Caught the bus/coach to Leshan (44 yuans each) - home of the 71m Buddha. Upon arrival at Leshan Town you have to catch a local bus #13 (only 1 yuan) to Big Buddha. We decided to have lunch prior to visiting the Buddha as it took approx three hours to get there - not a great choice around this area to eat and it's a bit of a lucky dip as most restaurants didn't have English menus - find one with pictures!!
Entry was quite expensive 90 yuan per person - much cheaper for the locals!! You have to climb up the mountain to the top - amazing views along the way and then you reach the head of the Giant Buddha with snails coiled on his head - all carved out of rock by the monks - very spiritual place.
Take the time to stop along the way to take endless photos and to view this magnificent buddha - he truly is amazing. The locals are all in a rush but they didn't pay what you paid to see him either!!! So why not relax and enjoy him.
After exploring the top of the mountain and viewing the head of the buddha you make your way down a huge amount of stairs - hold on to the handrail as people seem to be in a hurry to get to the bottom - don't know why when there's so much to stare in wonder at.....
At the base of the buddha it's said that an entire family (probably a Chinese family of 3!!!) can enjoy a picnic on his big toe nail.... that's how big he is - the photos don't really justify his size.
The Leshan Giant Buddha is the the largest carved stone Buddha in the world and at the time it was built was also the tallest statue in the world. The statue was started in 713 and was carved out of the cliff face where the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers meet near Leshan, Sichuan.
The statue was created in order to calm the treacherous river waters that destroyed many boats. It took 90 years to complete due to a lack of funding in the process. There was so much stone removed and dumped into the river that the desired result was achieved - the currents were altered in the shallower water.
The Leshan Giant Buddha is part of the Mount Emei Scenic Area which was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1996. Fortunately the statue was not damaged in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
The Buddha may be viewed at close hand by walking down a narrow stairway built into the cliff face. The path passes many grottoes with smaller carvings in them on the way down. If you are not good at heights or crowds make your mind up quickly because once started on the stairs there is no turning back as a multitude of tourists pushes you along. The upward stairs are not as steep a climb as you might think.
The alternative viewpoint is from the river by cruise boat.
I liked the stairs!
Leshan is located about 120km south of Chengdu and is easily reached by bus, which takes about 2 hours. Leshan is famous for one thing - the world's largest Buddha. Known as Dafo, he sits at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. His measurements are staggering. He is 71 meters (about 233 feet) high, and has three-meter-long (about 11 feet) fingers. The eight-meter-long (about 27 feet) instep is big enough for one hundred people to sit on and the 28-meter-wide (about 92 feet) shoulder is large enough to be a basketball playground. His large pair of ears, each seven meters (about 23 feet) long, are made of wood and are decorated by mud on the surface. His nose measures 5.6 meters (18 feet). The Giant Buddha is located within a scenic area which includes temples, pavilions, pagodas, caves and gardens with trails running all over the park. All of this makes Leshan a must-see-thing-to-do when in Chengdu and a great day out. Please check out my Leshan page below.
The other reason we went to Chengdu was to see the Great Buddha in Leshan. This was a relatively easy thing to do by ourselves. We caught a bus (see transport tip)and was able to meander our way through to eventually see the Buddha. The complex itself has a number of other interesting sights but because we had limited time our main focus was seeing the Buddha. The path itself to the Buddha is quite circuitious and does involve climbing a number of steep steps and winding your way through other "significant" places of interest. Signage is a bit confusing and geared towards mainly the Chinese tourist. I would recommend if you have time to have a look at Wuyou Temple. (see other things to do). Make sure if you arranged for a bus/taxi pickup that you go back to the original point of entry, (see warning).
Entry Cost 70 Yuan.
In Leshan, at the Giant Buddha, Anne and I visited the monastery where all of the workers, who carved the Buddha, actually lived. At present there are only 10 to 15 monks that still live here and they rely on fundraising to keep the monastery “alive.”
To help them along, we purchased two roof tiles at 10 YUAN each and we painted the names of our two grandchildren on their very own tile. Wilhelmina and her brother, Theodore, are now remembered in a permanent way in the Hills of China, protected by the Monks!
It can be quite warm in this lush area of the Sichuan Province and I suggest you take plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat and a day pack with you. The stairs can not only be quite arduous, the crowds can back up and you can be left standing on the stairs for up to 30 minutes before you reach the bottom.
After you enjoy the scenery at the bottom, and take numerous photographs, you start to realize that you have to climb the stairs back to the top….now that is another story.
The carving began in the year 713 by a Buddhist monk, Haitong, and the Buddha was completed after 90 years of hard work. The work was interrupted when a corrupt official wanted bribes for the funds and work to continue. As a protest the monk removed his own eyes and presented them to the official!
The Leshan Giant Buddha is approx two and a half hours drive from Leshan, and it is well worth the effort!
The Leshan Giant Buddha was carved into the side of a mountain where 3 rivers meet. Its main purpose was to look over the rapids in the river and stop the deaths of so many boat people during the monsoon season.
This is the largest seated Buddha in the world and sits at over 70 meters in height
We - the four of us - had hired a car for the trip from Chengdu. The car was - alas - a bit too slow for the traffic on the express way. So it took over two hours (one way).
When we visited this large statue it was impossible to do it by boat. The river was too high and too strong. Getting in line was also no option, as it was very, very crowded. We estimated six hours of waiting time (our tour guide said four, but he is an optimist). So we just walked to the other sites, which are well worth a visit. The small village offers some restuarants, there are some nice paths through the woods and the monastery was very nice. From one point we could just see the upper part of the Buddha, and we're sure that he saw us!
Giant Buddha : So big and feel peace when i see the giant buddha!
It was take for 90 years create and infront if the giant buddha was a river.
Recently has been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site
" Er Mei Shan " : I just to go the Bottom of the " Er Mei Shan "
It should go to the top of " Er Mei Shan" only have beautiful view lah.
Leshan Giant Buddha is an enormous statue carved into the side of Lingyun Mountain. The Buddha is over 71 meters (230 feet) tall and is wide enough for more than 100 people to sit between its feet.
The massive carving began in 713 AD during the Tang Dynasty and was completed in 803 AD. The Buddha overlooks the confluence of the Min, Qingyi and Dadu rivers and is reputed to be the largest carved stone Buddha in the world. A local saying says, "The Mountain is a Buddha, the Buddha is a mountain".
I recommend to take one of the many boats on the Yangzi-River to the Big Buddha. Then you can climb up to the head. Behind the head is a nice and quite temple with a vegetarian restaurant.
Standing at 71m tall, the Giant Buddha at Leshan is the largest stone scupture of Buddha in the world. Located at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers, the Giant Buddha is carved out from the side of a hill. Taking the shape of a Maitreya, he is depicted barefooted with drooping ears and has his hair arranged in a spiral topknot. His chest is exposed and his hands rest on his knees. To give you an idea of its size, four people can play a game of mahjong on the fingernail of the Buddha!
To see the Giant Buddha, you will have to take a boat from the Leshan city pier. During the peak tourist season, the boat can be packed with tourists and you will have to jostle for space on the sun deck to get your photos. The boat operator has capitalised on this by cordoning off an area of the sun deck and charging a fee of 20 RMB for the privilege of an unobscured view of the Buddha. You only have about 5 minutes to take your photos of the Buddha as the boat makes a U-turn so be quick with your cameras or pay the 20 RMB to get inside the VIP enclosure. If you visit the Buddha in the morning, the sun will be against the camera.