For a lot of people, the opportunity to travel is one of the most common reasons, why doing an internship in China. Especially Chengdu and the Sichuan province is one of the best places to do an internship in China and to travel a lot at the same time. Not only, that the living costs in Chengdu are very low in compare to Shanghai or Beijing, what will allow you to save a lot of money, which will you need for your travel, but Sichuan also have one of the most amazing places to travel in China. In today’s article, you will be introduced to one of the most famous destinations in China and around Chengdu – the Giant Buddha of Leshan (乐山大佛), the biggest Buddha statue in the world carved in stone.
Leshan is a city located in the south of Chengdu in the Sichuan province. Here the rivers of Min Jiang, Dadu and Qingyi merge together. According to a legend, the Buddhist monk Haitong carved the 70 meters tall and 28 meters broad Giant Buddha into the cliff of the riverside heading to Emei Mountain, in order to tame the river. According to the legend, the monk Haitong removed his own eyes in order to penance for not being able to finance the continuation the works on the statue. His students fulfilled his work after about 90 years later. (personal comment by the author of this article: Removing his eyes probably didn’t help at all to ensure the further financing of the project, as he most probably get an infection, his students had to pay an expensive treatment by a doctor and in the end he died anyway by the results of the infection so they even had to pay his burial in addition a few days later.) It is said, that the boulders, which resulted out of the works on the statue and fell into the river, were so much and massive, that they changed the flow of the river until today and made it safe for passing ships.
Right next to the Giant Buddha, there is also the Oriental Buddha Park (东方佛都) with more than 3000 Buddha statues and another giant Buddha statue in a huge cave – the Pharmaceutical Buddha, which is even more impressive than the Giant Buddha at the riverside and surprisingly unknown. If you step behind the Pharmaceutical Buddha, you will find a long cave with some very impressive stone carvings and a further big Buddha statue. The whole area of the Oriental Buddha Park is created like a big park.
If you want to visit the Giant Buddha and the Oriental Buddha Park, you can combine both comfortable in a one day trip. When you take the High-Speed-Train from Chengdu East Railway Station or Chengdu South railway station, you will only need about one hour to get there. The one-way ticket for the train is only about 70 RMB. The combi-ticket for the Giant Buddha and the Oriental Buddha Park is 160 RMB. If you have a student card, you can even save half of the ticket price.
So what are you waiting for? Spend a nice day on the weekend in Leshan. Just make sure, to avoid it during the national holidays. You can learn about the reason in this article.