1 Teahouses

A central feature of Sichuanese social life.

2 Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, Chengdu

One of the few zoos in China where the animals are clearly happy, healthy and well cared for.

3 Huanglongxi

Crowded but enjoyably touristy village of Qing-dynasty shops and temples.

4 The Big Buddha, Leshan

You will never forget the first time you see this gargantuan riverside statue looming above you.

5 Emei Shan

A tough climb is rewarded with gorgeous scenery and monasteries that make atmospheric places to stay.

6 Dazu

China’s most exquisite collection of Buddhist rock art, illustrating religious parables and cartoon-like scenes from daily life.

7 Cruising the Yangzi

Relax as your boat glides past the magnificent scenery of the towering Three Gorges.

8 Horse-trekking, Songpan

Get really out into the wild and give your feet – though not your seat – a rest.

9 Litang

Gritty Tibetan monastery town in the heart of Sichuan’s wild west, where monks and cowboys tear around on motorbikes.

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