On our way to Mount Emei, we stopped by to visit the Giant Buddha of Leshan in Sichuan. It is the tallest stone Buddha statue in the world and was carved out of the rocks of the big hill that faces the river.
1. This is the entrance where you need to walk up thousands of steep steps until the top of the hill in order to reach the giant Buddha's head, before trekking down its narrow path to reach the front of the statue.
2. My honey was pointing at this special word. What does it say?
3. It was a chilly Monday and there was still a big crowd of mainland folks from other towns. They all looked so different in facial features and spoke weird & rough Mandarin slangs.
4. We could see the panoramic view of the Leshan city nearby across the river.
5. I was still halfway to the top and had to stop. I wanted to pretend to pose for photograph as I was almost dying and gasping for oxygen!! It was difficult to breathe in the thin winter air.
6. There are several temples up on the Leshan Hills and this one is the Amitabha Buddha's temple where many monks were doing chanting.
7. When I visited any temple in overseas, I would always pay my respects to seek for their blessings and protection so that my vacation would be a happy & safe one. We can always donate cash into their donation boxes or funds to build / repair temples.
8. At the peak of the hill, one could see the top most part of the stone carved Buddha's statue.
9. There was another smaller temple with the Laughing Buddha's statue inside and flanked by the majestic looking 4 Heavenly Kings' statues.
10. There is a statue of the Chinese monk Haitong who collected funds to build the statue in year 713. He hoped that the Buddha would calm the turbulent waters that plagued the shipping vessels traveling down the river. When funding for the project was threatened, he is said to have gouged out his own eyes to show his piety and sincerity.
11. My wife posed with the Buddha's statue.
12. After walking around for an hour, we got ready to start trekking down with the crowd through the very narrow alleys on the hill side.Many parts were so narrow that I had to turn my body side ways to get through. Many silly ladies wore very high and pointed heeled boots to walk. They suffered like crazy!
13. When I reached below, I gasped at the sight of the steep steps and crowds jamming their way down. It was quite a long climb down.
14. At last, I could see the whole carved statue which looked amazing. It has many special holes on the whole structure which helped the rain water to flow out.
15. 2 crazy guys took turns to pose like that. I was amused and decided to snap their photos. We could not step back any further to snap photos as the huge river was there.
16. Everyone had to use another route through some old caves to climb up to the same hill again. From there, everyone would have to use another path with steps to return to the main road below. I hope that I did not confuse you about the whole hill which had to make one way walking directions to control the huge crowds of the tourists.
17. When I reached the top, I could smell some fresh buns steaming in the air and that made me greedy as usual. I always like to try everything in a foreign country be it delicious or horrendous. So look at my stuffed pancake! SOS! I had to take out my McD's sauces to kill their taste.
18. On my way down the other side of the hill, I spotted this unique pagoda temple atop. It was built during ancient times to serve as a landmark to warn passing fishermen and boat vessels that they were approaching the dangerous river currents where many boats had capsized.
I still have several posts to share and I am not sure whether to post them all (?)
Chunxi Road Shopping Haven / Mount Emei / Liu Bei's Tombs / Yongling Mausoleum of Emperor Wan Jiang / Taoism Temple / Manjusri Temple / Luodai Ancient Streets / Narrow Wide Street