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2 Days Leshan Giant Buddha Visit with Jiayang Steam Train Experience

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After Watt invented the steam engine in 1765, the entire world began to accelerate. In 1856, the British came to China with a steam train. By 1988, China stopped producing steam locomotives. Chinese trains were monopolized by steam locomotives for more than a hundred years. In this era of high-speed rail speeding, it is difficult to imagine that there was once such a type of train burning coals, smoking thick white smoke, and crawling on the tracks. Unexpectedly, there is still a steam train operating in Qianwei County whose name is Jiayang Steam Train. It has been running for more than 70 years, and currently is mainly used for local villagers to connect outside world as well as for travelers to experience a unique steam train experience of "living fossils of the industrial revolution" and "out-of-print landscape of the industrial revolution". What makes Jiayang Steam Train popular is that you can ride the steam train to savor at amazing sea of flowers especially canola flowers in March and sunflowers in August~September.

Jiayang Steam Train is only about 55 km’s driving from Leshan Giant Buddha. Our private tour package will take you to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site first, and stay a comfortable night in Leshan city, then go to ride the steam train next morning when the air is fresh and surrounding is beautiful. It is recommended for all kinds of travelers as a visual feast of both culture and nature.

  • Type : Private Tour
  • Tour Code : CD-LST-02B
  • Price : from $318
    1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in a 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
    2. 2. This price is subject to change according to your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
  • Theme : Photography / Scenery / Culture
  • Physical Demands :

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS TOUR

  • A private comfortable trip to see the world's largest stone Buddha - Leshan Giant Buddha (walking as prior plan, boat sightseeing as plan b);
  • Ride the world's last operating steam train to enjoy canola flowers if you come in March, or sunflowers if you come in August to September;
  • Visit the most important panda scientific research center - Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to encounter with adorable panda babies;
  • All-inclusive private tour package covering accommodation, lunches, tour guide and personal driver.
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Itinerary Day by Day (Can Be Customized)
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Day 1 Chengdu - Leshan Giant Buddha - Leshan (L)

Today's highlights: Leshan Giant Buddha In-depth Exploration

This morning you will make a stirring visit to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding which is not only the most important panda scientific research center, but also dwelling home for more than 100 Giant Pandas. Walk at leisure through the bamboo framed paths, and closely observe giant pandas of different ages eating bamboos, playing with each other, tumbling, climbing trees, etc. Be sure to not miss the chance to visit the most adorable panda babies in the nursery rooms and panda kindergartens. There is also a very informative Panda Museum for you to learn more scientific facts about Giant Pandas.

Following the pandas, you will drive 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 the plank road to the feet of the Giant Buddha for a closer view.

After the Buddha visit, drive to check in your hotel in Leshan downtown.

Recommended Optional Activities: 1) take a 30 minutes’ sightseeing boat to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Giant Buddha on the river;

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site - Leshan Giant Buddha UNESCO World Heritage Site - Leshan Giant Buddha
  • Watching Leshan Giant Buddha from the River Watching Leshan Giant Buddha from the River

Day 2 Leshan - Jiayang Steam Train - Chengdu (B, L)

Today's highlights: Jiayang Steam Train

Today after breakfast, you will drive about 1.5hrs from Leshan city to Qianwei County to enjoy a unique Jiayang Steam Train experience.

Jiayang Steam Train is a passenger steam train that is still operating in China. Built in 1958 and with a total length of 19.8 kilometers, it is reputed as "the living fossils of the industrial revolution" and "out-of-print landscape of the industrial revolution". What makes Jiayang steam train so famous and special is not the train itself but the vast terraces of canola flower. When every March of Spring season comes, this long and narrow valley is dyed golden with canola flowers, and the old green leather steam train always arrives as scheduled, spraying white steam with black smoke, slowly and steadily crawling across the field, climbing up the hillside, through the tunnel, passing by the farmhouse, slowly and carelessly broking into the sea of golden canola flower.

There are two best periods of time to experience Jiayang Steam Train: 1) the beginning of March to the middle of March when the canola flowers bloom; 2) August to September when sunflowers bloom. The actual blooming seasons of canola flowers and sunflowers may be subject to change slightly by years. You’d better inquire us the latest weather information before your trip.

Your tour guide will take you to board one of the steam train, ride through terraces, forests and villages to upper destination of the railway, then ride the same way back, which is a pleasant and scenic journey. During the train trip, you will have several chances to go out of the train to take photos. After the train ride, you will be escorted back to your hotel in Chengdu or go to catch your departing flight (train). Tour ends.

  • Jiayang Steam Train passing through canola flowers in March Jiayang Steam Train passing through canola flowers in March

The quotation for this trip is from $318 Per Person

1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one standard double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling with our private tour in low seasons.
2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities in your itinerary and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate. If you want a lower price, you can get more people to join you, or use economy class hotels.
3. This price is only valid to March 31, 2025.
4. Reference exchange rate of USD 1= RMB 6.45. The final quote is based on current exchange rate. It may change according to the currency fluctuation, while the RMB quotation will be remained the same.

What's included?

  • Professional licensed English-speaking guide;
  • Admission tickets for all attractions listed in the itinerary;
  • Accommodation as listed in the itinerary (4-star standard);
  • Necessary vehicle transfers as listed in the itinerary;
  • Luggage Transfers: between airports (railway station) and hotels;
  • All meals as listed( “B” for Chinese and Western breakfast buffet in your hotel; “L” for Chinese Lunch in local restaurant; “D” for Chinese dinner in local restaurant.);
  • Accident insurance;
  • Our service charge, including tour planning, handling, operational and communication charges.

What's excluded?

  • China visa;
  • Personal expenses;
  • Accommodation not listed in the itinerary;
  • Single Room Supplement;
  • Tourist sites which are not listed in the itinerary;
  • Recommended optional activities;
  • Flights or trains not listed in the itinerary;
  • Excess Baggage Charges;
  • Optional tips to guides, drivers, etc.

Check What our delighted customers are saying about our services

Dear Rita,

We have just arrived at our next destination in Thailand, and our Malaysian friends have arrived back home in Penang.

Thank you so much for all the arrangements, which was initiated over 4 years ago and disrupted by the outbreak of Covid 19. I am especially thankful that you have accepted my frequent request to add additional participants which eventually increased from 2 to 4 to 6 and finally to 7.

The tour itinerary was very comprehensive covering not just Tibet itself but also the two cities where Tibetans have strong influence, namely Xining and Shangri-La.

The only regret we have is not being able to take the train from Xining to Lhasa as this was to be one of the highlights of this trip, but the flight between these two cities was an excellent one with a beautiful view of the snow capped mountains.

I would certainly recommend China Discovery to anyone who would wish to visit China, especially the Tibetan region.

Thanks again.

Best regards,

Aki

Aki‚ Japanese, May 31, 2024

Hi Rita,

Thank you for the arrangement last time, my family had great times.

Susi

Susi‚ Indonesia, May 31, 2024

Hi Rita,

Apologies for my delay in responding. We only came home last week and have been busy with work getting back up to date.

We had a fantastic tour. David was an excellent guide. He was very knowledgeable about the area and responsive to our needs. He helped us with recommendations for food and shopping and we really enjoyed his company for the 8 days. He knew when to give us information about the area and also when to give us some space and quiet to enjoy the views.

The itinerary suited everything we were looking for. David also adapted it to the weather for the best views and experiences and arranged extra stops, at our request. We couldn't have asked for a better tour or guide. The driver and car was also excellent, very clean and comfortable. The hotels met our expectations and were really well located. Overall the tour exceeded our expectations and I would be happy to share my experiences anywhere you would like me to. I'll send on some photos separately this weekend that you can use as you wish.

In terms of any suggestions, it is just to give some extra information before your guests travel, as many things are quite different in China than in Europe or the USA. I suggest giving the following advices to clients when they book the tour:

• Bring a small backpack to carry snacks and water each day.

• There are limited food options within the national park, so you may wish to bring some favourite snacks from home. You can purchase snacks in the local town, however they may not suit your taste so it is good to have some familiar snacks to hand. Some fruit, chocolate, crisps and nuts are available locally.

• You will walk quite a bit during the trip (including steps), so make sure you have good walking shoes with you.

• Hotel rooms typically do not have travel safes in them, so be prepared to carry your cash/ valuables with you each day.

• Coffee is not popular in this region of China. There may be days that coffee is not available. We suggest bringing some coffee sachets with you if this poses a difficulty for you.

• We suggest to download the 'WeChat' app before travelling to China to communicate with your guide. WhatsApp, Google, Instagram, Facebook and many other apps and websites do not work in China.

• We recommend having some local currency with you for purchases in rural villages, as not all accept card payments or your card may not work as it does at home.

The final recommendation I would give is to include the fox fairy show and Huanglong cave in itineraries. Both were amazing and unlike anything we had seen before. Also on the coffee piece, Europeans drink a lot of coffee. In Furong there was nowhere in the old or new town to get coffee in the morning. It might be an idea for the guide to have some coffee that they could give to the tourists to make their own.

I hope that has been helpful and thank you again for making this trip one that we will never forget. I'll send the photos in a few days.

Regards,

Fiona

Fiona‚ Irish, May 30, 2024

Hi Leo.

We have ended our private tour today with you. Thank you so much for the wonderful arrangement.

All the 3 drivers and guide are very experienced and knowledgeable. We really get a deep understanding of Xi’an, Chengdu and Chongqing.

Vincent

Vinent ‚ Singapore, May 30, 2024

Feedback as below:

Leo was the fastest to reply. Efficient, patient and very responsive. He is very hard working!

Tour arrangements went smoothly. We appreciate the suggestions and the itinerary.

Definityly! 100% would recommend your service to our people.

The reviews online were exactly what we had experienced. If I were to travel China (Yunnan), I would like move off the beaten tours not major tourist attractions.

Amanda

Amanda‚ Singapore, May 29, 2024
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The hotels we choose are based on star rating, great locations, well-equipped facilities, cozy bed, high quality service and guests’ feedbacks. Choices are a lot ranging from luxury 5 star, comfortable 4 star to budget 3 star. You could decide where to stay to best suit for your budget and likes. Generally, the hotels have both Western and Chinese breakfast with a wide choices.

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We can satisfy all the dietary requirements no matter you want Chinese local food, western food, vegetarian food or muslin food.

The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.

There will be some meals excluded in your itinerary as you like, and your private guide will be delighted to give you some suggestions and take you to the local restaurants to taste like Beijing Roast Duck, Xian Dumpling Dinner, Sichuan Hotpot, etc., if you are interested in local food tasting.

All the dining options will satisfy your stomach!

Photo gallery of this trip

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site - Leshan Giant Buddha UNESCO World Heritage Site - Leshan Giant Buddha
  • Watching Leshan Giant Buddha from the River Watching Leshan Giant Buddha from the River
  • Jiayang Steam Train passing through canola flowers in March Jiayang Steam Train passing through canola flowers in March

Most Important Leshan Giant Buddha Travel Notes

1. Why Travel with China Discovery’s Private Tours?

Based in Chengdu (only 2hrs driving from Leshan) with more than 1360 good reviews on Tripadvisor, we always master the first-hand travel information of Leshan Giant Buddha, Mount Emei and other beautiful places in Chengdu region. We know what is the best way to enjoy your own Giant Buddha vacation; Our private tour packages assure you the highest standards with great flexibility, comfort and personalized arrangement. You will your personal travel consultant, professional tour guide and a private vehicle which only serve for your party - nobody else. All-inclusive tour package to let you enjoy the best of Leshan as well as Mount Emei, Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou, etc.

2. How to visit Leshan Giant Buddha, walking or boating?

There are two ways to visit the Giant Buddha, one is walking from the entrance to the top area near the head and keeping walking down to the feet area of the Buddha along a zigzag plank road on the cliff, generally 1.5hrs~3hrs. This may require some waiting in line and large crowds but the view of looking up from the bottom is worthwhile. Another option is to take a boat to approach it and get a panoramic view, generally 30~45 minutes. This is a good option for those who want to avoid walking or waiting in crowds. Our tour guide will help you adjust accordingly based on your preference.

3. Where is Leshan Giant Buddha and how to get there?

Leshan Giant Buddha is located in Leshan city which has no airport. Travelers usually get there from Chengdu (about 150km/2hrs’ driving). The road condition is very good but traffic jams may happen during holidays and some weekends. If you arrive at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport early, we can also book a high speed train ticket for you to get to the Buddha.

4. What else you can do in the area of Leshan Giant Buddha?

The Giant Buddha trip usually takes a half day. After that, you can transfer back to Chengdu, or traveling from Leshan to Mount Emei, which is a classic itinerary, and needs an extra day. You can stay a night at the foot of the mountain, then explore the mountain on the next day. If you come during March, August and September, you are suggested to experience Jiayang Steam Train and enjoy canola flowers/sunflowers. Leshan trip is usually a part of longer Sichuan trip which covers other popular destinations in Sichuan, such as Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou, Mount Qingcheng, etc. We can also design a tailor-made tour for you if you need.

5. Leshan weather and best time to visit

Leshan city has abundant rainfall with four clear-cut seasons. Weather in Leshan is mild with an annual average temperature between 16.5℃ and 18℃. It is suitable for travel all year around. Generally speaking, the best times: March to June and September to November when it is comfortable and less -crowded. It's always a good idea to avoid public holidays. Opening hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. in April to Oct and 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m in November to March. Try to arrive in the morning for the best views and smaller crowds.

What to wear in summer? - light, quick-dry and easy to wear clothes, hat, sunscreen, rain jacket and comfortable shoes. What to wear in winter? - double layer jacket, long underwear pants and tops, sweaters, long sleeve shirts, wool blend socks, boots, winter jacket, winter hat, winter gloves, winter scarf. What to wear in spring and autumn? - long underwear, fleece outer layer,, light hat, scarf.

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