Leshan (乐山; Lèshān) is a city near in Sichuan Province. Sitting on the confluence of the Dadu, Mín and Qingyi rivers it is most famous for its huge riverside cliff-carving of Buddha and nearby Mount Emei; which together are a World Heritage Site.
High speed rail
The Chengdu - Leshan - Emeishan Intercity High Speed Railway provides service from Chengdu East Railway Station, Chengdu South Station, and Shuangliu Airport Station to Leshan Station (and at the end of the line Emeishan Station). Depending on train, it takes between 52 minutes to about 1 hour, 20 minutes to get between Chengdu East to Leshan (RMB 54).
From Leshan Station the trip by bus K1 via Leshan City to the Giant Buddha (RMB 2) with stops along the way in the city takes 30 minutes. Departure for the bus K1 is in the bus station building, across the street to the right side of the train station on exiting. The bus K1 can be taken back to Leshan Station before 18:00 but afterwards bus 3 is available to go back, taking 45 minutes.
- Central Bus Station (中心车站 zhōngxīn chēzhàn): buses to/from Chengdu, Emei, Jiajiang, Kangding, Meishan, Pengshan, Shawan, Ya'an, Yibin, and Zigong. Also long-distance buses to/from Dujiangyan, Guanghan, Jiuzhaigou, Mianyang, Nanchong, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
- Lianyun Bus Station (??车站 lianyun chēzhàn): Emei, Qianwei, and Wutongqiao.
- Xiaoba Station (肖坝站 xiàobà zhàn): buses to/from Mount Emei (Baoguo Si), Chengdu (Xinnanmen), and Emei.
Leshan city has a history of over 3000 years.
Maps of the city are: available for ¥4 from street kiosks, printed on every bus stop and online.
- Pedicab - Leshan has many pedicabs that are cheap and convenient for short journeys.
- Public bus - Buses are regular and uncrowded in Leshan. Most are fairly modern and charge ¥1 per journey which you normally pay to the conductor. You may have to request your stop.
- Taxi - During the day the first 2 km are charged at ¥3, and after at the rate of ¥0.70/km. A fuel surcharge of ¥0.50 is added at the end of the journey and is explained by a white sticker in front of the front passenger seat.
- Leshan Grand Buddha (乐山大佛 lèshāndàfó) - One of the main attraction to see is the Leshan Grand Buddha. The Grand Buddha is a 71 m (230 feet) high sculpture carved into one of the large cliffs by the river. In addition to the Grand Buddha, there are also numerous smaller carvings of various Buddhas on the Grand Buddha Cliff Road. Other than carvings, there are also various temples and shrines scattered about, the beautiful Haoshang bridge, and some wonderful small waterfalls. The Buddha was carved into the mountain face to watch over a part of the river that while very busy for transport was claiming the lives and stock of many boats. Upon completion of the now largest Buddha in the world the river became safe, and thus Buddha saved "us all". Modern scientists will point out the rock displacement to the river bed would have changed the currents, and killed off the eddies that were pulling boats down. If you go late in the day, you will not have to compete with many Chinese tour groups who seem to go in the morning. There are two ways to see the giant Buddha: on foot and by river ferry. To see the giant Buddha Statue by ferry you can take one of the ferries from the dock for ¥70. The ferry will cross the river and stop in front of the statue for 10 minutes for everyone to go to the top deck and take pictures and then return to the dock. Ferry fare does not include admission to the park. Taking the ferry allows you to view the two guards carved into the cliff face which are not visible by foot. The total trip will take around 40 minutes. The view from the ferry is not much different from the view at the base of the statue, which would make it unnecessary unless you're dead set on having a photo taken of yourself with the Buddha. An alternative is take a taxi or bus (#13 from downtown) to the statue and climb up and down on the cliff surrounding the Buddha. Costs ¥90 (¥50 with a valid student ID) to enter the park. There is a staircase next to the Buddha to take you down to its feet. In the mornings, long lines develop to walk down the cliff to the base of the Buddha and you can expect to wait for around 2 hours. Arrive very early or in the late afternoon to avoid the lines. There are several other (newer) things to see on site, so perhaps seeing them first and saving the Buddha for last is a smart strategy. In winter, when the water level of the 3 rivers is low, there appears a rubble island on which you can walk towards the Buddha. The island ends maybe 200 m in front of the statue, but it's a nice panorama from there. You can get to the island with a ferry from the south bank of the city (¥1 per passage) and walk about 2 km from there. Student or Seniors discounts are available, though a quick grasp of Chinese is useful. Food in this locality is very expensive and is best avoided unless you are very hungry in which case any of the cafes nearby will do. Given that you will pay through the nose anyway, it's best to choose the one with air con if you are visiting in the summer. For more information see: UNESCO .
- Confucian Temple
- Dafo Lake
- Ebony Museum - This is well worth a visit if you are not familiar with ebony and the amazing carvings that can be made from it. Some of the displays are a bit tacky but there are some spectacular carvings of famous Chinese literary and legendary scenes.
- The Chairman Mao Badge Museum is on the road from Chengdu to Leshan. Admission is ¥70 yuan. To get there from downtown Leshan, take bus #8 to its terminus. From there, take a pedicab to the museum for no more than ¥5. Alternatively, you could take a taxi for approximately ¥40.
- Jinkouhe Grand Canyon
- Moruo Opera Theatre - 119 dongda lù (东大街119号) -
- Old City Walls （旧城墙）
- Oriental Buddha Park （东方影剧院）
- Pingqiang Small Three Gorges
- Wuyou Temple
- Beauty Peak National Forest Park(美女峰国家级森林公园) Beauty peak aka three asan, located in Leshan City, Sandy Bay area south of Emei Mountain, is a third peak, 2027 m above sea level, due to the shape of a beautiful woman supine, praised by Guo Moruo as" the sleeping beauty".
- Browse the markets at wùyān jiē (婺嫣街) and xīngfā jiē (兴发街).
- Haitang Park (海棠公园 hǎitáng gōngyuán) - 520 hǎitáng lù（海棠路520号), Open 08:00-20:00.
- Laoxiaoding is the tallest hill within Leshan's old city limits. Now it is a pleasant park with pavilions and tea houses. From Moruo Square take the road heading north to its end and then along the winding uphill path. The park gate will be to your right.
Leshan is well-known for its bean-curd and sweet rice cake (洒琪玛 sǎqímǎ).
- Zhanggongqiao Jie - A fun and busy place to eat and drink at night.
You Tang ya - tasted, sweet duck
Tou Fu Nao - Beancurd
Tianpi Ya - Sweet skin duck
There are hundreds of teahouses in Leshan. The best are those outdoors; especially those along the banks of the Dadu and Min rivers and in Leshan's parks. All great places to play Majiang or Leshan's unique erqishi card game.
- 杨家老宅茶馆 (yángjiā lǎozhái cháguǎn) - 52 gǔlóu jiē (鼓楼街52号). 0833-2115000. Open Monday to Sunday. An atmospheric teahouse set within a cluster of old buildings and decorated with old photographs of Leshan and the Grand Buddha.
- Banana Club. Don't expect much, 1 of 2 night clubs in Leshan. Busy on Saturdays, but will die down by 11PM on weekdays. Try Zero Beer (brewed for a good time). ~¥30/bottle
- Taoyuan Hotel (桃源宾馆 táoyuán bīnguǎn, 滨江路138号 138 bīnjiāng lù) (Next to Leshan Port), ☎ . Probably the most convenient hotel for most travellers especially since it's across the street from where the Leshan Buddha tourist boats start their 30-min cruise Economical Room ¥80 (bargain to ¥50), Standard Room ¥230, Luxury Twin Room ¥260, Luxury Single Room ¥280, Luxury Suite ¥888.
- Jiazhou Hotel (嘉州宾馆 jiāzhōu bīnguǎn, 白塔街 báitǎ jiē) (Next to Moruo Square.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Three-star hotel.
- Jinhaitang Hotel (金海棠大酒店 jīnhǎitángdàjiǔdiàn, 海棠路512号 512 hǎitáng lù) (next to Haitang Park), ☎ . Leshan's only four-star hotel.
Possible destinations after Leshan include the following.
- Chengdu(成都） - Travel north on the ChengLe Expressway to the capital of Sichuan making stops at Meishan and Huanglongxi.
- Dafengding - Dafengding is a China National Nature Preservation Zone.
- Emei（峨眉） - Make the short journey west to see the famous Emei Shan and then take the train south towards Kunming or north towards Chengdu.
- Jiajiang - Visit the Thousand Buddha Cliff and then take the train south towards Kunming or north towards Chengdu.
- Kangding - Start your visit to western Sichuan from its capital.
- Shawan - Former Residence of Guo Morou and Meinufeng Stone Forest.
- Yibin（宜宾） - Famous for its distilleries.
- Zigong （自贡）- Salt mines and a dinosaur museum.