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8 Days Best of Sichuan with Yangtze Cruise Tour

Highlighted Sichuan & Yangtze

1

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

Price:
from $1000
  1. 1. This price is for one person, based on a group of 2 adults sharing one double-bed room in 4-star hotel and traveling in low seasons;
  2. 2. This price is subject to change according your traveling season, group size, hotel class, change of activities and possible fluctuation of currency exchange rate.
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:
ArchitectureCulture
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 stirring visit to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding which is not only the most important panda scientific research center, but also dwelling home to more than 100 Giant Pandas. Walk at leisure through the bamboo framed paths, and closely observe giant pandas of different ages eating bamboos, playing with each other, tumbling, climbing trees, etc. Don't miss the chance to visit the most adorable panda cubs in the panda kindergartens. If you are lucky, you may be able to see the precious panda babies in the nursery rooms. There is also a very informative Panda Museum where you can learn more scientific facts about Giant Pandas.

Leaving the panda center, you will be taken to a hidden spiritual Buddhist temple in the bustling downtown of Chengdu - Wenshu Temple. Marvel at the exquisite Buddhist architecture, soak in the reverent atmosphere, and wander on the peaceful paths. Adjacent to the monastery is a small bazaar (Wenshufang) where you can enjoy a leisure stroll through to experience local market and living style.

Chengdu is famous for its relaxing and leisure pace throughout China, which will be proved after a stay in Renmin Park. Sit down, order a pot of Chinese tea, make a casual chat with your friends and watching locals indulging themselves in different kinds of folk entertainment - napping in a lively teahouse, playing mahjong, disco dancing, neck massage, ear cleaning... Next is an impressive trip to the famous Jinli Old Street. Time steals away from you quietly while walking on the lively streets which are full of delicious local snacks, delicate artifacts, interesting folk shows, etc.

At the end, your guide will escort you to your hotel.

Recommended Optional Evening Activities: 1) enjoy a delicious dinner of Sichuan cuisine (or hotpot) at a local restaurant; 2) watch a wonderful performance of Sichuan Opera which includes folk opera, face changing, fire spitting, rolling lights, and other delightful entertainment (usually performs during 20:00~21:30).

  • Giant Panda Breeding Research Base Giant Panda Breeding Research Base in Chengdu
  • Experience Chengdu local living style in People's Park Experience Chengdu local living style in People's Park
  • Jinlin Street (Foreigner) Take an enjoyable wak in Jinli Old Street

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

In the morning, you will be picked up at your hotel, then be driven about 2 hours from Chengdu to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Leshan Giant Buddha which is the largest and tallest stone-carved statue of Buddha in the world. It was carved during AD713~803 on a mountain rock cliff by the river, with its head reaching to the mountain top and its feet standing next to the river. The total height is 71m; while the head is 14.7m high and 10m wide, ear is 7meters high, 28 meters between knees and insteps. Its insteps can hold over a hundred people. You may be wondering why such a giant Buddha was built? It is said to have been built to calm the turbulent waters that plagued passing boats and killed many people each year in ancient time. On the right cliff of the Giant Buddha, there is a plank road built along with the Giant Buddha. From the top to foot, the plank road has nine turns, thus it’s called Nine Bends Plank Road. The widest part of the road is 1.45m and the narrowest part is only 0.6m, and there are 217 stone steps in total. You will walk down to the feet of the Giant Buddha for a closer view. Please note you may have to queue up to enter the stone stairway if you visit the Giant Buddha during the busy hours.

After the Giant Buddha visit, drive about 45mins to Baoguo Temple, the biggest temple of Mount Emei at the mountain foot. It has several serene gardens with rare plants, a library of sutras and a huge porcelain Buddha. Another famous historical relic in the temple is the 25-ton bronze Bell, reputedly as the second largest bell in China. While traveling deeper into the temple, you will enjoy different views of Mount Emei.

Lastly, drive to check in your hotel. Have a good rest for tomorrow's Mount Emei trip which has some walkings involved.

Recommended Optional Activity: take a 30 minutes’ sightseeing boat to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Giant Buddha on the river.

  • Leshan Giant Buddha in summer Leshan Giant Buddha in summer
  • Baoguo Temple at the foot of Mount Emei Baoguo Temple at the foot of Mount Emei

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

This morning after breakfast, meet your tour guide and set out for Mount Emei. As one of the few World Heritage Sites of both cultural and natural heritages, Mount Emei is an enchanted combination of lush forest and cultural relics. It is one of the Four Great Buddhist Mountains in China, also the home to 5000 kinds of plants (more than the total species in Europe) and over 2300 kinds of wild animals.

You will first take your private car to the tourist center, then shift on to an Eco-Bus which will take you up to the mountain top area in 1.5~2 hours. Once you reaching at Leidongping (2400m), keep on walking about 30mins along stone steps to the cable car station, along which you will have chance to see the wild monkeys. Take a cable car (about 5mins) up to the Golden Summit (3077m) which is the biggest highlight and very essence of Mount Emei. Once you get to the Golden Summit, the first view appearing in front of you is a towering multi-faced golden statue (48m) of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. Next to the golden statue sits the bronze Huangzang Temple which is the first temple established on Mount Emei whose history can be traced back to 1st century CE. You can stroll around the Golden Summit to explore Buddhist architecture and tradition, and enjoy panoramic view of Mount Emei and surrounding. On clear days, you can even see the snow-clad of Mount Gongga (7556m), Asia’s largest table mountain - Wawu Mountain and winding rivers flowing through Emeishan city. If weather permits, you will have luck to enjoy its magnificent wonder of Cloud Sea. Sightsee around 1.5 hours on the Golden Summit area, then descend by cable car to Leidoping and take Eco-Bus again back to the tourist center. Your private car is ready to transfer you back to Chengdu (about 1.5~2hrs).

Read this if you are a hiking lover:

Above itinerary is classic visit route which is suitable for different ages of tourists. If you want more hiking experience during your trip, please contact your travel consultant to tailor-make the hiking routes according to your time and physical condition. There are routes of 2 hours (Qingyin Pavilion to Wannian Temple), 4 hours (Qingyin Pavilion to Wannian Temple + Leidongping to Golden Summit), one day (Wannian Temple to Leidongping) and 2 days (Qingyin Pavilion to Golden Summit) available.

  • Golden Summit Golden Summit of Mount Emei
  • Stunning scenery of Cloud Sea on Golden Summit Stunning scenery of Cloud Sea on Golden Summit
  • Our dear clients from Singapore on Golden Summit of Mount Emei Our dear clients from Singapore on 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 enjoy the Captain’s Farewell Party as well as dancing show with all your mates onboard to spend a wonderful night.

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)

After breakfast, you’ll begin to check out and disembark at Maoping Port. 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. If you like, you can take an optional experience to sail through Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift, the largest and the most sophisticated ship lift in the world, which takes only 40 minutes with fresh insight into the dam project.

After the dam visiting, you’ll take the bus arranged by the cruise company heading to Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal for leave. Here you will be pick up by our local guide and escorted to the airport or train station to catch your flight or train to next destination. Service ends!

Disembarkation Tips: No matter you take Ship Lift or not, you’ll check out and take your luggage away in this early morning. (1) Only dam visiting: you’ll take bus from Maoping Port to Three Gorges Dam for sightseeing, and then arrive at Yichang downtown around 12:30. (2) Dam & Ship Lift Experience: travelers who are interested in Ship Lift will first switch to a sightseeing boat to sail through the Ship Lift and then visit Three Gorges Dam Site. You’ll arrive at Yichang downtown around 13:30.

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
  • Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift Three Gorges Dam Ship Lift
  • Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal Yichang Three Gorges Center Cruise Terminal
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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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