Welcome to the capital of Sichuan Province
There's plenty of spicy food to be had in Chengdu. After dinner, take a stroll by the river and watch folks shoot balloons with air guns. Don't go too close to the water because it's full of sewage, a common condition in Chinese rivers.
In big cities, air and water pollution prevail. When queried about these problems, many Chinese will answer that economic development is first priority. Indeed, many Chinese cities have boomed in the last few years.
Near Chengdu, pristine regions remain. It's a short trip to Emeishan (Mount Emei) and you make a side trip to visit one of China's four sacred Buddhist mountains.
DO NOT listen to the people who insist that the monasteries won't let you stay inside. They stand to profit, and these old chaps will confirm that there's no quieter more peaceful place to rest from your daily hiking. Three days will be well spent reaching top of this peak.
Each monastery will serve you tea and good vegetarian food for minimal cost.
The hike up Mt. Emei starts at Baoguo si, a tranquil monastery at the edge of a forest. There are beautiful gardens to explore, but don't make too much noise while the monks are meditating.
next to Kunming
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