A World Heritage Site
The LeShan Giant Buddha is a stone statue carved directly into a mountain facade. It was built between 713 and 803 AD (during Tang Dynasty). This giant buddha statue attracts visitors around the globe. Starting January 2019, LeShan Giant Buddha went under renovation. Therefore during my recent re-visit, I could only see the head of the Buddha. Even so, it still looked magnificent in person.
The Giant Buddha is facing the confluence of Min and DaDu Rivers. Legend has it that the Buddha was built here to prevent boat overturns, which were believed to be caused by “spirits” in the rivers.
Oriental Buddha Park
Adjacent to the Giant Buddha, there is a scenic theme park called Oriental Buddha Park which is also a worthwhile visit. Built in 1994, the park is home to around 3000 stone buddha statues. Located in spacious caves, they depict the stories of this old religion.
If you have a couple days, I recommend also visiting Mt. Emei, another must-visit in Sichuan. In that beautiful mountain, you can go hiking/sightseeing, meet wild monkeys and soak in the hot springs.
I spent a day in LeShan with my family, before heading back to Chengdu in the late afternoon. We hired a tour guide to take us from the Oriental Buddha Park to the Giant Buddha. Booking a guided tour could save you time and help you understand the stories behind what you see.
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