Leshan, a relaxed town set at the confluence of the Dadu He and Min He rivers, is famous for the Grand Buddha, carved into a cliff overlooking the rivers. Measuring 71m high, it is by far the largest Buddha sculpture in the world. The construction, started in AD 713, lasted 90 years, and includes a water drainage system to present the scultpure from weathering. The Grand Buddha is part of a sprawling complex of temples set on two hills which are said to have the shape of a lying Buddha. The best way to visit is to combine a trip on the river, which gives an unique angle of view, with a walk along the staircase carved in the cliff which let you best appreciate the monumental scale. The Grand Buddha of Leshan is UNESCO World Heritage site. Leshan is in Sichuan, 175km south of Chengdu, and can be reached from there via a fast highway.
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