This scenic hot spot offers the chance to marvel at a monumental Buddha statue carved into Lingyun Mountain. Visit for the day to hike or as a stop over to Mount Emei. Either way, visit for the riverside location and mouthwatering street food
A 71-metre tall stone statue built between 713 and 803 depicting spiritual entity, Maitreya, the Leshan Giant Buddha is carved out of a cliff face of Cretaceous red bed sandstones.
Located at the confluence of the Min River and Dadu River in the southern part of Sichuan province near the city of Leshan, the monument is reachable from Chengdu.
The most renowned scenic spot in that city, the location of the buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites in 1996.
Taking over 90 years to carve, the statue is revered as the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world and has 8.3-meter-long fingers. Additionally, the shoulders are 24 meters wide.
Train: The train is by far the quickest way to reach the statue. Currently, there are around 10 bi-directional bullet trains in service along the Chengdu – Leshan – Emeishan line, on the Intercity High-Speed Railway.
Take the Chengdu-Leshan-Emeishan Intercity High-Speed Train from Chengdu station to Leshan railway station, which costs between￥51.0 (second class seat) and ￥125.0 (business class seat). The journey takes around one hour.
The first train leaves Chengdu station at 8:05am. Change to bus 3 to reach the statue.
The last train to depart Leshan station back to Chengdu leaves at 22:04pm. Click here for the timetable.
If coming from Chongqing North, trains depart three times a day and take around 2 hours and 24 minutes. The train arrives at Chengdu and you can then catch the Intercity High-Speed Railway.
TIP: If you have plenty of time, you can hop aboard the Jiayang Steam Train, built during the 18th century. On this train you can purchase a sightseeing/tour guide ticket, which costs CNY 100 for a round ticket. The train travels around the mountain areas of Leshan.
The designated stopovers for passenger and sightseeing trains are Shixi, Yuejin, Bee Rock, Rape Flower Dam, Fairy’s Foot, Jiao Dam, Plantain Ravine Town, and Huangcun Mine.
Minibus: This is another option to get to Leshan. The traffic in Chengdu can be slow and so a minibus can get a bit crowded.
Bus: It is 100 miles from Chengdu City to Leshan City. You can take a long-distance bus from Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station to Leshan Xiaoba bus station, and then change to city bus 13 to reach the monument.
TIP: There are tour buses that take tourists to certain attractions. These are designated as Leshan Port Sightseeing Bus Station. They take you to Shawan and Mount Emei. You can also ride this to reach Chengdu New South Gate station.
Ferry: Catch Leshan buses either 9 and 12 to take you to the port. There, you can then take a trip down the river and arrive at the foot of Leshan Giant Buddha. A ticket costs CNY 30.
What to see:
Leshan Giant Buddha
Leshan Giant Buddha is the main attraction in Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area.
The Big Buddha was created to slow the water at the water at the joint of the three rivers.
It is carved from the mountain rock, with its head reaching to the mountain top and its feet standing next to the river.
There are 1,051 spiral coils on the Buddha head, and they were all inlayed onto the Buddha head.
The fourth, ninth and 18th layer of the head includes a cross drainage system that goes from the left side in front of the chest and connects to the back drainage of the right arm. The caves and drainage systems keep the statue well preserved.
TIP: The boat trip is the best way to take a picture of the buddha as a whole and for a better perspective.
Nine Bends Plank Road
On the right cliff of the Giant Buddha, there is a plank road built along with the Giant Buddha. From the top to foot, the plank road has nine turns. The widest park of the road is 1.45m and the narrowest part is only 0.6m. Thereare around 217 stone steps.
Giant Sleeping Buddha
The Wuyou Mountain, Lingyun Mountain and Guicheng Mountain behind the Giant Buddha line up to create the ‘Giant Sleeping Buddha’.
Best seen from a boat on the river, the head of the Giant Sleep Buddha is Wuyou Mountain.
The body is the Lingyun Mountain and Guicheng Mountain is the foot.
The whole Sleeping Buddha is over 1,300 meters from south to north.
Mount Emei is located in Leshan City, Sichuan Province and is about 50km from west Leshan Giant Buddha and 40km from Leshan Railway Station.
On the mountain there are four scenic regions: Baoguo Temple, Wannian Temple, Qingyin Pavilion and Golden Summit.
Leshan to Emeishan trains take 16 minutes and cost ￥11.0 (second class seat) or￥13.0 (first class seat).
The best times to visit are in the Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November).
Located on the southwestern fringe of Red Basin in Sichuan province, Leshan city is a renowned scenic resort.
An easy day trip from Chengdu or stopover en route to or from Emei Shan, the city is a bustling hot spot with lots of traditional food on offer, such as sweet skin Duck, Xiba tofu and beancurd jelly.
Take a gentle stroll along the river or enjoy the plentiful street food.
Times and entry cost:
Opening hours: 09:00am – 16:50pm.
Cost: CNY 80. This price excludes the boat ride you can do around the statue. This costs an additional CNY 70.
When to visit: The best time to visit Leshan is Spring and Autumn. Summer is the rainy season and is humid and hot. In Winter, tourists can enjoy hotel discounts and low-season tickets.
TIP: It is recommended to spend one day visiting the statue, as it takes hours to climb. Try to avoid public holidays, as the site can become extremely busy.
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