Sichuan Travel Guide
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Cities in Sichuan
Recommended Sichuan Itineraries
Sichuan Province is one of the largest provinces in China with an area of 485,000 km² (187,260 mi²). Its terrain slopes from west to east on the whole and the main landforms include plains, hills, mountains and plateaus. The climate here is mild with plenty of rainfall. The average annual temperature is 14℃-19℃ and the annual rainfall is 900-1,200 millimeters. Located in southwest part of the country, it has been the gateway to Tibet. In fact, the western part of the province is one of the Tibetan-inhabited areas and visitors can experience customs and living habits of the Tibetan nationality here too. Another main ethnic group of the province is the Yi nationality, concentrating in western part of the province as well. Its capital city, Chengdu, is the cultural and industrial center for the agricultural Chengdu Plain and one of the first centers of printing in the country. It has also been famous for its luxurious satins, brocades, and lacquer ware since the 13th century.
Apart from the main landforms like plains, hills, mountains and plateaus, Sichuan enjoys a wide variety of beautiful landscapes including ravines, basin, rivers, lakes, hot springs, waterfalls and limestone caves, etc. Some of them have been developed into scenic sites for tourism like the Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area and Trumpet Shell Valley. Moreover, the diversified landscapes together with the nice climate nurse a great number of rare plant and animal species. The Hengduan Mountains in its west is home to over one fifth of the country's rare plant species, including the so-called 'Living Fossil', silver fir and sequoia. The mountains also host more than 50 kinds of rare animals, among which the giant pandas are most precious. Actually, 85% of China's giant pandas are living in this mountain area, earning the province a reputation of 'Hometown of Giant Pandas'. Visitors can contact with those lovely pandas in Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center (one of the most important centers in the world for the captive conservation of giant pandas), Bifeng Gorge Base of China Panda Protection and Research Center, etc.
History & Culture
Sichuan is one of the birthplaces of the Chinese nation and plays an important role in China's history. As early as two million years ago, human beings had already begun activities in this area; about 25,000 years ago, civilizations appeared here and formed the highly developed ancient Shu civilization, represented by Three-Star Piles site (Sanxingdui). With the unification of China by Emperor Qin Shi Huang in 221 BC, the region gradually blended the Central Plain culture. Meanwhile, the local culture continued to develop. Up to now, the province could be divided into four culture zones: Ba Culture Zone, Shu Culture Zone, Panzhihua-Xichang Culture Zone and West Sichuan Plateau Culture Zone. During the Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280), Chengdu had been the capital of the Kingdom of Shu. The long history of early-developed civilization has left this area abundant historical heritages, such as Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, Leshan Giant Buddha and Mt. Emei as well as distinctive local highlights like Sichuan Opera and the delicious local food. Sichuan Opera is one of the most famous operas in the country. Changing faces and spitting fire are the most attractive and mysterious skills of it. Sichuan food is also well-known all over the country and even in foreign countries. It is characterized by spicy and pungent flavors. Typical menu items are: Hot Pot, Smoked Duck, Kung Pao Chicken, Twice-Cooked Pork and Ma Po Tofu.
I'll be in chengdu from the 6th of december and for four days. can u suggest me the best place easy to reach from chengdu to visit in december? thanks to anyone will reply :)
ps. I'm only traveller so i don't need comfort. I can go to more then one place in one day if time is enough.
Can anyone tell me if it's possible to get between Emei, Leshan, Bifengxia and Huanglong by bus or train without coming back to Chengdu between each place? I don't mind which order I visit them in.
Also can anyone recommend a hotel in or near the Bifengxia panda centre?
To Leshan, take a bullet train to Emeishan from Leshan Railway Station (about 15 minutes). Upon arrival, take bus line 5a to Baoguo Temple.
To Bifengxia, take a bus to Ya'an from Jiuzhu Bus Station. The buses are available from 8:10 to 17:20, and the fare is CNY 45. Upon arrival, take a bus to Bifengxia.
To Huanglong, take a bus back to Ya'an. Next, take a bus to Dujiangyan from Ximen Bus Station. The buses depart at 9:00, 12:10, and 13:50, and the fare is CNY 41 or 45. Then, take a bus to Songpan from Dujiangpan Passenger Transport Center. The bus departs at 7:00, and the fare is CNY 94. Upon arrival, charter a car to Huanglong for about CNY 200.
As for acoommodation, the Tianranju Hotel is recommended. It is beside the panda center, Bifengxia Scenic Area. A standard room costs CNY 150-200 per night. Just walk in and check in. :)
via Bangkok ( 2 Night ). Being a Budget Traveller and may be a solo Traveller, I propose to explore by Train
route ( as far as possible ), excepting CCU/KMG, Macau/Hongkong (HKG)/TPE/HKG and the return leg. The entire visit may stretch to 40/45 days or so.
2. I am yet to find out any train route / schedule etc from Kunming to Chengdu. For want of direct train I may undertake journey of this Sector by Air : Can any body extend their help to me ??
(b). I am yet to find out any train to Lhasa that passes through Changdi. I don't want to touch the same
center twice ( excepting en route ). May I expect to have some concrete guidance from the veterans /experts .
Response shall be highly appreciated and loudely acknowledged.
Thanks & Regards
Anup Kumar Ghosh
There is also train from Lhasa to Beijing, and Lhasa to Shanghai. But the durations are all not short.
More importantly, overseas visitors are not allowed to enter Tibet as solo travelers. They must join an itinerary organized by qualified travel agencies. Sorry for that.
From Kunming to Chengdu, there are six trains available each day and the shortest duration is about 17 hours.
Hope the info can help you to some extend. BTW, for China train schedule and fare, you can search on this website on your own. Good luck~
As per the information available on Frommer's China Guide 2nd Edition( Chapter : 14 : Page No. 753 ( Bottom ), which reads as : " Previously, visitors to Tibet needed a group of five to constitute a Tour Group and thus obtain a Tibet Tourism Bureau ( TTB ) Permit, which allows entry to the TAR. Now you can be the Group of one....".An inference could be drawn that the Group restriction has been done away BUT NOT THE TTB PERMIT. Nevertheless, I will have to be enrolled with Travel Agency, whose Representative shall have to accompany the Group or and to see off / receive at the Airport and also drop at the identified Hotel with certain precautionary advice. This is said to thumb rule.
2. I am grateful to you for the valuable suggestions
Thanks & Regards
A. K. Ghosh