Pandas & Buddhas, this trip round the Sichuan province will give an insight into ancient China and its buddhist heritage. This tour takes you around the province of Sichuan – meaning ‘Four Rivers’ – a tribute to the 1300 plus rolling rivers found rolling through the Southwestern Province.
Giving you a taster of the highlights, we show you the largest Buddha in the world at Leshan, give you a chance to climb the sacred Buddhist Mountain Emei (both of which are UNESCO protected) and of course, visit the world famous Panda rehabilitation centre in the capital city of Chengdu.
Alongside all of this, your tastebuds will be tickled as you encounter the spicy Sichuanese cuisine! Peppers are a key element in the dishes, with the heat thought to reduce a persons internal dampness, caused by high humidity and rainy weather!
You will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan, and has held the same name for over 2 millenia! Proof not only of it’s longevity, but of the major role it has always played in the region.
Famous for it’s cuisine, you will have the chance to try some of the specialities during your stay – this evening you will try Mapo Doufu, a traditional dish of fresh tofu, minced beef and soy served in a garlic, peppered oil and Sichuan peppercorn sauce.
After breakfast, you’ll take a walk in People’s Park – where the Chinese practice Tai Chi, Kung-fu, sword dance, meditation, dance, gymnastics – all activities considered essential to their well-being!
Afterwards, you will travel to an archaeological site (Sanxingdui) located around 50kms away, close to the town of Guanhan. It’s home to hundreds of objects discovered as early at 2000BC – including pottery, and jade sculptures and statues. There is also a fabulous collection of masks, and a bronze ‘divine tree’ unique to China and considered as important a find as that of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’An!
Returning to Chengdu, you will then visit the Wenshu Temple, the best preserved Buddhist temple in the capital and still boasting a large number of worshippers. You can enjoy a cup of tea in the ‘House of Tea’ next door before dining in the garden of the vegetarian restaurant at the temple. Spend some time before or after familiarising yourself with the concepts of Buddhism, and seeing the hive of daily activity taking place at the temple.
This morning you will visit the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda Dujiangyan Base. The panda is an endangrered species and the Chinese Government have been pritecting these animals since the 1980's. Here you will get to help clean the enclosures, prepare the food and learn more about these giant friendly bears
After you have finished with the pandas you will head to Qingcheng Mountain, located in Dujiangyan it is one of the most important centres of Taoismin in China.
Return for another night in Chengdu.
After breakfast you will begin the 200km journey (around 3 hours) to Leshan – home to the largest Buddha statue in the world, carved into the side of cliff more than 1200 years ago to calm the anger of the Min River, which had inflicted floods upon the locals.
After viewing the Giant Buddha close up, you will then take pleasant stroll through the Oriental Buddha Park, dotted with small temples, thousands of small statues and a huge lying-down Buddha which is over 170m long!
Finally, you will continue your journey on to Emeishan – this covers around 80kms and takes 2 hours.
Depending on your choice of hotel you will either stay at the foot or the summit of Emei Mountain.
(Breakfast is included on day 4)
After breakfast today you will explore Mount Emei, one of the four sacred Buddhist Mountains of China, and a major pilgrimage site. The temples and monasteries date back to the Ming & Qing Dynasties (from 1368 – 1911) an they’re linked by more than 50km of stairs and mountain pathways.
You’ll walk, take the bus and even cable cars over the course of the day – exploring the major temples and pine forest which is usually shrouded in magical haze! You may even be joined by some Tibetan macaques along the way (keep all food and bags away from them!)
*Bring good walking shoes! Option to spend a night in a monastery on the mountain; let us know if you would like to include this in your trip – a spartan yet truly memorable experience!
After breakfast you will head back to Chengdu – a journey of 190kms that will take roughly 3-4 hours depending on traffic.
This brings you to the end to your tour of Sichuan – we can help arrange your onward travels in China so please let us know what you are planning. This itinerary is a guide to what’s on offer, it can be changed and is fully flexible to suit your needs!
(Breakfast is included on day 6)
The climate in Sichuan Province is mild with plenty of rainfall with the average annual temperature is between 14c-19c. Located in the southwest this has been the gateway to Tibet.
Our itineraries are tailor-made to give you an idea of some of the possibilities in this vast country! For you this means there are no date or time restraints as you are travelling independently. We have the flexibility to tailor your trip around exactly what you enjoy so let us know your dates, what you like doing and where you like staying, and we will do the rest!
5 nights in clean and comfortable accommodation.
Hotels in this category include: