If you look at this photo and start humming Simon and Garfunkel, no one would blame you. This picturesque bridge, which is located in south Sichuan, is a beautifully constructed piece of architecture that marries form and function. It is part of the Mount Emei Scenic Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the world's largest Buddha. It should come as no surprise that this a hot spot for tourists from all over the world to capture a snapshot of the bridge and its serene reflection in the waters just below.
Mount Emei is of great historical significance because China's first Buddhist temple was built there in the first century CE. The extraordinary Giant Buddha of Leshan was carved from the side of the mountain in the 8th century to overlook the intersection of three rivers. Standing 233 feet tall (71 meters), the creation of the Buddha is a stunning achievement of ancient history.
Often overshadowed by this iconic monument, the Haoshang Bridge is no less stunning. Located close to the Buddha, it connects two hills with temples and ancient tombs. The pedestrian bridge is a type of moon bridge, which is a design feature often seen in Chinese and Japanese gardens. Intentionally reflected in the water, it creates a calming circular shape.
The bridge, together with the Giant Buddha, are just some of the spectacular sites to behold at the Mount Emei Scenic Area. As one of four sacred Buddhist mountains in China, it has long been established as a protected area. This has allowed the trees, many of which date back 1,000 years, to thrive. Add to this the incredible amount of temples that have been added through the centuries and it's easy to see why travelers flock to the area in droves.