The other major sight in the area was the world’s largest Buddha in nearby Leshan so we decided to make a detour on our way back to Chengdu and go and have a look.
Sarah had been fairly ill the night before but luckily it was just a little bug and was all over by the morning. Unfortunately it was raining and a bit bleak but off we went and were soon in Leshan where we were able to store our bags for $1 each for the day. What a great price!!
While the entrances to the national parks and sights so far in China have been a little expensive (by our standards i.e. between $18 and $40) they have all been worth it. I hate to say it but the Giant Buddha was a little bit of a disappointment.
It was 71m high but we were so close to it you couldn’t really appreciate it. The guide books claimed that it’s fingernails were larger than the average human and we had plenty of below average people around us and you could tell that that wasn’t true. The advice also was that the ferry wasn’t worth the time, yet it seemed as though the ferry was the cheaper option and provided the better view.
Still you can’t win them all and we made our pilgrimage, apparently many make sure that they visit the giant Buddha at least once a year to make a wish. Luckily for us not many of them chose a damp Monday to do it.
We got ourselves back to Chengdu and I had read that there was a option of watching some Chinese opera so we found out where it was and got over there. The show was fantastic!!
We managed to get the best of the cheap seats so we were at the front of the raised platform and when we arrived we were given tea and snacks to enjoy in our seats. Had we arrived a bit earlier we would have been able to put on costumes and makeup as well!! But instead we had to satisfy ourselves with watching the actors and actresses putting on theirs which in itself was pretty cool.
All around the seating area were shops and we even could have got massages and ear cleaning done too! It was certainly quite unlike any other theatre we have been to. We were sat in whicker armchairs drinking tea sat underneath a ceiling full of red lanterns…before the show even started it was a great experience.
The show started with some traditional Chinese singing which was ear splittingly good and the costumes were amazing!! We then discovered that it was more of a variety show we were getting which was fantastic!
We were treated to singing, acrobats, finger puppets, puppetry, a comedy skit and some face changing. The face changing is what the area was known for creating and involved the actors’ masks changing in an instant. Difficult to explain but great to watch.
We were mesmerised for the whole show and had a thoroughly great time. Definitely a highlight of our experiences in China! T
Our first glimpse of the gigantic head of the Buddha.
The steps going down the side of the Buddha to get to his feet.
He was absolutely massive. It was some feat to be able to carve that amount of rock out to make him.
The entrance way to the street for the opera.
The artists putting on their makeup pre show.
We are not sure if this was an actor or a member of the public but either way the makeup and costume was fantastic.