How to get to Leshan Great Buddha
The fastest and easiest way is to take Intercity High-Speed Train from Chengdu to Leshan Railway Station, and then change to Bus 3 to reach the site. The train ride will take about 2-hours and costs USD8 one-way for second class seats. Alternatively, if you are not travelling from Chengdu, you may take ferry or long-distance bus from other cities.
Leshan Great Buddha Price
It costs about USD12 (half-price if you have a student pass) for entrance ticket. The entrance ticket also allow entry to other attraction sites within the mountain. If you do not wish to climb up and down the mountain, you can choose to take a boat ride and have a far view of the Buddha from the sea (additional USD10).
A tour guide is not necessary as everything has description in English and there aren’t a lot of guides who are able to converse in English.
Where to stay near Leshan Great Buddha
If you are staying overnight in Leshan City like me, I would highly recommend Leshan Haiyun International Youth Hostel (USD6/night). The staffs are friendly, the dorm is neat and clean. There is a bus-stop nearby which has a direct bus to Leshan Great Buddha (1Yuan and only 20-minutes ride way). Not only that, the hostel is only walking distance to shopping district and food paradise!
How much time will you need there
I took at least 5-hours to explore everything! Even though the Giant Buddha is the main attraction, but there are other more places to explore! That also means there are a lot of walking to do. However, if you do not have so much time to spare you still need at least 2-hours just for the Giant Buddha.
When to visit the Leshan Great Buddha
I went during winter in December. Low peak is from 1st December to 1st March, whereby entrance ticket will be discounted and less crowded. I was advised by the locals to always avoid Spring and Summer season when visiting China because everything will be expensive and everywhere will be so crowded.
What to do there
Explore other attractions along the route such as Lingyun Temple, Wuyou Temple and Mahao Cave Tombs Museum with no extra charges! If you do not mind walking further, you can visit the Oriental Buddhist Park, a 170-meters long sleeping Buddha, which will cost you additional USD7. What’s worth the additional USD7 is that you will be walking through Thousand-Buddhas Cave which is so amazingly beautiful and grand.
Also, don’t forget to try out some of the local delicacies!
Why should the Leshan Great Buddha be on my bucket list?
Like all the Wonders of the World, it is amazing to think about how those craftsmen from thousands of years ago were able to carve such magnificent sculpture out of a mountain!