So about 45 miles outside Chengdu is a town called LeShan. It has a GIANT Buddha carved into a cliff.The story is a monk carved him into the mountain sometime between 618–907 AD and it's a World Heritage Site, therefore we figured being this close, we should probably visit. 

After we lazily got out of our AMAZING bed (more on that in another post) we went over to the bus station and boarded a bus to LeShan. Now if I hear something is 45 miles outside a city and we take a nonstop bus, I would assume the ride would be what? Maybe 1.5 hours max? Yeah, 3 hours later when we finally got off the bus, I was pretty grumpy amped to get going. 

Upon arrival, we get off the bus knowing we still have a bit of a trip to the Buddha. We read that the taxi should cost around 30 RMB, so we were pretty angry about the fact that once the taxi drivers saw us they ran up and were offering to take us for the great price of 50 RMB EACH. I have recently learned that nothing angers me more than people who try to blatantly rip me off. I know people here think Americans are all really rich, but seriously, we aren't and we are here teaching English on a Chinese person's salary. Now, I don't know for certain, but America seems like an equal opportunity rip off place, SO yeah around tourist attractions all the prices are high, but they aren't high just for the foreigners, everybody gets screwed. Here they just barrage you with obscenely inflated prices.

Anyway, rant over. Chad and I are clever enough to use public transportation instead, so we hopped on a bus to the center of town for a total of 4 RMB. 

We then found a cab, who we thought he said he would take us for 8 RMB which sounded about right because it was like 1.5 miles away. When we got there he tried telling us 80 RMB, but we just gave him 15 RMB and walked away- I was fuming. 

Anyway, after lunch at a restaurant by the LeShan Park (where the Buddha was) that was somewhat frustrating - where do we sit? when do we pay? did they forget about us? - we went to go see the Buddha.  

This is the really awesome entrance gate. Disney you have some living up to now

The SUPER HELPFUL map at the front of the park

The mass amounts of people here was insane

I realllly like crowds.... you know me, hung out in Times Square happy as a peach all the time and everything

Another super helpful map....

FINALLY! We made it to the Buddha

This is the line to get to the bottom of the Buddha. It was at least a 4.5 hour wait so we decided maybe not worth our time, also we would miss the bus back to Chengdu and have to pay for a hotel room here for the night. Once you read about our bed you will know why that is an outrageous suggestion

More of the INSANE crowd... this was part of the line to go to the bottom

A really pretty waterfall in the Buddha park area... it was significantly less crowded here, 20 yards down the way. Go figure
We thought this was really cool
So I wanted to take this picture and waited about 5 minutes for this one lady (who walked up while I was framing the shot) to get enough pictures so she would leave and I would have the whole wall without anyone in it, but I was very grumpy at this point so I just took the picture and walked away hoping I stole her soul or something
Still in the Buddha park, there were some pretty cool temples
I am just staring, trying to decompress from the mass of crowds I just left
All around the temple were these really cool intricate cravings on the walls

I'm getting all sorts of artsy here, I'm pretty sure people buy these to get blessings or something
Prayer candles? Artsy pictures part 2

These monks were reading prayers and drumming, it was pretty cool 
We LOVED these guys and took a TON of pics
These amazing things are carved out of wood

Happy Buddha!
So this is a great photo series... Chad wanted a picture touching the Buddha and this girl obliviously jumped in the shot and was getting her picture taken right as I was snapping Chad's, so it focused on her!
Then she wanted a picture with the creepy white guy behind her so I had to snap a pic too
And now we finally get a pic of Chad and the Buddha
Fake smile alert!
Another creepy Buddha
Some random Tiger statue. Chad wanted his picture on it, but as you can see it was mobbed. 

So instead we got pictures of randoms on it. BTW did you know the Chinese people take 5 million minutes to set up their picture? And have no concern about getting a picture by themselves, all the better if everyone else is in it
Random dragon head in the wall because why not?
We could not figure out what the heck this sign meant. Maybe indicating that you could not follow a parabolic trajectory if you fell from the cliffs? Hard to say
Chad took a picture of me trying to get a picture of the tiger.
Another fake smile alert. I am very over this place
Frequently in China I end up smushed somewhere away from Chad. The bus away from the Buddha proved to be no different.
This is the pretty cool archway at the beginning of the Buddha park
Taken through the window of the bus

After a 2.5 hour bus ride home (progress!), where we kinda watch the most insane Chinese film I've ever seen where people become these crazy monsters and stuff and this girl kills them by putting them in her bag and they squish except she can punch them into dust also if she wants to... we decided to venture out to find food. This proved to be a touch difficult. We were trying to find a restaurant/cafe that was allegedly near our hostel, and was rumored to have some Western food and brownies. After wandering around for about 30 minutes in the rain, we went back to our hostel and decided to maybe have some Thai or something. Turns out the Thai place was closed. Then we asked the hostel where the cafe was... it was in the hostel and just closed. They then suggested some street that should have a lot of food... most of those places were also closed or sold indeterminable foods. I was beyond grumpy excited to eat, so we just decided to eat at a place called "Waffles and Toast" or something to that effect. It was open super late and there were TONS of people there. Turns out it was a great decision (ed: mediocre decision, at least it was food). It was incredibly yummy (debatable) as you'll see... but oh man was it pricey. 

This is a waffle with thick whipped cream, a variety of berries, some weird different green tea ice cream and amazingly delicious strawberry ice cream 
Really yummy if not slightly too sweet lemonade... it cost 30 RMB though!!  That's a lot even in America ($5)
Toast with ham and cheese in the middle and mozzarella cheese on top... it was amazingly delicious. (This sandwich was the truly delicious part. Green tea ice cream is gross and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The cream was heavier than George Foremans' fists - something I tend not to appreciate as a person with taste buds and an intolerance to lactose)
After all the annoyances excitement of the day, we decided to call it a night and just hope that the next days in Chengdu were more like the first one.