Experience authentic Chengdu. This two-day tour takes you to Sichuan’s famous Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, home to almost one hundred giant and red pandas and the world leader in the fight to save these charming creatures from extinction. You’ll also explore Wuhou Temple, a shrine dedicated to Shu Emperor Liu Bei and his legendary adviser, Zhuge Liang, pay a visit to bustling Jinli Old Street, and discover Sichuan’s celebrated silk brocade.
Minimum adult travelers: 1
Day 1: Chengdu arrival, Wuhou Temple & Jinli Street
Your guide will meet you at the airport when your flight arrives and accompany you to your hotel.
After lunch (depending on arrival time) you will visit Wuhou Temple, the main shrine to Sichuan’s ancient Shu Kingdom and the heroes that made it legendary during the Three Kingdoms period. Wuhou Temple was first built to house Shu Emperor Liu Bei’s remains in 221 AD. During the Ming Dynasty, the remains of some of Liu Bei’s subjects were also housed here, most notably those of his strategist and close adviser, Zhuge Liang, a character immortalized by fiction in the late Ming Dynasty epic novel, “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms.”
Next, visit Jinli Old Street, an authentic Chengdu street located to the east of Wuhou Temple. Replicas of Qing Dynasty mansions line the bustling street and vendors sell local souvenirs as well as tea, books, musical instruments and caricatures. The small snack alley that lies between the temple and Jinli is filled with the aromas of sweet caramel, stinky tofu, spicy beef and sesame buns and is a big favorite with the locals.
Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at your California Garden Hotel or similar.
Day 2: Pandas, Sichuan silk outlet & airport drop-off
Chengdu’s Giant Panda Breeding Research Base is home to over 80 of China’s iconic pandas. Most are of the familiar black and white variety, but the Base is also home to a number of the smaller, lesser-known red pandas. You’ll view the animals eating and at play in a carefully maintained habitat that is as close to their natural environment as possible. You’ll also learn how scientists and ecologists are working to protect the few remaining wild pandas and expand the captive population. On that last note, over 100 bears have been born at the Base since 1987.
The Base became even more important after the Sichuan earthquake of 2008, with eight bears sent here from the badly damaged Wolong reserve. Your visit provides both moral and financial support for the ongoing conservation effort.
Next you’ll pay a visit to the nearby Sichuan Silk Museum where you’ll discover first hand why Chengdu is called the “Brocade City.” Discover the history of Sichuan’s famous embroidery and pick up some souvenirs for friends and family back home.
Lunch today is at a local restaurant.
After the tour ends, you’ll be driven to Chengdu airport to take your flight to your next destination.