The Grand Buddha of Leshan towered over us, hundreds of feet tall, his giant head haloed by the afternoon sun. We were surrounded by people, hundreds of them, maybe thousands in the Leshan Buddha Park, and more in the tour boats in the river behind us. At an alter in front of the statue, Chinese tourists waited with uncharacteristic patience to kneel and offer a prayer before moving on.
The Buddha park was the largest and most historic site we had visited on our trip, and Dannie was determined to get some usable photographs. To that end, we each carried different lenses to make sure we didn’t miss a shot. I had the wide angle and she had the zoom, and we moved from statue to statue looking for the best angle and trying to find a gap in the throngs of tourists through which we could shoot. In the end the zoom lens wins at this location, where you can crop in to minimize the tourists in the scene.
We visit the giant buddha on with two different kind of transportations (3 if you cunt the rickshaw).
- the boat ride, the small town isn’t famous for anything else, so just ask your hotel/hostel host or just anyone they will point you to the harbor to take the boat, since the post was written in 2013 I left out the harbor address (they might have moved, please let us know in the comment so we can update it).
- by rickshaw, in the early morning we couldn’t find a ride so we hired a rickshaw (we visited Leshan in 2013 that time there were no DiDi available). It was a fun experience if it’s still available for hire during your visit, I’d recommend give it a try.
- by bus, on the way back we took the bus back into the city, we probably paid too much for our morning rickshaw ride because the bus ride back into town only cost 2yuan.
Anyways pick your comfort level and always travel safe.
After touring the whole park, we exited to the opposite end from the entrance, in order to return to the bus station (by the entrance), we had to hire a rickshaw. It’s definitely a good choice, not only you will get a chance to cool down but to rest your feel while watching the scenery pass by. At the time there were lots of big potholes during our rickshaw rides, so put your camera and cellphone somewhere safe.
The Leshan Giant Buddha park is a must visit day trip location (if you happen to be in the region) because of lack of interesting attraction or sights near by I wouldn’t make a special trip here. If you only had time to try one activity then skip the boat. When you take the boat ride you must wear your life jacket (it was very heavily enforced).
The stair way part of the park (the first set of the picture in the blog), involved walking around cave like tunnels around the buddha’s body, it’s a very hard and slippery climb, and once you start it’s hard to turn back because the amount of Chinese tourist and the small narrow space to walk — This part might be hard on the joints for not very active tourist, or people afraid of closing spaces.
Hope you find this article useful, if you have recently visited the park please update it with us in the comments below so other reader can learn more updated tip. Thank you!