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8 Days Best of Sichuan with Yangtze Cruise Tour

Highlighted Sichuan & Yangtze

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This tour includes all the cultural and natural highlights both in Chengdu and Yangtze River. In the hometown of Giant Pandas, you’ll not only have a close contact with the cute bears, but be marvel at the Leshan Giant Buddha and Mount E’mei. While the relaxing Yangtze cruise will take you through the beautiful Three Gorges and magnificent Three Gorges Dam project.

Highlights of this tour:

  • See the world’s largest stone Buddha which stands at 71 meters facing with three rivers as well as visit one of the four Buddhist Mountains in China - Mount Emei;
  • Take less than 2-hour high speed train from Chengdu to Chongqing with convenience and relaxation;
  • Enjoy 4-day downstream Yangtze River cruise from Chongqing to Yichang to appreciate gorgeous Three Gorges view along the way.

Basic Trip Information

Travel Route:
Chengdu / Leshan / Emei / Chengdu / Chongqing / Yangtze Cruise / Yichang
Travel Length:
8 Days & 7 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-CTCY-08
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
CultureHikingMountaineeringPhotographReligious
Departure:
Any day you want

Your tour - at a glance

Day 1~2 Arrival & Chengdu Panda Tour

One full day sightseeing in Chengdu covers Chengdu Panda Base, Wenshu Monastery, Renmin Park and Jinli Old Street.

Day 3~4 Leshan Giant Buddha & Mount Emei

Transfer to Leshan and Emei to visit the World Heritage Site - Leshan Giant Buddha and Mount Emei for two days.

Day 5 High Speed Train to Chongqing & Yangtze Cruise Embarkation

Take 1.5-hour high speed train to Chongqing from Chengdu and visit Chongqing Ciqikou Ancient Town and Three Gorges Museum. Board your Yangtze River cruise at Chongqing Chaotianmen Port.

Day 6~8 Yangtze River Cruise & Yichang Departure

Explore the stunning scenery along Yangtze River, such as Three Gorges, Three Gorges Dam and interesting excursions to Shibaozhai Pagoda, Shennv Stream, etc. Also relax yourself with rich activities on board. Disembark your ship in Yichang.

Full Itinerary Day by day

Day 1 Chengdu Arrival

Ni Hao! Welcome to Chengdu, the hometown of Giant Pandas. Upon arrival, your guide will meet and escort you to your hotel in Chengdu downtown in a private vehicle. The rest of today is free to explore the leisure city on your own.

Optional Activity: In the evening, you can enjoy a delicious dinner of Sichuan cuisine at a local restaurant.

  • Chengdu Hotpot The Typical Sichuan Cuisine - Chengdu Hotpot

Day 2 Chengdu (B, L)

This morning you will make a memorable visit to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. This facility is not only the most important panda scientific research center in the world, but also the home for more than 100 Giant Pandas. You will walk at leisure through the bamboo-framed paths and closely observe giant pandas of different ages eating bamboos, playing with each other, tumbling, and climbing trees. Be sure to not miss the chance to watch female pandas nursing their cubs in the nursery rooms! There is also a very informative Panda Museum where you can learn more scientific facts about Giant Pandas. Next, you will be taken to a hidden spiritual Buddhist temple in hustling downtown Chengdu, Wenshu Temple, where you will marvel at the exquisite Buddhist architecture, soak in the reverent atmosphere, and wander on the temple’s peaceful paths.

Chengdu is famous throughout China for its relaxing and leisurely pace and lifestyle, which will be demonstrated by a visit to the City’s Renmin Park. Sit down, order a pot of Chinese tea, have a casual chat with your friends and watch locals indulging themselves in different kinds of folk entertainment - napping, playing mahjong, disco dancing, and giving neck massages! Next will be an impressive visit to the famous Jinli Old Street. Time will steal away as you quietly walk on the lively streets full of delicious local snacks, delicate artifacts, interesting folk shows, and other activities.

Optional Activity: In the evening, watch a wonderful performance of Sichuan Opera which includes folk opera, face changing, fire spitting, rolling lights, and other delightful entertainment (usually performs at 20:00~21:30).

  • Giant Panda Breeding Research Base Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in Chengdu
  • Sichuan Cuisine Museum Sichuan Cuisine Museum
  • Renmin Park in Chengdu Renmin Park in Chengdu
  • Jinlin Street Jinli Old Street

Day 3 Chengdu - Leshan - Mt. Emei (B, L)

In the morning, after a two-hour drive from Chengdu, head to Leshan Giant Buddha, the largest carved statue of Buddha in the world. Sitting at the confluence of three rivers, the Giant Buddha was carved on the cliff of Lingyun Mountain, used to suppress the flood. Enjoy spectacular view of the huge statue as you walking down through the narrow staircases to the foot of the Buddha.

After visiting the Giant Buddha, move on to Mt. Emei. Located 30 minutes away from Leshan by road, Baoguo Temple is the biggest temple of the mountain, which is also the final site for today’s tour.

Stay overnight at the foot of Mt. Emei.

  • Leshan Giant Stone Buddha Leshan Giant Stone Buddha

Day 4 Mt. Emei - Chengdu (B, L)

Today is your Emei Mountain Tour. First, take an eco-car in the Scenic Area to Leidongpin and hiking to Jieyin Hall, to take a cable car up to the Golden Summit (altitude: 3077 m). At the highest peak of the mountain, you will be amazed by the awe-inspiring view of Huazhang Temple and witness the breathtaking sea of clouds if it’s sunny.

Next, go down to Wannian Temple parking lot by car. Take a cable car up to Wannian Temple at the middle of the mountain. Appreciate the most beautiful landscape of Mt. Emei in Qingyin Pavilion as you hike from Wannian Temple to Wuxiangang parking lot.

Then return to Chengdu by road from Mt. Emei.

  • Golden Summit Golden Summit of Mount Emei

Day 5 High Speed Train to Chongqing & Yangtze Cruise Embarkation (B, L)

This morning, you will be transferred to Chengdu Eastern Railway Station to take the high speed train to Chongqing (about 2hrs). Upon arrival at Chongqing Northern Railway Station, you will be met by our tour guide and then go to visit Ciqikou Ancient Town - Chongqing's old harbor and once the site of the residential houses of many of Chongqing's richest merchants.  Here you can still see exquisite Ming and Qing dynasty architecture, visit local shops and tea houses, watch local Sichuan street performances and undertake other interesting activities. After this you will be taken to the next highlight site, Three Gorges Museum, a large monographic museum presenting the history and culture of the Three Gorges Dam Project and its place in Chinese history. 

After the tour, you’ll be transferred to Chongqing Chaotianmen Port to board your cruise ship between 18:00-20:00 that evening. Your once-in-a-lifetime Yangtze River cruise sails at 21:00! (Please note: the boarding time and departure piers change based on the ship line, water level, season, weather, and other factors. Your travel consultants will ensure you have the actual departure time and boarding pier before your boarding.)

  • Chongqing Chaotianmen Port Chongqing Chaotianmen Port
  • Ciqikou Old Town Ciqikou Old Town
  • Three Gorges Museum Three Gorges Museum

Day 6 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

In the morning, wake up leisurely and enjoy the gentle sunshine shining over the tranquil and beautiful Yangtze River. It will be colorful and interesting whether you decide to stay onboard or go ashore at river stops. 

Onboard you will enjoy different kinds of activities, like practicing Tai Chi on the boat’s sundeck, drinking a relaxing morning coffee, attending a Yangtze River history and culture lecture, or taking part in the Captain’s Welcome Party and evening shows. 

Next follow a local guide and make a shore excursion to Shibaozhai Pagoda, one of the “Pearls” of the Yangtze River. A gem of Chinese architecture, this 12-story, 18th century red wooden temple on the northern bank of Yangtze River is an architectural delight full of legends and beautiful stories. (Note: Comfortable shoes are highly recommended since there will be lots of stairs to climb up!)

Optional Excursion: Take a shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City for an extra fee. Called the “City of Ghosts”, it is endowed with mysterious stories about underworld and cruel tortures and different kinds of devils and Chinese demons. Entering this ghost city, you will find many statues of demons and vivid scenes of their perfidious activities. (Note: Once again, the visit to Fengdu Ghost City requires much walking and comfortable shoes are again highly recommended!)

  • Relaxing Yangtze River Cruise A Lifetime Relaxing Yangtze River Cruise
  • Shibaozhai Pagoda Shibaozhai Pagoda

Day 7 Yangtze River Cruise (B, L, D)

Today you will sail through the spectacular Three Gorges while relaxing on the sun deck and soak up the breathtaking gorge scenery passing by as you drift through Qutang Gorge, Wu Gorge and Xiling Gorge respectively. 

In Wu Gorge you will take an enjoyable adventure to primitive Shennv Stream (Goddess Stream). Switch to a smaller boat to sail down this beautiful stream running in a narrow side gorge where you will have close-up views of high mountain peaks and hanging coffins on the steep cliff faces. After watching an entertaining music and dance show of local Tujia ethnic minority, sail back to your ship.

In the evening, you will firstly enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Party with all your mates onboard, and then watch the fascinating process of passing the ship through the Three Gorges Dam Five-stage Ship Locks at 23:00 PM.

Optional Excursion: Take a shore excursion to White Emperor City for an extra fee. Located at the entrance of Qutang Gorge, this excursion offers the best viewing spot to appreciate the magnificent Kuimen Gate. 

  • Yangtze River Cruise Yangtze River Cruise
  • Shennv Stream Shennv Stream

Day 8 Yangtze River Cruise & Yichang Disembarkation (B)

Today’s highlight is a morning excursion to Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydropower project, located at the middle of Xiling Gorge near Yichang. You will marvel at this gigantic dam from different angles, learn more of the background history of the Three Gorges Dam Project and enjoy the surrounding beautiful landscape and scenery. 

After this excursion, it is back to your ship to continue your cruise to Yichang. Your ship will arrive at Yichang Port around 12:30 where you will go through a check-out procedure and disembark. You will be picked up by our local tour guide at the port and escorted to visit the Yichang Museum.

After the tour, be transferred to the airport or train station to catch your flight or train to next destination. Service ends!

Departure Ideas: You can take flights from Yichang Sanxia Airport to Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, etc. Or you can take high speed trains from Yichang East Railway Station to Wuhan (about 2hrs), Shanghai (about 8hrs), Beijing (about 7.5hrs), Hangzhou (about 7.5hrs), Chengdu (about 7hrs), Guangzhou (about 7hrs) and more cities.

  • Three Gorges Dam Three Gorges Dam
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Recommended Add-on Options

+ 2 more days to visit the Paris of the East - Shanghai

Shanghai, regarded as the Oriental Paris, is the best place to see East-meet-West Culture, find hidden tradition within modernity.

Generally speaking, you can spend Day 1 exploring the popular landmarks of Shanghai, such as the Shanghai Museum, Yu Garden, Nanjing Road,  the Bund, and Shanghai World Financial Center Tower. The Day 2 is for you to explore deep into the city of Shanghai (such as Old French Concession, Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Center or Jade Buddha Temple) and departure.

The Bund: Famous 'Museum of Architecture'
8 Days Sichuan Yangtze Cruise Tour

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