Nestled on the fertile Sichuan plain, near the foothills of the Tibetan Plateau in Western China, beautiful Chengdu is home to some of the world’s most famous animals. The Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base is the biggest research facility of its kind in the world, dedicated to preserving this precious and endangered animal. Offering a museum, documentaries and a gift shop, visitors come from all over to get close, or even get a photo with the centre’s more than 60 Giant Pandas. The base also has a popular community of rare Red Pandas. Aside from the pandas, Chengdu is also famous for its relaxed lifestyle, antique shopping, spicy and delicious Sichuan cuisine, and the elegant Tianfu Square in the heart of the city. With tropical summers and refreshing winters, Chengdu is an enjoyable place to visit at any time of year.
Day 1: When you arrive in Chengdu, you will be met by your local guide, who will escort you to your comfortable hotel. You will have the remainder of the day free, so you can freshen up, rest and relax, in preparation for your tour in the morning.
Day 2: The Panda is a national symbol of China, and today, you will get the chance to experience the beauty of the great animal up close. Chengdu draws thousands of tourists from all across China, and around the world, just to get a glimpse of these magnificent and endangered animals. You will start off your day’s tour of the region with your exciting visit to the famous Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base, which is leading the world in research and helping find ways to protect this gentle animal. The Chengdu Panda Base has created a man-made landscape using natural inspiration and plant life to mimic the perfect living space for its populations of Giant Pandas, rare red pandas and other endangered species in China. There is also a lovely Museum at the Panda Base, where you can learn more about these fascinating animals, their habits, and the dangers they are facing in the modern world. You may be able to see baby pandas born at the Base thanks to the advanced breeding techniques, and even have your picture taken with one of these impressive animals. After your visit to this incredible facility, your guide will bring you on a walking tour of the nearby Jinli Ancient Street, where local people have shopped and traded goods for more than 2,000 years. It is one of the oldest commercial areas in China, and it is a lovely place to shop for some antiques or pick up some delicious local snacks. There is also a stage right in the centre of the Ancient Street, so you can take in an entertaining show by local performers. In the afternoon, after a stop for lunch, you will travel by train to Chonqing where you will start your spectacular three-night Yangtze cruise down the mighty river.