It was easy to go down, but coming up was another story. Ancient stairs are inside the mountain, steps are quite high and the air is not the freshed. So if you have e.g. some medical condition, it may be better jus look a statue from up.
It's interesting to note that the Grand Buddha project which was originally constructed to protect boatmen from perishing in the Min River has now been granted the name of "world cultural and natural heritage" in Dec 1996.
This temple was built around AD 750 during the Tang Dynasty. In the temple are many places of cultural and historical interest such as the Tianwang (Heavenly Kings) Hall, Mituo Hall, Daxiong Grand Hall, Guanyin Hall and Wuyou Hall.
If, after taking the route down to the Giant Buddha's feet, you take the cliff path towards Wuyou Temple, you'll go through this traditional fishing village. The village itself is said to be boat-shaped in order to be an imitation of the ancient Luocheng town built during the Qing dynasty. You'll find several places selling food and drinks plus souvenirs.
This 13 storey pagoda sits on top of Lingbao Peak, hence its name, and was built in the 7th century which is when the temple was built. It reaches a height of 29 metres and contains five halls inside. Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be possible to climb up inside.
This cave lies within the grounds of Lingyun Temple, which itself is located above the Giant Buddha's head. Anyou, a native of Jiazhou (now known as Leshan) was executive of the Ministry of Finance at the end of the 15th century and studied the Book of Change (Yijing) here. In the cave there are five stone tablets carved by Yuan Zirang, governor of Jiazhou.
This temple is located above the Giant Buddha's head. It was built in the 7th century and renovated in the 17th century. In addition to the Giant Buddha, the temple is said to be "the most magnificent building in the southwest".
Trails run all over the Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Park and are well maintained if a little steep in places and are well sign-posted. You'll pass by lots of little pools, statues and stone inscriptions along the way to the staircase that takes you down to the Giant Buddha's feet.
Facing the river, the Buddha has symmetrical posture and looks which have been beautifully captured in its solemn stillness. It 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. The large pair of ears, each seven meters (about 23 feet) long, is made of wood and is decorated by mud on the surface. His nose measures 5.6 meters (18 feet).
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71 meter high statue of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture. The Buddha is located at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. In December 1996, the location of the Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites. Construction began in 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and was led by a Chinese monk named Haitong. He hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels travelling down the river. Construction finished in 803, with the statue taking people more than 90 years to carve. During these years, thousands of workers had expended their efforts and wisdom on the project. As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, Leshan Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song and story.
Open: Apr 1st to Oct 7th - 7:30-18:30. Oct 8th to Mar 31st 8:00-17:30. Admission: Y70.
The best way to get the best view of Dafo (the Great Buddha) is by taking a boat ride that hovers in front of the statue for about 10 minutes. You also get to see the other features beside him like the Guardian figures and the footpaths. The boat leaves from the dock on the other side of the river near the tall hotels and costs Y50.
I wasn't in the mood to fight my way through thousands of people climbing to see the Grand Buddha so I took a water tour instead and really enjoyed it.
There were more Buddha's to see from the water and views of the Grand Buddha were great.
Cost 50RMB and worth it. The river trip was also interesting because of the rough waters and tidal flows - it was no smooth sailing trip - and it is compulsory to wear lafe jackets. Thank goodness!
I did do the climb next trip and it was well worth it tough the steps were a bit of hassle for me. The gardens and grounds were lovely; easy to fill in a day.
The street stalls are the usual tourist rip off's - buy your souvenirs in town..... And get your water and snacks from the supermarket before you go to Leshan....
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya in sitting posture, just at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River.Begun in the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and finished in the year 803, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve.
It was a monk called Hai Tong who initiated the project. His concern was for the safety of the long-suffering people who earned their living around the confluence of the three rivers.
We first took the boat to have a further look at the buddha because when you stand in front of it, you can only just get it entirely in the picture. I'm not completely sure about the price for the boat, because it was included in our package, but I think it was 50 or 60 RMB per person. When we went there it was a little cold on the boat, but the small trip (about half an hour or 45 minutes) was ok. It's not a luxury boat, but you do get a nice view of the buddha and of the whole 'skyline' which looks like a lying buddha.
I had seen the giant buddha on pictures already, but when you see it from close, it's quite impressive. Before we went I thought it would just be 'seeing the buddha and gone again', but it was a pleasant surprise it wasn't like that. First you walk a while to the buddha's head, then you can go all the way down to his feet, and then all the way up again. Once you're up again you can stroll through the temple and the nice park around it.