This all-day food adventure begins with hotel pickup in Chengdu and a drive to Luodai, an ancient town nearby. Small towns in the province of Sichuan are usually bursting with life, and Luodai is no different. Vendors selling fresh produce line the streets; elderly gentlemen play mah-jong inside and outside of shops; food stands fill the air with the wonderful scents of various local snacks. Spend two hours on a guided tour of this old yet vibrant town, which boasts of the largest Hakka community in southwest China. See several guildhalls with intricate Hakka architecture and stroll down the streets with the locals. Your guide will pick three or four mouthwatering local snacks for lunch. This may be anything from rice noodles to fire-cured goose to a sticky rice ball – all tasty Hakka delicacies.
On the 90-minute drive to your next location, take a food-induced nap or listen to stories from your guide. You’ll arrive at a Pixian chili bean paste factory, where you’ll discover the secrets of making the famed doubanjiang, a spicy bean paste used in Sichuan cuisine.
Then learn more at the Museum of Sichuan Cuisine, displaying various culinary artifacts and books by authors known for their contributions to Sichuan cuisine. Hear many Sichuan food facts, from the historical developments of the cuisine to the trade and commerce related to this industry. Learn about technological advancements in pottery and cooking techniques and the culinary effects in art and literature, and see maps showing the subtle variations in flavor among the different areas of Sichuan.
After the museum, return to Chengdu and satisfy your growling stomach with a wonderful bowl of hot pot at a local Chinese restaurant. On this full day tour, you will not only gain knowledge about the history and culture of Sichuan cuisine, you will also partake in a savory experience of the food itself!