We’re talking about Southwest China’s Sichuan province, the beautiful and resourceful land, home to the giant pandas, with Chengdu as its capital city. For those expecting a most rewarding experience and some wildness exploration in China, you can’t miss the heavenly West Sichuan of breathtaking views, with its grand grassland, the sweeping plateau, turquoise water, quaint Tibetan villages, temples… Here we list 8 extraordinary destinations in Sichuan – see which one inspires you!
1. Chuanxi Plateau
Chuanxi Plateau covers a large area of Ganzi and Aba in West Sichuan, and boasts some of the world’s most appealing destinations – Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong, Siguniang Mountain, Gongga Mountain, Buddhist land Seda and the legendary Daocheng Yading. Charming Chuanxi Plateau has long been regarded as the a perfect place for sightseeing, camping, hiking, safari and photography.
2. Daocheng Yading
Daocheng Yading sits in splendid isolation amid the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, and is famed as the world’s “last Shangri-la” surrounded by permanent snow-topped mountain peaks. After its first appearance in the book of Lost Horizon by British author James Hilton 80 years ago, countless travelers has traced his course to look for Daocheng Yading, and are given an extraordinary experience both visually and spiritually.
3. Jiuzhaigou Valley
Hided away in perpetually snow-clad Min Shan Range, Jiuzhaigou Valley has ever-changing sceneries all year round. Walkways wind between its 100+ Hai Zi (lakes) of various sizes, shapes and colors, and seduce visitors into a real magic world. The 18-km-long Rizegou stretching from Nuorilang Waterfall to primeval forest is the highlight of Jiuzhaigou Valley, including Pearl Beach Waterfall, Five-flower Lake, Panda Lake and Arrow Bamboo Lake.
4. Ruoergai Grassland
In the north of Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province, the 13,745-square-mile Ruoergai Grassland covers four counties- Ruoergai, Aba, Hongyuan and Rangtang, and claims to be the fourth largest grasslands in China. Ruoergai Grassland comprises the world’s most amazing natural sceneries – vast meadow, lush virgin forests, deep valley, dreamy flower lake, the first bend of Yellow River… It is also home to many Tibetan nomads and a wetland of dozens of species of nesting birds, including some rare species of cranes, eagles and vultures.
5. Qionghai Lake
One of China’s best lesser-known destinations, Qionghai lake finds itself five kilometers outside of Xichang, and is the second largest fresh-water lake in Sichuan (31 square kilometers). The crystal and limpid water blends in the magnificent mountains, creating a peaceful and harmony world. Qionghai Lake is ideal for relaxing strolls, boating and cycling.
6. Mt. Emei
Mt. Emei is most famous for its Buddhist status and wild monkeys. It is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China, together with Mt. Wutai, Mt. Juihua, and Mt. Putuo. Delve into its Buddhist culture further with charming mountain views endowed with azaleas, firs, sea of clouds and dotting temples. And the naughty wild monkeys will accompany you all the way up to the top of Mt. Emei.
Xinduqiao, a small Tibetan town in Sichuan, has long credit for having the most beautiful plateau pasture scenery on earth, therefore it is known as a Photographer’s Paradise. Mid October till late November is the best time to visit Xinduqiao, travelers will be reward with a 10-km-long “Photographer corridor” of golden cypress, stretches of grasslands, lucid streams and magic sunlight.
40 km away from Chengdu, Huanglongxi ancient town has a history over 1700 years and still keeps a rustic charm. Just have a leisure stroll on the old curving cobbled streets, and discover a number of temples, simple and unsophisticated wharves, and the houses tracing back to the Qing Dynasty.