Highlights of Sichuan from Chengdu
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💎 Why we love it ?
We arrive in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province – the hometown of the panda. Here in Sichuan, we discover Leshan Giant Buddha, the Buddhist Mount Emeishan, the high-level civilization of Sanxingdui, the Taoping Village of the Qiang Minority, the Pandas in Wolong, the ancient irrigation system in Dujiangyan, and the Daoist mountain Qingchengshan. On this trip, two of the most beautiful national parks in China will be visited: Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong (UNESCO World Nature Heritage since 1992). The crystal clear water, countless alpine lakes, rushing streams and waterfalls, lush vegetation, active wild animals, the rugged peaks, all create the unreal beauty of Jiuzhaigou, but its beauty is true. Because of its spectacular and breathtaking karst landscape with countless limestone terraces, the Huanglong National Park is world-famous.
🏁 Tour Itinerary: Highlights of Sichuan from Chengdu
Day 1: Arrive in Chengdu
Home town of the panda, Kuanzhai Xiangzi, drink tea in People’s Park
In the morning arrive in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, the hometown of the giant panda. Picked up by the local guide at the airport and then transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon stroll in the beautiful old block of Chengdu – Wide Alley and Narrow Alley (Kuan Xiangzi and Zhai Xiangzi), the relics of the Manchurian garrison since 1718 and consist of 3 parallel lanes with the old classical houses, which are unique in southern China just like the northern Chinese architectural style presented by Hutong. After a careful renovation in June 2008, the pubs, teahouses, restaurants, and guesthouses are concentrated here, and in no time at all, it becomes the “lobby of leisure capital Chengdu”. A walk here gives you a first impression of the “city of loafers”. Then visit the People’s Park in the city center, have a seat in an old teahouse, enjoy your covered bowl tea in a comfortable environment with a bamboo chair and bamboo table. The tea culture of Chengdu is well known throughout China.
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 4*Xinliang Hotel.
Day 2: Chengdu – Leshan – Emei Shan (B)
Visit Grand Buddha in Lingyun Temple, and boat on the Minjiang River. Visit nunnery Fuhu Si
In the morning leave for Leshan. On the way enjoy the beautiful countryside landscape of western Chengdu Plains during about two hour’s driving on the expressway. Upon arrival in Leshan visit the Grand Buddha in Lingyun Temple. The grand Buddha was completed in 803 of the Tang Dynasty after 90 year’s construction and enjoys the fame of the biggest sitting stone sculpture in the world with a 71-meter height. Carved on the cliff face, the sculpture is well designed with perfect balance and an effective water drainage system. After visiting the Lingyun Temple and the Grand Buddha, boat on the Minjiang River to see the front side of the Grand Buddha and the “hidden sleeping Buddha”. Afterward head for Mt. Emei, the main ritual place of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (Puxian Pusa) and one of the four most celebrated Buddhism Mountains in China. Visit nunnery Fuhu Si at the foot of Mt. Emei.
2 hours 43 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 4*Hengmai Hotel
Day 3: Emei Shan – Chengdu (B)
Golden Summit of Mt. Emeishan, Wannian Temple
Early in the morning take the sightseeing bus to the Leidongping Bus Station along the 52-kilometer zigzag mountain road. Upon arrival, take the cable car to the Golden Summit that is an elevation of 3099 meters. If the weather is well, you will find that your vision becomes broadened; the verdant forest waves surge along the mountain; Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River are like three pieces of silk; Mt. Daxue and Mt. Gongga seem to stretch to the horizon; the sun emerges with all shimmering rays through the surging cloud. Lucky enough, the Buddhist light is available to see. Visit Huazang Si Temple and the golden statue of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (Puxian Pusa). Then take the cable car and the sightseeing bus down to the Wannian Temple to enjoy the famous carving of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra riding on his white elephant. Hike on the old stone steps descend via Qingyin Pavilion (Clear Sounds Pavilion) to the One-Thread-Sky, and to the bus station at Wuxiangang, and then get picked up to descend the mountain and drive back to Chengdu.
2 hours 1 minute
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 4*Xinliang Hotel
Day 4: Chengdu – Sanxingdui – Jiangyou (B)
Visit Sanxingdui Museum
Drive to Sanxingdui Museum in Guanghan, about 40 km north of Chengdu, and just setting up at the northeast corner of the famous Sanxingdui Ruins. The nearly square ruin covers an area of 12 square kilometers and is protected by a river on the northern side and a city wall on the other sides. It was the Sanxingdui culture in the period 2800 to 800 BC. Sanxingdui is one of the oldest cultivated settlements of humanity and is one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Opened in October 1997, the modern and informative Sanxingdui Museum showcases over 1,000 excavated gold, bronze, jade, clay and stone, and ivory works of art. But the most beautiful, astonishing, and mysterious are the bronzes, above all huge bronze masks and a larger-than-life bronze sculpture – they are so strange and with their big ears and eyes and the high-bridged nose look completely different from the already known Chinese artworks! Apparently, the Sanxingdui culture mastered both the fine art of bronze technique and unprecedented aesthetics. This site is recognized as one of the most important ancient remains in the world for its vast size, lengthy period, and enriched cultural contents. The unique Sanxingdui Museum is a good place to explore the mysterious ancient Shu culture and history. In the afternoon reach Jiangyou.
2 hours 51 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 4*Jiangyou International Hotel
Day 5: Jiangyou – Pingwu – Jiuzhaigou (B)
Visit Bao’en Si Temple at Pingwu
Drive to Jiuzhaigou. On the way visit Bao’en Si Temple at Pingwu that is a well-preserved fifteenth-century Buddhist monastery complex and was built by Wang Xi, a local chieftain, between 1440 and 1446 during Emperor Yingzong’s reign (1427–64) in the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). The wall paintings, sculptures, and other ornamental details were finished by 1460. These ornamental additions, such as the Ming period sculpture, painting and murals, the wooden Avalokitesvara, and the sutra repository are masterpieces of the period. The complex is very well preserved and a major achievement in Ming religious architecture.
5 hours 54 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 4*Sanroyal International Hotel
Day 6: Jiuzhaigou (B)
Sightseeing and Walking in Jiuzhaigou Nature Park
In western China, in the north of Sichuan Province, between the Sichuan Red Basin and the eastern foothills of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau lies Jiuzhaigou – the Nine-village valley. In the midst of the magnificent mountains of the Minshan Mountains, Jiuzhaigou stretches for 50 kilometers and covers a total area of 720 square kilometers at an altitude between 1900 and 3100 meters. The Nine-village valley includes two mountain rivers, which merge in the middle of the area Y-shaped and thus form a chain of countless lakes, which string like pearls. According to a traditional story, a Tibetan mountain god fell in love with a goddess and one day gave her a precious mirror, brilliantly polished with wind and clouds. But the mirror fell out of her hand, splintering and tumbling down into the valley, where the 108 pieces of shards turned into crystal-clear mountain lakes shining in bright blue or dark blue, turquoise and green. There are lush brooks and waterfalls everywhere, magnificent bamboo groves and mixed deciduous and coniferous forests, snow-capped peaks, and picturesque Tibetan villages. The Jiuzhaigou Natural Park was protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1992. With the help of the environmental buses of the National Park, which commute between the Scenic areas, you have a fantastic view of Jiuzhaigou.
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 4*Sanroyal International Hotel
Day 7: Jiuzhaigou – Huanglong – Songpan – Maoxian (B)
Walking and sightseeing in national park Huanglong. Songpan Ancient Town
Not far from the Jiuzhaigou National Park (128 km away), on the southern mountain range of the Minshan Mountains, is the Huanglong National Park (since 1992 UNESCO World Heritage Site). The main attraction of Huanglong National Park is Huanglong Valley, 3.5 km long, at an altitude between 3100 and 3600 meters, and with countless travertines. The water, which origins from the snow-capped peaks and irresistibly makes its way down into the valley, over time created a spectacular and breathtaking karst landscape with countless terraced pools or ponds, often shining in blue, turquoise, and green. Running from south to north, the valley is located below the snow-capped main summit of the Minshan Mountains – Xuebaoding (5588 m). The Yellow Dragon Valley, according to the Huanglong Valley Translation, allegedly owned its great name from the Huanglongsi Monastery, which is located in the upper part of the valley and is originally a Taoist monastery from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). When seen from a distance, a yellow, scaly dragon winds in the midst of lush forests to the valley. Welcome to a magnificent natural landscape of China: The wooden walkway with numerous wooden promenades invites you to have a hike. Finally, take the cable car back down, and keep driving via Songpan Ancient Town and along the Min River to Maoxian.
6 hours 34 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at 3*Fenghuangge Hotel
Day 8: Maoxian – Taoping – Wolong – Dujiangyan (B)
Tapping Village of Qiang Minority. Shenshuping Panda Base in Wolong Natural Reserve, Dujiangyan Ancient Irrigation System
In the magnificent valleys along the upper Min River, picturesque villages of the Qiang nationality with their characteristic stone houses and striking towers attract visitors’ eyes: beautiful, idyllic, prominent, and mystical. The Qiang nationals are descendants of an ancient ethnic group of China. “Qiang” is a historical ethnic group of China, which was found on 3,000-year-old oracle bones. Over time, records of other nationalities in China such as Han (Han Chinese), Zang (Tibetan), Yi, Naxi, Bei, Hani, and Lisu emerged. Their way of life is evidence of ancient traditions practiced. The villages with the tower-like stone houses testify to the advantages of a high-building life, especially in the epochs of warlike conflicts. On the way visit the Taoping village of the Qiang minority. The village is located in the epicenter of Sichuan’s major earthquake on May 12, 2008, and has been severely damaged. As part of the reconstruction program, the Qiang national stonemasons and villagers have masterfully restored their village from the rubble heaps. Then drive to Wolong Natural Reserve. 52 km long from east to west and 62 km wide from south to north, the whole area is 200,000 hm². It is one of China’s earliest natural reverses, which is rated the preservation zones network of “mankind and living beings” by the Organization of Education, Science and Culture of United Nations (UNESCO). The virgin forest, second bush forest, and bamboo groves are very green. There are over 4,000 kinds of high-level plants, 24 kinds of them are valuable plants, such as Gongtong (Chinese dove tree), red China fir, Lianxiang, and so on. There are more than 450 kinds of vertebras, 45 kinds of them are rated national focal preserved animals, such as giant panda, golden monkeys, antelopes, white-mouth deer, etc. The natural beautiful scene is quiet and secluded. Visit Shenshuping Panda Base in Wolong, about 50 pandas live here, it is the largest breeding center for giant pandas, integrating scientific research, feeding, breeding, reproduction, wildness training, etc. Then drive to Dujiangyan to visit the Dujiangyan Irrigation System that was built around 250 BC by Li Bin, a governor of Shu Prefecture in Qin State. The great project still works well today after more than two thousand year’s function, which not only puts an end to the water disaster to the local people but also makes Chengdu Plain “the land of abundance”. While visiting the water conservation work, you may find that the methods of harnessing the river that the ancient people used are so simple but useful. In 2000, Dujiangyan became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And we’ll also visit the Temple of Two Kings (Erwang Miao), Anlan Cable Bridge, Fish Mouth Water-Dividing Dam (Yuzui). Take the panorama view of the Dujiangyan Irrigation System from the Qinyan Pavilion. If you have interest, in the evening walk around the ancient South Bridge (Nanqiao), a landmark of Dujiangyan.
4 hours 45 minutes
🏚️ Hotel Option: Overnight at Holiday Inn Express Ancient City
Day 9: Dujiangyan – Chengdu (B)
Drive back to Chengdu and travel to next destination
Today transfer back to Chengdu airport, leave Chengdu.
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