leshan giant buddha

A Guide to Visit Leshan Giant Buddha in Sichuan

A guide to visit Leshan Giant Buddha – how to get there from Chengdu, how much the entrance fee costs, and what else to do in this area.

The Leshan Giant Buddha is a remarkable historical and cultural treasure located in Leshan, Sichuan Province, China.

It is one of the most renowned and largest Buddha statues in the world, with a rich history dating back over a thousand years.

There’s a reason why I wanted to travel during winter, exactly on the month of December to January.

It’s low season, which means the entrance fee is cheaper also there’re less visitors compared to other months.

The hotels are fairly cheaper as well in the low season.

It seems that there’s no difference in price for Leshan Big Buddha but at least the number of visitor declining sharply around this period.

History of Leshan Giant Buddha

The construction of the Leshan Giant Buddha began during the Tang Dynasty, specifically during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong, in the year 713 AD.

The project was initiated by a Buddhist monk named Haitong, who was concerned about the dangerous currents and turbulent waters of the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu, and Qingyi rivers.

He believed that building a giant Buddha statue would help calm the waters and protect travelers who often encountered dangerous conditions in the area.

This monumental feat of carving the Buddha into the red sandstone cliffs of Lingyun Hill spanned nearly 90 years, involving multiple generations of skilled artisans.

The result of their labor is awe-inspiring—a seated Giant Buddha soaring to an impressive height of approximately 71 meters (233 feet).

This magnificent figure is depicted with hands serenely resting on its knees and feet crossed, soles facing upward.

Today, the Leshan Giant Buddha stands proudly as a UNESCO World Heritage site, a revered symbol of China’s rich cultural and religious heritage.

It continues to attract pilgrims, tourists, and scholars from across the globe, drawing them to marvel at its grandeur and profound historical significance.

leshan big buddha

How to get to Leshan Giant Buddha from Chengdu

Leshan is conveniently located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) southwest of Chengdu.

To get to Leshan from Chengdu, you have several transportation options, depending on your preferences and budget:

By train

You can take a high-speed train from Chengdu East Railway Station to Leshan. The train journey takes approximately 45 minutes (book the ticket online here).

The train runs pretty often, so you can get the morning train and return to Chengdu in the same day, although you can combine this into 2-days trip with Emeishan as well.

Arriving in Leshan Train Station, hop on to bus number 601 (5 yuan), 3, or K1 to reach the site.

By bus

Long-distance buses are available from several bus stations in Chengdu, including Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station, Chengdu Shiyang Bus Station, and Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station.

The journey by bus may take around 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

By tour

Consider to join this tour to visit Leshan Giant Buddha: 

How much is the entrance fee to Leshan Giant Buddha?

The entrance fee to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha is 80 yuan per person. Students can get 50% discount and it is free for adult above 60 years old.

You can also take boat tour which costs around 70 yuan from Baxiandong Wharf which is 1 kilometers before the entrance to Leshan Big Buddha.

Taking boat allows you to see the Big Buddha from the river, which means you can have bigger perspective of the Buddha.

However, you can’t step in to the park. I heard people complained that it’s a lot better to take the boat because during the peak season, you need to line up for hours to walk down to the feet of Big Buddha.

I was glad that I did it by foot, I could visit Lingyun Temple which is also inside the park, and see the Big Buddha close up. Well, it’s pretty impressive to see how humongous it is, 71 meters high. Even the feet only is gigantic.

There are several caves carved with Buddha’s figures on the cliff side. The steps down and up are pretty steep, but overall it’s not a difficult walk and doesn’t take too much time.

Bring good shoes here and bring water for a hot day. It is a fairly easy hike, however due to the crowd, it might take time.

day trip to leshan

Other things to do in Leshan

Leshan, located in Sichuan Province, China, offers a variety of attractions beyond the famous Leshan Giant Buddha. Here are some other notable places to visit in Leshan:

  • Wuyou Temple: This ancient Buddhist temple complex is situated near the Leshan Giant Buddha. It is not only a place of worship but also a site of cultural significance. The temple features traditional architecture, serene courtyards, and beautiful gardens.
  • Lingbao Pagoda: Located adjacent to the Leshan Giant Buddha, this multi-story pagoda offers panoramic views of the surrounding rivers and landscapes. Climbing to the top provides a unique perspective of the area.
  • Leshan Oriental Buddha Park (Leshan Dongfang Fodi Gongyuan): This park is home to a giant reclining Buddha statue, which is distinct from the seated Giant Buddha. The reclining Buddha is surrounded by a peaceful park with gardens and pavilions.
  • Mount Emei: While not in Leshan itself, Mount Emei is a short distance away and is one of China’s Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains. It is known for its natural beauty, hiking trails, and numerous temples and monasteries, making it a popular pilgrimage site.
  • Baoguo Temple: Located on the slopes of Mount Emei, Baoguo Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in China. It serves as a gateway to the mountain and features stunning architecture and religious artifacts.
  • Qianwei Ancient Town: A charming ancient town known for its well-preserved architecture, traditional streets, and historic atmosphere. It’s a great place to explore and experience Chinese history and culture.
  • Leshan Bridge: This historic stone bridge crosses the Minjiang River and offers picturesque views of the river and city. It’s a nice spot for a leisurely walk and some photography.
  • Furong Cave: Located about 50 kilometers from Leshan, this cave complex is known for its impressive stalactites and stalagmites, as well as its underground river.
  • Sichuan Opera (Face-Changing Opera): While in Leshan, consider attending a Sichuan Opera performance to witness the mesmerizing “face-changing” act, a traditional and unique form of Chinese opera.
  • Local Cuisine: Leshan is famous for its distinctive cuisine, which includes spicy Sichuan hotpot, tofu dishes, and street food. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor these culinary delights.


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