Lovely Leshan

Leshan was somewhere I knew we had to go when I was reading about Sichuan. I’ve seen a lot of Buddhas during our time in Asia, but I knew this one was special.

After seeing Buddha growing out of a tree in Ayutthaya, I figured there wasn’t much left to impress me.

Leshan is located about an hour outside of Chengdu via bullet train. The town itself is a lot more developed than I was expecting, and had I known, we would have booked 1 night there and saved the time going to Emei (which is just 30 minutes past Leshan). Still, it was a beautiful train ride and not long enough to be a big deal.

The bullet train route from Chengdu to Emei

Didi’s (Chinese Ubers) can’t take you all the way to the mountain, so you get dropped off at the entrance of the park. It’s about 1km from the entrance to the ticket office. You get to walk through a lovely town though, and you can stop for food or drinks along the way. It’s a really nice walk!

The town itself is beautiful and well maintained. I suppose with COVID, fewer people were traveling, so we basically had the place to ourselves
We stopped for some food in town, and got this delicious dessert that we used to get in Guizhou all the time. It had a clear jelly in it, with a brown sugar sauce of some sort, and there are peanuts and dried fruit in it too. It’s very refreshing and very tasty!!
Lots of beautiful buildings to admire on your walk to the ticket office

Because my leg still causes me quite a few problems when it comes to ramps and stairs, we decided to skip climbing up the mountain to the top of the Buddha, and instead took a boat to see it from the front. Whether you want to take a boat or enter the park to climb the mountain, you’ll need to get tickets. For the boat, it was about 80rmb ($16 Canadian).

Low season = nap time!

The view from the boat was spectacular! We were blown away by the size of the Leshan Buddha carving and the level of detail in it as well. The way you come up on it by the boat is truly something to see. Even if you want to hike the mountain, I’d suggest you do the boat tour as well.

This was created 1300 years ago, and took 100 years to complete.
You can see tourists walking around the Buddha to get a sense of scale

After marveling at this incredible feat of artistry and engineering, we wanted to learn more about its history and construction, so we walked back towards to museum that can be found near the entrance to the park.

There is so much to see in this museum, including art, reconstructions, photography and even a display showing all the different ticket designs for the park over the last 50 years.

At the museum, you can learn about the construction of the Buddha, as well as the maintenance that has been done to it over the last 1300 years. There were some great visuals there to help people understand the amount of work that went into this grand carving, and I left there with a better appreciation for the Leshan Buddha. We learned there is a Buddha carving in Hangzhou as well (though not as big) so we’re planning to visit that one next.

The three men who headed this 100 year long project.

I don’t think anyone should leave Sichuan without taking a trip to this beautiful mountain town, to see its incredible giant Buddha.

And while you’re at it… Take a lovely walk through a sweet little village

I’ll be back soon with more about some incredible engineering from ancient China!!!

Leave a Reply