Most Important Temples to Visit in China (V)
Most Important Temples to Visit in China: Le Shan
Le Shan is the home of the world's largest Buddha, an incredible 233 feet (71m) high. Carved out of a cliff at the confluence of the Min and Dadu rivers, the statue depicts a seated Maitreya (future) Buddha; It was started by the monk Haitang in 713.
Haitang began the project to subdue the currents where the rivers met and reputedly gouged out one (or both) of his eyes in order to convince donors of his sincerity. The project was eventually finished in 803, after Haitang's death.
You can also visit Wuyou Temple and an archeology museum here.
Buses run to Le Shan from Chengdu (two hours) and Emei Shan (one hour).
Most Important Temples to Visit in China: Shuanglin Temple
A short bike ride (4.3 miles / 7km) away from Pingyao is this temple, most notable for its Song and Yuan dynasty statuary. In addition to all the bodhisattvas, arhats and guardians, there are also unusual statues here depicting common worshippers.
The temple was originally founded in the 6th century; most of the buildings now date from the 16th century or later.