9 Days Silk Road Tour with Chengdu Panda & Giant Buddha

Cultural Feast in Sichuan & along Silk Road

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Talking about Chengdu, people think about Panda. Yes, but actually there are more to explore. Leshan Giant Buddha and Mount Emei, for instance, are known for their majestic and breathtaking landscapes. Having a taste of casual life and spicy food in Chengdu is far more enough, making a trip from Xian to walk along the ancient Silk Road will be fantastic to enrich your China Tour.

Highlights of this tour:

  • Several most important World Heritage Sites in China - “Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area”, “Terracotta Warriors - Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor”, “Mogao Caves”, “Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor”, as well as “Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries”;
  • Awesome experience with interesting activities – panda feeding, Mount Emei hiking, Xian Ancient City Wall cycling, Echoing Sand Mountains surfing…

Basic Trip Information

Price:
from Request
  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 / Xian / Dunhuang
Travel Length:
9 Days & 8 Nights
Tour Code:
CD-CTCS-09
Group Size:
You, your family, friends or group
Experience:
ArchitectureCultureHikingMountaineeringReligious
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 5~6 High Speed Train to Xian & Xian Tour

Visit Jinsha Site Museum to know the mysterious Shu Kingdom before take a high speed train to Xian, the ancient heart of China. Take one and half day to explore Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Ancient City Wall, Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Muslim Quarter.

Day 7~9 Fly to Dunhuang & Dunhuang Tour

Spend about two days visiting the famous World Heritage Site Mogao Grottoes, then enjoy the beautiful desert landscape at Echoing Sand Mountains and Crescent Lake, as well as Yadan National Geologic Park.

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 - Emei (B)

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)

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 Huazang 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 Chengdu & High Speed Train to Xian (B, L)

After breakfast, take a meaningful visit to Jinsha Site Museum. Constructed on the Jinsha ruin site which reveals the unique bronze civilization of the mysterious ancient Shu Kingdom (approximately 2900 – 3200 years ago), Jinsha Site Museum conserves the original expansive site for sacrifice as well as numerous ivory tusks and gold artifacts, including the symbol of China Culture Heritage - the Gold Sun and Immortal Bird.

After the tour, you’ll be escorted to Chengdu East Railway Station for a high speed train to Xian (about 3.5~4 hours). Upon arrival at Xian North Railway Station, you will be met by local guide and then transferred to your hotel in Xian downtown. The rest of today is free on your own to explore this ancient capital of China.

  • Jisha Relic Museum Jisha Site Museum

Day 6 Xian (B, L)

After breakfast, drive about 40km to discover one of the greatest man-made wonders in the world - the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, built by the first emperor of China Qin Shihuang to protect him in his afterlife. Over 8,000 life-size warriors, horses and chariots, buried in 3 pits for more than 2,000 years until uncovered by a local farmer in 1974, form an ancient military army with complete battle units of infantry, cavalry, etc. Standing in front of these figures, one can’t help being amazed not only by the ambition of Emperor Qin Shihuang but also by the fabulous artistic skills of ancient Chinese artisans.

After lunch, return back to Xian to take a wonderful stroll on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China. Enjoy panoramic views of modern Xian and walk leisurely on the well-maintained city wall which is 12 meters high and 18 meters wide with a total circle of nearly 14 kilometers. This visit is followed by a relaxing wander around bustling and lively Muslim Quarter, a place where you can try different local snacks and explore Muslim culture.

Optional activities: 1) Take a relaxing cycling on the Ancient City Wall; 2) Enjoy a wonderful Tang Palace Dance Show (usually from 8pm to 9pm) after a hearty dumpling dinner at a local restaurant.

  • Witness the countless Terracotta Warriors Witness the countless Terracotta Warriors
  • Ancient City Wall Ancient City Wall
  • Muslim Snack Street Muslim Community

Day 7 Xian & Flight to Dunhuang (B)

After breakfast, head to Da Cien Temple, a famous Buddhist sutra translation site during the Tang Dynasty. Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous building in the temple. The pagoda, rising to a height of 64.5 meters, was built by the famous Buddhist master Xuanzang to preserve classic scriptures he bought back from India during the early Tang Dynasty. Xuanzang was the prototype character for Tang Seng in the famous Chinese novel “Journey to the West”. (Note: It costs an extra 30 RMB if you want to climb up the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.)

After the visit, your guide escorts you to the airport to take a 2 and a half hours' flight to Dunhuang. After arrival, met by local tour guide and transferred to check in  your hotel in Dunhuang.

In the afternoon, visit the magic Echoing Sand Mountains and Crescent Lake. In the sunny days, the sand mountains echo like Orchestra music even if there is no wind. If you slide from the sand mountains, you can hear the echoing sound clearly. Crescent Lake is a beautiful oasis with some well decorated traditional Chinese architecture, some trees and flowers and a lake that has never dried up.

  • Crescent Lake in Dunhuang Crescent Lake in Dunhuang
  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Day 8 Dunhuang (B, L)

After breakfast, you will be taken to explore the remote wild Gobi desert landscape as well as several legendary historical sites. Drive westwards about 100km, you will firstly arrive at Yumen Pass (Jade Gate Pass) which used to be a military defensive pass as well as an important border for international trading along the ancient Silk Road. It is said that the jadewares from West were imported to China through this gate, which is how the name Yumen was given. About 5 km from Yumen Pass is the Ruin of Great Wall of Han Dynasty which was built to fight against Xiongnu in the ancient time. Keep driving more 80 km, you will get to Yardang National Geologic Park. It is also called Devil City in that you will hear the sound just like the devil screaming when the strong wind goes through the desert. The park is featured Yardand landforms in distinct shapes like Mongolian Bao, Stone Bird, Peacock and others. Make full use of your imagination, you may find some rocks with some miniatures similar to famed architectures, like the Potala Palace in Tibet, Heaven Temple in Beijing or something else.

Leave Yardang National Geologic Park, and drive along the coming way back to Dunhuang. On route, you will take a side trip to visit Yangguan Pass which was the gate to another branch of ancient Silk Road.

Tips: 1) Pack some food and water for the long driving on the desert; 2) get fully prepared for the strong sunlight and high temperatures in the daytime.

  • Yardang National Geopark Yardang National Geopark

Day 9 Dunhuang & Dunhuang Departure (B)

After breakfast, drive about 10kkm from the Dunhuang city to visit the newly opened Mogao Grottoes Digital Exhibition Center before go to Mogao Grottoes. You will watch two well-produced educational documentary movies that introduce the history, arts, and other facts about Mogao Grottoes, which will be very helpful when you visit the grottoes. After the movies, take the interzonal bus to Mogao Grottoes.

Mogao Grottoes is famed as the “Louvre of East”, which is outstanding for its exquisite mural paintings and statues. There are now 492 grottoes in which about 45000 square meters mural paintings and 2100 colorfully painted statues from which you can trace the development of Chinese art over 1600 years from one dynasty to the next because each dynasty built own caves to record its own features. 

Your tour is about to end, and your tour guide will see you off at the airport/train station.

Tips:

1. During peak seasons (May to October), there are usually a lot of visitors to Mogao Caves, so it is recommended to make a reservation in advance for at least 7 days. 2. If you want to see the Special Caves (excluded in the regular visit, and only open for limited individual visitors or small groups with reservations), you can contact our travel consultants or your tour guide to arrange for you, but you have to pay extra admission fee for each cave. 3. It is not allowed to take photos inside grottoes.

  • the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang
  • Mogao Caves Mogao Caves
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