Sichuan is often referred to as the “Land of Abundance” and it is not difficult to understand why. Rich in natural resources and with culturally and historically sacred sites scattered amongst a diverse landscape, Sichuan is also the most populous province in China with 87 million inhabitants. Chengdu, the capital, is a memorable highlight of any tour to China. With pleasant greenery and miles and miles of enchanting backstreets bursting with typical Chinese life it is a wonderful place to explore, but the biggest draw here is undoubtedly the giant pandas of the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base. While the Wolong Panda Reserve remains closed due to the 2008 earthquake, this is the best and most humane way to get up close to one of these iconic bears.
There is much more to discover in Sichuan other than pandas. Abundant with breathtaking peaks, glistening lakes, majestic waterfalls, lush forests and a plethora of temples and monasteries, the Sichuan countryside is a truly magnificent place to explore and unlike anywhere else in the world.
Kill two birds with one stone with a visit to atmospheric city of Leshan from where you can easily reach the sacred Mt Emeishan. Leshan is home to the Grand Buddha – carved into a cliff face and standing at a whopping 71m tall, it is the largest Buddha in the world and a must-see if you’re visiting the Sichuan province. While the magnificent Mt Emeishan makes for a truly unforgettable hike with its spectacular, undulating scenery and plethora of ancient temples.
Famous the world over, there is no better place to sample Sichuan cuisine than in Sichuan itself. With countless authentic restaurants in its cities, towns and villages, particularly the capital of Chengdu, there is no excuse to miss out on the wonderful Sichuan dishes characterized by their pungent and spicy varieties of flavour.