LESHAN SITES DRAW CROWDS

China Daily - - ADVERTORIAL - By SONG MENGXING song­mengx­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Leshan, a city in south­west Sichuan prov­ince, is worth a try for both its nat­u­ral scenery and his­tor­i­cal ar­chi­tec­ture.

The city was an im­por­tant point along the South Silk Road 2,000 years ago. Bud­dhism was in­tro­duced into Leshan via the route.

The first tem­ple of Mount Emei, about 37 kilo­me­ters away from down­town Leshan, was built in the first cen­tury AD, mark­ing the be­gin­ning of the city be­com­ing an east­ern holy land of Bud­dhism.

Peo­ple in Leshan started to carve an un­prece­dented, huge Bud­dha statute in 713. It took 90 years to com­plete the 71-me­ter-tall stone ef­figy.

Mount Emei Scenic Area, in­clud­ing Leshan Gi­ant Bud­dha Scenic Area, was listed as a UNESCO World Her­itage Site in 1996. The Dongfeng Weir, which dates back more than 350 years, was in­cluded on the list of Her­itage Ir­ri­ga­tion Struc­tures in 2014. Since then, Leshan has be­come the only city in China to boast three world her­itage sites.

Li Bai, a Chi­nese poet in the Tang Dy­nasty (618907), was in­spired by the moon above Mount Emei.

Emei mar­tial arts orig­i­nated from the moun­tain, one of the four Bud­dhism moun­tains in China.

Other top des­ti­na­tions in Leshan in­clude the Heizhugou Na­tional For­est Park scenic area and Jinkou Grand Canyon, one of China’s most beau­ti­ful gorges. A rail­way where old steam trains still run also draws at­ten­tion from trav­el­ers.

The city is the per­ma­nent venue for host­ing the Sichuan In­ter­na­tional Travel Expo. The event fo­cuses on dis­plays, trade and fo­rums. It aims to of­fer plat­forms for tourism com­mu­ni­ca­tion and co­op­er­a­tion, ne­go­ti­a­tion, trade in tourism prod­ucts and ser­vices, and moun­tain tourism ex­hi­bi­tions and sales.

The fourth expo will kick off on Sept 17 and end on Sept 24. The main ac­tiv­i­ties will in­clude an open­ing cer­e­mony, busi­ness ne­go­ti­a­tions, tourism vo­ca­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion among young stu­dents, sales ex­hi­bi­tions and the pro­mo­tion of Leshan’s tourism projects.

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The Leshan Gi­ant Bud­dha Scenic Area is a world her­itage site.

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Won­der­ful per­for­mances are of­fered at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the third Sichuan In­ter­na­tional Travel Expo.

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A statue of Guo Moruo, a lead­ing Chi­nese writer and se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial who was born in Leshan.

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A cou­ple is pho­tographed be­side an old steam train.

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Vis­i­tors play with mon­keys on Mount Emei.

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Ter­raced fields in Shawan dis­trict in Leshan, Sichuan prov­ince.

GAO LUCHUAN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A view of ur­ban Leshan.

KONG SHENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

A sun­set glows over Mount Emei.

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