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Chengdu was one of my favourite stops, not because of the pandas (yeah, we’ll get to them too, in due time), but because I went on a day-trip to see the Buddha of Leshan.

This enormous statue was carved out of the cliff overlooking a river during the Tang Dynasty (started in 713, finished in 803 – the sculpture, not the dynasty, I mean). Measuring 71 meters, it is the greatest statue of Buddha in the world, and frankly – it’s awesome.

IMG_6177You start from the top (where the people in the picture are standing), then take a tiny steep narrow path…

IMG_6193

that leads down to there…

IMG_6199Of course when I showed up it was full of people (although admittedly it wasn’t even remotely as crowded as some of the more major attractions in China, which was cool), but the good thing is, it’s a whole mountain of gardens and relics and buildings, so if you find yourself a bit oversurrounded, you can sneak away and come back later after going for a walk here:

IMG_6130Or here:

IMG_6123Or even here, if you’ve got a few more minutes:

IMG_6151And then come back through the supposed fishing village AKA tourist trap:

IMG_6152But just make sure you get to see this before you leave:

IMG_6195Honestly, it’s really cool. And you get to go through the nice little town where the sculpture is. So if you’re in Chengdu and have a day to spare – I’d say go for it. The pandas will wait!

 

 

 

 

 

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