Started from Chengdu; the capital of Sichuan Province; the South Silk Road was 700—800 years older than the Northern one which is popular among the tourists. According to historical record, silk industry in Chengdu was well developed as early as in Han Dynasty (202BC—220AD), and Chengdu was the second biggest city in China at the time after Changan; today’s Xi’an. “Shu”, the old, classical name of Sichuan in Chinese history, and “Rong”, the abbreviation of Chengdu today; both means “wild Silkworm”.
Day 01 – Arrive in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.City tour in the afternoon. Old neighborhood of Kuan & Zhai street ,the settlement for Manchuria soldiers in early 18th century.Try local hot pot at dinner.
Day 02 – Visit Jinsha New Museum about the history of “Shu” Kingdom 3000 years ago, and a brocade factory, and Jinli new old street where the South Silk Road began in Chengdu. Enjoy Sichuan Opera after dinner.
Day 03 – The Chengdu Panda Breeding Center in the morning ，which has more than 80 giant pandas at different ages. Drive to Leshan with a stop at Jiajiang town,enjoy the Buddhist grotto cut in 6th century,and have lunch. Visit Great Buddha Statue in the afternoon,a cultural and natural world heritage site, the biggest Buddhist statue in the world now,overlooking Qingyi River and Dadu River.
Day 04 – Walk in Leshan in the morning,one of the most beautiful cities in history. River bank,old ferry,ancient city walls….Drive to Ermeishan Mountain,one of the four Sacred Budahist mountains in China, which is also famous for its big diversity of plants. Have lunch and take the shuttle bus and gondola up to the top. Overnight at the Summit Hotel（elevation of 3090m）for wonderful sunset and sunrise.
Day 05 – Visit Ermeishan Mountain by Shuttle buses and gondola,see wild flowers and animals like azaleas and monkeys. Come back down to the city of Ermei and have lunch,then continue driving to Hanyuan county after seeing the Daduhe River,a big tributary of Yangtze. Enjoy the wonderful views of the gorges with lots of water falls high above the cliffs on both sides. The area is known as “ the most charming natural park in the world”.
Day 6 – Drive Hanyuan city to Xichang,one of the 4 launch centers in China. The mountains here is called Daliangshan,the center of Yi People’s culture. Visit the launch center and the Yi villages.Built in 1970, the center focuses on launching the earth—synchronous orbit satellites, more than 50 ones up till now. They also launched No.1 Asian Communication Satellite made in America in 1990.
Day 7 – Visit Luojishan Mountain 30 km South of Xichang in the morning,which is well known for its glacial lakes and big variety of azaleas.
Qionghai Lake and Xichang old neighborhood in the afternoon.
Day 8 – Xichang to Yuanmou in Yunnan Province. Visit Sand Forest en route,a beautiful landscape with colorful sand pillars,and Yuanmou Apeman which is the earliest human being ever been identified in Asia,dated back to 1.7 million years.
Day 9 – Yuanmou to Dongchuan in Kunming. Known for its colorful red soil and different local farmer’s crops grow on the soil,it is called the paradise of photographers. See farmers daily life and traditional farming by animal and hands.
Day 10 – Dongchuan to Zhaotong,one of the most important hubs on south silk road, an important gateway to Sichuan in ancient Yunnan. Enjoying beautiful valleys and Wumengshan Mountains. Yulu Great Fracture geo-park on the way.
Day 11 – Zhaotong to Dashanbao which is 70 km away,the biggest Nature Reserve in China for the black- necked cranes,with a quarter of the population (over 1000 ) for wintering.Enjoy beautiful landscapes of Dashanbao ,lake,deep gorge,and Yi people’s villages. Back to Zhaotong city.
Day 12 – Zhaotong to Yibing in Sichuan. Yangtze River valley,and suspended (perched) coffins of Bo people 2000 years ago at Dousha Pass,old tracks of the horse from history on South Silk Road. Yibing is the capital of alcohol in China,one of the best alcohols called Wuliangye is distilled here.
Day 13 – Yibing to Chengdu,visit Zigong city en route. Zigong Dinosaur Museum ,one of the 3 biggest dinosaur museums in the world. Ancient salt well which is still working.
Day 14 – Leave Chengdu for home.