|We left Cheng Du early this morning making our way to the city of Leshan to see the world's largest outdoor seated Buddha. "Da Fo" is carved into the face of a cliff at the foot of Mt. Lingyun located at the inland junction of three rivers - the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi. It "sits" 71 metres high (roughly 280 feet). After viewing the Buddha from the top of the cliff we made our way down to the base and looked up.....waaay up!!! The statue took 80 years to carve from 713 to 803 AD and was constructed to help reduce flooding in the area as well as for worship by the people. At the top of the cliff is the Lingyun Temple which houses other images of Buddha as well as statutes of "The Four Heavenly Kings". There are numerous other temples, towers, pagodas and pavilions in the area but we did not have time to see them all........a return visit would be in order! We made our way back thru Leshan stopping at The Yang's Restaurant for lunch. Mr. Yang is 77 years old and speaks Chinese, English and Russian. He was given his English name "Richard" by Canadian missionaries back in the time before the formation of The Peoples Republic of China and related to us some of the hardships he faced throughout that period. After our lunch and informative visit we continued on our way to the Bao Guo Monastery in Emeishan. The monks rent out rooms to travelers and we experienced their very simple way of life, sharing an evening meal from the monastery kitchen.....a vegetarian meal consisting of steamed rice, spinach, green beans, winter squash and a dark noodle made from taro root, which had a bit of spice to it. Still feeling a bit peckish after our meal, a group of us walked into town for ice cream. We had to return before 9:00 p.m. or risk being locked out overnight and since we were in the mountains, it does get a little chilly..........