China is filled with cultural heritage sites that make it both educational and exciting for backpackers. Exploring China is truly a pleasure to all your senses. With its history and fast-paced development, you are in for a cultural awakening which you will experience in very few places. There are many Chinese provinces and one of the provinces gaining rapid popularity in China is Sichuan Province.
The mix of modern infrastructures and ancient temples all around will surely give you a memorable trip. The list of choices and activities in Sichuan Province is long and intimidating. However, there are a few things and places to experience while you are backpacking through China’s Sichuan Province.
Visit Pandas In Chengdu
Having a look and visiting these adorable gentle creatures is definitely a must when in Sichuan, China. The Giant Panda Reserve in Chengdu gives you an up-close and personal encounter with these lovable creatures. This conservation center and research facility house over 50 giant pandas who playfully run around and munch on bamboo leaves. The calm and gentle demeanor of these furry creatures will leave you endeared for a long time. This reserve is not a home for pandas alone. Here, you will also see other animals native to China.
The province of Chengdu offers a lot of local destinations for any backpacker to enjoy. Sichuan, China’s locals have gotten used to their share of tourists and backpackers and are not hesitant to offer help or answer questions.
Get Close To Nature In Jiuzhaigou National Park
It’s like you’re looking at various giant postcards. The Jiuzhaigou National Park offers picturesque and breathtaking scenery boasting of crystal clear turquoise lakes, stunning waterfalls and massive mountain peaks and ranges. Also located in Chengdu, this is one of the must-see destinations in Sichuan China. Everywhere you look will leave you in awe as you will feel like you’re in a dream.
While you are in the area, you can also sign up for an eco-tourism trek in Zharu Valley. Here, you will be able to trek the Tibetan Mountains. The treks will take days and the paths may have various levels of difficulty depending on your trekking experience. Additionally, it is advisable to be prepared for this trek. The trek may prove to be very challenging, yet the views and experiences you receive are absolutely rewarding.
Rock Trekking Through Yading
Trekking through Joseph Rock from Muli to Daocheng is a famous hiking route in China. Here, you will go through the Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan. This trek will take a lot out of you since it will take over 8 days. However, you will also pass by many farms and campsites throughout the entire route.
This is recommended for the backpackers who always have an adventure in their itinerary. The various scenery you will encounter throughout the entire trek will leave you breathless. While you’re at it, might as well trek through Lugu Lake as well; another famous trek route also with its own charm and magnificence.
Awe At The Leshan Grand Buddha
This Grand Buddha is located near the city of Leshan in the Sichuan Province. In all it’s 71 meters tall and 28-meter wide grandeur, this Giant Buddha is definitely a sight to behold. Dwarfed by its presence, you won’t be able to resist marveling at this feat of human ingenuity and hard work. Aside from marveling at this amazing structure, you can also visit various gardens, temples, and museums in the surrounding areas.
For instance, the Mahaoya Tombs Museum houses artifacts from the Han Dynasty or the Oriental Buddha Capital which has a collection of over 3,000 figurines and statues of Buddha. A day trip to this destination will honestly be worth your while as you will be thoroughly educated and entertained.
Visit The Monks In The Dzogchen Monastery
The Dzogchen Monastery is known to be one of the 6 main monasteries of the Nyingma Traditions. The monastery houses a good 300 monks and nuns along with students learning the Dzogchen teachings of the Great Perfection.
You can roam around the various prayer halls and awe at the ancient architecture of the structure. You can also visit the various meditation caves by the mountain slopes. This is a great way for you to learn and fully understand the Buddhist religion. Additionally, the monks are quite friendly and welcoming.
Be One With Nature In Huanglong Park
Located in Jiuzhaigou, it is a breathtaking nature getaway. You will be surrounded by crystal clear blue ponds and waterfalls, as well as lush greenery. A perfect place to just relax and soak in nature’s bounty and beauty. The park is said to resemble a golden dragon. Throughout the whole park, you will be wandering through many attractions such as the Penjing Ponds, Huanglong Temple, the glowing waterfall of Feipuliuhiu, Xishen Cave and more. Words aren’t enough to describe the beauty of this place. It is truly something that you have to see and marvel at for yourself.
Retreat To Emei Shan
Emei Shan is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains. This site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its location on the edge of the Himalayan highlands. This includes its surrounding greenery and nature. Climbing to the temple takes a good 2 days with varying levels of difficulty. But, you will also pass by a few villages along your way to the top.
You also have an option to take the cable car, but where’s the adventure in that, right? Climbing isn’t for the faint of heart and you would have to be used to roughing it out. Be sure that you are physically and mentally ready for the climb so you won’t end up regretting your trip. But Emei Shan is renowned for a reason. Reaching the summit will give you a whole new level of joy and accomplishment.
Get Your Fill Of Chinese Cuisine Around Sichuan Province
Sampling the local cuisine is an integral part of any backpacking trip. This is a way of experiencing their culture and heritage in a more personal perspective. Sichuan China is famous for its local cuisine. You’ve probably seen or heard dishes, even those outside of China, labeled as Szechuan. This is because, among the Chinese provinces, Sichuan Province is widely known for its local authentic cuisines such as their Kung Pao Chicken and hot pot. The food is known to be spicy yet tasty. The flavors will surely awaken your palate and will make your trip to Sichuan China absolutely worth it.
China is a very large country and visiting it for a short period of time will not be enough. A few weeks in Sichuan Province alone is not enough as there are plenty more Chinese provinces to explore. There are many things to read up on and research before you plan your trip to the country. The government is quite strict and you’d have to get acquainted with their customs and culture as to not offend anyone or break any rules. Each village has something to offer and China provinces each have their own history; so it can be daunting to plan one trip to the country.
Relax And Rest In Songpan
If you’ve had your fill of adventure and trekking, time to rest in the quaint village of Songpan. Located in Northern Sichuan, you can soak in traditional Chinese culture and history in this village. It has become a well-known rest stop for the weary traveler as you can find affordable accommodations and places to eat. They also have horse trekking if you still want to fill your days with exploring. There is always something to this in this village and you will always learn something new.
Sichuan China is a fascinating area to explore, and it is recommended that you visit this area on your trip. Backpacking trips through Sichuan province can be exigent with the language barrier, meticulous regulations, and far-flung destinations. However, don’t be intimidated by these barriers. Many backpackers have listed Shichuan, China as a commendable backpacking destination. So, you are sure to meet plenty of fellow backpackers during your trip. Just remember to pack the essentials to be thoroughly prepared.
Any trip can be memorable and hassle-free as long as you’ve done your research and planned your itinerary. Of course, it can be fun to be spontaneous and travel on a whim. However, backpacking in a country such as China with its seemingly unlimited destinations and attractions should be planned carefully.
The diversity of China will always leave a new experience and challenges to encounter.; every village and province is worth the visit. So, put Sichuan, China at the top of your backpacking list and experience authentic Chinese culture, religion, history, and food.