15 Sichuan Leshan & Mt Emei
Leshan Giant Buddha and Mt. Emei are two world class tourist attractions in Sichuan province. They are in close vicinity with each other and travelers can usually visit both on a single trip. They are also easily accessible from Chengdu, making them ideal destinations for travelers with plans for rich outdoor excursions and unique cultural sightseeing
Leshan Giant Buddha
Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya in sitting posture. In Buddhism, he is a Bodhisattva with a broad smile and a naked chest or belly. Located to the east of Leshan city, Sichuan Province, the buddha is carved from the giant hill at the confluence of three important Sichuan rivers. The Buddha is 71m high and has 8m-long fingers. Especially, its shoulder has a size larger than a basketball court and can allow hundreds of people to stand on it.
The project began its construction in 713AD during Tang Dynasty, and took 90 years to finish. A monk called Hai Tong initiated this project. He was worried about the suffering of local people by flooding, and decided that a carved buddha would help control the evil water spirit. He collected alms for years before he has sufficient funds to start the project. Hai Tong passed away before the construction could finish. Fortunately, his two disciples carried on the great work and took oversight of it until its completion. Leshan Giant Buddha showcases the great efforts and outstanding wisdom of the ancient ancestors. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage and attracts travelers worldwide.
Mt. Emei sits in Sichuan Province and is 160km from capital city Chengdu. It is one of the most beautiful and mysterious mountains in China and attracts millions of visitors every year. It is also one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China. With an altitude of 3099m and four scenic regions, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The sceneries on Mount Emei are stunning. Natural resources such as trees and waterfalls are abundant all year round, and wildlife, especially monkeys, are easy to spot. One ancient Chines poet has given many beautiful names to the spots of interest in the mountain, such as Tiger Brook and Flying Waterfall Hanging over Dragon Gate. But you can probably discover more than you can imagine.