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Overview

Delve into the wonders of Sichuan province. Be immersed in local culture at an opera performance and step back in time at the Sanxingdui archaeological site. See the pandas at Chengdu’s famous rescue centre and get a close look at Leshan’s impressive Buddha statue. 

Trip Highlights

Chengdu Panda Tour: Visa Free Sichuan

Gain insight in to local culture

See a traditional performance of Chinese opera, sip tea at a popular establishment and taste the best Sichuanese cuisine.

Explore Sichuan’s religious heritage

Be awe-struck at the world’s biggest Buddha statue in Leshan and wander through the impressive Buddha Park.  

Be charmed by the pandas

Visit Chengdu’s Panda Breeding Centre, learn about its conservation efforts and see the cuddly creatures up-close. 

Itinerary

1

Arrival in Chengdu

Estimate distance and journey time: Chengdu Airport – Chengdu city (approx. 20 km): 30 min *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Welcome to Chengdu! The capital of China’s Sichuan province and ancient capital of the powerful Shu Kingdom, this city has held the same name for over two millennia, reflecting both its longevity as well as its major role within the region.

This Sichuan tour will provide excellent glimpses into the specialties of the region, including its famous food culture. Sichuan cooking is one of the eight major strands of cooking in the country… particularly famous for its spice!

After a guided welcome and hotel transfer, the evening will offer an authentic first glimpse into Chengdu’s Sichuan cuisine experience: mapo doufu. A traditional Sichuanese dish, mapo doufu is comprised of fresh tofu, minced beef and soy served in a sauce of garlic, peppered oil and Sichuan peppercorns.

Overnight in Chengdu

What warrants the Chengdu visa free visit? So long as travelers are en-route to another destination, they are able to enjoy this Sichuan travel experience without obtaining a Chinese visa. Travelers must be visiting for 72 hours or less, starting from the second day of arrival (hence the 4-day itinerary.)

2

Chengdu

Estimate distance and journey time: Chengdu city – Sanxingdui (approx. 50 km): 1h *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Kick off the Chengdu panda tour with a visit to the Panda Breeding Center (about 15km from Chengdu city center.) Boasting just under 100 pandas, it’s the largest centre for captive pandas in the world. The panda, or “xiongmao” in Chinese (literally meaning “bear-cat”), is an endangered species that the Chinese Government and NGO specialists have been consciously protecting since the 1980s. Their efforts have been greatly rewarded and the latest population counts have shown an increase of nearly 50%!

Continue the Sichuan tour with a visit to the archaeological site of Sanxingdui. About one hour away, this site boasts hundreds of artifacts dating from as early as 2000 BC. Discovered in the 1930’s, it features everything from pottery to jade sculptures and statues. In historical importance, it sits up there with the Terracotta Army of Xi’an!

Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of Sanxingdui is its collection of masks and its bronze “divine tree.” Their existence signifies advanced techniques used during the Shang dynasty, as well as a reference to a mysterious parallel culture found in the Sichuan Province (still fascinating historians today.)

After heading back to Chengdu, the evening will continue on with a 90-minute performance of the Sichuan Opera. A comprehensive cultural experience consisting of skits, dancers, fire-eaters, historical references, and much more… a very local artform!

3

Chengdu - Leshan - Chengdu

Estimate distance and journey time: Chengdu city – Leshan (approx. 140 km): 2h *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Day three begins with an incredible visit to the largest Buddha statue in the world. Located in Leshan, this cliffside carving dates back over 1200 years. Locally known as the Giant Buddha, this 71-meter (213 ft) tall and 28-meter (92 ft) wide statue is a true stone giant. From its grand facial details to the staircase leading from head to toe, this spectacular piece of art is not to be missed.

Optional: Gaze at the awe-inspiring Giant Buddha from the Min River aboard a traditional riverboat (consult within for more details.)

From one Buddha to the next: departing from the Giant Buddha, head for the Oriental Buddha Park, lined with thousands of miniature statues, a range of small temples, and the colossal reclining Buddha- one of the most spectacular in the world, spanning over 170 meters (558 ft)!

Guided transfer back to Chengdu.

Overnight in Chengdu

4

Chengdu

Estimate distance and journey time: Chengdu city - Chengdu Airport (approx. 20 km): 30 min *Depends on local situation (the weather/construction/traffic jam, etc…), may take longer

Start off Day 4 with a visit to the Wenshu Temple (Manjushri Temple), the best preserved (fully-functioning) temple the the Chengdu area. Enjoy a revitalizing, refreshing cup in the nearby House of Tea- one of the most popular spots in the city.

Take a leisurely stroll through People’s Park and watch along as the locals perfect the arts of Tai-Chi, Kung-fu, sword dance, meditation, dance, gymnastics, and other practices of “well-being.” For a truly sensational and otherworldly encounter, look for the “ear cleaners”!

With a settled mind and clean ears, transfer to Chengdu airport for the departing flight.

Note: Visitors must complete their Chengdu visa free visit within 72 hours to avoid any unwanted fines.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner).
  • English speaking guide (no shopping basis rates) (for other languages supplements apply)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits

Our services do not include:

  • Other meals not mentioned
  • Visa for China
  • Other services than mentioned
  • International and domestic flights
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature
  • Tips, Travel insurance
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above.

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