Sichuan, home to pandas, is best known for its fiery cuisine. It has wonderful diversities of nature and culture. From the west onwards, mountains go all the way to eventually kiss the intensely blue sky at the plateau of more than 6km’s height, where there is the second largest Tibetan area. While travelling in the east, it’s the green flat Sichuan basin with widely extended crop fields around and densely populated capital city of Chengdu at the center. Benefited from the agreeable weather and the nearly-2000-year-old irrigation system, also of course, under the diligence of its people and help of advanced technology, the land thrives with vitality and abundance. Just like other Asian urban centers, people and their life are racing toward a more modern future with all the historical gifts.
Jump on your bikes and join us for a 10-day exquisite scenery feast of rural Sichuan province. Two days are designed to give to panda sanctuary exclusively. By doing kinds of volunteering job, you will develop a truer understanding of giant pandas and the positive impact you can make on their conservation. Also, places nearby are rich in historical sites, some of which are definitely on our list, such as the World Heritage Giant Buddha, and Ya’an where the first panda was discovered.
Day 1 Arrival in Chengdu
Fly to Chengdu, meet your guide and driver, and check in the hotel. We then start the trip by visiting Wenshu Temple and enjoying a special vegetarian dinner there. And trip orientation is planned after dinner to end the day.
Day 2 Cycle to Chengdu Panda Base & City Tour
This morning we jump on the bikes to Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre, located 10km (6miles) away from downtown. We spend whole morning visiting different panda enclosures.
In the afternoon, we cycle back to the city for another 2-3 hours leisure ride in the downtown. We will cycle to Renmin Park and see how local people kill time by playing Mahjong or drinking tea. Then it’s the Broad & Narrow Lanes, the most fashionable historical site in Chengdu.
In the evening, Sichuan Opera can be arranged as an option.
Biking Distance: 30km—40km
Day 3 Chengdu to Mt. Emei via Leshan Giant Buddha
We first drive about 1.5 hours early in the morning to Qingshen County, where we start biking. We then ride on along the Min River for 25km (approx. 2 hours) to an ancient town called Hanyang for lunch.
After lunch, there’s still another 30km(approx. 2-3 hours) to Leshan, where we will visit the Giant Buddha before driving to Emei Mountain for overnight.
Biking Distance: 40-55 km
Day 4 Emei Mountain to Hongya
To avoid the crowds and heavy traffic, we will start early. On our way from Emei Mountain to Jiajiang, what impresses us is the mixed scenery of hills and fields. But the highlight of the day is the ride from Jiajiang county to Hongya, which will be carried out on old roads all the way upstream the Qingyi River.
Biking Distance: 40-60km
Day 5 Hongya to Ya’an
Our cycling continues along the river to Ya’an. The scenery keeps changing on our way and the territory gets more and more mountainous. The unchanged is the color green, the fields, the slopes, and the bamboos.
Biking Distance: 50-60 km
Day 6 Cycle to Chongzhou County via Shangli Old Town
This morning we continue cycling along the river to Shangli Old Town, where used to be a stop for Ancient Tea & Horse Road. After arriving there, we may wander around this old town to enjoy its laid-back life.
After lunch we take a short ride to climbing across the mountain pass and we will ride again until get to the other side of the mountain. It will be a peaceful and fresh cycle track in front waiting for us before we finish our biking in Chongzhou county.
Biking Distance: 60km—80km
Day 7 Chongzhou County to Mt. Qingcheng
Today it is a long day for us since we will finally bike to Mt. Qingcheng, and we will cross the valleys, passing by some old towns again and finally go into Chengdu Plain. This geographical feature provides us with more opportunities to learn about local cultures besides enjoying the nature.
Biking Distance: 60km—80km
Day 8 Dujiangyan Panda Sanctuary
Here is one whole day devoted to the Panda Sanctuary. A series of volunteering tasks are designed to make a difference. Following the expert’s instructions, you will participate in cleaning pandas’ enclosures and excrement, carrying bamboos, observing the feeding and training session for pandas, and more interestingly, panda behavior studies.
Day 9 Qingcheng Mountain to Chengdu via Dujiangyan
Our cycling continues. We will go on a 1.5 –hour ride to Dujiangyan along mountain roads, followed by another 3-hour biking towards Chengdu ending in a local village of Pixian county. After all the labor and sweat, nothing is more expected than getting back to downtown Chengdu again with only 1-hour easy drive. The rest of the day is left to you to enjoy free time and explore around. A farewell dinner is arranged at night.
Biking Distance: 60km
Day 10 Depart from Chengdu
Enjoy free time and explore around. Airport departure transfer for flight back home.