Xi’an, as one of the Four Great Ancient Capital Cities in China, boasts many famous tourist attractions including Terracotta warriors and horses, Bell & Drum Tower Square, and so on, which has appealed to more and more visitors here. Chengdu, as the birthplace of the giant panda, also has become a must-visit destination for many foreigners, visitors come here for the lovely panda, authentic Sichuan cuisine, and Leshan Giant Buddha. Take this 5-day Xian-Chengdu Classic Tour to appreciate all the highlights in these two amazing cities.
2. Take a close encounter with the lovely baby pandas in Research Center of Giant Panda Breeding.
3. Be amazed by the largest stone-carved Buddha in the world–Leshan Giant Buddha, known as “a mountain is a Buddha, and a Buddha is a mountain”.
4. Challenge your taste bud to enjoy the real Sichuan cuisine.
5. Shocked by the grand Terracotta Warriors and Horses to explore the long history of Xian.
6. Visit Xi’an Ancient City Wall which is the largest city wall in China.
- Day 1: Xian ArrivalXian Ancient City Wall, Bell & Drum Tower Square, Muslim Quarter.
Take the morning flight to get to Xi'an. Upon arrival, our local tour guide and the driver will pick you up on time, go to have lunch, and then start the half-day tour in Xi'an.
You will start your tour at the Xian Ancient City Wall, a marvel of preservation and the country's largest city wall, erected for military defense in 1370 A.D. during the Ming Dynasty. A cycling option allows visitors to circumnavigate the city on a bike (optional, cost on your own, CNY45 per person). Subsequently, explore the Bell & Drum Tower Square, centrally situated and symbolic of this ancient capital. This historic square, at the heart of the city, presents a captivating blend of cultural significance and architectural grandeur, providing a glimpse into Xian's rich heritage.
Finally, take a walk in the Muslim Quarter to meet lots of local food and snacks. Then transfer to the hotel and check in.
- Day 2: Xi’an – Chengdu by High Speed TrainTerra-cotta Warriors and Horses.
Our driver will pick you up from your hotel in the morning. First, you will visit the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses, renowned as "the Eighth Wonders of the World" due to their remarkably intricate sculptures. Situated 30 km east of Xian City, this site was uncovered in 1974 by local farmers drilling a well. The museum encompasses Pit 1 (the largest pit), Pit 2, Pit 3, and a chariots and horses exhibition hall. Spend 2-3 immersive hours guided by an expert, unraveling the hidden narratives behind these life-sized sculptures and delving into the history of their creator: the First Emperor of Qin, also China's inaugural emperor.
After lunch, transfer to Xi'an North Train Station and take the afternoon high-speed train to Chengdu. Upon arrival, you will meet our local driver and then transfer to your hotel in Chengdu.
- Day 3: Chengdu – Mt. EmeiLeshan Giant Buddha, Emei Mountain.
Today you are going to admire the tallest stone Buddha in the world, Leshan Giant Buddha. It took 90 years for three generations of craftsmen to accomplish this 71-meter-high statue. There is more to it than what you see with your eyes. For example, there are 1,051 buns of curly hair on the head of the Buddha, and it has an invisible irrigation system just behind its ears and head. Your knowledgeable tour guide will share the history and some fascinating stories of the colossal Buddha. Please note that it involves lots of stairs. Highly recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes and watch your steps.
Friendly Tips: There are 2 ways to visit the Leshan Giant Buddha, one is climbing up the mountain, and one is taking a cruise along the river to take far view of it. Climbing up the mountain was included in the package as most tourists said this way is better. Taking a cruise is optional. If you would like to take a cruise instead of climbing up the mountain, or if you want to try both these 2 ways, just ask your tour guide for assistance.
After visiting the Leshan Giant Buddha, drive to Emei Mountain. Stay overnight at the foot of Emei Mountain and get well-prepared for tomorrow's hiking over there.
- Day 4: Mt Emei – ChengduBaoguo Temple, Jieyin Hall, Golden Summit.
After breakfast, your driver will meet you at your hotel lobby and take you to the stunning Emei Mountain. Famous as both world natural heritage and world cultural heritage, it attracts numerous visitors every year for hiking, photography, and profound Buddhist culture. It is also home to more than 3200 plant species and over 2,300 animal species.
You will explore the beautiful Baoguo Temple first which is just located at the foot of the mountain. There were more than 100 temples in the past, but only 30 of them are left now and well maintained. You will follow your tour guide to appreciate the architectural beauty, learn the ancient history behind it, and admire the unique porcelain Buddha statue which was made in the well-known porcelain capital Jingdezhen in the Ming Dynasty.
After lunch, you will take a sightseeing bus to Leidongping, walk for about 30 minutes to Jieyin Hall, and then hop on a cable car up to Golden Summit. If you are lucky, you will see the fantastic sea of clouds. There is a majestic golden statue of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva which is regarded as the symbol of the mountain. You might be curious how the Buddha statue was built on such a high peak.
After enjoying the breathtaking scenery, you will take the cable car down to Leidongping and then go down the mountain by a sightseeing bus. Please note to hide your food in your bag because there are many monkeys on the mountain which can be quite aggressive sometimes.
After the fantastic hiking, drive back to the Chengdu hotel.
- Day 5: Chengdu DepartureChengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, Wenshu Temple, Kuanzhai Alley.
At around 08:30, our driver will pick you up from the Chengdu downtown hotel, and your amazing exploration will begin!
The first scenic site will be the exciting Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, which is well known for the protection and breeding of the endangered giant pandas which are unique to China. The base is a highlight for most visitors to Chengdu. There are adorable pandas everywhere. You can watch them eating bamboo, playing with each other, and of course, sleeping. Your tour guide will navigate you through the huge area, share some information about the pandas, and help you take amazing photos.
After lunch, continue your visit to Wenshu Temple which was built in the Sui Dynasty with a long history. The temple is still operating and frequented by local people who come to pray and relax themselves. It is a good place to come to know Buddhism. You can have a nice stroll around the pleasant garden and take photos of the wonderful ancient architecture.
Afterward, go to explore the local food and culture in Kuanzhai Alley, which has a long history and dates back to the Qing Dynasty. Now the old alleys have been converted into one of the top attractions in Chengdu. Strolling along the streets, you still can see many well-preserved Qing Dynasty buildings. In addition to appreciating the traditional architecture, you also can savor some local delicacies. As a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, Chengdu will surprise you with its delicious food.
After the tour finishes, transfer to the airport and catch a night flight back to your sweet home.