Get to the heart of Sichuan culture on this 9-hour private day trip that introduces you to the iconic giant panda and the ancient kingdom of Shu. Start by exploring the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, then progress to the Sanxingdui Museum, home to spectacular artifacts dating back to China's ancient Shu culture, over 3,000 years ago.
Your personal tour guide and private driver will collect you from your hotel at 8 am: exact timings will be confirmed on booking. Your first stop is the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a conservation facility that's spearheaded the preservation of this endangered species and Chinese icon: it's around half an hour from downtown Chengdu.The pandas are at their most active in the mornings, so you should be able to watch the bears feasting on bamboo. At most times of year, you'll also be able to see the baby pandas, and learn how they grow from tiny pink creatures the size of a mouse to gigantic adults that often weigh over 220 pounds (100 kilograms). The landscaped base is also home to red pandas and a lake with swans and koi carp. Your guide will recommend some good choices for lunch, including local specialties, which is at your own expense. After lunch, take a step back in time. It's a little under an hour's drive to the Sanxingdui Museum in Guanghan. This beautifully designed contemporary museum is home to relics from the ancient walled city of Sanxingdui (Three-Star Mound), founded around 3,600 years ago. The stunning bronzework and artifacts date back to 1200-1100BC and are highlights of China's ancient Shu culture, one of the nation's earliest civilizations. From here, it's about an hour's drive back and drop off at your hotel.