• Witness in person the enormous and awe-inspiring heights of the Leshan Buddha, the world's most giant Buddha statue.
• Get all cute and cuddly with the Giant Panda at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center, the world's premier Panda research and exhibition facility.
• Take a trip down Chengdu's rich and storied past. Visit the Wide and Narrow alleys as well as Jinli. These areas allow you to experience Chengdu's vibrant and alluring culture while also providing you with scores of entertainment!
You will either fly or take the train into Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China. Upon arrival, you'll be met by your English-speaking travel guide. After your arrival, we will make the short drive outside of Chengdu to visit Leshan Buddha and Mt. Emei.
We'll first take a tour of Leshan Buddha. The most significant representation of the Buddha in the world, the statue is of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture. The Buddha is located to the east of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. The statue makes itself the most renowned scenic spot in Leshan City. In December 1996, the location of the Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites. Begun in the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and finished in the year 803, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve. During these years, thousands of workers had expended their efforts and wisdom on the project. As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, Leshan Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song, and story. Our visit to the Leshan Buddha will be complete with a river cruise, giving you an excellent vantage point (and photo op!) of which to view the Buddha.
Following the Leshan tour, we go to Mount Emei. Emei is one of the most well-known summer destinations in China thanks to its pleasant weather, congenial atmosphere, the inspiring natural scenery and the influence of the Buddhist culture. The mountain is characterized by lofty ancient trees, impressive waterfalls, pristine brooks and numerous Buddhist temples. Mt. Emei is a sacred Buddhist haven. It is one of the four most divine Buddhist mountains in China. This Buddhist legacy mainly contained in the numerous temples and the buildings bears witness to the unusual historical role of the mountain in Buddhism development since the religion was introduced to China over 2,000 years ago.
After we arrive we will first go on over to the Baogou temple, which is located at the foot of Mt. Emei. The temple was built during the years of Wanli period in the Ming Dynasty. The horizontal tablet of "Baoguo Temple" was written by Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. It is the place where the Mt. Emei Buddhist Society is located. The Baoguo Temple is originally named Huizong Hall, which has the meaning of blending the three religions of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism into one. Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty granted the name of "Baoguo Temple", which adopts the meaning that dedicating to the service of the country comes first in "repaying four kindness" in the sutra.
We will then spend the evening at an inn near Mt. Emei.
Following breakfast, we'll set out to explore more of Mt. Emei. Here are some of the highlights you'll find:
Gold Summit: The number of Buddhist temples dotting the mountain is quite inspiring, but the views from the Golden Summit at an elevation of 3,077 meters above sea level steals the glory. The Gold Summit is an extravagance of natural wonders and Buddhist spiritualism, which comprise of four marvelous spectacles of Sunrise, Cloud Sea, Buddhist Light, and sacred lamp. The scenery of a red glowing sun dancing over the sea of clouds in the east is fabulous. A few lucky visitors will encounter the Buddhist Light, which only occurs 14 times a year. On these occasions, your shadow is cast before you in the mist, and a colorfully glowing lights circle you as if you are attained enlightenment.
Fuhu Temple: At the foot of Fuhu Hill, Fuhu Temple is located one kilometer west of Baoguo Temple and is one of the largest in the mountain area. It was rebuilt in 1651, the eighth year of the reign of Qing Emperor Shunzhi. It covers an area of 13,000 square meters and is accessible from the highway. "Crouching Tiger Monastery," as it is known in Chinese, is sunk in the forest. Inside is a seven-meter-high copper pagoda inscribed with Buddhist images and texts. Fuhu Temple, the most significant Buddhist temple on the mountain, has 13 halls. In the temple, a 6-meter 17-storeyed bronze tower made in the Yuan Dynasty(1271-1368) has some 4,700 engraved Buddhist figurines on it. The 20,000-character Huayan Sutras are well preserved in the temple.
In the late afternoon, you'll go back to Chengdu to rest. From traditional teahouses, theaters to modern pubs and clubs, Chengdu people know how to enjoy the night. Every corner in Chengdu offers the warmest welcome, and you are sure to find something to pique your interest during your time in the town.
Today will be a full day of touring within the city of Chengdu. After breakfast, we'll get started with a visit to Chengdu's premier attraction, the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base. The Panda Breeding Research Center has been created and imitated the pandas' natural habitat so that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. It also cares for other rare and endangered wild animals with an area of 560 mus (92 acres), 96% of which is verdure. Giant pandas, lesser pandas, black-necked cranes, white storks as well as over 20 species of rare animals are fed and bred there throughout the year. Verdant bamboo, bright flowers, fresh air, a natural hill scene, and a beautiful artificial view are merged ingeniously at the base.
Following our time at the Panda Base and a Chinese lunch, we'll next drive over to the Wide and Narrow alleys with two ancient streets constructed in the architectural styles of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. The roads represent a condensed history of Chengdu, combining both past and recent changes.
We'll proceed to the nearby street of Jinli. Jinli Street is particularly representative of this city. It is recorded that as early as the Qin Dynasty (221 BC - 206 BC), Jinli Street was the most famous place for baldachin - a luxurious, ornate cloth. And it was one of the busiest commercial areas during the Shu Kingdom (221-263). Hence, it is known as "First Street of the Shu Kingdom." You can enjoy folk music along with the actor's beautiful, quick costume and make-up changes. The actors' perfect performances will wow you. Open-air movies are also shown in front of the stage.
Stay overnight in Chengdu.
After breakfast in the hotel, you will be taken to either the airport or the train station, and you will depart for your next destination.
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