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Together being listed as the World Cultural Heritage, Leshan and Emeishan, at the same time, creates a sacred kingdom of Buddha. Both Leshan and Emeishan have a long history and tradition of Buddhism. Leshan is proud of having the largest stone Buddha in the world and it is by far the tallest pre-modern statue in the world. While Emeishan, one of most sacred Buddhist mountains in China, is noted for fabulous temples, Buddha statue as well as the fascinating mountain view.

Our Leshan Emeishan photo tour takes you to explore in-depth beauty of these two world famous sites, and record the unique features with your camera from different angles.

This Leshan & Emeishan photography tour can be customized depending on what photos you want to take, and on the weather condition when you go. Feel free to tell your interests and ideas to your personal travel consultants!

Basic Photography Info

Travel Route:Chengdu / Leshan / Mount Emei

Travel Length: 5 Days

Tour Code: CD-LEPT-05

Tour Type: Customizable Private Tour

Departure: You Choose (you may plan it according to the best season and time.)

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Itinerary Details Day by Day

Day 1 Chengdu Arrival

Welcome to Chengdu, the hometown of the Giant Panda. Your local guide will meet you at the airport/train station and then escort you to your hotel in a private vehicle. The rest of today is yours to relax in the panda city on your own.

Arrival Ideas: Chengdu is only about 2~3 hours flying from the majority of big cities in China, such as Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shanghai, etc. You can also get to Chengdu by high speed trains from Xian (4hrs), Chongqing (1hrs), Guilin (6hrs), Kunming (6hrs), etc.

Day 2 Chengdu ( B )

Today you will first have a visit to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, where you can explore the daily life of the cute pandas, and get close to the lovely creatures.

After happy hours with pandas, you will visit Renmin Park to experience the most authentic Chengdu local life. Having a cup of tea in a traditional teahouse, watching the local old couples dancing, joining in the locals to play mahjong or cards in a teahouse...You will enjoy typical leisurely lifestyle of Chengdu.

Then, move on to the Wuhou Temple, a shrine integrated with tombs of Liubei and Zhuge Liang. Surrounded by old cypresses and classical red walls, the temple creates an atmosphere of nostalgia. When stepping into the temple, you get the chance to immerse yourself into a sea of ancient profound culture and history.

At the late afternoon, you will move on to Jinli Old Street, one of the oldest streets to appreciate the local snacks and artifacts. For photographers, visit here in the evening will be the best time to get better photos with all the red lanterns lit up in the dusk.

Lovely Pandas in Chengdu Panda Base - Photographed by Our Guest Chona
Day 3 Chengdu - Leshan – Mt. Emei ( B )

In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel, then be driven about 2 hours from Chengdu to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Leshan Giant Buddha which is the largest and tallest stone-carved statue of Buddha in the world. It was carved during AD713~803 on a mountain rock cliff by the river, with its head reaching to the mountain top and its feet standing next to the river. The total height is 71m; while the head is 14.7m high and 10m wide, ear is 7meters high, 28 meters between knees and insteps. Its insteps can hold over a hundred people. You may be wondering why such a giant Buddha was built? It is said to have been built to calm the turbulent waters that plagued passing boats and killed many people each year in ancient time. On the right cliff of the Giant Buddha, there is a plank road built along with the Giant Buddha. From the top to foot, the plank road has nine turns, thus it’s called Nine Bends Plank Road. The widest part of the road is 1.45m and the narrowest part is only 0.6m, and there are 217 stone steps in total. You will walk down to the feet of the Giant Buddha for a closer view. Please note you may have to queue up to enter the stone stairway if you visit the Giant Buddha during the busy hours.

After the Giant Buddha visit, drive about 45mins to Baoguo Temple, the biggest temple of Mount Emei at the mountain foot. It has several serene gardens with rare plants, a library of sutras and a huge porcelain Buddha. Another famous historical relic in the temple is the 25-ton bronze Bell, reputedly as the second largest bell in China. While traveling deeper into the temple, you will enjoy different views of Mount Emei.

Lastly, drive to check in your hotel. Have a good rest for tomorrow's Mount Emei trip which has some walkings involved.

Recommended Optional Activity: take a 30 minutes’ sightseeing boat to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Giant Buddha on the river.

Baoguo Temple at the foot of Mount Emei Leshan Giant Buddha in summer
Day 4 Mt. Emei – Chengdu ( B )

This morning after breakfast, meet your tour guide and set out for Mount Emei. As one of the few World Heritage Sites of both cultural and natural heritages, Mount Emei is an enchanted combination of lush forest and cultural relics. It is one of the Four Great Buddhist Mountains in China, also the home to 5000 kinds of plants (more than the total species in Europe) and over 2300 kinds of wild animals.

You will first take your private car to the tourist center, then shift on to an Eco-Bus which will take you up to the mountain top area in 1.5~2 hours. Once you reaching at Leidongping (2400m), keep on walking about 30mins along stone steps to the cable car station, along which you will have a chance to see the wild monkeys. Take a cable car (about 5mins) up to the Golden Summit (3077m) which is the biggest highlight and very essence of Mount Emei. Once you get to the Golden Summit, the first view appearing in front of you is a towering multi-faced golden statue (48m) of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. Next to the golden statue sits the bronze Huazang Temple which is the first temple established on Mount Emei whose history can be traced back to the 1st century CE. You can stroll around the Golden Summit to explore Buddhist architecture and tradition, and enjoy a panoramic view of Mount Emei and surrounding. On clear days, you can even see the snow-clad of Mount Gongga (7556m), Asia’s largest table mountain - Wawu Mountain and winding rivers flowing through Emeishan city. If weather permits, you will have luck to enjoy its magnificent wonder of Cloud Sea. Sightsee around 1.5 hours on the Golden Summit area, then descend by cable car to Leidoping and take Eco-Bus again back to the tourist center. Your private car is ready to transfer you back to Chengdu (about 2.5~3hrs).

Optional visit to Wanfoding (Ten Thousands Buddha Peak): Wanfoding (3099m), the highest peak in Mount Emei, is currently reopening to tourists who are less 60 years old, but it is only open during 07:00~14:00, and the largest allowed campacity is only 2000 tourists per day. If you want to visit Wanfoding and time allows, please discuss with your tour guide. It usually takes about 2~3 hours to visit Wanfoding.

Read this if you are a hiking lover:

Above itinerary is a classic visit route which is suitable for different ages of tourists. If you want more hiking experience during your trip, please contact your travel consultant to tailor-make the hiking routes according to your time and physical condition. There are routes of 2 hours (Qingyin Pavilion to Wannian Temple), 4 hours (Qingyin Pavilion to Wannian Temple + Leidongping to Golden Summit), one day (Wannian Temple to Leidongping) and 2 days (Qingyin Pavilion to Golden Summit) available.

Our dear clients from Singapore on Golden Summit of Mount Emei Stunning scenery of Cloud Sea on Golden Summit Golden Summit of Mount Emei
Day 5 Chengdu Departure ( B )

Today is free for you until to be transferred to the airport / railway station for your flight or train to your next destination.

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Leshan Giant Buddha

Leshan Giant Buddha Leshan Giant Buddha Leshan Giant Buddha

As the vivid old saying: “The mountain is a Buddha, and the Buddha is a mountain”. Leshan Giant Buddha was sculptured from the bold cliff of Lingyun Mountain body which faces the wide junction where Ming River, Dadu River and Qingyi River join together. The Maitreya Buddha is 71 meters high, sitting on the riverside, putting his hands on knees, facing the Leshan city with benevolent smile.

Best Sites for Photography

Giant Buddha

There are two inspirations for you to take some good picture of the Giant Buddha.

First is to shoot the detailed parts of Buddha, such as the Buddha head, eyes, hands, feet, even the toes, which all actually are very large. You can observe Buddha’s facial elements from the higher points, then walk down the plank road on the cliff to see his chest and hands. When you get to the bottom, looking up, you will get shocked by the Buddha’s majestic body. Here is the best point to shoot some pictures which show how tall and large the Buddha is.

Second idea is to take the panoramic view of Giant Buddha from the river or island in front of the Giant Buddha. You have two options: 1. taking a sightseeing ship on the river from which you can get close and full picture of Buddha; 2. find the full view from Sun Island which is only hundreds meters from the Buddha.

Sleeping Buddha

The Sleep Buddha is actually not a real Buddha but a vivid shape of sleeping Buddha which is formed by three mountains – Wulong Mountain, Lingyun Mountain and Guicheng Mountain. It is about 4,000 meters long, lying down along the river. Looking from afar, the Leshan Giant Buddha is the heart of sleeping Buddha.

Best Season for Photography

Summer is the best season to take picture of Giant Buddha when the prosperous trees and other plants create a green world. And the Buddha sits peacefully in the green cliff. In Summer, the river level rises, which is a good condition to frame the Buddha and rivers scenery together.

April to August is the best time to see the Sleeping Buddha when the blue Qingyi River joins the yellow Ming and Dadu Rivers creating contrast scenery.

Tips from Our Experts

1. Choices of lens

Telephoto lens is used to take photo from ship or Sun Island. While wide-angle lens is needed when you take some near shots of Giant Buddha.

2. Travel tips

If time allows, you can spend some time exploring the ancient temples and towers near to the Giant Buddha.

3. Transfer advice

Private vehicle arranged by us is most recommended because the convenient transfer from sites to sites while bringing luggage and photography equipment. High speed train transfer is also available from Chengdu to Leshan.

4. Accommodation advice

There are good accommodations in Leshan. But usually you are brought to back to Chengdu or transferred to Emeishan as a part of tour.

Mount Emei

There are thousands of places in the world which have fantastic landscape or enchanting cultural existence. But there are fewer places as Mount Emei which has both stunning landscape and rich culture experience. That’s the reason why thousands of photographer swarm to Mount Emei every year. So where to exploit your talented skills of photography on Mount Emei?

Best Sites for Photography

Golden Summit

Golden Summit is the second highest point on Mount Emei, 20 meters lower than WanFong Tower. It refers the geographical location as well as a group of Buddhist towers and pavilions. Golden Summit is a natural viewing deck to enjoy magnificent landscape. Overlooking far to east, you can see Min River and other three rivers flowing through up-and-down mountains. Move your eyes to north, the delicate Chengdu Basin lifting thousands of green hills and stretching as far as your eyes can see. You will definitely be shocked by the stately mountain range views of Himalaya from western direction.

Buddha Statue

A 48-meter-high giant Buddha statue of bodhisattva Samantabhadra sits on the Golden Summit, and blesses his 48 good wishes to all human beings. It is the highest golden Buddha in the world which now has become the symbol of Emei. Behind the statue is the Huazang Temple consisting of two traditional Buddhist houses. Both the Buddha and temple are gilded, which appears very dazzling under pure blue sky when the sunlight shining on.

Second idea is to take the panoramic view of Giant Buddha from the river or island in front of the Giant Buddha. You have two options: 1. taking a sightseeing ship on the river from which you can get close and full picture of Buddha; 2. find the full view from Sun Island which is only hundreds meters from the Buddha.


The sunrise on the Emei is one of the scenes that you can’t miss. The eastern side of Golden Summit is sharp cliff, and there is no other peak which is taller than Mount Emei. From the summit, you can see the sun slowly appears from distance as far as you can see above thick clouds, and make everything, including clouds, mountains, statue, pavilions shining golden light. The sunrise usually starts around 06:00 AM.

Cloud Sea

Since Mout Emei is the highest mountain in southeastern Sichuan, the splendid cloud sea appears easily especially in the afternoon. In the clean days, the cloudy sea floods the entire Emei Mountain except the Golden Summit. Other lower regions are also flooded by the cloud sea, only some high peaks, such as Wawu Mountain, Gongga Mountain still keep their appearance in the cloud sea.

Best Season for Photography

Summer, Autumn and Winter are all available for photography. Summer makes Mount Emei a green and flourishing world, but it is also the rainy and fog season. Autumn is a recommended season both for traveling and photography on Emei when the weather is cool, sky is clean, and mountains are colorful. Most photography prefer take photos in winter because the chances of seeing sunrise and cloud sea are much higher. Besides, the snow on the Golden Summit is a good setoff of your shooting.

Tips from Our Experts

1. High Altitude Sickness

Most people feels no trouble with the HAS on Mount Emei. But if you from very lower place, you can take some medicines for HAS as precautionary measures.

2. What to pack

It is cool, even a little cold in the night and early morning, so you should pack some warm and thick clothes. A pair of skidproof shoes is must, especially in winter.

As for equipment for photography, tripod and telephoto lens are needed to shoot the sunrise and cloud sea. Wide-angle lens are needed to shoot the Buddha and temples.

3. Transfer advice

Mount Emei is usually as the following trip after visitng Leshan Giant Buddha. Vehicle and high speed train are two popular transfer ways between Leshan and Emei. Our tour packages include private vehicle transfer.

4. Accommodation advice

Mount Eei has different levels of accommodation in different places on the mountain. Baoguosi area is usually the base where you can choose some high standard hotels. While Leidongping and Golden Summit also offer accommodation, but the amenities are not as good as Baoguosi region. If you want to catch the sunrise, you’d better accommodate at Golden Summit.

For more photography advice in Mount Emei, you can feel free to contact us and we are here ready to help!

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