It’s been more than a year since I first came to Chengdu to study yet I had never visit Leshan and Emeishan. Simple, because I thought it’s near and I could do it anytime, anyway. During my second winter break, I finally decided to pay a visit to these famous landmarks near Chengdu. Two-days trip is sufficient enough since they’re located next to each other. So first day I traveled from Chengdu to Leshan first and after spent a night in a city nearby Emeishan, did Emeishan on my second day. Check out my two days itinerary to Leshan and Emeishan.
From Chengdu to Leshan and Emeishan
It’s very convenient to travel from Chengdu to both Leshan and Emeishan. There are many trains from either South Railway Station or East Railway Station will take to to Leshan or Emeishan Train Station. My plan was to visit Leshan first, so I bought the ticket from Chengdu East Railway Station to Leshan Railway Station. Travel time is about an hour and it’ll cost you around 54 yuan. Arriving in Leshan Train Station, hop on to bus number 601 (5 yuan), 3, or K1 to reach the site.
Also Read: Langzhong Ancient Town
From Leshan Big Buddha, you have two options to get to Emeishan. Straight by bus number 601 (5 yuan), which will take you almost two hours, or, going back to the train station and take a 15 minutes train (11 yuan) to Emeishan Railway Station.
We opted for the train to Emeishan, took the city bus number 12 (1 yuan) to the tourist center where we’ve booked our homestay for a night. We stayed in Prajna Lotus Homestay which offers private rooms, good option for couple. But if you travel alone, just across this homestay there’s a hostel called Teddy Bear Hostel with dorm rooms. They both have excellent locations, just next to the tourist center to take shuttle bus to Wenniang or Leidongping.
Leshan Big Buddha
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.
I was considering whether I should take the boat to see the 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. By boat, it takes around 20 minutes overall and it costs 70 yuan. You can take the boat from Baxiandong Wharf which is 1 kilometers before the entrance to Leshan Big Buddha.
Since I came on the low season, I chose to enter the park, paid the entrance fee for 80 yuan (40 yuan for students). I was glad that I did it. I could visit Lingyun Temple which is also inside the park, and see the Big Buddha close up. It is said that the Buddha Statue was built during Tang Dynasty and took almost 90 years to carve. 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.
Second Day in Emeishan
We woke up early today and went straight to the tourist center to buy entrance fee and shuttle bus to Emeishan. The national park is huge, so it’s better to plan in advance how you wanna do it. If you’re a crazy hiker than you can try to do the three days hike from Wannian Monastery to the submit, which is around 30 km. Not for me this time.
I did the express and the easiest way by shuttle bus straight to Leidongping which took about two hours ride. The price for the shuttle bus was 90 yuan for two ways. Entrance fee was 160 yuan in high season, 110 yuan in low season, again half price if you’re a student (lucky me!). When we arrived in Leidongping it was pretty much covered with fog and snow. So be prepared if you come during winter. We walked up the stairs, a bunch of people offered us crampons. To be honest, you don’t really need it.
There were shops along the way before the cable car station. It was foggy and white like a sad winter land. Then we took the cable car to the summit by paying another 50 yuan for two ways (low season price) or else it would be 120 yuan in high season. Let’s calculate it. If you’re visiting in high season and you’re taking all the facilities to the summit, you need to spend 370 yuan!
So we took the cable car up and the view gradually changed from thick fog to clear blue sky. We’re above the clouds now! It really felt like we’re reaching the heaven! There the massive golden Buddha statue shining bright reflecting the light from the sun. Many came to worship as well. Emeishan is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountain in China so you can feel how religious it is up here while enjoying the view of snowy mountains around.
Traveled in 8 – 9 January 2020
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