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.
Following the pandas, you will drive 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 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. If you want to save time, you can take the 30 minutes’ sightseeing boat to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Giant Buddha on the river.
Lastly, drive back to your hotel in Chengdu.
Recommended Optional 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).