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There are countless reasons that visitors from around the world head to China. The architecture in Shanghai’s Bund District, the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City of Beijing are just some of the highlights.
However, one of the most overlooked yet incredible attractions in all of China is the Leshan Giant Buddha. If you’re planning an epic getaway to China for clients who have seen it all, introduce them to the wonder of the Leshan Giant Buddha in Sichuan, China.
What is the Leshan Giant Buddha?
More than 1,300 years ago, construction began on what is now known as the Leshan Giant Buddha. The carving of the 230-foot seated Buddha began in 713 by a Chinese monk named Haitong, but after his death construction halted until it was renewed almost 100 years later by a local military governor.
The enormous Buddha sculpture is carved out of a cliff face and is oriented toward Mount Emei as well as the river that flows directly in front of the feet of the Buddha. Haitong, the monk responsible for the Buddha’s initial creation, wanted to calm the river to make it safer for ships.
Due to a drainage system that was built into the statue and the amount of rock removed during the construction process, the intended result did come about, and the river became substantially safer for ships.
Today, the statue is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Landmark, and it is an incredible attraction to see in person because of its sheer size and the fact that it is so naturally incorporated into the surrounding landscape.
Where is the Leshan Giant Buddha?
The Leshan Giant Buddha is so named because it is located in the city of Leshan. Leshan has a population of more than three million people, yet it retains a historic and welcoming feel thanks in large part to the tourism industry that revolves around the Giant Buddha.
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Leshan is located within the southern portion of the Sichuan Province and is less than 100 miles from the bustling metropolis of Chengdu. To get to Leshan and see the Giant Buddha up close, travelers typically choose to fly into Chengdu and then rely on either the bus or the train to bring them to Leshan.
Driving in Leshan is generally not advised, but it is possible to rent a private shuttle for the duration of the trip, take taxis, use the public bus system or even get a ride in a traditional pedicab.
What Other Attractions are There in Leshan?
Although the Leshan Giant Buddha is a highlight of any trip to the city, Leshan also offers a number of attractions and experiences worth exploring.
Top attractions include the Ebony Museum and Gallery, the Confucian Temple, the Old City Walls and Laoxiaoding, which is the tallest hill within city limits and is now full of traditional teahouses. Outdoor enthusiasts can also hike in Beauty Peak National Forest Park or soak up the scenery from the Jinkouhe Grand Canyon.