What to do and see in Sichuan, China: The Best Places and Tips

March 10, 2018 Rosalyn Ihle

Sichuan, formerly romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan, is a province in southwest China occupying most of the Sichuan Basin and the easternmost part of the Tibetan Plateau between the Jinsha River on the west, the Daba Mountains in the north, and the Yungui Plateau to the south. Sichuan's capital city is Chengdu. The population of Sichuan stands at 81 million.

1. Jiuzhaigou Natural ReserveTourism Sichuan5A Tourist Attractions

Zhangzha Town, 623400, China +86 837 773 9753
Excellent
80%
Good
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Satisfactory
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5 based on 4 reviews

Jiuzhaigou Natural ReserveTourism Sichuan5A Tourist Attractions

Jiuzhaigou Valley, eulogized as a world of magical fairytale, has for years enchanted tourists with its Mountains and luxuriant Forests, colorful lakes, gushing Waterfalls and abundant wildlife. To its south is the Huanglong (Yellow Dragon Scenic Area). Jiuzhaigou Valley is located in Nanping County, 450 kilometers (about 280 miles) to the north of Chengdu City, Sichuan, covers a total area of 720 square kilometers and the valley is 50 kilometers in length. In 1992, UNESCO entered this scenic area onto the world natural heritage list.Jiuzhaigou, literally the Nine Village Valley, is hence known for the nine Tibetan villages within its boundary, Inhabited by Tibetans, the nine villages and alpine lakes, are like reflecting mirrors or crystal jade blocks inlaid in snow Mountains and Forests.

Reviewed By KodoDrummer - Yekaterinburg, Russia

Due to bad weather, we drove for two days and walked four hours on mountain roads, to participate in the Tibetan villagers worship of they call God's Mountain. It was very special. The cultural show is amazing, and the highlight of my past ten days in the area, and visiting the many very remote villages of Sichuan Province. They are used to visiting tourists, and that is the reason for the nightly cultural shows.
The villagers are extremely friendly. Some wear very colourful costumes. They seemed very happy to participate in the dancing and other events.
The scenery in the area is very nice. There are beautiful Mountains, Valleys, and natural Forests.
Although we came by car and had a flat tire along the way, most visitors came by bus.

I’ll attach about 25 photos of the villagers participating in their prayers and the cultural show. Some are dressed in their regular daily clothing, others in festive costumes, and monks in their regular daily robes.

2. Aden Scenic Area

Yading Village, Riwa Country, Daocheng County 627750, China
Excellent
77%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
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4.5 based on 227 reviews

Aden Scenic Area

Reviewed By iamface - hong kong

love this place, it look like picture and good for taking photo. walk around and watch such stunning view. although we took many time to here but totally worth on it.

3. Guanghan Sanxingdui MuseumTourism SichuanMeseum

West of Guanghan, Guanghan 618305, China +86 838 550 0349
Excellent
67%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 146 reviews

Guanghan Sanxingdui MuseumTourism SichuanMeseum

Reviewed By Howard R

This museum complex is located about 55 km from downtown Chengdu and is well worth the trip. This museum contains displays from a civilisation that little is known about. The artifacts were locally discovered and are very impressive and show great artisanship. Not far from the museum you can visit the pits where the artifacts were found. The museum wasn't crowded as the foreign tourist season. (me) hasn't started yet. I was taken here by my colleagues after showing them a mask that I had seen in the Chengdu museum - otherwise I would likely never have made the long trip. Enjoy!!

4. Leshan Giant Buddha (Da Fo)Tourism Sichuan5A Tourist Attractions

No.2435 Lingyun Street, Shizhong District, Leshan 614000, China +86 833 230 2048
Excellent
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Good
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Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

Leshan Giant Buddha (Da Fo)Tourism Sichuan5A Tourist Attractions

Carved out of a hill, the largest Buddha in the world dates back to the 8th century.

Reviewed By Muditha L

This is a marvelous design , I felt like it was a dream , but it's something more than that I expected , please skip the holidays because of lot of people. Try to be there in the early morning. Don't forget to visit by the river side also. I couldn't make it , but I felt it's the best way to visit it.

5. Dujiangyan Irrigation SystemTourism Sichuan5A Tourist Attractions

On the Minjiang River at the west of Dujiangyan, Dujiangyan 611830, China +86 400 115 1222
Excellent
48%
Good
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Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 742 reviews

Dujiangyan Irrigation SystemTourism Sichuan5A Tourist Attractions

The historical irrigation system dates back to the 3rd century B.C and still functions.

Reviewed By Alex W - Singapore, Singapore

That the Chinese are really good at building infrastructure is a meme for the present age. Just look at their numerous new suspension Bridges, metro systems and bullet trains. The Dujiangyan irrigation and flood control project shows you why. It was built in 256BCE – nearly 2,300 years ago. The Chinese have had a lot of experience doing infrastructure.
In essence what you’ll see is a diversion of a fairly large river, with a raging volume of water, into man-made channels. There are several man-made channels of carefully designed widths to control the amount of water flowing into them. There’s even a spillway in case there is too much water for the channels to handle.
At first glance, it does not immediately strike you as breathtaking, but if you think about how it was done with mostly human labour and little technology 2,300 years ago, if you just try to imagine diverting a river of this size... the immensity of the achievement comes to the fore.
This is actually quite a large site. Most of it is parkland and will take some walking to see the project from various angles.
You need to get to Lidui Park (entry was 100 yuan) in sprawling Dujiangyan town in order to see the project. Lidui Park has several vantage points. It was quite busy with visitors.
I did this as a day trip from Chengdu, paired with Qingchengshan (see my review in Mount QingCheng).
What I did was to take the metro from downtown Chengdu to Xipu metro station at the Northwest end of metro line #2. It took me 30 minutes from downtown Chengdu to get to Xipu. From Xipu, normal trains run to Dujiangyan, roughly every hour but you need to check the schedule carefully a few days beforehand. Always have your passport with you: you’ll need it to buy a train ticket.
It’s only 40 minutes by train from Xipu to Dujiangyan. Unfortunately, the train station at Dujiangyan is some distance from Lidui Park. So, as you exit Dujiangyan train station, turn right and walk about 50 metres where you can catch local bus #4. (2 yuan).
Ride local bus #4 to its end; it terminates at Lidui Park. I spent slightly over 2 hours in Lidui Park, though if I wasn't going to Qingchengshan I would have stayed longer. Anyway, I was out of there by midday. Instead of going back to Chengdu (by taking bus #4 to Dujiangyan railway station), I hopped onto local bus #101from outside the Lidui Park gate, which took me directly to QingChengShan scenic area.
See my review in Mount QingCheng for more details.

6. Mount Emei (Emeishan)Tourism Sichuan5A Tourist Attractions

Emeishan 614201, China +86 400 819 6333
Excellent
56%
Good
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Satisfactory
11%
Poor
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4.5 based on 747 reviews

Mount Emei (Emeishan)Tourism Sichuan5A Tourist Attractions

A scenic mountain area houses important Buddhist temples.

Reviewed By Joeyjoyjoy - Beijng

I don't think words could express the scenery. Just go there and discover it by yourself. Really worth ur money and time. My advice is before you go, learn some simple chinese, cause you couldn't see much English or French or Spanish.

7. Shu'nan Bamboo Forest

20 Kilometers South of City, Changning County 644300, China +86 831 498 0888
Excellent
53%
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4.5 based on 108 reviews

Shu'nan Bamboo Forest

Reviewed By Darron G - Taree, Australia

Caught a bus from Xinnanmen Station in Chengdu to Bamboo Sea in south of Sichuan, only to find that rather than going directly to the National Park gates, we got dropped off in the middle of nowhere in a town called Changning Zhuhai. The journey took 5 hours. An hour later an English speaking local helped us catch a public bus to the park. Entrance fees to the park were 112 rmb for adults. We stayed inside the park at the Pinnacle Hills hotel for 150rmb. They had a restaurant which served food based on bamboo. Quite tasty. This was not far from the first cable car, which was good as there is no public transport within the park. Made friends with a Chinese family who took us around for the day. Went on two cable cars, the second which went across a massive chasm. On the other side was an amazing pathway built into the red sandstone cliffs. Saw numerous ancient relics and statues. Then the path follows small lakes in the bamboo forest. On the second day we hired a driver for half a day (150 rmb) and went to "colourful waterfall" and the Longyin temple. Both were excellent. It is a good place to stay for two days. Don't neglect the pleasant walking track along the Moxi Brook. It was a Mission getting back to Chengdu. From my experience of waiting in the bus station in Changning, it seems there is a lot more transport to Chongqing than to Chengdu.

8. Dujiangyan Panda Base and Center for Disease ControlTourism SichuanOutdoor Activities

Shiqiao Village, Qingchengshan Town, Chengdu 610000, China +86 156 8205 2076
Excellent
83%
Good
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Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 148 reviews

Dujiangyan Panda Base and Center for Disease ControlTourism SichuanOutdoor Activities

Dujiangyan Giant Panda Base enjoys a favorable climate and natural environment with vast bamboo forest coverage and lovely scenic surroundings. The base covers an area of about 51 Hectares (126 acres), including a panda hospital, a medical lab, 10 sets of monitoring enclosures, 30 sets of enclosures, a panda kitchen, an educational center and staff housing.

Reviewed By bubblebath89 - london

Very expensive volunteering trip. Also repetitive. You do the same volunteering tasks in the same panda pen before and after lunch, photo experience too short.

9. Jiuzhaigou National Arts Center

Zhangzha Town, 623402, China +86 28 8555 5148
Excellent
72%
Good
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Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 305 reviews

Jiuzhaigou National Arts Center

Reviewed By gourmet0072015 - Germany

very good tibetian-style entertainment by artists and musicians - colourful dresses and high professional artistical dance and music performance - can be highly recommended !

10. Mt. Emei Natural Ecology Monkey Reserve

Emeishan Mountain, Emeishan 614200, China
Excellent
46%
Good
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4 based on 367 reviews

Mt. Emei Natural Ecology Monkey Reserve

Reviewed By Ian P - The Hague, The Netherlands

Stupid Mainland tourists have corrupted these monkeys to become used to humans. They are very agressive now and will come to you to try and steal food. They have learned to grab plastic bags and such because they know food is in there. I passed this area quickly because seeing the tourists dealing with these wild animals the way they did despite the clear signs warning them of the danger made me very sad.

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