Rising 233 feet, this is the tallest stone Buddha and among the tallest sculptures in the world. The big toes are each 28 feet long. A monk who wished to placate the rivers that habitually took local fishermen's lives started the construction of the Giant Buddha in AD 713. The project took more than 90 years to complete, and it had no noticeable effect on the waters. It's possible to clamber, via a stairway hewn out of rock, down to the platform where the feet rest.