This 8-day tour will take you to explore the natural beauty and cultural diversity of Sichuan province. Your adventure begins with a visit to the breathtaking Mt. Siguniang, the largest and highest mountain in western China, where scenic valley hikes await. Immerse yourself in the Tibetan culture and lifestyle as you explore the unique stone houses and visit the sacred Tagong Monastery in Danba and Tagong. Marvel at the world’s largest stone-carved Buddha in Leshan, a testament to ancient craftsmanship, and ascend to the Golden Summit of Mt. Emei, one of China’s revered Buddhist mountains. This tour promises a harmonious blend of nature’s wonders and cultural treasures, providing a truly immersive experience in the heart of Sichuan.
2. Immerse yourself in Tibetan culture in Danba and Tagong, marveling at unique stone houses and visiting the sacred Tagong Monastery.
3. Witness the world’s largest stone-carved Buddha in Leshan, appreciating ancient craftsmanship and cultural significance.
4. Ascend to Mt. Emei’s Golden Summit for stunning views and a spiritual connection at the historic Huangzang Temple.
5. Experience the picturesque landscapes of Tagong Grassland, discovering Tibetan monasteries and the nomadic lifestyle.
- Day 1: Arrival in Chengdu
Upon your arrival at the airport or train station, we'll pick you up and take you to your hotel. The day is yours to explore Chengdu at your own pace.
Accommodation: in Chengdu
- Day 2: Chengdu to Mt. Siguniang (B, L)Mt. Siguniang, Balong Mountain, Maobiliang Ridge, Shuangqiao Valley
After breakfast, embark on a scenic drive from Chengdu to Mt. Siguniang, covering approximately 205km in about 4 hours. As you traverse the Balong Mountain, a natural boundary between the Sichuan Basin and Tibetan Plateau, relish the changing landscapes of mountains and valleys.
Make a picturesque visit at Maobiliang Ridge, a viewing platform offering a panoramic vista of Mt. Siguniang's four peaks. The highest peak, Yaomei Feng, stands at an impressive 6,250m above sea level, ranking as the second-highest mountain in Sichuan.
Continue the journey to Shuangqiao Valley, the most accessible and developed valley of Mt. Siguniang. Explore the alpine scenery on a sightseeing bus, marveling at snow-capped mountains, glaciers, lakes, meadows, and forests. Along the way, catch glimpses of Tibetan villages and temples.
After the visit, we'll escort you to your hotel in Siguniangshan Town, a charming town at the base of Mt. Siguniang. Take a leisurely stroll around the town and soak in its peaceful atmosphere.
Accommodation: in Siguniangshan Town
- Day 3: Siguniangshan - Choose Your Valley Hike (B)Changping Valley or Haizi Valley Hiking
Kickstart your day with a hearty breakfast, gearing up for an exciting hiking adventure. Today, you have the option to explore Changping Valley or Haizi Valley. Given that each hike requires a bit over half a day, you'll need to decide on just one for today.
Both valleys promise breathtaking landscapes featuring snow-capped peaks, glaciers, lakes, meadows, and forests. Along the way, you'll encounter Tibetan villages and temples, adding cultural charm to your journey. Keep in mind that the hiking distance and difficulty levels vary based on the route you choose.
Changping Valley, the closest to capturing the stunning presence of Mount Siguniang, is the most established choice for a classic one-day hike. Starting at Lama Temple, approximately 7km from the entrance gate, a 7-kilometer wooden trail leads to Xiaganhaizi, a picturesque lake surrounded by mountains. The trek from Lama Temple to Xiaganhaizi takes about 2-3 hours. From there, you can opt to return to the entrance gate or extend your hike to Lianghekou, a grassland offering a splendid view of Mount Siguniang. The round-trip hiking distance from Lama Temple to Lianghekou is around 34km, taking approximately 8-10 hours.
Haizi Valley, on the other hand, stands out as a more primitive option, providing the optimal vantage point for capturing the mountain's charming allure. This valley boasts the highest average altitude, exceeding 4,000m. Your trek in Haizi Valley begins at the entrance gate, roughly 10km from Siguniangshan Town. You can take a sightseeing bus to the valley's end, where the Five-color Lake awaits—a crystal-clear lake reflecting the blue sky and white clouds. The return hike to the entrance gate follows the valley and includes encounters with other scenic lakes such as Swan Lake, Black Lake, and Yellow Lake. The round-trip hiking distance from the entrance gate to the Five-color Lake is approximately 28km, taking around 6-8 hours.
Once you've completed your chosen hike, we'll transfer you back to your hotel in Siguniangshan Town.
Accommodation: Overnight stay in Siguniangshan Town
- Day 4: Siguniangshan Town to Danba (B, L)Jiaju Tibetan Village
Following breakfast, begin your journey to Danba County, covering approximately 110km in about 3 hours. Renowned as the "Kingdom of Thousand Ancient Fortresses" and the "Beauty Valley," Danba boasts unique architecture and a rich cultural heritage.
Upon arrival, head to Jiaju Tibetan Village, which is situated 8km northwest of Danba County. This village was named “the Most Beautiful Village in China” by Chinese National Geographic in 2005, and it is a rich center of Jiarong Tibetan culture. You will be amazed by the hundreds of Tibetan-style houses that are scattered along the hills and fields. You can either admire the Tibetan stone houses from high platforms or get closer to appreciate their beauty. For a deeper cultural understanding, you can also visit a local Tibetan family and learn about their traditions and habits.
After the visit, proceed to Danba County for an overnight stay.
Accommodation: in Danba County
- Day 5: Danba to Tagong (B, L)Suopo Village, Tagong, Tagong Monastery, Tagong Grassland
Start your day with breakfast and a visit to Suopo Village, a Tibetan village renowned for its ancient watchtowers. These stone towers, standing over 60 meters (197 feet) tall and built between the 13th and 20th centuries, served various purposes such as defense, worship, and storage. Take in the unique architecture and delve into the history and culture of the local community.
Next, embark on a drive to Tagong, a small town nestled in the historical Kham region of Tibet. Tagong is celebrated for its Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and scenic grasslands, offering opportunities for hiking, horse-riding, and experiencing Tibetan homestays. Explore Tagong Monastery, a historic site founded in the 7th century with a fascinating legend tied to Princess Wencheng. Inside, discover a replica of the Jowo Sakya-muni Buddha statue and an impressive collection of Tibetan stupas.
Following the monastery visit, take a leisurely walk and explore Tagong Grassland, a vast meadow covering 712.37 square kilometers (275.05 square miles). Witness Tibetan nomads grazing their yaks and living in traditional black yak wool tents. Consider an optional horse ride (with extra payment), offered by local herders, to experience the nomadic lifestyle and appreciate the natural beauty of the area. Along the way, visit Tibetan villages and temples.
Conclude the day with a drive to your hotel in Tagong.
Accommodation: in Tagong
- Day 6: Tagong to Xinduqiao to Leshan City (B, L)Xinduqiao, Zheduo Mountain
Enjoy breakfast before embarking on a scenic drive to Xinduqiao, a picturesque town known as "A World with Lights and Shadow" and "A Paradise for Photographers." Marvel at the stunning scenery of snow-capped mountains, rivers, bridges, and Tibetan houses. Take advantage of the opportunities to stop and capture amazing photos of the landscape.
Travel through Zheduo Mountain, a range that marks the remnants of Gongga Mountain and serves as the watershed between the Dadu River and Yalong River. It also serves as the cultural dividing line between Han and Tibetan cultures. Admire the beauty as you pass through Zheduo Pass, the first mountain pass on the road exceeding 4,000 meters in altitude, earning it the title "The First Pass of Kham."
Continue the journey to Leshan City.
Accommodation: in Leshan City
- Day 7: Leshan to Mt. Emei (B, L)Leshan Giant Buddha, Baoguo Temple
Following breakfast, your guide and driver will pick you up from the hotel and take you to the awe-inspiring Leshan Giant Buddha, the world's largest stone Buddha, crafted between 713 and 803 during the Tang dynasty. This colossal statue, standing at 71 meters (233 feet) tall with fingers measuring 8.3 meters (27 feet), is carved into a red sandstone cliff at the confluence of the Min River and Dadu River in southern Sichuan Province.
Embark on a close-up exploration starting from the mountain top, descending to the Buddha's feet. Marvel at the intricate details of the carving and feel the magnitude of the statue, with additional sights of Buddhist sculptures and murals along the way. The entire walk takes approximately an hour.
Following the close view, enjoy a unique perspective by hopping on a sightseeing boat for a 20-minute ride, providing a grand view of the Buddha and its surrounding landscape.
Next, head to Baoguo Temple, a former Mahayana Buddhist temple located at the foot of Mount Emei. Situated about 10 km from the city of Emeishan, the temple dates back to the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220 AD) and has been rebuilt and expanded in later dynasties. Explore its halls, pagodas, and Buddhist library, with the remarkable 14-story bronze Huayan Pagoda, housing various Buddhist relics and scriptures, standing out.
After the temple visit, transfer to your hotel at the foot of Mt. Emei.
Accommodation: At the foot of Mt. Emei
- Day 8: Mt. Emei to Chengdu Departure (B, L)Mt. Emei, Golden Summit, Huangzang Temple
After breakfast, your guide and driver will transfer you to the tourist center of Mt. Emei, one of China's Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains and a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and rich biodiversity. The mountain's highest peak, the Golden Summit, stands at 3,099 meters (10,167 feet).
Take a sightseeing bus to Leidongping, a transfer station on the way to the Golden Summit. The 40-minute bus ride offers scenic views of spots like Qingyin Pavilion and Wannian Temple. Walk to the cable car station and enjoy a 10-minute ride to the Golden Summit, the mountain's highest and most popular attraction, offering panoramic views.
Visit Huangzang Temple on the Golden Summit, a Ming dynasty Buddhist temple restored in the 1970s. The temple consists of three halls: the Laughing Buddha Hall, the Great Hero Hall, and the Hall of Universal Benevolence, housing a statue of Samantabhadra, the patron bodhisattva of Mount Emei, riding on a white elephant.
After exploring the Golden Summit area, take the cable car to descend the mountain. Return to Chengdu. Explore Chengdu independently or have your driver transfer you to the airport or train station for departure.
For hiking enthusiasts: If you're interested in more hiking experiences, inform your travel consultant, and they can customize a hiking route based on your preferences. Mount Emei offers various trails suitable for different difficulty levels and durations.