The province of Sichuan, which literally means “four rivers” (in Chinese characters 四川; 四 = four 川 = river), had been on my bucket list since the day I tried my first Dan Dan Mian (noodle dish with spicy and preserved vegetables, minced pork, Sichuan Pepper, and chili oils).
Sichuan is not only a province with many tourist attractions, breathtaking landscapes, and delicious food (spicy and spiced), but it is also the place where you can see pandas.
Personally, I recommend spending at least one week in Sichuan, even if the ideal length of time would be 10 days … there are so many things to see and do (and of course to eat!). If time permits, I recommend including the Yunnan province as well, considering its proximity to Sichuan.
Take a look below to see my recommended Sichuan itinerary:
Chengdu is the capital of the Sichuan province, but is also known as the city of pandas. In fact, the area around Chengdu hosts the most important panda reserve.
Click here to find out more about pandas in Chengdu as well as important tips about visiting its panda reserve.
Leshan is a small town near Chengdu. You can reach Leshan from Chengdu in 2 ways: by bus or by train. I recommend traveling to Leshan by train; the journey takes one hour and the ticket costs between 50 and 60 yuan.
The main attraction of Leshan is certainly the Giant Buddha, but if you have enough time, you can also hike to Mount Emei.
Visit the Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve
Before I visited the Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve, I thought that those wonderful colors that I had seen in photos were actually the result of Photoshop and I never really expected to be surrounded by such beauty. Now I can definitely say that nowhere else in the world I ever saw the vibrant colors and spectacular natural landscapes that I had the good fortune of enjoying in Jiuzhaigou. Click here to see photos taken during my visit to this nature’s paradise (photos have not been edited in any way).
Visit the Huanglong Park
Huanglong Park, whose translation means Yellow Dragon, is an important tourist attraction and nature reserve in the Sichuan region. The Huanglong National Nature Reserve contains unspoiled ecosystems and beautiful landscapes including wild forests, canyons, and colorful lakes. Its 7.5 kilometer U-shaped valley is set between high hills and snow-capped mountains, travertine waterfalls and limestone peaks, ranging in altitude between 3,578 meters and 2,200 meters. The park is the natural habitat for two endangered species: the Giant Panda and the Golden Sichuan Monkey. However, due to the size of the park and the number of tourists, the chances of actually seeing them are very slim.