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3 Days in Chengdu: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, December 2016

5 207 Reviews | Add your review

The fifth-largest city in a country of over a billion people, Chengdu rarely sees a moment where there isn't something happening. More than just a metropolis, the city that first gave the world paper currency is also surrounded by the culturally rich mountains of Sichuan and sits right on the doorstep of the Tibetan plateau. Circled by UNESCO World Heritage sites and brimming with thousands of teahouses and pubs, Chengdu is the perfect jumping off point for a foray into the wonders of Sichuan. Though the province warrants extended exploration, here is a three-day itinerary to get you on your feet.

Day 1: Mt Qingcheng, Dujiangyan Irrigation System, and a Sichuan opera
If you're looking for some peace and quiet in a city of 11 million people, you can head to the forested wilderness of Mt Qingcheng, set 35 miles outside of the city center. The preferred trekking destination of choice for locals, the summit of one of the most sacred mountains in Taoism is reachable via a four-hour climb past ancient temples and lonely caves. Or, if you're short on time, peruse the confines of Jianfu Temple at the base of the mountain and then ride the cable car up the mountain. Then head over to the Dujiangyan Irrigation System for a look at one of the world's most ingenious no-dam waterways. If you still have the energy once back in Chengdu, finish off the day with a Sichuan opera or cultural show for a rousing evening of face-changing performers, thumping percussion, and high-flying acrobats.

Day 2: Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, Green Ram Temple, and Renmin Park
You'll want to be up early in order to reach the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, easily Chengdu's most famous attraction. A feeding takes place at 9am, and this is the best chance you'll have to see active giant pandas. Then grab a taxi back into town for a gander at the famously strange sculpture at Qingyang Palace. Often referred to as "Green Ram Temple," this name refers to a bronze goat with the characteristics of all 12 animals found in the Chinese zodiac. Relax and enjoy a cup of green tea to bolster your energy for evening dancing at Renmin Park (People's Park).

Day 3: Day trip to the Leshan Giant Buddha
Although set about an hour outside of Chengdu, there is no way you can come this close to the world'slargest stone carved Buddha and not take a trip out to see it. A masterful figure with toes taller than a human and 18-foot-long (5.5-meter) eyebrows, the Leshan Giant Buddha can be considered one of the spiritual wonders of the world. Many visitors combine a trip to the buddha with a two-day hiking excursion on Mt Emei, so those with more than three days in Chengdu are encouraged to head further afield and climb the ancient slopes of what is the tallest of all the sacred mountains of Buddhism.

Tours & Tickets

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Half-Day Chengdu Panda Breeding Center Tour with Optional Baby Panda Holding, Chengdu, null
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Half-Day Chengdu Panda Breeding Center Tour with Optional Baby Panda Holding

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 114 Reviews

Spend your morning with the cutest, yet impressive, creatures in China! Visit either the Chengdu Panda Breeding Center or the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Center ...  Read more

Location: Chengdu, China
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $51.90
Panda Rescue Center Volunteer for a Day, Chengdu, Nature & Wildlife
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Panda Rescue Center Volunteer for a Day

4.5 star rating: Recommended 29 Reviews

Volunteer for a day with giant pandas on a private tour at the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Center. Help record panda behavior, clean enclosures and prepare food ...  Read more

Location: Chengdu, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $290.66
Qingcheng Mountain and Dujiangyan Irrigation System Day Trip from Chengdu, Chengdu, Nature & ... 
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Qingcheng Mountain and Dujiangyan Irrigation System Day Trip from Chengdu

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 8 Reviews

Enjoy a day away from the city and experience the grandeur of the Sichuan region’s scenic wonders on this full-day tour to Qingcheng Mountain and the ...  Read more

Location: Chengdu, China
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $166.99
Sichuan Opera in Chengdu, Chengdu, Day Trips
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Sichuan Opera in Chengdu

4.5 star rating: Recommended 13 Reviews

Swap sopranos for fire-breathing acrobats at the Sichuan Opera, a one-of-a-kind cultural performance at Chengdu’s Shufeng Yayun Teahouse. You’ll be glued to ...  Read more

Location: Chengdu, China
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $19.49
Private Tour: Day Trip to the Leshan Grand Buddha from Chengdu, Chengdu, Opera
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Private Tour: Day Trip to the Leshan Grand Buddha from Chengdu

4.5 star rating: Recommended 26 Reviews

See the world’s largest stone Buddha statue! Standing at an astounding 233 feet (71 meters), the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Grand Buddha of Leshan is proof ...  Read more

Location: Chengdu, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $162.99
Xi'an in One Day: Terracotta Warriors, City Wall Day Trip from Chengdu by Air, Chengdu, Private ... 
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Xi'an in One Day: Terracotta Warriors, City Wall Day Trip from Chengdu by Air

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

This private tour flies you round-trip from Chengdu to explore Xi’an’s top attractions! A friendly local guide accompanies you on a full-day trip to see the ...  Read more

Location: Chengdu, China
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $502.99
2-Day Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong National Parks Independent Tour from Chengdu by Air, Chengdu, ... 
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2-Day Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong National Parks Independent Tour from Chengdu by Air

Immerse in the exceptional natural beauty of two UNESCO World Heritage-listed national parks — Huanglong Valley and Jiuzhaigou Valley — on this 2-day ...  Read more

Location: Chengdu, China
Duration: 2 days (approx.)

From USD $1,389.99
Experience Chengdu: Private Tea-Making Tour of Mengdingshan Tea Plantation, Chengdu, Overnight Tours
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Experience Chengdu: Private Tea-Making Tour of Mengdingshan Tea Plantation

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

There’s no better place to experience the entire tea-making process than at the origin of tea itself – China! On your private tour of Mt Mengding ...  Read more

Location: Chengdu, China
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $155.99
Chengdu Full-Day Tour: Panda Breeding Center and Sanxingdui Museum, Chengdu, Day Trips
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Chengdu Full-Day Tour: Panda Breeding Center and Sanxingdui Museum

4 star rating: Recommended 1 Review

Chengdu isn’t known as the ‘Land of Abundance’ for nothing. On this full-day tour, find out why as you visit the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center and ...  Read more

Location: Chengdu, China
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $68.00
Sichuan Culture Show and Hot Pot Dinner in Chengdu, Chengdu, Full-day Tours
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Sichuan Culture Show and Hot Pot Dinner in Chengdu

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

On this fabulous night out in Chengdu, watch the incredible Sichuan Opera and enjoy a hot pot dinner. Discover Sichuan customs as you join in the celebration ...  Read more

Location: Chengdu, China
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $72.00

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