Arrive in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. Overnight at the elegant Shangri-La Hotel in the heart of this vibrant city on the Brocade River. Meals are on your own today, and our hotel's dining options offer appealing choices—or ask our representative for local recommendations.
Day 2: Cultural Discovery Around Chengdu
Rise early for breakfast at the hotel this morning, in anticipation of a full day of exploration in the Chengdu region. Meet your local guide and set off for a 2-hour drive to see the Leshan Giant Buddha. Carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of three rivers in southern Sichuan province near the city of Leshan, the stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below his feet. At 233 feet tall, it is the largest stone Buddha in the world, featured in poetry,
Our next stop is the nearby
We also visit Wuyou Monastery, which sits atop Wuyou Mountain, where it enjoys impressive views of the Giant Buddha and river below.* Founded in 742 A.D. at the height of the Tang dynasty and comprising seven Buddhist palaces, the monastery complex has undergone numerous renovations over the centuries. Today it functions mostly as a museum, filled with calligraphic paintings, carved terracotta monks and other Buddhist artifacts.
After a stop at a local fishing village and lunch in Leshan town, we make our way back to our hotel in the heart of bustling Chengdu, arriving in time to freshen up before meeting our Expedition Leader and the rest of our group around 5 pm.
*Note: Climbing the steps alongside the Buddha, as well as visits to the Mahao Cliff Tombs and Wuyou Monastery, are dependent upon individual physical abilities and are not guaranteed. An additional option for viewing the Buddha by boat is available for those with more limited capabilities.