Lying in an area of rich biodiversity, Emei is a great birding location. However, being a top Sichuan tourist attraction, many areas, including the summit are often awash with visitors. But birdlife has habituated to human disturbance and you can still find quiet birding areas where birding. An Emei disadvantage is that prime habitat, the site for Bar-winged Wren Babbler and Purple Cochoa, cannot be reached by vehicle and access takes a day’s hike down from the top, overnighting in a monastery, and another day’s descent to rejoin your vehicle. Since most Emei species can be seen in the Wawu area, birding groups, with limited time, sometimes skip Emei.
Bar-winged Wren Babbler, Brown-chested Jungle Flycatcher, Chestnut-crowned Bush warbler, Grey-hooded Parrotbill, Purple Cochoa, Emei Liocichla, Emei Leaf Warbler, Chinese Wren Babbler, Sichuan Bush Warbler, Spotted Bush Warbler, Red-winged Laughingthrush, Black-capped Sibia, Little Forktail, Slaty-backed, Forktail, Spotted Forktail, Golden Bush Robin, Chinese Blue Flycatcher, Ashy-throated Parrotbill, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Crimson Breasted Woodpecker, Sichuan Treecreeper, Slaty Bunting, Chestnut-crowned Tesia, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Darjeeling Woodpecker
Emei is 170km south of Chengdu. With motorway access this is around 3 hours drive to birding at the base of the mountain
Bottom of the Mountain
Birding areas in semi-parkland type habitat within walking distance of the hotel town at the base of the mountain. Thicker forest around Baoguo Temple – large trees, more understorey. No tickets needed.
Highlight bird – Brown-Chested Jungle Flycatcher
Prime birding area can be accessed through the park gates at Qingyin and Wannian. Tickets are needed for entrance.
Highlight birds – Bar-winged Wren Babbler, Purple Cochoa - both species are difficult and require 2 trip days.
Driving road up the mountain
The entrance to the vehicle road that leads to the summit area is around 25km from the base of the mountain. If you drive this section in a private vehicle you can bird two small tracks, which bring you into areas that are free of tourists. Park tickets are needed to enter this area
Highlight birds – Emei Liocichla, Emei Leaf Warbler, Sichuan Bush Warbler, Chinese Wren Babbler, Golden Parrotbill, Red-winged Laughingthrush
The summit is around 5km from the end of the road. You can either walk or make the final ascent in a cable car.
Highlight birds – Grey-hooded Parrotbill, Chestnut-crowned Bush Warbler
Parts of the base of the mountain free – but to get to those area where most of the major species are found you need a ticket
Ticketed section – includes all of the mid and top section. 2015 price – 150CNY. Senior discounts- over 60’s, half price – over 70 free
Tickets are good for 2 days if you leave the park in the evening – but are valid for a multiple day stay if you remain and stay in a hotel within the park.
During summer months it’s possible to drive private vehicles up the mountain to within a short distance to the summit. From the last carpark it’s possible to either walk or take a cable car to the summit.
The road to the summit has a couple of tracks leading off from the main road – here there’s good birding without any tourist interference.
There are park busses to the summit area – but these will not stop on the road.
There are many hotels in the Emei area. Inside the park there are hotels near the summit, while it’s also possible to get simple accommodation in the temples and monasteries.