Join this 6-day tour to discover the natural beauty and cultural diversity of western Sichuan. Your adventure begins with a visit to Mt. Siguniang, one of China’s most breathtaking mountains, where you’ll hike through its picturesque valleys. Encounter the adorable giant pandas at Shenshuping Panda Base and gain insights into their conservation initiatives.
Immerse yourself in the authentic Tibetan lifestyle and culture as you explore their villages, monasteries, and vast grasslands. The tour offers a chance to witness the vibrant hues of autumn foliage in the enchanting settings of Xinduqiao and Mugecuo. Finally, experience the fascinating contrast between the ancient and modern facets of Chengdu, rounding off a journey that seamlessly weaves together nature, wildlife, and cultural exploration.
2. See the giant pandas in their natural habitat at Shenshuping Panda Base.
3. Visit Jiaju and Suopo Tibetan Villages, and experience the Tibetan culture and lifestyle, explore their monasteries, and grasslands.
4. Capture the stunning autumn scenery of Xinduqiao and Mugecuo with golden leaves, clear lakes, and snowy mountains.
5. Experience the vast and beautiful Tagong Grassland, and see the yaks, sheep, and nomads. Ride a horse (optional), visit the Tagong Monastery, and admire the sacred Mt. Yala.
- Day 1: Chengdu to Siguniangshan Town (L)Shenshuping Panda Base, Balang Mountain, Maobiliang Ridge
Your journey kicks off with our guide and driver fetching you from your Chengdu hotel at approximately 8:00 am. Settle in for a captivating 4-5 hour drive from Chengdu to Mt. Siguniang.
As you traverse the picturesque route, make a stop at the Shenshuping Panda Base, aka Wolong Panda Center. This newly established panda center opened its doors in 2016 within the Wolong National Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province, China. Distinguished as the world's largest breeding center for giant pandas, it currently houses over 30 captive pandas. The primary objectives of the base are to protect, breed, and reintroduce pandas into their natural habitat. Visitors have the unique opportunity to observe pandas in their natural surroundings and gain insights into the conservation efforts aimed at preserving these remarkable creatures.
After the panda visit, journey through Balang Mountain, a high-altitude pass that unveils breathtaking views of surrounding peaks and valleys. With elevations exceeding 4000 meters, prepare for the altitude shift.
Pause at Maobiliang Ridge, a viewing point offering a stunning panorama of Mt. Siguniang's four snow-capped peaks, also known as the “Four Sisters” or the “Oriental Alps”. Capture some remarkable photos before proceeding to Siguniangshan Town for your overnight stay.
Accommodation: Siguniangshan Town
- Day 2: Shuangqiao Valley Sightseeing (B)Mt. Siguniang: Shuangqiao Valley
Commence your exploration of Mt. Siguniang with a visit to Shuangqiao Valley after breakfast. This valley, the most accessible and scenic among the three, will be explored via a sightseeing bus. Revel in alpine landscapes featuring meadows, forests, waterfalls, lakes, and glaciers. Along the route, encounter Tibetan villages and temples.
The sightseeing bus halts at various points of interest, allowing you to disembark and explore. Highlights include the Sun and Moon Gallery, a narrow gorge with a streaming watercourse; the Seabuckthorn Forest, a golden sea of berries attracting numerous birds; Hunter’s Peak, a pointed rock resembling a hunter’s hat; and the Yinyang Valley, a play of light and dark hues on the mountain slopes.
After Shuangqiao Valley sightseeing, return to the hotel in Siguniangshan Town.
Accommodation: Siguniangshan Town
- Day 3: Siguniangshan Town - Hike Changping or Haizi Valley (B)Mt. Siguniang: Changping Valley or Haizi Valley hiking
Start your day with a satisfying breakfast before delving into an exciting hiking experience. You have the option to explore either Changping Valley or Haizi Valley, with each trail taking a little over half a day. Choose one that resonates with your interests for today's adventure.
Changping Valley, positioned in the middle and celebrated as the most popular of the three valleys, offers a classic one-day hiking trail. This route unfolds along a wooden boardwalk for the initial 7 kilometers, showcasing a variety of natural wonders such as streams, waterfalls, caves, and distinctive rock formations. Moreover, you'll have the opportunity to admire the majestic Mt. Siguniang from different vantage points. Although the entire valley spans 29 kilometers, you can decide to turn back at any point.
On the other hand, Haizi Valley, situated on the right and recognized as the most primitive of the three, presents a wild and adventurous hiking trail. This path takes you past several high-altitude lakes, including Dahaizi Lake, Huahaizi Lake, and Baihai Lake, offering glimpses of glaciers, moraines, and captivating rock formations. Like Changping Valley, you have the flexibility to turn back at any point along the 19.2-kilometer trail.
Following the hiking excursion, you will be guided to Danba County for an overnight stay.
Accommodation: in Danba County
- Day 4: Danba - Tagong - Xinduqiao (B, L)Jiaju Tibetan Village, Suopo Village, Tagong Grassland, Tagong Monastery
Begin your day with a hearty breakfast before immersing yourself in the charm of Jiaju Tibetan Village, hailed as one of China's most picturesque villages. Take in the mesmerizing sight of Tibetan stone houses adorned with crown-shaped roofs and vibrant decorations from the elevated view decks. Delve deeper into the Tibetan culture and lifestyle by getting up close to the houses. For those interested, an opportunity awaits to visit a local Tibetan home and experience their warm hospitality.
Next on the itinerary is Suopo Village, where you'll encounter an array of ancient watchtowers constructed by the Gyarong Tibetans. Learn about the rich history and legends surrounding these enigmatic structures, which once served as fortresses and beacons.
Embark on a leisurely walk and exploration of Tagong Grassland, a sprawling plateau with panoramic views of the snow-capped Mount Yala. Pay a visit to Tagong Monastery, a sacred Buddhist site housing a replica of the Jowo Sakyamuni Buddha statue. Join pilgrims in spinning prayer wheels and marvel at the Tibetan stupas.
For those seeking an extra thrill on Tagong Grassland, consider renting a horse from a herdsman for an adventurous exploration of the grassland on horseback. Feel the breeze and embrace the freedom as you ride through the idyllic scenery.
Following the grassland escapade, a scenic drive awaits, taking you to Xinduqiao, a quaint town celebrated as a haven for photographers. Check into your hotel and savor the remaining day at your leisure.
- Day 5: Xinduqiao - Kangding (B, L)Xinduqiao, Mugecuo Scenic Area
Begin your day with a satisfying breakfast before venturing to Xinduqiao, a picturesque small town situated approximately 78 kilometers west of Kangding City. The drive takes about 2 hours, offering a scenic journey to a destination renowned as "A World with Lights and Shadow" and deemed "A Paradise for Photographers." Xinduqiao stands as a must-visit location during your Kangding Sichuan travel. Enchant yourself with views of golden poplar trees, meandering streams, and Tibetan villages along the route. Capture the perfect shots that play with light and shadow on the land.
Following your exploration of Xinduqiao, proceed to Mugecuo Scenic Area, also recognized as Kangding Love Song Scenic Area. Spanning approximately 300 square kilometers, this expansive and diverse natural park encompasses lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, forests, flowers, peaks, and rocks. Beyond its natural beauty, it holds cultural and historical significance as the birthplace of the famous Kangding Love Song and serves as a sacred site for Tibetans. Hop on the sightseeing bus to traverse the park and revel in its stunning vistas. Highlights include the Wild Man Lake, Rhododendron Valley, Boiling Springs, and the Seven-Color Lake.
After the immersive sightseeing experience, make your way to Kangding City, the capital of Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Check into your hotel for a restful night.
Accommodation: Kangding City
- Day 6: Kangding - Chengdu Departure (B)
Savor a final breakfast before making your way back to Chengdu. Opt for independent exploration in Chengdu or have your driver transfer you to the airport or train station for your departure.