After seeing the giant panda, it was a long bus ride to Leshan Giant Buddha (乐山大佛). Leshan Giant Buddha is a stone statue being carved directly into the side of a hill overlooking the confluence of three rivers – Minjiang (岷江), Dadu (大渡) and Qingyi (青衣). The three rivers coming together had created choppy waters and strong currents. It causes many local boats to capsize as a result.
A monk was concerned about the accidents, so he proposed for a Buddha statue to be carved from the rock while using the rubbles to fill the river bed in a bid to calm the water currents. The construction took 90 long years to be completed but efforts were paid off as accidents had reportedly reduced. And now what’s left is the world’s tallest and awe-inspiring Giant Buddha. The Buddha was featured before in The Storm Riders movie starring Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng.
I would very much prefer to see the Giant Buddha on foot because it doesn’t make sense to travel so far and long just to catch a glimpse… If only I get to choose… And so we boarded a boat and put on the mandatory lifejackets provided while the boat slowly made its way towards the Buddha.
When the boat reached alongside the Buddha, it stopped briefly for people on board to have a good view of Buddha. The strong water currents can be felt even while the boat is stationary. But my, the majestic Leshan Giant Buddha is so amazing! We were told that it’s 71 meters tall and each giant toe is already around 8 meters… Wow, just look at those ant-like humans around the foot area!
Before we knew it, the boat moved forward slowly and turned back. And the 20-30 minutes boat ride was over…oh well.
Huanglongxi Ancient Town
Next destination was an ancient town named Huanglongxi (黄龙溪镇) before heading back to Chengdu. A picturesque quaint town which has a history dated almost 1,700 years back. In addition, the buildings around here seem well preserved and we were told that it has been featured as backdrops for movies.
The charming town of Huanglongxi is quite big. And it has some uniqueness which made it rather interesting.
Tianfu Square, Kuan Zhai Xiangzi and Chunxi Road
The last day of the trip was spent around Tianfu Square (天府广场), Kuan Zhai Xiangzi (宽窄巷子) and Chunxi Road (春熙路). Tianfu Square is located at Chengdu’s city centre, where a huge iconic statue of Mao Zedong stands. The site used to be where the Imperial Palace once stood. But sadly, it was destroyed during China’s Cultural Revolution. For a city which has been the capital city for so many emperors in the past, there weren’t any palaces which remain to tell its historical importance.
Kuan Zhai Xiangzi
Kuan Zhai Xiangzi simply means “Wide and Narrow Streets” and it’s yet another ancient town we visited. The area is much smaller than Jinli but has the usual teahouses, foodstuff, handicrafts and performing arts.
Oh, and the ear cleaning service, right in the open street.
Chunxi shopping street
Chunxi Road is Chengdu’s shopping strip with lots of restaurants, cafes, shops and malls lining the street.
Well, shopping ain’t my thing so I just grabbed some ice cream and people watch at Häagen-Dazs. Next to the ice cream shop is a bronze statue of Sun Yat-sen and the wall beside with four Chinese characters 天下为公.
That sums up my short stay in Chengdu and I do hope to come back here on my own in future. So that I can explore more stuff and perhaps venture to the nearby National Parks like Jiuzhaigou (九寨沟).