Chengdu and Lhasa Classic
8-Day Chengdu Pandas, Sichuan Cuisine and Lhasa Tibetan culture Tour
This tour is recommended for a first-time visitor who seeks a tour containing the most important features of Chengdu and Lhasa: Pandas, Sichuan cuisine, holy temples and picturesque landscape.
- Say hello to the giant pandas in the Panda Breeding and Research Center
- Take up a food challenge at the city's last farmers' market
- Step into an experienced chef's kitchen and cook real Sichuan cuisine together.
- Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims at the Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street
- Enjoy a picnic at picturesque Lake Yamdrok
Chengdu city was interesting
Chengdu city was interesting, Helen is very helpful, kind.She was speaking in english wery well and understandable. We got a lot of information from the city and experiences there! Thanks for her help and time!more
Nov 2023, Csernakne Agi
Panda Volunteer Programme
Highly recommend the Panda Volunteer Programme in Dujiangyan! Our guide Daisy, was really lovely, very knowledgeable and fun! She knew the base incredibly well and made everything super easy. Daisy had lots of insider knowledge and could point out all the panda quirks, which made the experience incredibly fun. We had an extra day in Chengdu and Daisy was helpful with suggestions on the best times and way to visit each attraction. Even though she was only booked for yhe panda experience, she was happy for us to contact her the following day if we had any questions/issues!more
Nov 2023, D V
One of memorable experience of our visit to China
I strongly recommend this program for anyone plan to visit China, specifically Chengdu. Our guide Helen warmly took care of us. 3 nights of staying in Chengdu are enough for visiting key sites specifically Panda Research Center and Leshan Giant Buddha. We definitely looking forward to revisit Chengdu for our future China’s exploration. China Highlight will surely our pick for guided tour service.more
Nov 2023, Karn T
Hi, all, just wanted to take a quick moment from our trip in China to thank our guide, Henry Li, for being such an amazing source of information and help during our stay in Chengdu. Henry went above and beyond the basics extending himself by working to solve any issues that might have otherwise hampered out enjoyment. Simply put, he is knowledgeable, kind, extremely helpful and he can take you to the best hotpot in Chengdu. His English is excellent and so easy to understand. You should really see if he is available for your next rip to Chengdu.more
Oct 2023, Pennie B
Visit to Chengdu
My wife and I visited Chengdu and were met by our guide, Helen, the moment we got off the train. Helen was excellent looking after us for a couple of days whilst taking us to visit the Giant and Red Panda Sanctuary, walking around the city, assisting us with places to eat. Helen was extremely knowledgeable of the places we visited and has excellent english, we will be going back in the future and would definitely request Helen as our guide againmore
Oct 2023, Kevin Bennett
Helen is the best Panda tour guide going around!
I had a fantastic Panda tour with Helen in Chengdu City. From the moment she picked me up, my energy was low from a heap of travelling, but Helen quickly brought me up a notch with her breathtaking passion for Pandas. Not only did she provide a fantastic experience accommodating my every need, but she was also a genuinely kind and joyful company to tour the city with. I can't recommend Helen enough - you won't regret it!more
Sep 2023, Isaac C
Incredible 2 day tour of Jiuzhaiguo
Our tour guide Mary spoke perfect English, was so nice to us and took us to all the best sights in Jiuzhaiguo. It was an unforgettable tour with incredible views!more
Sep 2023, Declan O
Viaje a Chengdu con China Highlights y su guía Pablo.
Visitamos Chengdu y otras ciudades chinas con China Highlights en un viaje que nos organizó la magnífica Juana Pan. Al llegar a Chengdú nos estaba esperando Pablo, nuestro guía en espa?ol que nos llevó al hotel y nos instaló. Al día siguiente fuimos a ver el Gran Buda de Leshan y, aunque lamentablemente no pudimos hacer el viaje en barco que teníamos contratado debido a las condiciones atmosféricas, Pablo nos llevó a la cima de la monta?a desde donde pudimos admirar esta gran belleza. Después, hicimos una rica comida típica y caminamos por las calle de la ciudad y al día siguiente la visita nos llevó a callejear por sus calles antiguas, sus templos y vistamos el curioso "mercado de matrimonios" dentro del parque del pueblo. En definitiva una experiencia gratísima y que Pablo nos descubrió. Gracias Pablomore
Aug 2023, Eco C
Perfect tour in Chengdu
Been in Chengdu for a couple of days with my wife and my daughter 2 years old. We have been guided by Henry Lee, a very professional and competent touristic guide that have organized perfectly our short journey in Chengdu. Highly Recommended.more
Aug 2023, Adriano C
2 Fantastic Days in Chengdu with Helen
We had an amazing couple of days in Chengdu as part of our 2 week holiday in China. Helen was our tour guide and she was fabulous!! She had so much passion for her job it was infectious!! We went to see the pandas and Helen was able to navigate the site to ensure we were able to see the various panda houses and try and minimise the waiting time, we then experienced very local Sizhuan Opera which was intriguing and very entertaining. The following day we went to the peoples park which was very interesting and Helen was able to give us the background to the park and introduced us to some amazing activities and encourage us to participate. Our last stop was the Wenshu Monestry which was beautiful and again Helen was very knowledgable and led us around the monestry with great explanations behind what we were seeing. Helen also took us to some fabulous local restaurants and we ate incredibly well. Thank you Helen for making the few days in Chengdu so special and we will for sure be back!!more
Aug 2023, Sandra
Qingcheng Mountain Your Chengdu
I booked a tour with China Highlights to visit Qingcheng Mountain. Aaron was a brilliant tour guide! It was great to visit the birthplace of daoism- the temples were breathtakingly beautiful and the atmosphere was serene. Aaron was incredibly knowledgeable about the mountain, and was a really helpful guide for my stay in Chengdu!more
Aug 2023, Stuart
Chengdu Guide was Awesome!
Our guide, Helen, made our time in Chengdu terrific! She was very knowledgeable and got us to everything we wanted to see efficiently. She knew all the "insider tips", like which restrooms to use to avoid long lines, excellent food for lunch, etc. Helen was very flexible and changed our itinerary so we could see an additional site. She even entertained our six year old so we could enjoy more of a museum. Definitely NOT her job, but greatly appreciated! Helen was awesome and we would recommend her VERY highly!more
Jul 2023, Suzann Demianew
Best guide in Chengdu
Our expert guide in Chengdu, China, was Helen. She was just totally amazing! She had lots of energy and was able to get us everywhere we wanted to go. She was very flexible and changed the itinerary to add an additional site. That meant she and our driver had an extra long day. She really knew all the sights and little things like which bathrooms to use to avoid long lines. Restaurants she took us to had very tasty food. Could not have had a better guide. I highly recommend Helen!more
Jul 2023, Suzann D
We spent few wonderful days at Chengdu as part of our China trip. Our guide - HenryLi from China Highlights did a wonderful job and everything went as planned in the itinerary. Henry answered all our questions was flexible and made sure all our needs were met. I would highly recommend China Highlights and if you are going to Chengdumore
Jul 2023, Viki B
Best Tour of Chengdu
In July, we went to Chengdu as a part of our large tour of China. We went to see the pandas, visited a Sichuan Opera, and toured the local streets of Chengdu with traditional Sichuan Cuisine. Our guide Helen was very helpful during this trip. She was always trying to get us to places on time and made sure we did everything we could. This was especially helpful during our stop to see the pandas as it was really crowded and busy. In addition to this trip, she was able to get us last-minute tickets to visit an authentic opera with famous face-changing masks. During our car rides, she was very informative, making sure we had all the information about the beautiful city. We recommend staying there for more than a day as there are more things to do other than seeing the pandas. Helen was very attentive and always cheerful. We definitely recommend her for people who want to be more knowledgeable of Chengdu and want someone who is very caring towards their needs.more
Jul 2023, Jimena M
Helen wad fantastic!
Helen in Chengdu was absolutely fantastic! She is very knowledgeable, speaks English well and is very active. She was flexible, practical and ready to make changes. She offered various extra options and was very sweet with my child.Highly recommended!more
Jul 2023, Chiara G
Chengdu more than pandas
Our family of 4 including 2 teens visited Chengdu. I just want to say that we did much more than the Panda activities. Our favourite one was cooking and talking with a local family in their house. We had a hands on cooking experience. It was fun, relaxing and got us to catch a bit of real chinese lifestyle. Our guide Alex was so great at arranging this! He understood our preferences in all the trip. We had a great time. By the way I accidentally lost my phone one day. Sharon (the planner girl) and Alex solved the situation in no time. More than I expected from an agency. 5 out of 5.more
Jul 2023, gilberto b
Jiuzhaigou/Huanglong in Sichuan is a must visit!!!
my mom and I had a fantastic time in Chengdu visiting the city, Leshan Big Buddha and Panda Conservation. But the best part of the trip was travelling to Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong (these two scenic spots are a MUST visit!!!) Our guide Mary was fantastic! We highly recommend her. She was accommodating, knowledgeable, and super friendly. She even helped carried our heavy water bottles for us (thank you so much). I highly highly recommend her and would seek her out again if I go again!more
Jul 2023, Sandy
Custom Chengdu with great guide!
Our guide Jason was a joy to travel with! He answered our million and one questions that had nothing to do with our itinerary, made us comfortable in unusual situations, was flexible, and made sure our every need along the way was met. We had a great time and would highly recommend China Highlights—and if you’re going to Chengdu, definitely request Jason as your guide.more
Jun 2023, Renata R
Great trip around Sichuan
My girlfriend and I booked a tour with China Highlights (Lucia Zheng was our contact there) around Sichuan. We have been visiting Emei Mountain, Kangding, Danba, Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve, and many other impressive locations always accompanied with our guide Dong Jing and our driver. We are very satisfied with the attention and service offered by them, always being helpful and adapting to our needs. Dong Jing speak great english an german even better :) We would very happy do another travel with them. Thanks for a great experience!more
Jun 2023, Alberto S
Your private guide will meet and greet you at the arrival hall of the airport or at the train station's exit. A comfortable private car (non-smoking) with an experienced driver will transfer you directly to your hotel, where your guide will help you check-in.
Tibet Hotel Chengdu
Minshan Lhasa Grand Hotel
A Morning Date with the Pandas (2 Hours)
Visiting the city's panda base can be a challenge as it is easily accessible and has various animals. We've designed a smart route to beat the crowds while matching the pandas' active period as much as possible for you.
If you travel in late summer, you will have a chance to see baby pandas .
A Food Challenge in an Original Farmers' Market (1½ Hours)
Chengdu was named as the first city of gastronomy in Asia by UNESCO, and the local delicacies are rooted in close-to-life market.
Try some snacks, such as pickled dishes, century eggs, Chinese rice wine, and so on.
Learn some local skills: how to bargain like a local and how to wrap Chengdu dumplings - learn this from the shopkeepers who can easily make 100 perfect dumplings in minutes.
Learn Sichuan Cuisine Recipes from a Local Chef (2½ Hours)
It is very hard to travel like an insider when you are surrounded by thousands of tourists in incredibly crowded tourist areas. Instead, a visit to a local chef's home will be one of the best ways to get a taste of local life.
Unearth the secrets of Sichuan cuisine as you cook three typical Sichuan dishes with the chef and invent your own recipe. Try to play mahjong in the living room as well if you want to.
Be Like a Chengduer in a Local Park (2½ Hours)
Chengdu is probably the laziest city among China's new first-tier cities.
There has always been a teahouse on every corner in the city. The daily ritual of stopping at a teahouse to meet friends and chat began in Chengdu at least 1,000 years ago. Take a seat and sip a cup of tea. Your guide will explain the etiquette to you of how to drink tea and the intentions you express when you put the lid, bowl, and tray in different places.
Square dancing is already a part of the locals' lifestyle and the dance form nowadays is much more interesting and uniquely Chinese. Feel the good vibes and join in with line dancing, a waltz, or a little Chinese salsa if you want to.
You will also see some vibrant scenes that may only happen in Chengdu: desperate parents are posting messages in a marriage market looking for a partner for their unmarried offspring; a local man is enjoying a traditional teahouse strong>ear massage with a metal rod in his ear; Chengdunese are playing mahjong everywhere in summer - even in the river.
Go Behind the Scenes When You Venture Backstage at the Theater (1 Hour)
Chengdu is the main home of Sichuan opera. A lot of old fans visit the grassroots opera house that we recommend every day. After lunch, follow your guide for the chance to go backstage to see how the actors and actresses do their makeup and have a chat with them.
Enjoy a Panda Afternoon Tea and a Bird's-Eye View of Tianfu Square (1½ Hours)
Chengdu was inhabited over 4,000 years ago and was once the center of the ancient Shu culture. It is a miracle that you can still trace its cultural features today in the city.
Tianfu Square is the geographical center and important landmark of Chengdu. From above, it looks like a huge tai chi pattern depicting yin and yang, and you can see the image of a flying sunbird in the center, which is the emblem of the city.
There is a strong link between the city's historical functions and street names. Your guide will tell you the most featured and interesting city street names and the stories behind them.
Your private driver and guide will be ready for you when you arrive in Lhasa. Sit back in a comfortable vehicle, leave the hassles to your guide, and enjoy a trouble-free transfer to your hotel.
Visit the Summer Palace for the Dalai Lamas in Tibet(1½ Hours)
Enjoy an unhurried Western breakfast, such as bread, hot coffee, and salad. In the morning, you will visit Norbulingka, stroll in the park, and get used to the altitude.
Later, you will be driven for about 15 minutes to Drepung Monastery where you will climb the stairs up to the hill and visit the delicate temples. If you are lucky, you will hear the monks chanting together, which sounds just like singing.
Have lunch in a local restaurant and choose Tibetan food, Western food, or even spicy Sichuan food. Your tour guide will help you to order.
Monks debate at Sera Monastery (1 Hour)
In the afternoon, you'll watch monks debating over age-old scripts in a courtyard of Sera Monastery. When debating, the monks will do a lot of gesturing. Enjoy their 'dance" and guess what it means.
Visit the Most Holy Temple to Buddhists (2 Hours)
Visit the Jokhang Temple in the morning. You will find a lot of devoted pilgrims prostrating themselves near the front gate. The Jokhang Temple Square is also an interesting place. You can write down your wish and hang your prayer flags on the tall praying pillar.
Barkhor Streetstrong> is like a backstreet around the Jokhang Temple. Walk clockwise and join the local people's kora (circle for religion). There are many interesting shops in the street.
Visit the the Winter Palace for the Dalai Lamas (2 Hours)
The Potala Palace is built on a mountain and before entering the palace you will need to climb about 360 steps. This is your third day in Tibet so you should be ready to do it.
Once you get into the palace, you will be surprised by the exquisite wall paintings and glorious chambers. Listen carefully as your guide is going to explain a lot of Buddhist culture.
After breakfast, drive for about 2 hours to reach the holy lake, Lake Yamdrok, it's one of the top four Buddhist holy lakes in Tibet.
If the weather permits, we will prepare a picnic by the lakeside and you will have sandwiches, vegetables, and fruit.
The lake is decorated by many islands and natural resources. As a major waterbird habitat in Tibet, it's also a great place to see hundreds of swans and gulls in summer.
1. Customizing the Tour - According to Your Needs
This tour is very flexible. You can alter the itinerary, extending or shortening it to suit your price, interests, and schedule.
2. Tibet Travel Permit
You will need a Tibet Entry Permit. Its cost is included in the tour quotation. Send your passport and China visa copies to us 20 days in advance, and we will apply for your permit once you book a Tibetan tour with us.
In our experience, we can virtually guarantee to get your permit during times when Tibet is open to foreign travelers.
3. Altitude Sickness
Before your trip, ask your doctor for any suggestions in relation to altitude sickness and take some medicine with you, just in case. The most popular altitude medicine among foreigners is Acetazolamide/Diamox. We recommend that during the first 2 days after arriving in Tibet, you should keep warm, avoid taking a bath, and refrain from smoking or drinking alcohol.
Drink plenty of water (more than 4 liters per day) before you go out and when you have reached a higher altitude, and eat lots of vegetables and carbohydrates. Slow down, even if you feel energetic. Moving slowly is the best way to avoid altitude sickness.
If you don't feel well after entering Tibet, go and see a doctor as soon as possible. There are doctors in major hotels in Lhasa, and you can call your tour guide for help at any time. We offer a free oxygen bag in the car.
4. General rules for visiting temples in Tibet:
Cameras are not allowed in the temples or in the debate field, but taking photos with a cell phone is acceptable.
When entering a temple, please take off your hat and sunglasses to show respect. Your shoulders should be covered and you should not wear shorts.
Walk clockwise when visiting Barkhor Street.