Giant Buddha, Birthdays and Boredom
Leshan Travel Blog› entry 10 of 68 › view all entries
July 5th, 2009 – by: ronin2k
The Giant Buddha in Leshan, is considered the largest stone carved Buddha in the world. (71m, 233 ft tall) It is definitely impressive. The Buddha was built, in about 803 AD, at the confluence of three rivers, near a spot where many boats capsized. It was thought by building the Buddha to look over these trouble waters, he would calm the waters and allow safe passage for boats.
Ok, Giant Buddha down, what’s next? Well nothing (other than the token monastery in town), the Giant Buddha is all this town has going for it!
Today was actually Emile’s birthday, that’s why we were staying the night in Leshan. We figured, bigger city, be on the water, celebrate, have some drinks, etc. Boy was it a baad idea to stay the night. What the guidebook failed to mention, was that there is nothing else to do in Leshan.
Ok food down, now lets celebrate.
After leaving the “restaurant” we walk past this video game arcade and just walk in to check it out. Much to our surprise and for some unknown reason, the owner (I think) comes to us and smiles, pats me on the back, walks over to one of those boxes with the crane that grabs prizes, opens it up and literally pours coins into Emile’s hand! And then motions us to go and play! Awesome! We ended up playing video games for about an hour. I was a bit weary when we were about to leave that there must be some catch, but the owner just smiled and say Zian Jian, (good bye).
Well every good birthday celebration involves some drinks. So we asked the front desk of our hotel if there was a bar, pub or disco around. Her response was NO, NO, NO to each lol. Grreat, what do people DO in this town? So now we’re stuck with no where to go and nothing to do. There are no foreigners around, no drinks, no fun! I felt a little bad, since Emile, who just turned 24 was all hyped for days to celebrate his birthday in Leshan. Remedy? We head to the supermarket to pick up some drinks. Aw the convenience of getting anything you want at the local grocer!
This is what we bought:
- 4 x 600 ml bottles of local beer
- 2 x vitamin drinks (like Gatorade)
- V8 carrot juice “mixer” for Baijo (yes remember that!?)
- 3 x bottles of Baijo
- 1 snickers
Emile chose all of that, except for the snickers.
Well to make a long story short, that night will be remembered as Emile’s worst birthday! Since there was no place to chill, we sat in the hotel room, drank a little and played cards. I think we both went to sleep at 1030 that night.
O’ to top off a “fun-filled” day, at about 11p and then again at 1230a we get a phone call to the room asking if we want a “massage”. You figure out what kind of massage that is! Each time I said no thanks, but that didn’t stop someone knocking on the door around 1a. That’s when I made sure the door was locked, just in case the next person was just going to walk in. Very shady indeed.
Anyways, for those that plan to visit Leshan, make it a day trip! Trust me on this one.
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