One of China’s lesser known sites, the spectacular Leshan Buddha is Calum’s favourite landmark in the world. A gigantic Buddha carved into a cliff mountain, this place will take your breath away.
A Monk named Hai Tong initiated the project, hoping to carve the statue beside the river so that the Buddha would bring the water spirit under control. The fallen stones that dropped into the river during the carving, did reduce the water force, reducing the number of disastrous boat accidents in the local area which had caused the Monk to build the Buddha in the first place.
After 20 years begging for money, he was finally able to start planning and designing the Buddha. Mid project; the local government stopped funding and wanted to use this money elsewhere in the area, so Hai Tong dug out his eyeball in protest. The project was half complete when Hai Tong passed away and two of his disciples continued his work; which would be completed 90 years later.
At 71 metres high and with a 9 metre wide instep of his gigantic feet, this is an incredible place to stand and marvel at a masterpiece. The size and the intricate detailing is what makes this Buddha unique and impressive.
As we stood by the Buddhas foot, we really appreciated how incredibly tall and massive this carving was.
Drive: The Leshan buddha sits in the town of Leshan, just a few hours outside of Chengdu. Tours or private drivers are the best choices for a day trip here, especially if you can join it with a morning visiting the Chengdu Panda Research. We were able to book a private tour with our hotel but if you want to book something in advance, Viator offer private tours including lunch.
Train: There are various trains running from all Chengdu stations into Leshan; check the schedule to plan your trip. These take around an hour and prices vary depending on which station you leave from. From Chengdu East, second class seats cost 54 RMB with first class costing 65 RMB and business class costing 125 RMB.
Bus: From Xinnanmen Bus station, you can hop on a bus to Leshan Xiaoba Bus station and then change to city bus 13. The journey is about 2 hours and buses run every 30 minutes from 6.45am to around 7.30pm.
Spending time in Leshan
If you want to spend more time in Leshan, take in the sights and nature around the Buddha in the scenic area. Doing a self-guided tour is easy and fun!
Would you love to visit the Leshan Buddha?! What is your favourite place to visit in the world?! Tell us in the comments below 🙂