What it is:
Leshan is yet another of China’s scenic cities, boasting idyllic views over the confluence of the Dadu and Min Rivers, as well as bounteous hills and mountains. There are a number of religious sculptures, pavilions and temples hidden within the scenery, and some of the mountains themselves even have sacred importance to Buddhists. Locals are known to be extremely proud of their ancient heritage intertwined with China’s history of Buddhism, and there are no end of tours, walks and discoveries to be made within Leshan’s distinct scenery.
Leshan’s Giant Buddha shouldn’t be missed, as the largest carved stone Buddha in the world, taking over 90 years to make. The Giant Sleeping Buddha is another amazing sight but, unlike the Giant Buddha, is formed from natural mountains.
Mount Emei (also called E’meishan, since “shan” means mountain in Chinese) is an important centre for refuge and spirituality in China. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, this incredible mountain is both a natural wonder and the home to more than one hundred temples and monasteries. Some of the best monasteries include Wan-nian and Baoguo Temple, which is home to a massive bell that can be heard 16 kilometres away when rung!
E’meishan is most famous for its incredible hiking trails through the national park, and of course a journey to the Golden Summit, home to a multi-faced statue of Samantabhadra and incredible peak views. Make sure you’re prepared for a serious case of vertigo here, since the sea of clouds that often dominates the views here are sure to make your heart beat a bit faster.
How to get there:
As there isn’t an airport in Leshan, those who wish to travel by plane should fly into Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport which is 150 kilometres from Leshan. From there, visitors can take a train or bus to the city.
There are three bus stations in Leshan, the Central Bus Station, Leshan Port Sight-seeing Bus Station and Lianyun Bus Station. Most buses stop at the Central Bus Station, including buses from Jiuzhaigou, Mianyang and Chengdu Shiyang Station. There are also buses from Chengdu New South Gate Bus Station to Leshan Port Sight-seeing Bus Station.
Chengdu-Leshan–Emeishan Intercity High-Speed Train is a fast, reliable option to go directly from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to Leshan Railway Station. There are also a number of services to Leshan from Chengdu East Railway Station and Chengdu South Railway Station which stop at Leshan’s North Railway Station.
Leshan Port offers service to nearby cities, such as Chongqing, Luzhou and Yibin, and tourist sights, such as the Giant Buddha and Wuyou Temple.