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ANTOINE G France
Amazing journey. The Leshan Giant Buddha is absolutely stunning. One of the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Our guide, Audrey, was extremely charming and professional, giving us great information about this gigantic piece of art.
Some other reviews suggest that the boat is the best way to see the Buddha but I have to say that nothing can compare with the close-up experience of climbing down and then up the steps alongside the statue. It is good to get there as early as possible and also to avoid peak season. We were able to proceed straight to the steps.
Local lunch was enjoyable and chopsticks are not so difficult to use!
For me the two-hour journey from the city was also most interesting as it gave an overview of the villages, countryside and agriculture, all such a contrast to the city itself. It was just as much part of the experience and not simply a means to get there.
The guide, as with all Viator guides that I have met, was most informative.
Very enjoyable day with the morning spent at the Panda Breeding Centre with plenty of photo opportunities - a bit of walking involved but opportunites to stop and rest. We even saw the newborn pandas! Afternoon also good seeing the Leshan Buddha. Perhaps lunch could be a bit more streamlined - our guide seemed reluctant to order and as the menu was in Chinese we were lucky we had a Chinese-speaking girl in our group. Maybe just include a selection of dishes to suit everyone - eg. spicy/not too spicy, vegetarian, etc and add the set price onto the tour cost. Also because we were running a bit late we weren't all consulted about the choice of walking up to the Buddha or taking the boat - we were just taken to the boat. Still, a very good day.
We had time to do both to sail to the Buddha and to walk to it. The second is more interesting.
I was met by my guide the wonderful Jeli from samtour and our driver. We drove to leshan. I chose to take the boat to the Buddha. The boat only spends about 5 mins in front of the Buddha but that was enough for a great view and some nice pictures. Aftrewards we had a very tasty lunch in a leshan restaurant. All in all another pleasant day compliments of viator and samtour
We had an amazing time in Leshan. Our guide, Andy, taught us so much and made it a great day. Lunch in the village was fantastic too.
Although the weather was not great at all (it raining during 2 days), I had a great time.
Leshan and Emei Shan areas are really worth seeing... the mist even made those places more especial.
My guide was very helpful giving me all the extra details regarding the different temples and places.
Amazing big buddha and great way to enjoy other aspect of SIchuan besides the pandas!
both the pandas and the buddha were very special and worth visiting. My guide Joy was lovely, very down to earth. The trip to Leshan is a few hours, so it's a long, tiring day.
Firstly our guide 'Coral' was excellent, very friendly, spoke good English and the driver was first class especially with the traffic and 'non existent rules of the road it would appear'. The journey to Lesham takes about 2 hours and Coral gave us an excellent commentary during this journey. Unfortunately the weather was dreadful, luckily had umbrella with us. On arrival the crowds were everywhere, good job did not arrive in height of season. Throughout the visit to the Buddha, Coral gave a good history and explanation and we had a laugh. The wait to walk down the Buddha and up again was around 2 hours so we declined due to the weather conditions but Coral made up for this with her commentary. The lunch was superb. One observation perhaps to improve this visit is to climb up and be given the commentary and visit the temples then proceed to the 'boat option' rather than waiting up to 2 hours to fully view the statue then followed by the lunch, that way everybody would see everything. The return journey to the hotel took again another 2 hours so a very full day.
We had a really great day. Its a long drive out to Leshan from Chengdu but we arrived in plenty of time to beat the big rush of people. Our guide was very friendly and spoke excellent English. The actual trek itself was a little more challenging than I had anticipated, especially going up.. but with a few little breaks it was very manageable. We were very lucky with lines, we barely had to wait at all and our guide said that in peak seasons it can be a 4hr wait to see the buddha.. something people should keep in mind when booking this tour during the popular months. The included lunch was also good… Not the best food I had while in Chengdu, but warm and filling after our big climb. It was a pretty perfect day, my only complaint (and its not an overly big one) is that neither our driver or our guide wore seat belts in the car despite being on a freeway at over 100kms an hour. It made the journey a little nerve wracking, especially considering how insane traffic is in China compared to what were used to at home. Would definitely recommend to anyone staying in Chengdu
The tour was an unforgettable experience--not always easy, but consistently fascinating. My guide, Andy, was well-informed, energetic, and enthusiastic. The Leshan Grand Buddha was worth the trip in itself--huge and impressive. I didn't make the long walk the down the stairway to its base--it was drizzling, and the stairs looked a bit slippery--but it was an awesome sight even from the top. The monastery at the base of Mt. Emai was serene, lovely, peaceful (or as peaceful as China gets). The ascent up Mt. Emai was a bit hair-raising--a couple of hours on steep mountain roads, many hairpin curves, and a driver who passed every vehicle we caught up with, including other tour buses--all while screaming at the other drivers for being too slow. The climb to the cable car and from the cable car to the peak was easy enough, and the ride in the cable car itself was spectacular--I gather that we were lucky, because we had a fairly clear day at least at first, and that is apparently only rarely the case. There are only a couple of minor reasons why I'm giving the tour 4 stars instead of 5. First, the description should have been more specific about what transpires on which day--I thought we were ascending the mountain on the first day and sleeping in a monastery on top--which affected when I took altitude pills. No, the monastery is at the base of the mountain. Second, my room at the monastery was deep inside it, off a conference room that a group of tourists used for meeting--very noisy--instead of on the outside, looking over the courtyard. The rooms themselves are fine, simple but comfortable, but the bathrooms are on a different level, and I did have a touch of turista--so that was a bit inconvenient. Nevertheless--a memorable experience.
Very nice tour guide and amazing buddha. We thought it was a real hike but even small children can do these stairs. Don't take the boat, but line up to walk down.
Debbie A Malaysia
Be prepared for big crowds of people, the Grand Buddha is very popular. There is more then just the Grand Buddha to see, so ensure that if you want to walk down a path and see where is goes you tell the guide as there are some spots in the scenic area that people do not go to.
We skipped the very long wait in line to walk down the stairs to the foot of the Buddha and opted to take the boat instead which was extra but well worth it.
Our guide, Lilian, was very helpful and spoke English really well. She was very infomative about the history of the site. It was extremely crowded when we went, as it was during the Mid-Autumn festival, so she helped us buy tickets to see the Buddha from the river. The lunch was decent, from a little restaurant across the road and she let us help choose the meal. The only criticism I have is that my friend and I paid for a private tour and there was another lady (who also paid for a private tour) who joined us. She was pleasant, though and we all got along well.
Note from Viator: Note from Viator: Thank you for your review. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced during your tour. We have contacted the tour company and have addressed your concern with them. Thank you for helping us ensure the quality of our tours.
This was the worst tour we have had the misfortune to join. The following are three major reasons:
1 Viator claims to have reviewed and hand picked every tour operator. In this case it was obvious that the China tour operator had subcontracted to a regional tour operator who had either further subcontracted to a local and/or then subcontracted to a freelance tour guide and tour bus driver - both terms here used very very loosely. What a disappointment. Neither had ever worked with the other and the bus driver kept getting lost. It took us over 1.5 hours just to pick up the group of 10 because the two kept getting lost.
2 Viator is very lucky there was not a road accident along the way. The driver broke every law possible - ran red lights, speeding, reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road, mid- road U-turns. At one point we almost got off the bus to try hail a taxi to return back to our hotel by ourselves.
3 The guide was hopeless - at both the Panda reserve and Leshan we decided to go off on our own as he was clearly clueless and out of his depth.
Our first and last ever tour with Viator.
Disappointed in this tour. First the hotel pick up did go smoothly but it was not in an air conditioned van. In fact this van was in rough shape, AC only turned on when leaving the city and for those of us sitting in the middle and back we got no air. I asked for the driver to make it cooler but nothing worked. This made for a tough day given the heat, humidity and walking that this trip would entail. It would have been nice to be able to ride in a cool vehicle esp because there was a lot of drive time - 45 mins to research center, over 3 hrs to Leshan due to traffic and 2 hrs back. Also, all seats get sold, so two of us had to sit with the wheel well - very uncomfortable given all the time in the car. I was disappointed as well because at Leshan the small group must decide as a whole to either hike or take the boat. The guide definitely swayed the group towards the boat. The boat is 30 mins at best and was not ideal. Since the car ride was so unbearable it was decided to not hike given the heat. So majority had ruled with no hike, but means you miss a lot of the Buddha. I would not reccommend this tour - if doing Leshan do it as a full day and do Pandas an alternate day. The Chengdu panda center is awesome, so worth extra time there too vs being constrained to get to Leshan.
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