When we arrive in Chengdu, we decide to take an immediate bus to Leshan.
There we want to apply for a visum extension, which seems to go easily
there. Tomorrow we’ll check that out. For now it is just finding a
hotel – which is a little bit hard if you only have an English hotel
name where you want to stay. But one hour later we check in in a nice
room… Before falling asleep we go out for dinner by the locals.
Just nosing in the fridge and showing them we want this and that does the job…
And then bedtime…
Next morning we head to the bureau of foreign affairs in Leshan, for
the extension. A friendly Chinese woman helps us through the process.
Most of it goes easy, we have a good hotel as address, fill in the
papers and give them a rough travel description to where we want to
Only the passport picture needs to be an electronic one… To get one
in the local shop is another adventure ‘only in China’. I wish I had
glasses with an in-built camera. The view I got in front of the camera
with another 15 pairs of eyes looking at me. It was hard not to burst
laughing! And for the picture I needed to look deadly serious, almost
For the Chineses itself it is an important affair. Have you got your
best clothes, no sweating allowed (retake !), no laughing (retake !),
hair in your face (retake !)… And once the picture is ok, they start
rescaling, replacing it to fit in the exact borders… They even
remove some jump out hairs…
With the picture, we head to the desk and all paperwork can be fixed.
Within two days we can pick our passports up.
That afternoon we just spend relaxing in our room…
Leshan is famous for the world’s biggest Buddha. So we visit him the next day.
Finding the right bus is not so easy, but with sign language we manage
to get there. Like every Chinese pavilion we are greeted by numerous
stairs. First up to the pagoda of the complex, back down and crossing
through the beautiful temple complex. At the end we’re greeted by the
Buddha head, so we got stairs to its feet and back up to some other
Once we exit the complex, we spot a very beautiful bridge to another
temple complex, much more quiet that the first one. There we climb all
the stairs up to the temple and garden on the hilltop, before heading
On the way back we take the bus to Emei Shan, one of the four holy
buddhistic mountains in the country.
We’ll return here in Leshan on friday, to discover we got our visum
extension with one more month. They added another 30 days after the
day our visum expires! What a service…