There is a popular saying in China, ’do not visit Sichuan when you are young’, the idea being that once you visit the province you will never want to leave. Situated in the Sichuan Basin and surrounded by the Himalayas to the far west, the nearby Tibetan Plateau to the North East, and mountainous Yunnan to the south, Sichuan has historically been known as the ‘Heavenly Kingdom’, a reference to the province’s abundance of natural resources and cultural heritage. With some of Asia’s most stunning mountains, ravines, limestone caves, basins and plains, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, and home to Tibetan culture and the Giant Pandas, the province is ideal for adventure, exploration, and especially outdoor educational programs.
Chengdu- Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province with a history dating back more than 4000 years to the prehistoric Bronze Age Culture of Jinsha. Situated in a basin and surrounded by hills, Chengdu is home to the famous Panda Research Base, Sichuan Hot pot, Sichuan Opera, countless Taoism temples, the world famous Jinli Street and Tibetan communities. Chengdu features in all our Sichuan Programs, as it is the main transportation hub for heading out and exploring the province. Its rich and vibrant feel can’t help but ignite your interest in the region's unique history and culture.
Kangding- Located in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in western Sichuan province, Kandging provides the starting point for our Sichuan Himalayan treks. Part of the historical Tibetan Region of Kham and populated by both Han Chinese and Tibetans the quiet mountain town is home to several Buddhist temples, traditional Tibetan restaurants, flowing rivers and incredible mountain views. From Kangding we head higher into the Mountains and embark on multi day hiking expeditions.
Hailuogou - A unique Glacier forest park in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, the many geographical attractions make the area well suited to a variety of activities and programs. From Hailuogou we explore ancient glaciers, the grand glacier cascade, hot springs, wild animals and untouched forests and ice lakes.
Ya'an- Home to the discovery of the first Giant Panda, today Ya'an houses the world renowned Panda breeding centre. We offer the opportunity to spend a day with the researchers and scientists, see the giant pandas and learn about the breeding and conservation efforts being made to protect this animal. Ya'an is also one of the birthplaces of Tea Culture, with a tea growing history dating back to the western Han Dynasty over 2000 years ago. The area also has primitive forests, varied wildlife, rugged mountains and unspoiled streams, making it an ideal location for hiking and environment studies.
Grand Buddha - Found in Leshan in southern Sichuan, The Giant Buddha is a sight to behold. Carved out of a cliff face lying on the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers the stone carving faces Mt Emai and stands at 71 meters tall. The Giant Buddha is part of the Mt Emai scenic area and listed as a World Heritage Site.
Emei Mountain - Sitting at the western rim of the Sichuan Basin, Mt Emai is the location of the first Buddhist Temple built in China in the 1st Centaury CE. Today there are roughly 76 Buddhist monasteries on the mountain built during the Ming and Qing periods. The area not only provides fascinating Buddhist architecture and history, but also incredible natural scenery and wildlife, such as Tibetan Macaques.
Jiuzhang Valley - situated in northern Sichuan and world renowned for its turquoise lakes, multi leveled waterfalls and UNESCO status as a World Heritage Site, the Jiuzhang valley is a protected landscape that should not be be missed. Covering 720sq km the area is a broad leaf forest with mixed mountain and highland systems, home to Giant Pandas, snub nosed monkeys and plenty of endemic plant varieties. Jiuzhang is the perfect place for nature lovers and field studies alike.
Hailuo Valley - Due to the many natural attractions and unique Tibetan culture, this area is well suited to both adventure and cultural travel. From Hailuogou we can explore ancient glaciers, the grand glacier cascade, hot springs, wild animals, untouched forests and ice lakes.
Activities in Sichuan:
Kung Fu and Tai Chi
Multi day trekking & camping
Traditional Sichuan hot-pot
The Panda Research base
Moon Bear Rescue Centre
Tibetan Home stay