Top Attractions in Leshan, Sichuan
|The famous Leshan Giant Buddha, also a World Heritage Site by UNESCO|
Leshan (乐山 or Happy Mountain) is located 120 kilometers away from Chengdu, in the Chinese Sichuan Province. It sits on the confluence of the Qingyi, Dadu and Minjiang rivers, and is usually a stopover for those en route to or from Emeishan (Mount Emei).
Getting to LeshanHigh-Speed Train
To/From Chengdu East Railway Station (成都东站/Chéngdū-dōng Zhàn) - 45 minutes, ¥54
To/From Emeishan (峨嵋山/ Éméi shān) - 15 minutes, ¥11
Accessible from Chengdu (2 hours), Emeishan (20 minutes), Jiajiang, Kangding, Meishan, Pengshan, Shawan, Ya'an, Yibin. Zigong, and other surrounding cities
The nearest airport is the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (150km away)
|Entrance to the Leshan Giant Buddha site|
Top Attractions in Leshan, SichuanThe only reason majority of the tourists travel to Leshan is to witness the grandeur of the Leshan Giant Buddha (乐山大佛/lèshāndàfó). The stone statue is 71-metre in height and was built during the Tang Dynasty in year 713. It is carved out of a cliff, facing the junction of the Qingyi, Dadu and Minjiang rivers in the Southern Sichuan basin. Leshan Giant Buddha is the largest stone Buddha in the world and is also claimed to be the tallest pre-modern statue ever built. It was listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
|Visitors have to climb a few flight of stairs before getting to the Buddha|
Tips to Visiting Leshan Giant Buddha
- It's best to visit late in the afternoon or early evening to avoid having to compete and wait in the line among dozens of Chinese tour groups (expect to wait up to 1.5 hours)
- There are two ways of getting to the Buddha: By foot (climb the stairs, wait in the line) or by a ferry which stops right in front of the statue (¥70)
- Pack along water and food. You may find tea-houses here but food are either scarce or expensive. It is also good to have something to nibble while waiting in line
- Bring along a sweater. It gets very breezy once you are near the rivers
- Keep an eye out for the beautiful and unique carvings of various Buddhas while you climb down the stairs leading to the Giant Buddha
- Nine Turns Staircase are stairs leading down to the Giant Buddha. It is very steep so the elderly might need more time and effort to make it down. Be patient and understanding!
|You were warned|
|Stairs are steep and winding|
|Be fascinated by how much the Chinese enjoy poking the holes in the walls|
|Clear view of the Buddha's head from the top|
|Beautiful Buddha carvings on the cliff walls|
|Comparison of the size of Buddha's foot and everything else|
|Have your time, effort and patience rewarded with a majestic sight all the way down|
|Nine Turns Staircase. Beautiful smiles on the faces of those who have made it to the feet|
|Leshan Giant Buddha overlooking the three rivers, giving protection to those traveling through them|
Other Top Attractions in Leshan
Monk Haitong Cave
A Chinese monk named Haitong started the construction in hopes that the Giant Buddha would be able to calm the turbulent waters, allowing shipping vessels to pass the water safely. The project was completed 90 years after Haitong's death. Monk Haitong was said to be living in this 10-meter deep cave when the Grand Buddha was being carved.
|Monk Haitong Cave|
A lake with serene ambiance located behind the Grand Buddha, among the temples.
|Dafo Lake, Leshan|
Confucian TempleRead poetry and scholastic scriptures carved on wooden walls in this quiet and uncrowded temple.
|Stair leading to the temple|
People-watchingPeople watching is a joy here. Chinese from different provinces in China generally behave uniquely and if you are as big of a fan of China as I am, you'd enjoy guessing who is from where based on their appearances, outfits, and accents.
|A monk with a selfie stick. And a cell phone. #mindblown|
Temple-hoppingThere are a few temples surrounding the Giant Buddha and but one of them requires an entrance fee (I would never pay to visit a temple - monetizing religion is a sin)
|Restoration work in progress. Efforts put into producing those intricate details are amazing.|
|An old man taking a rest in front of a temple|
|A pagoda near the exit - for those who still have the strength to walk|
- Entrance fee to the Leshan Giant Buddha is ¥90
- Opening hours: 7:30am to 7:30pm (summer); 8:00am to 6:00pm (winter)
- Touring the entire Leshan Giant Buddha site might take up to 6 hours, depending on the crowd and how much you can walk
Leshan Giant Buddha
Leshan, Sichuan, China
+86 833 230 2296
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