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“Just to be clear, monkeys scare the hell out of me.”

Mt. Emei Natural Ecology Monkey Reserve
Newmarket, New Hampshire
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Just to be clear, monkeys scare the hell out of me.”
Reviewed July 11, 2014

Old world monkeys terrify me. I came for the mountain and thought, hey, I'm sure it's a healthy respect, and seeing macaques hanging out will be interesting.

No, actually, it is unbridled fear.

So we saw the macaques a few places. In the temples closer to Emeishan's base, they're smallish, and there are frequently handlers. Sometimes the handlers turn you into a macaque jungle gym. I was all set on that. It seems like a scam where the handlers stick a monkey on you, and then want you to buy things from them before they'll get the monkey to step off you.

Closer to the summit, where it's cold, and the forest is denser, and there is a low, grey mist-- there are fewer handlers, and some macaques are the size of pitbulls. And they're not shy. Don't get me wrong, it was pretty neat for a few seconds before they starting coming closer and the fear kicked in. They'll run through the trees and dangle over your head. From a distance they're neat to watch, but at this point they know they can mug the human hikers for food and what not, which is unfortunate.

#1. GET A BIG, STURDY STICK. Sometimes, the bastards come at you. You keep that stick because while most of the macaques are small-ish, there are some huge honking mamas who I'm pretty sure could have wrecked me. If they come after you (and I saw some tourists have monkeys go after them), you'll be glad of the stick. No, I don't support hurting animals, but these are not super fragile and dainty animals. I would rather have the option to put a stick up in front of me to keep just those few extra feet of distance between me and berserker monkey than not.

#2. DO NOT put your hands in your pockets. Cold hands? You should've brought gloves. Forgot something in your pocket? Leave it there. Hungry? NOPE. When you put your hands in your pockets, or even make like you are going to put your hands in your pockets, and a monkey sees? You're going to get mugged by monkeys.

#3. Avoid bright clothes.

#4. consider having little luggage locks for the zippers of your bags.

#5. Do not feed the monkeys people food. It's terrible to feed animals processed human food-- you'll make them sick (with diabetes). But also, you're just asking for trouble by pulling your own food out of your bags and pockets. This is why you can't put your hands in your pockets in the first place.

So, in closing, the macaque part of Emeishan was... interesting? The summit is better (and beautiful, scenery wise) than the monkey areas toward the base, so head up to the top for that (there are also buses). Tread carefully, have a big stick, no sudden movements, and no food. Impressive to see (not at the formal temples), and scared the crap out of me.

Visited August 2013
4 Thank Meepbeepeep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 6 Contributor
331 reviews
154 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 227 helpful votes
“Monkey Trickery”
Reviewed June 22, 2014

Depending on the degree of visibility you have on your visit, fresh mountain air and clear views are definite bonuses.

If you are lucky, you can savour your leisurely paced climb without having to jostle with the rest of China.

That said, the Mt Emei Natural Ecology Monkey Reserve is a boundaryless zone where the Tibetan macaques happen to grace. Troops of monkeys seems to be on the move and the ones at the tourist display areas show obvious signs of contacts with humans.

The adult macaques are obese and gobbling chips and crisps.

The routine is predictable. As you pass the area where the monkeys are on view, the Chinese 'handlers', holding bamboo poles, positioned themselves such that to pass them you are edged towards monkeys - who then climb on your shoulder or backpack.

This is neither safe or hygienic as these primates wild and are known to have fleas on them.

The 'handler' will caution you not to move and suggest you buy stuff from him so that he can feed the monkey and get it off your back. You gratefully comply. Act One done.

The scene is repeated.

Yet, there are signs saying not to feed the monkeys. It is unforgivable to introduce processed snacks, sugared, fried in oil and salted,to the monkeys' diet, Some look bloated and puffed up. If these 'handlers' must cash in on the show, perhaps they should sell fruits that the monkeys feed on.

Lets act to preserve this specie of primates. Bring your own fruit when you visit.

Visited June 2014
Thank SingaporeViews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
437 reviews
231 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 573 helpful votes
“They'll Drive You Bananas!”
Reviewed June 8, 2014

Background: As part of a 3-week circle tour of China, our tour guide arranged for a day hike up Mt. Emei and visited the Natural Ecology Monkey Reserve.

PROS: Proximity to our accommodation (Baoguo Temple) is an asset. Since it isn't located at the very summit of Mt. Emei, it doesn't take long to reach it by hiking. From Baoguo Temple, we headed in the direction of Fuhu Si (Crouching Tiger Temple), then past Leiyin Temple, Chunyang Palace, Shenshui Pavilion and just beyond the gorge and bridge at Heilongjiang Plank Way.

CONS: Otherwise known as the "Joking Monkey Zone," the ecological reserve is anything but... (The "Joking Zone," it's called. Imagine that.) Granted, there are paid zookeepers on site, but the setup looks more like a penal colony than a park. The monkeys steal anything (food, water bottles, plastic bags, valuables, etc.).
And the thieving monkeys have figured it all out. Or should I say the folks who are in cahoots with the monkeys. The way it works: Monkey brazenly steals your valuables. Vendors suggest you buy food from them to get it back. You proceed to buy the food in exchange for your valuables. Repeat the process for the next victim. What a scam!

TIP: An alternative shorter route to this site starts off at the Wuxian-gang Park (where you may park your car), then hike past Quinyin Pavilion, Niuxin Pavilion, then to Yixiantian, which hooks up with the Heilongjiang Plank Way. The weather and temperature can be drastically different at various parts of the mountain. Be prepared with good hiking shoes, hiking poles, jackets, raingear or even crampons.

When you do encounter the monkeys, remember that they are still wild. Although they may be habituated to people, they can and will attack if provoked. According to my primate researcher-friend, do not glare at, grimace at or bare your teeth to a monkey. That's an outward sign of aggression to the animals; they will often attack in response. Ignore this advice and there's no one else to blame.

Do NOT feed the monkeys -- at all. I have already seen enough obese monkeys, having subsisted on our fatty snacks, that I wouldn't be surprised if they already have diabetes or heart disease.

Verdict: One tangible advantage of having a good, knowledgeable local tour guide is that he/she can warn you of things to come, things that your usual pre-departure homework did not prepare you for: day-to-day changes, peculiar attractions, even hidden scams. Surely today, our guide had earned his keep. For, without him, these monkeys would've driven me bananas! 4 stars for scenic views, 2 stars for the monkeys. Overall, a coin toss. Grade B+.


Visited October 2013
2 Thank Eternal_Nomad_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaufort, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
271 reviews
144 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Great place to visit, and have a pure air”
Reviewed May 11, 2014

You will need a minimum of 3 nights in emeishan town, there is few accommodations I will recommend the Hotel C easy to find, first to get to Emeishan town, take a bus from Chengdu, the station in the middle of the town, then the cost is 48 yuans it will take between 2 and 3 hours depending on the traffic to get out of Chengdu. Depending on the bus company , one stop accross the railway station, and the other in the bus station, if it does keep still in the bus for an extra 10 yuans it will drive you to Emeishan town then passed the stone gate the hotel C in on the 4 left alley on your left. Then you are only at approximately 100 yards from the first temple, then for a low cost you can visit 3 temples , then if you want to go to the summit to the golden temple that become a bit more complicated. You have to go to the bus ticket office another 100 yards after the hotel C on your left, then the first counter on your left is the entrance fee the one on your right is the bus fee counter. To get to the top there is a fee of 185 yuans PP for 2 days , if you are a senior citizen then ask half price discount. Then the bus fee is 90 yuans PP return. Then when you get to the bus parking there is 2 options, the cheap one , walk for 7 km of steeps up and back or the cable car for an extra 65 yuans up and walk back or pay another 45 yuans to use the cable car down. You need to go up early to get 8 am bus , then you can keep going to visit other temple in the vicinity , then on the way down stop half way through and exit and walk back to the bottom, or use you second day pass to go up again, pay another 90 yuans then walk back to the bottom. There is food and drink along the way. So don't charge yourself but take a jumper, jacket, rain cote the temperature can drop from 20 degrees to 11 degrees in a space of 20 minutes . Have a nice trip.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Gheefrenchie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chengdu, China
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Monkey on Your Back”
Reviewed April 27, 2014

At this spot the monkeys have been conditioned to check your pockets and will expect food if you so much as pause to take a picture. I met a nice little monkey that sat on my shoulder for awhile, while larger monkeys jumped onto my backpack and took my water bottle and fruit. The fruit, admittedly, was for the monkeys, but still - I would have given it to them. I don't mind animals, so I was ok, but I could see how it would feel intimidating.

If you don't like the ideas of monkeys climbing on you and pulling at your clothes and anything loose on your person, I would avoid this part of the park. Also, if you're sensitive to animal meanness, I might skip it. There were some "official handlers" who just hit the monkeys with sticks when they got too bothersome.

Visited April 2014
Thank celestial_magpie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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