Part of Emei, most of it is in the clouds, much taller than it looks
There are buses that leave hourly (as I recall) from Chengdu to Emei. There were two French guys on my bus. When we got to Emei I was a little concerned about how I was going to find my hostel, the Teddy Bear Hostel. It was dark and I had no idea where I was going. As soon as the three of us foreigners got off the bus, a bunch of taxi drivers all said, "Teddy Bear?!". We split the taxi. It was only a 5 min drive.
I actually got really confused and turned around. At first I couldn't figure out where the trail was at all. I did a loop of the bottom area twice. Then I ended up hiking to a side nunnery that isn't on the trail to the summit. It took about 1 1/2 before I was on the right trail. At that point the information center was open, but it didn't have any useful information to be honest. The lady there spoke English but she didn't seem to be interested in helping. Haha.
On the way back down we saw a lot more people headed up. Most of them take a bus to near the top. From the buses, it's about a 2 hour hike, or a 20 min cable car ride. This is the only part I saw monkeys. The tourists were throwing food at them. Apparently the monkeys sleep in until the crowds come. Smart monkeys.
The Swedes decided to take the bus back to town. I decided to go with them. If they had hiked down, I probably would have followed too. I feel good about having hiked all the way to the top, but I have no shame in not hiking all the way back down. I still hiked 6 hours that day. I decided to be kind to my knees and spend my third day going to Leshan instead. I had heard good things about it from some other travelers at the hostel.