The Giant Buddha, Leshan, China

It’s time to start writing about China. In 2016 I lived in China for almost 6 months, February to July. It was my first experience living in another country, actually… it was my first real experience living independently away from mum and dad. And what an experience it was! All the cliches are about to come out here: China is really like nowhere else I’ve visited – I had photos taken of me because I’m blonde and pale. I’ve never felt like a celebrity before! It was surreal. I urge you to visit the People’s Republic of China, the culture shock might be very real but it’s worth it. The photos do wonders for your ego! In regards to China, so far I’ve only written a post about the Great Wall. How typical. I’m not disparaging it(did I use that word correctly?) but everyone who visits China will visit it – for good reason, it’s amazing, iconic, ancient and so on.  But now I want to talk about something a little less famous, in this post I am going to talk about…
the Giant Buddha of Leshan.

Leshan is a city near to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. We lived in a suburb of Chengdu, probably the biggest city nobody seems to have heard of. 14 million people call Chengdu home! I am looking forward to blogging about my old home, it was my favourite Chinese city. Of course, I’m very impartial! We managed to do a few ‘local’ trips whilst there. (Local includes 10 hour coach journeys, btw). In May we took the high speed train for a little day trip to a local attraction, the bloody big Buddha! He’s been impressing people for over a millennium. Apparently he took 90 years to complete, work finally finished in 803. He’s aged well! I think the detail is pretty incredible when the age is taken into consideration. 1000 years of wear and tear on top of the lack of modern technology. Round of applause for the workers!

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To be honest, if I was visiting Chengdu/Sichuan for only a few days as part of a trip to China, I wouldn’t recommend visiting the Buddha. I am glad I did it but we had the luxury of living there. No doubt about it, he’s impressive and the local grounds and very peaceful. However, there are better things to see and do in this part of China. Unless he holds some sacred significance to you, I wouldn’t call it a must-do. It’s a 7/10 kinda thing. You’ll be able to say you’ve seen the biggest Buddha statute in the world… but I doubt that’s on your bucket list. I’ll end by saying that I strongly urge anyone planning a trip to China to visit Sichuan though, I’ll write more about ‘my’ province soon.

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7 thoughts on “The Giant Buddha, Leshan, China

  1. Really interesting to hear your point of view regarding the Leshan Buddha – out of interest why wouldn’t you recommend it for tourists visiting Sichuan? It’s usually listed as one of the main sights to see in the province, so I’d provisionally put it on my “must see” list for this summer! Really looking forward to your other posts about your time in China 🙂

    • Hmm maybe I was critical, it is impressive. If someone was just in Chengdu or Sichuan for maybe 5 days – I think other places are more important! The panda research base, Jiuzhaigou. Jiuzhaigou was my favourite place in China!

      • Thanks! Do you think Jiuzhaigou is worth it? It looks beautiful, but the entrance fee is rather steep and it’s a bit of a trek from Chengdu :/ Not sure if in the summer it’s also going to be too overrun with other tourists to enjoy it :/
        Definitely going to visit the panda research base! The pandas look super cute!

      • I highly recommend Jiuzhaigou! It’s stunning, worth it. It’s two days of traveling plus the day in the park so it’s time-consuming but incredible. How long are you in Sichuan/China for?

      • I’m going to have about a month to travel around china, seen the main touristy cities before so planning to spend this trip trying to get to the more out of the way places and more rural areas (e.g. probably spending at least the last week in Yunnan) but not made a detailed schedule yet 🙂 I’ll definitely add Jiuzhaigou to the list though! Thanks 🙂

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