Leshan, called Jiazhou in ancient time, is located in the southwest of Sichuan Basin, central Sichuan Province and south of Chengdu City with about 2 hours’ driving distance. Sitting in the confluence of Ming River, Qingyi River and Dadu River, Leshan is a historical and cultural city in China and a very popular side trip destination nearby Chengdu with three World Heritages and lots of national spots, "A City of Landscape" indeed. Historical sites are perfectly blended into the beautiful scenery. Chosen as the “Most Desirable Attraction in China”, Mount Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha have drawn numerous tourists with its unique glamour and cultural ambient. Besides the two World Heritage Sites, there are other highlights in Leshan, like Dongfeng Irrigation Tank Truck, Luocheng Ancient Town, Jiayang Steam Train, Black Bamboo Valley, Jiajiang Thousand-Buddha Cliff, etc. Various kinds of delicious food and local snacks are another must-try highlights for a Leshan tour.
Why Visit Leshan:
Leshan Giant Buddha - As the world largest cliff rock carved Maitreya Buddha statue in the world, and a notable UNESCO Natural & Cultural Heritage, the 71-m-tall Leshan Giant Buddha is boasting for its magnificent carving skill and stunning natural scenery around it.
Mount Emei - The mountain is best known as the ashram of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, one of the Top Four Great Buddhist Mountains in China and a UNESCO World Natural & Cultural Heritage, a vital Buddhist center in Sichuan. Tranquil nature, wild monkeys and strong atmosphere of Buddhism makes Mount Emei worth a hiking. Sunrise, Cloud Sea, Broken Spectre and Holy Light are the four wonders with good luck to see.
Various Delicious Local Food - People always says “eating in Sichuan, tasting in Leshan”. Leshan has numerous featured foods, like Bobo Chicken, Jellied Bean Curd, Qiaojiao Beef, Malatang, Xiba Tofu, Leshan Barbecue, etc. It’s a great destination for foodies.
Top Attractions in Leshan
Leshan is a historical and cultural city, and it’s a city of two World Heritage Sites. Leshan Giant Buddha and Mount Emei are the most famous attractions when speaking of Leshan. Except the two heavyweight legacy, travelers with more time can go to other natural and cultural spots in Leshan to harvest more culture and history of Leshan.
Leshan Giant Buddha
Initiated by a affectinate monk, the Buddha was caved on mountain cliff from ancient Tang Dynasty to suppress floods. Now this 71-m-tall Buddha statue artful design is a valuable cultural site and the landmark of Leshan City.
With an elevation over 3,000m, Mount Emei is a famous Buddhist mountain in China. Lush forests, wild monkeys and peaceful temples and carvings, stunning scenery on the top attracts numerous tourists to the shrine.
Oriental Buddha Capital
Located next to Leshan Giant Buddha, it is a huge Buddhist cultural park with over thousands of Buddhist sculptures, including a 170-m-long giant sleeping Buddha, underground palace with massive stone statues, a big garden...
Guo Moruo Former Residence
Here is where the great writer was born and lived as a teenager. Seeing the original houses helps you know his childhood, background of growth and even impact on his early poems.
On the riverside cliff, Jiayang, nearly 2,500 Buddhist statues were caved on the caves, which are constructed from Sui Dynasty by the civilians, so older and more richer in content than Leshan Giant Buddha.
A boat tour offers a best front and panoramic view of the Buddha in a leisure pace, while the hiking takes longer, but more fun to hike zigzag stairs to closely see the head, eye, feet of the Giant Buddha.
Hiking up to Golden Summit, you can meet verdant refreshing trees along the path, naughty monkeys, friendly hikers, devout Buddhist followers and breathtaking scenery around on the peak.
Leshan is a paradise of dainty snacks. The wild variety of street food and snacks is cheap but very delicious and local featured, enough to ease your tiredness and deepen your impression of Leshan people and food culture.
The coal-burning steam train is a living fossil of the Industrial Revolution passing lovely countryside. Make a traditional train tour to travel back to old times and make comparison with the modern high speed bullet trains.
Watch Unique Mount Emei Show
Made premiere in September 2019, Unique Mount Emei is a new work of Wang Chaoge. In 6 chapters, the show combine indoor and outdoor performance with local story, landscape and folklore. Ready to be impressed by the visual feast, vivid stage and story.
Enjoy Night Cruise Tour on Rivers
When night falls, colorful lights turns Leshan a still lively place. Take a relaxing night cruise to see dazzling light shows tell ancient story of Leshan, Leshan Giant Buddha and seize a different Buddha image in the dark evening.
Weather & Best Time to Visit Leshan
Leshan City is featured in central subtropical climate. It has four distinctive seasons and the average temperature is between 16.5℃ to 18℃. Affected by the monsoon climate, the weather is humid and there is abundant rainfall all year round. Most districts have average rainfall over 1000 millimeters, while the average rainfall for Emeishan is over 1500 millimeters. It rains frequently in hot Summer during June to August.
The best time to visit Leshan is March to May in spring and September to November in autumn. During these times, the weather in Leshan is very comfortable and cozy. Spring is a season of flowers, both Giant Buddha and Mount Emei is surrounded by a sea of bright flowers. Summer is a good time to visit Mount Emei to escape the summer heat. Autumn is a season of red leaves on the mountain, when temperature is cool and air is clear. Winter is cold on Mount Emei with thick ice and snow, but tourists can ski and take a hot spring bath on Mount Emei, and the snow scenery on the mountain top is gorgeous.
Learn more about Leshan Weather & Climate >>
How to Get to Leshan
Most travelers like to travel to Leshan from Chengdu or Emeishan by train or bus, because currently, there is no airport located in Leshan City. Tourists can take high speed train from railway station in downtown Chengdu, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to Leshan (about 1 hour), and then transfer to Leshan Giant Buddha and other scenic spots.
Long-distance bus to Leshan departs from Xinnanmen Bus Station, Chadianzi Bus Station for about 2.5-3 hours. If you plan to get to Leshan from Emeishan, there are also fast and convenient high speed trains (about 15 minutes) and direct tourist bus, intercity public bus (Bus No.601) available. Make sure your book train tickets in advance since it’s very popular during weekends, holidays and festivals. Otherwise, get a bus is a nice Plan B.
How to Get around Leshan
Emeishan is a country-level city within the administrative jurisdiction of Leshan City. Compared to Chengdu, Leshan City is not big, so tourists can take public bus, taxi to get around easily, if language communication and sense of direction is good.
Travel with China Discovery, you can enjoy worry-fee private transfer to Leshan Giant Buddha from Chengdu, Mount Emei, and visit surrounding sites in Leshan, such as Jiayang Steam Train in Qianwei, etc.
For more information, please read detailed guide of Leshan (Giant Buddha) Transportation and Emeishan (Moun Emei) Transportation >>
Based on your personal preference, budget and travel itinerary, you can choose to live near train station or Leshan Giant Buddha, Mount Emei or on the Emei Mountain. The Leshan city center is the best accommodation area in Leshan, where the location and transportation is the quite convenient, and lots of choices are offered, from starred hotels to cheap youth hostels. Recommended places to stay in Leshan includes Chanyi Jiading Yuanzi Hotel, Ramada Leshan, Holiday Inn Express, Chengdu Flipflop Lounge Hostel.
During Mount Emei tour, you can either stay under the foot of Mount Emei (nice hotels, resorts, family inns) or stay overnight on a mountain temple or hotel near Leidongping, Golden Summit. Note that, the accommodation on mountain area may be not good and various as at the mountain foot, but it’s often used to see early sunrise and in-depth hiking on Mount Emei.
Learn more about
● Where to Stay in Leshan
● Where to Stay in Emeishan & Mount Emei
Useful Leshan Maps
To help you to know more about Leshan attractions, plan a Leshan Emeishan Tour well, we have selected some useful Leshan maps for you. Please feel free to download and use them. All 2023 Leshan Maps >>
Leshan Sichuan Map
Chengdu-Leshan-Emeishan Transportation Map
Leshan to Mount Emei Route Map
Leshan Tourist Attractions Map
Leshan Giant Buddha Tourist Map
Mount Emei Tourist Map
Sichuan Attractions Map
Other Popular Destinations near Leshan
There are many great destinations travelers can discover in Sichuan and adjoining provinces, like Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou Valley, Chongqing and Shangri-La. Check all destinations in China!
Chinese Name: 乐山
Chinese Pinyin: Lèshān
Population: 3.544 million
Language: Mandarin & Sichuan Dialect
Tel Code: 0833
Zip Code: 614000
Time Zone: (UTC+8)
Plan Your Leshan Tour
Leshan tour planning is very flexible. You can tour Leshan for half a day to 2 days depending on detailed itinerary. Normally, traveler will first visit Leshan Giant Buddha from Chengdu, and this will take about half day, then if you want to taste local flavors, you can spend one night in Leshan city, or you can spend a full day on an in-depth Leshan Giant Buddha tour with boat ride and hiking both. One more day is needed to experience the Jiayang Steam Train in Qianwei. Mount Emei will take 1 to 2 days to visit. If you have limited time, then you can just take sightseeing bus and cable car up, usef one day to visit the highlight of Mount Emei on the mounatin top.
Leshan tour is often connected with Chengdu tour and Mount Emei tour. Normally, after arriving at Chengdu, travelers will first see the highlights in Chengdu, then visit Leshan, Mount Emei and at last, transfer to Jiuzhaigou Valley from Chengdu. This will take about 7 days.