The Giant Buddha from Leshan is a must visit if you are in the area. The 71 meters high sculpture was built in the 8th century during the Tang-Dynasty. This impressive sight takes some effort to get there, but it is totally worth the trip! In this blog Uncensored Travel will tell you what you can encounter while visiting.
The Giant Buddha is located in the city Leshan. It is accesible from the bigger city Chengdu by Train. It takes you about an hour and costs are not high (round 55 RMB). The easiest way to book a trip is with the help of Ctrip.
Once there you can get a cab towards the sight. There are also buses going if you have time and want to save some extra RMB.
Entering the area
While you enter you will walk through a renovated Chinese village. Here are some restaurants and hotels located. Nothing special, but a cool view nontheless.
Walking towards the Great Buddha
After the village you walk right onto the gateway entrance of the park that the Giant Buddha is located in. The entrance fee to the park is 45 RMB for only the Buddha. If you also want to visit the Wuyou Temple and the Mahao Cave Tombs its 90 RMB per person.
After entering you will encounter a lot of ancient Buddha carvings, red signs in Chinese and statues of dragons (and also a tiger like the picture below ;)) on your way. It is a spectacular walk with a lot of photogenic spots!
After you walk up you will reach the temple sight, here you can find buddhist monks praying, light up a candle and pray, see the Pagoda and freshen up a bit.
It also gives you a first glimpse of the Giant Buddha, seeing its huge head! And that is just the start :)!
After you are done exploring the area, it is time for the real deal: the Giant Buddha of Leshan. The Buddha is carved out of a cliff and faces Mount Emei. The Giant Buddha faces the river and its purpose was to watch over ships sailing over the rivers. The sight is an UNESCO world heritage sight since 1996. The Buddha is made after the image of Maitreya and is seated with his hands over his knees. The walk towards it can be tough, but is worth every step at the end!
Near the feet there is a platform which is crowded with people trying to take that one perfect shot.
Ones you reached all the way down and reach the feet of the giant sculpture, you can gaze and be amazed at this beautiful work of art as a whole.
Good things to know
There are ferries leaving to the sight throughout the day. The price is about 70 RMB per person. You can get a marvelous view, but it is not as cool as walking towards the statue yourself!
Be prepared and bring water and some snacks. It can be a challenging walk if you are not that fit. But, no need to be scared if you are not the fittest of the bunch. It is do able in your own tempo.
Opening hours are:
7:30 AM – 18:30 PM from 1st of April to 7th of October
8:00 AM – 17:30 PM from 8th October to 31st of March
Visiting the Buddha can be done in half a daytrip. A good combination would be to visit the Panda Research Center in Chengdu!
We loved visiting the Great Buddha and can definitely recommend a visit!
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