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Peak of winter

By Huang Zhiling | China Daily | Updated: 2019-02-12 08:43
Visitors play in the snow and explore ice castles at the 20th Mount Emei Ice, Snow and Hot Spring Festival, which began on Dec 28 and runs through February. LI JIJUN/YUAN SHIHONG/FOR CHINA DAILY

A high-speed train from Chengdu takes about 40 minutes to reach the station near the UNESCO World Heritage site, Emei Mountain. A 10-minute drive then leads to the mountain, one of Chinese Buddhism's four sacred peaks.

The alp is typically covered in snow from December through April.

About 50,000 people visited the mountain's first ice-and-snow festival in 1999. The 19th festival lured 850,000 travelers, says He Qun, a local official in charge of the mountain's marketing.

The 20th festival, titled the 20th Mount Emei Ice, Snow and Hot Spring Festival, began on Dec 28 and runs through February.

Participants can view white landscapes and rime-encrusted trees that look like "ice flowers" while skiing and snowmobiling at Leidongping Ski Ranch high on the peak. They can thaw out at the hot springs in hotels near the foot of the mountain.

The mountain is colloquially known as the "hot spring capital" and hosts geothermal radon and sulfur pools said to offer health benefits.

The mountain's management committee has worked to cater to the 45 percent of visitors who are families with kids.

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