14-Day Bike and Hike in Panda Kingdom and Kham Tibet, Sichuan province, China

This tour combines cycling and hiking in the beautifully tranquil rural area around Chengdu Plain as well as Sichuan’s spectacular Tibetan area such as Kham Tibet and Gyalrong Tibet. During this trip, you will not only visit the well-known tourist attractions such as the panda base, Leshan Giant Buddha, Mount Emei, Xinduqiao, Tagong and Danba, but also you will cycle and hike some less-traveled places such as Fengqi Mountain, Chongqing Road, Wugen Mountain and Baita Lake, the countryside along the Qingyi and Minjiang rivers, etc. You will see the different lifestyles, such as the laidback Han Chinese around Chengdu Plain, the nomadic Kham Tibetans around Tagong Grassland, and the semi-agriculture and semi-nomad Gyalrong Tibetans at Danba. And yes, this tour is a good mix of authentic culture and unique landscapes in one of southwestern China’s most beautiful provinces: Sichuan

per adult from

$5,313

NZD

Duration

14 days

Pickup

Hotel pickup available

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  • What's included :
    • 12x Breakfast
    • 13x Dinner
    • 12x Lunch
    • Accommodation included: 13 nights
    • Air-conditioned vehicle
    • English-speaking tour guide service
    • Tickets involved when you visit the tourist attractions listed in the itinerary
    • Accommodation of 13 nights based on two people sharing one room
    • Water, snacks and local fruits during the trip
    • Bike & Helmet Hire
    • Entry/Admission - Panda Valley
    • Entry/Admission - Jiezi Ancient Town
    • Entry/Admission - Anren Ancient Town
    • Entry/Admission - Pingle Ancient Town
    • Entry/Admission - Shangli Ancient Town
    • Entry/Admission - Tagong Grassland
    • Entry/Admission - Bamei Prairie
    • Entry/Admission - Jiaju Tibetan Village
    • Entry/Admission - Mount Emei (Emeishan)
    • Entry/Admission - Leshan Giant Buddha (Da Fo)
    What's excluded :
    • Your international or domestic flights
    • Your visa fee, if there is any
    • Activities not mentioned in the itinerary
    • Extra charge for single room option if you would like to stay in a room alone
    • Your other personal expenses

  • Day 1: Arrive at Chengdu

    Pass By: Chengdu, Chengdu, Sichuan
    We will welcome you at the airport and take you to your hotel. You are free to refresh and relax before we hold a briefing about the trip later in the afternoon.

    With your guides, you will go through the itinerary and learn about local road safety and cultural considerations, and also have the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have.

    Meals included:
    • Dinner: In the evening, we will hold a welcome dinner to celebrate the beginning of your journey.
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Chengdu Buddha Zen Hotel, 4-star standard. Altitude: 500 meters

    Day 2: Chengdu-Panda Valley-Jiezi Ancient Town, hike Mount Fengqi

    Stop At: Panda Valley, Baima Village Yutang Town, Dujiangyan China
    Cycling Distance: 20km
    Hiking Distance: 6km

    We will start the day by taking a short drive to Dujiangyan Panda Valley and visiting the adorable giant pandas and cubs at this research base dedicated to rehabilitating pandas back into the wild. Panda Valley, although having fewer pandas, is much quieter than the research base in Chengdu city, allowing for a more intimate experience.

    From Panda Valley you will begin your ride on a calm country road which provides views of the mountains marking the beginning of the Tibetan Plateau on your right. We will pass the foot of the religiously important Qingcheng Mountain and then ride on to Jiezi Ancient Town, historically one of the last towns before the Tibetan Plateau on the Tea Horse Road. You will spend some time exploring the alleyways and learning about the history of this important riverside town, before sitting down to some traditional local food.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Jiezi Ancient Town, Jiezi Town, Chongzhou 611242 China
    In the afternoon hike Fengqi Mountain near Jiezi, and Fengqi Mountain is not as famous as Qingcheng Mountain in the nearby area, and therefore there are less tourists here. But its natural scenery is also quite beautiful. You will slowly walk in the trails winding in the bamboos and woods of the mountain, and you will also pass local houses along the way. When getting to the top, you will arrive at a Buddhism Monastery that is not so well-known, but quite worth a visit.
    Duration: 4 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Huifeng Hotel at Jiezi Ancient Town, 3-star standard, Altitude:620 meters

    Day 3: Jiezi-Chongqing Road-Anren Ancient Town

    Stop At: Anren Ancient Town, Anren Town, Dayi County 610000 China
    Cycling Distance: 50km
    No hiking today, but you may walk around in the town to visit the museums.

    Today our ride continues along one of Sichuan’s most beautiful, and less-explored country roads, Chongqing Road. It will take you through beautiful countryside and villages, before we finish the ride on the outskirts of Anren, dubbed ‘China’s Museum Town’. We will drive the final 10km to Anren’s Ancient Town, where we will spend the night. With a more modern history than other Ancient Towns we will visit on this trip, being formed in the early 1900s, it is unique for having more of a focus on culture and education, with plenty of boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and workshops to explore and enjoy in the evening.

    In the afternoon explore the unique museums at Anren Ancient Town, such as Jianchuan Museum and Liu’s Mansion Museum. At the first museum you will not only learn about the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake and Sichuan people’s contributions to the anti-Japanese war in 1930s and 1940s, but also the traditional lifestyle of the Chinese, such as traditional Chinese furnitures, medicine, and articles of daily use. While at the second museum you will see the traditional house and courtyard of Liu Wencai’s family. Liu was the richest man in Sichuan province in 1930s and 1940s.
    Duration: 7 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Four Points Sheraton Hotel, 5-star standard. Altitude: 540 meters

    Day 4: Hike the less-traveled countryside and visit the villages nearby

    Stop At: Daomingzhen, Chongzhou, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
    Cycling Distance:11km
    Hiking Distance: 12km

    In the morning we will first drive for about 40 minutes to White Pagoda Monastery, where you will start the 12km hike. After arriving, we will begin by taking a short visit to White Pagoda Monastery and the unique library inside, created by Master Guoping. Then you will start hiking the trails and exploring the hidden villages scattered around the woods and mountains. The trails naturally bring you to a valley, where you can enjoy an authentic lunch from a local restaurant.

    In the afternoon, you will walk up to the ridge of a small mountain and continue making your way around the lake before going down to a teahouse where you have the opportunity to relax and enjoy a cup of tea. Today’s hiking ends when you arrive at the beautiful White Pagoda Lake, situated below a Buddhist temple that has a white pagoda emerging from the mountain top, providing the lake with its name.

    After the hiking, you will ride about 3km to the village at the foot of the mountain. The village is famous for bamboo-weaving, and the local villagers also run guesthouses and restaurants. Then we will continue to ride to Wuxing Village, which is famous for its newly-built nice houses and laidback lifestyle. The local villagers here grow high-quality rice.
    Duration: 7 hours

    Stop At: Pingle Ancient Town, Pingle Town, Qionglai 611539 China
    In the later afternoon we will drive for about 50 minutes to one hour to arrive at Pingle Ancient Town in the late afternoon.

    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Shunheyuan Inn, 3-star standard. Altitude: 530 meters

    Day 5: Cycle from Pingle to Shangli, explore Shangli Ancient Town

    Stop At: Pingle Ancient Town, Pingle Town, Qionglai 611539 China
    In the morning we will first take a visit of Pingle Ancient Town. Pingle belongs to the county of Qionglai which is one of the best regions for producing tea in all of Sichuan. Thus, it has historically been one of the most important market towns along the ancient Tea Horse Road and the tea culture still stands strong to date. We will take a walk through the streets lined with traditional architecture to the riverside, which is lined with teahouses. The river banks here are very shallow and in the summer the teahouses set up tables and chairs so that the customers can soak their feet in the cool river, whilst playing mahjong and sipping on an endless cup of tea.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Shangli Ancient Town, Shangli Town, Yucheng District, Ya'an 625007 China
    Cycling Distance: 45km
    Hiking Distance: no hiking today.

    From Pingle we continue our ride and from here our journey becomes more and more rural as we pass through stunning scenery and tree plantations. This section is more mountainous and after 30km we will reach the most challenging section of the trip – a 7km ascent taking you over a beautiful tea terrace mountain at an altitude of 1200m.

    The tough accent rewards you with stunning views over the valley and a 3km decent, winding down the mountain and taking you to White Horse Spring; a temple housing a peculiar spring which has its own tidal system. The tides of the spring are not fixed, sometimes happening several times a day and others not for days. However, the water level can dramatically change – it is said that when the water rises, it is accompanied by a sound like the wind blowing and, when it falls, it sounds like horse’s hooves clapping on the ground.

    From here it is only 5km to reach Shangli Ancient town. Another market town on the Old Tea Horse Road, it is one of the first towns Tibetan traders would encounter on their journeys. It is peculiar for its beautiful stone bridges and for being one of the main places where tea was fermented and pressed into bricks, to be made suitable for the long and arduous journey to Tibet. Set amongst forested hills, with traditional wooden buildings and a river cutting through the town, it is extremely picturesque. You will explore this town in the afternoon.

    Duration: 5 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Impression Shangli Holiday Hotel, 3-star standard.Altitude: 930 meters

    Day 6: Hike Bifengxia Valley in the morning, drive to Kangding in the afternoon

    Stop At: Ya'an Bifeng Canyon, Xiali Country, Yucheng District, Ya'an 625007 China
    Cycling Distance: 14km
    Hiking Distance: 13km

    After breakfast we will first ride about 14 kilometers to Bifengxia Forest Park. Then we will hike the two beautiful valleys inside the park. With lush forests and many big and small waterfalls, it feels really nice hiking in the valleys of the park and enjoying the fresh and humid air before heading for the dry Tibetan Plateau in the afternoon.
    Duration: 2 hours

    Stop At: Kangding County, Kangding County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan
    After lunch drive to Kangding, which is located about 160km westward. Kangding is a gateway city for Tibet, historically being an important trade post and, with a fairly equal ethnic split between Han Chinese and Tibetans, you will get your first taste of Tibetan culture. After arriving, take a slow walk to explore the town and adapt to the high altitude.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Khamba Hotel, 4-star standard. Altitude: 2560 meters

    Day 7: Kangding to Xinduqiao, adapt to the altitude at Xinduqiao

    Stop At: Zheduo Mountain, Within Kangding County, Kangding County 626000 China
    We will continue to drive westward to Xinduqiao today, and on the way we will stop at Zheduo Mountain Pass for you to enjoy the scenery and take photos. Zheduo Mountain Pass is 4,298 meters above sea level, and Kangding airport is just a few kilometers away. Kangding airport is the third highest civil airport in the world, with an altitude of 4,200 meters.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Xinduqiao Town, Kangding County 626002 China
    It takes about 2 hours to drive from Kangding to Xinduqiao, and in the afternoon you may first take a rest. Then depends on how well you adapt to the high altitude, you may ride for a a few kilometers to enjoy the natural scenery along the road. Known as ‘photographer’s paradise’, the scenery and lighting here are fantastic. Firmly upon the ‘roof of the world’, you can expect beautiful rolling hills, mountains, streams, pastures and Tibetan architecture.
    Duration: 3 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Minshan Xingzhe Muxin Hotel, 4-star standard. Altitude: 3460 meters

    Day 8: Cycle Xinduqiao-Tagong-Bamei

    Stop At: Tagong Grassland, Within Kangding County, Kangding County 626000 China
    Cycling Distance: 72km
    Hiking Distance: no hiking today.

    Set within the surroundings of Xinduqiao the day’s cycling is immediately beautiful, nestled in a flat plain, with traditional Tibetan homes beneath the lush mountains around. At around 35km you will reach Songlinkou and notice many mantras and colorful Buddhist murals painted onto the rocks in the mountains and river, as well as a small wooden bridge heavily decorated with prayer flags – the first religiously important site of the day. A short while further and you will reach Tagong, a small picturesque town based around a large Monastery, which was built during the Qing Dynasty to honor the journey of a Chinese Princess on her way to marry the Tibetan King. Here, we will break for lunch next to the locals completing their prayer circuits.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Bamei Prairie, Bamei Town, Daofu County 624356 China
    Continuing through the Tagong Grasslands with its monasteries, rolling countryside and, on a clear day, the impressive snow-capped Ya’la Holy Mountain (5884m) in the foreground, we will make our way to Ani Gompa. This is the largest Buddhist Nunnery in the area and where you can see many people circling one of the largest constructions of ‘Mani’ stones – these are pieces of slate, on which people write their regrets, wishes and prayers and then stack, to form an impressive structure.

    Leaving the Tagong Grasslands behind us, we have an incline before a generous descent taking you past Bamei Stone Forest – an impressive geological wonder with sharp rocks raising like spears from the mountainside. A few kilometers later take you to gorgeous Bamei, where today’s journey ends.
    Duration: 3 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight:Art Holiday hotel, 4-star standard. Altitude: 3,500 meters

    Day 9: Bamei-Huiyuan Monastery-Danba

    Stop At: Bamei Prairie, Bamei Town, Daofu County 624356 China
    Cycling Distance: 11km
    Hiking Distance: no hiking today, but you will walk in Jiaju Tibetan Village to explore it.

    We will begin the day by cycling 11km to Huiyuan Temple, a stunning Buddhist complex with history reaching back to the Qing Dynasty. Founded in 1729, to bolster relations between Tibetans and mainland China after an invasion from Mongolian tribes, it once housed the 7th Dalai Lama and the 11th Dalai Lama was born nearby.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Jiaju Tibetan Village, Zhanggu Town, Danba County 626303 China
    After that, we will drive about 2 hours to Danba and visit Jiaju Tibetan Village there. The local inhabitants here are Gyalrong Tibetans, who grow crops such as highland barley and corns on the farmland in the village. They also grow fruit trees, such as apples and pears. We will visit one of the local families for you to learn more details about their lifestyle. Then you will walk around in the village to explore.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Zang Xiang Ge Hotel, 4-star standard. Altitude: 1860 meters

    Day 10: Danba-Ya'an, explore the tea plantations in Ya'an

    Stop At: Mingshan County, Mingshan County, Sichuan
    Cycling or Hiking Distance: 20 to 40km (you may explore the beautiful tea plantations either by cycling or walking, and you could decide by yourselves how many kilometers you guys would like to ride after arriving there)
    After breakfast we will drive back to Ya’an, and the journey takes around 4 hours. In the afternoon we will visit one of China’s largest tea plantation areas around Mount Mengding, which is the first place in Chinese history where people began to cultivate tea trees. The green tea from this area is considered as the one of the best in China. Most of the local villagers grow tea, and the government has invested a lot of money to build the greenway connecting tea plantations across 5 different towns. This area is like a beautiful park, and you may either walk or cycle here to explore.
    Duration: 2 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Washe Hotel, 3-star standard. Altitude: 600 meters

    Day 11: Cycle Ya'an to Liujiang, overnight at middle part of Mount Emei

    Stop At: Liujiangzhen, Hongya County, Meishan, Sichuan, China
    Cycling Distance: 41km
    Hiking Distance: no hiking today

    We begin the day by taking a 30-minute drive from the hotel to Caoba Town, where we mount up and continue our ride. Today we will mostly be following the beautiful Qingyi River, which runs all the way to the following day’s destination, Leshan. The first 5km will take you through tea plantations with terraced tea farms until we reach the second of our two serious ascents of the trip. The ascent winds up the mountain side through the occasional tea plantation for 5km until you reach stunning views and a 5km descent down to the reservoir on the opposing side.

    The descent is thrilling and ends by taking you alongside the reservoir on your right with an imposing red rock cliff, full of prehistoric vegetation, on your left, bringing you to the ferocious rapids pouring out of Caoyutan Dam. Passing over the dam, we continue to follow Qingyi river and with trees overhanging the road for much of the way, it makes for a very pleasant ride.
    Duration: 2 hours

    Stop At: Mount Emei (Emeishan), Emeishan 614201 China
    We will have lunch near Liujiang Ancient Town, and after lunch take a visit of this beautiful riverside town. Then we will drive to the middle part of Mount Emei and stay overnight at a hot-spring hotel. At night you may enjoy the hot spring and relax.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Huasheng Hot Spring Hotel, 5-star standard. Altitude: 1300 meters

    Day 12: Visit Mount Emei in the morning, cycle to Leshan in the afternoon

    Stop At: Mount Emei (Emeishan), Emeishan 614201 China
    Hiking Distance: 9km

    In the morning we will take the sightseeing bus of Mount Emei to Leidongping. Then we will start hiking up to Golden Summit, which is the top of the mountain. The hiking distance going up is about 7.5km, and the altitudes are between 2,200 to 3,000 meters. Mount Emei is one of the four most famous and sacred Buddhism mountains in China. After reaching Golden Summit, walk around, and if the sky is clear, you might be able to see the sea of clouds and the snow-capped Mount Gongga (about 150km away), the peak of which is the highest point of Sichuan province, with an altitude of 7,556 meters above sea level. There is also a magnificent 48-meter-high Buddha statue near near Golden Summit.

    After the visit, take the cable car down and then walk about 1.5km to Leidongping bus station where you will take a bus to go down the mountain. The bus journey takes around 2 hours, and along the way you will see the changes of vegetation when gradually arriving at the lower areas.
    Duration: 5 hours

    Stop At: Leshan Giant Buddha (Da Fo), No.2435 Lingyun Street, Shizhong District, Leshan 614000 China
    Cycling Distance: 32km
    When getting down to the foot of the mountain, ride about 32 to the suburb of Leshan. Depends on what time you arrive, you may decide either today or the next day to take a boat to visit Leshan Giant Buddha, which was built over 1200 years ago to watch over the quick rapids of the river below. The best way to see the Giant Buddha is from the river itself. We will take a short cruise to visit the site and appreciate the 71m carving calmly and majestically towering and watching out over above us.

    Besides the Giant Buddha, Leshan is also famous for its food. Before retiring for the evening, we will sample some of its best, including such dishes as Sweet Skin Roast Duck and tasty Bo Bo Chicken.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Mixun Hotel, 4-star standard. Altitude: 450 meters

    Day 13: Cycle Leshan to Meishan, explore Huanglongxi Ancient Town

    Stop At: Leshan, Leshan, Sichuan
    Cycling Distance: 42km
    Hiking Distance: 5km

    The day begins with a 30-minute drive taking us to Guanmiao Town and the biking begins on a single lane road that quickly begins to take you through farmlands, with mountains on your left. After a few kilometers, the Mingjiang River appears, which flows from the day’s destination, Huanglongxi Ancient Town.

    We will ride through a valley following the river with some gentle climbs and at 9km we will come to a beautiful descent which leads us towards some terraced paddy fields. The countryside continues until we reach Zhongyan Temple, which is inside a large park holding Buddhist carvings with over 1500 years of history. It is renowned for being a place of beauty and tranquillity and over the centuries scholars, Buddhists and poets would pay homage to the site, leaving the inscriptions and carvings that we can still see to this day.
    Duration: 4 hours

    Stop At: Huanglongxi Ancient Town, Huanglongxi Town , Shuangliu District, Shuangliu County 610200 China
    After taking a small hike inside the gardens to a natural spring inside, we will continue our ride through a bamboo lined road, with the river and its broad low-lying banks, accompanying us on the left, until we reach Baijiachi Village to finish the day’s ride. From Baijiachi it is about an hour’s drive to Huanglongxi, where we will spend the night.

    Huanglongxi is another famous Ancient town with history reaching back 1,700 years. Set beside the river, with three temples and winding alleyways it provides a particularly quintessential example of an old town and, as such, is often chosen by producers as a film location. Whilst a little more touristy than other Ancient towns we visit on this trip, it is beautiful and the riverside teahouses are perfect for winding down after a day’s ride. The streets are lined with shops and local snacks, including the famous ‘one noodle noodles’; a bowl of noodles which contain a single long thick noodle pulled by vendors who put on elaborate dances, and shows, to entice customers to their restaurants.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    Accommodation included: Overnight: Caston Huanglong Hotel, 4-star standard. Altitude: 500 meters

    Day 14: Transfer to Chengdu airport, tour ends

    Stop At: Chengdu, Chengdu, Sichuan
    The guide and the driver will send you guys to Chengdu airport, and it takes about one hour to get to the airport from Huanglongxi Ancient Town. Then you will fly back home with beautiful memories of this unique trip.
    Duration: 1 hour

    No meals included on this day.
    No accommodation included on this day.
  • Departure Point :
    Traveler pickup is offeredAirports
    • Chengdu Airport, Chengdu China
    Departure Time :
    8:00 AM
    Return Detail :
    -
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
    • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 16 travelers
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • If you cancel at least 4 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is no cancellation fee.
    If you cancel within 3 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

Language

English - Guide

Age Req.

-

Fitness Req.

None

Group Size

10

Organised by Sichuan Adventure

Activity ID: V-44384P8

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