This 8-day luxury itinerary introduces you to the delights of Sichuan Province, home to the famous Chengdu Panda Base, Huanglong Scenic Area and the remarkable Jiuzhaigou Valley. On this trip, you'll see important religious landmarks such as the towering Leshan Giant Buddha and Mount Emei, one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. You’ll also get plenty of free time in Chengdu to see the sights and sample authentic spicy Sichuan cuisine.
You'll arrive in Chengdu on your first day, where you’ll be greeted at the airport by a guide who will transfer you to your hotel. In Chengdu, we recommend staying in either the luxurious Ritz-Carlton or The Temple House, both of which offer world-class service and all modern amenities. Your afternoon and evening are free to spend at your leisure.
Today you'll visit the city's most famous attraction – the Chengdu Panda Base. This research and breeding facility is set in lush green countryside similar to the panda's natural habitat. Here, you can see panda adults and babies at play in their gardens and have your picture taken with a baby panda. Next, you'll visit Sanxingdui Museum, a vast indoor and outdoor museum with bronze, gold and copper artifacts from the Sanxingdui Kingdom (1,600 BCE). Return to your luxury hotel in Chengdu tonight.
Fly to Jiuzhaigou today, a journey of just an hour, to see the famous sights of Jiuzhaigou Valley. You'll start your exploration of this area with a half-day tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site Huanglong, noted for the bright blue pools and yellow calcite deposits of Yellow Dragon Gully. Tonight, you'll check into the Jiuzhaigou Grand Hotel.
You'll spend today inside Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic Area, where you can hike or take a bus around a circuit of spectacular natural attractions. The fairytale landscapes here stretch across roughly 72,000 hectares and house old-growth forests, gem-colored lakes, limestone cliffs, alpine mountains and endangered animal species. After exploring the park, you'll return to your hotel in Jiuzhaigou Valley.
Fly back to Chengdu today and explore its historic sites. You'll first visit the famed Thatched Cottage of Du Fu – a Tang Dynasty poet – situated within a picturesque park on the outskirts of the city. Next, enjoy more Chinese history with a visit to Jinli Street, a long cobblestone road lined with perfectly-preserved architecture from the Qing Dynasty, strung with rows of red lanterns. Tonight you have the option to attend a Sichuan Opera performance in Chengdu before returning to your hotel.
Visit another famous Sichuan site today – the Giant Buddha of Leshan, around 90 minutes' drive away. The tribute is by far the largest statue from pre-modern times. This stone statue is carved into the side of Mt Leshan, measures 233 feet tall, and dates back to the Tang Dynasty. You can climb to the summit – a challenging hike of around two hours - or enjoy views of the statue from the river. You'll return to your hotel in Chengdu in the afternoon, with the evening at your leisure.
Today, visit another important Buddhist site – Mount Emei. Here, you'll take a cable car to the Golden Summit, a picturesque locale that houses the first Buddhist temple built in China. Various temples, pavilions, shrines and statues can be found in the ancient pine forests here. Check in to the luxury Anantara Emei hotel in the evening for free time on the last night of your journey.