“It is better to travel well than to arrive.”
The Big Buddha at Leshan or Leshan Dafo certainly lives up to its name, it’s huge! Its total height reaches 71 meters (221ft) and it was built over one thousand years ago.
71 meters sounds tall but doesn’t really give you the true impression of just how colossal it is…
So let’s compare it to other arbitrary measurements
The big Buddha at Leshan is 1 and a quarter Leaning Tower of Pisas tall!
It is taller than ten normal sized giraffes!
The Buddha is three-quarters the size of the Statue of Liberty!
But to really comprehend the size of this landmark you need to visit for yourself. Just look at the picture below – those are people standing above the eyebrow level on the head.
How to get to the Dafo (the Big Buddha at Leshan)
You have a lot of choices on how to you get to the Big Buddha, just make sure to plan early. Personally when I went, during the Chinese Spring Holiday, all the trains had been fully booked from where we were staying in Chengdu and we ended up getting a taxi for 400RMB all the way there. Just a word of warning!
You can get the High-Speed Chengdu-Leshan-Emeishan Intercity Train from Chengdu and get off at Leshan Railway Station. Once you arrive you can take the 3 bus to the location.
It is 100 miles from Chengdu City to Leshan City if one travels by the expressway, hence the expensive taxi we paid for. Visitors can take a long-distance bus from Chengdu Xinnanmen Bus Station to Leshan Xiaoba Bus station, and once you arrive then change to city bus 13 to get to the Leshan Buddha.
If you want to see the Big Buddha by water then it’s possible to catch a ferry from Chongqing, Luzhou, and Yibin.
How much does it cost?
To see the Buddha you will have to pay 90RMB. However, there is a new park with several big Buddhas located just outside the main site so if you are only wishing to see the original big Buddha at Leshan make sure to not get confused into buy both tickets (like I did). Otherwise, you will be paying more than you were expecting.