Sizzling Sichuan - 8 Days
From 2022-09-01 to 2023-04-01
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners.
7 nights superior hotels (deluxe upgrade available on request).
Mt Emei return cable car ride.
Return economy class flights: Chengdu - Jiuzhai.
Airport arrival and departure transfer on day 1 and day 8.
Touring of Chengdu, Huanglong, Jiuhaigou, Leshan and Mt Emei.
Guided sightseeing excursions as per itinerary.
English speaking specialist guides at local sights.
All transfers and transportation in private A/C vehicle.
Entrance fees to all included sites.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Chengdu Chengdu, home of the Giant Panda and capital of Sichuan province is famed for its outstanding natural beauty, fiery cuisine and China’s first, largest and best known Panda research and breeding centre. Arrive Chengdu airport and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to spend at leisure.
Day 2 - Huanglong Monastery and Scenery Chengdu - Huanglong - Jiuzhaigou. This morning fly to Jiuzhaigou - a region that for centuries has been inhabited by various Tibetan and Qiang people. Tour the Huanglong Monastery - built during the reign of Ming Emperor Hongwu, it is now a place of worship for the local Tibetan, Han, Qiang and Hui people, all of which have different religious beliefs. Afterwards enjoy a relaxing stroll by the region’s famed calcium travertines. Resembling a terraced field, the travertines flow gently into a series of multi-coloured, mineral rich ponds beneath. Onward travel to Jiuzhaigou.
Day 3 - Jiuzhaigou Today is spent exploring the Jiuzhaigou Scenic Reserve. Located in the high Min Shan mountain range, the Jiuzhaigou reserve is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty. It’s home to densely growing conifers, broadleaf trees and rare and endangered animal species such as takins, golden monkeys, Giant Pandas and white-lip deer. Ancient Chinese legend has it that the goddess Semo accidentally smashed her mirror here and the pieces that fell down the mountain formed beautiful lakes, streams and waterfalls. Afterwards, visits will be made to Pearl Beach Falls, Nuorilong Falls and Long Lake. The ever flowing cascade of Nuorilong spans an impressive 320 metres - making it the widest waterfall in all of China.
Day 4 - Ancient Dujiangyan Jiuzhaigou - Chengdu. Morning flight returning to Chengdu. An hour’s drive to the north west leads you to the ancient city of Dujiangyan. It was here, in 256 BC that provincial governer Li Bing set up the Dujiangyan Irrigation Scheme. The three part engineering project using a central dam and artificial islands to split the Min River into an inner flow for irrigation and an outer channel for flood control. A spillway directed and regulated the water while an opening carved through the hillside controlled to flow rate. The project was maintained until 2006 when a new dam was created 9km upstream. Tour the dam site, view the Anlan Suspension Bridge and the Dragon Taming Temple.
Day 5 - Research base for giant pandas Today we tour Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding a short drive out of town. China’s Giant Pandas are considered the most endangered mammal on the planet. Due to a loss of habitat in the Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Gansu Provinces it is estimated that there are less than 1500 giant pandas remaining in the wild - 80% of which are located in Sichuan Provence.
The centre opened for the purpose of breeding, research and education. A team of 46 collaborating with researchers from 8 different countries and 15 guest experts work within the facility. Covering an area of over 92 acres, there is plenty of space for the Giant Pandas and several species of rare and endangered animals to freely roam. Visiting the Panda nursery is a must, here you can get relatively close to the centre’s infant population. The Breeding Centre has achieved breakthroughs in captive breeding, has set up the largest semen and cell bank for the Giant Pandas in the world and created the first Giant Panda stud book!
This afternoon visit the Wuhou Memorial Temple, Wenshu Temple and Kuanzhai Xiangzi, an ancient lane in the old city.
Day 6 - Great Buddha Chengdu - Leshan - Mt. Emei - Baoguo. Driving to Leshan this morning, we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Dafo (Great Buddha), which is carved into the red sandstone face of Lingyun Hill overlooking the treacherous confluence of the Min, Qingyi and Dadu rivers below it.
The walk takes approximately 2 hours, taking us alongside the head, then down steep steps to the feet of the Buddha. It is when standing at Dafo’s huge 8m feet that you can really appreciate the scale of one of the world’s largest Buddhas. Talking numbers, his ears droop 7m, his shoulders span 28m and his nose measures a whopping 5.6m. Impressive!
Driving onward take in the views from Emei Shan (Mt Emei) designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its incredible natural beauty and historical Buddhist sites. Rising some 300 metres its thick forested slopes set a backdrop for spectacular waterfalls, pristine brooks and numerous Buddhist temples. Mt. Emei is also a sacred Buddhist haven and one of the four most divine Buddhism Mountains in China. There are 30 Buddhist temples on the mountain and every morning streams of pilgrims armed with joss sticks conquer the steep stairs of the mountain and swarm into the temples.
Arriving at Baoguo, located at the foot of the Mountain, we visit the Temple of Baoguo. Large and serene this impressive temple structure boasts Puxian and Guanyin statues, high roofed Ming style halls and probably most impressive are the figures of the eight immortals carved from stone betraying Baoguo’s Taoist origins. Spend the remainder of the day exploring this delightful village, easily navigated by foot.
Day 7 - Chengdu Baoguo - Chengdu. This morning we travel up Mt Emei by cable car and then walk for 20 -30 minutes to the top, where we tour the magnificent Wannian temple. The oldest structure on the mountain, its contents are stunning: three thousand tiny iron Buddhas surround a life sized enamelled bronze sculpture of Bodhisattva Puxian (the protector of the mountain) riding a gilt lotus flower astride his great six tusked white elephant. Weighing over 62 tonnes and standing over 7 metres in height the masterpiece had to be bought to the mountain top in pieces. Returning to Chengdu the remainder of the day is free.
Day 8 - Chengdu If your flight is not until later in the day, consider a visit to the Tibetan quarter, south of the city, frequented by very few tourists. The district teems with shops stocked to their roofs with heavy clothes, turquoise jewellery, prayer wheels, conches and other temple accessories, much being purchased by Tibetan monks, cowboys and Khampa women (a minority group, similar though distinct with their own culture and dialect to Tibetans) all looking decidedly tall and robust next to the city’s local residence. Hotel check out and departure transfer to the airport.
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