very small.
More Stairs To Climb
Stairs, stairs, stairs, and even more stairs. The lady on the left is coming down to fetch some more supplies. She is well in her sixties and had no trouble with the stairs. I, on the other hand, continued to have trouble.
When one has a GoPro camera stuck on the head, one is always worried about its status. Is it working; is it on; is the red light blinking?
At the top of this particular set of stairs we take another break. Some of us took a bigger break than others. Here, as you can see, Teacher Ai is completely tuckered out.
Finally! Stairs Going Down
Finally, we find the top and head down the stairs. We have already surpassed the one and a half hour estimate. Older people simply do not walk as fast as younger folks do.
Time For Another Break
Half way down an we take another break. We are now seeing more buildings in the area around the stairs.
We Made It
We reach the first level of Qingyin Pavilion and Sunee proclaims victory! The following are some pictures of the Pavilion with different views and different friends.
High Dynamic Range View
A Tibetan Friend
We spend about an hour taking pictures and enjoying the sites of the Pavilion before heading out to the bus station at the end of the WAY.
Older People Need More Breaks
Time for another break for us older people.
The Final Bridge
This bridge is a nice place to take photographs and is the last bridge on the way out.
A group of Chinese tourists, as friendly as anyone in the world.
Locals fishing on the other side of the lake.
HDR View of Lake
The lake, as you can see is very impressive.
Emei Mountain Local Cigars
I bought some local Emei cigars for my friends back in Bangkok. The concept of rough does not do them justice
Traveling In Style or Just Tired
Up and down Emei Mountain one sees these porters. Cannot figure out if it is traveling in style or people just too tired to walk anymore.
Across The Lake
Again, the scenery is hard to beat.
Found these flowers overhanging the lake as the WAY began a gentle ascent.
Yes, donkeys are still used on Emei Mountain. I remember seeing these animals used all around the mountain and elsewhere in the area.
Another Visiting Tibetan
The two Tibetan ladies happily posed for my camera. Many Tibetans come here to worship at the temples and enjoy the surrounding scenery. We finally arrive to the bus station for our trip back to the Emei Mountain Tourist Center about a block from our hotel. Long day, so we relax about an hour before we are to meet our friends from Emei City for dinner. After dinner we meet some more old friends to say farewell.
Our Final Farewells To Old Friends
We also spend some time with our new found "family" at the Maple Hotel. The staff was friendly and they all made us feel very much at home. We shall see them all again next year. Time to get packed and return home to Bangkok, Thailand.
Saying Goodbye to Our Maple Hotel Family
More Farewell Photos
We Had a Wonderful Stay