Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Dzongsar Valley

Dzongsar Monastery

One of the oldest, most important and certainly most visibly impressive monastery complexes in Kham, the remote Dzongsar Monastery sits on a sharp ridge above the main village of the Dzongsar Valley. The...

Top ChoiceNature Reserve in Southern Garze Prefecture

Yading Nature Reserve

Yading Nature Reserve

The magnificent Yading Nature Reserve, 140km south of Daocheng, centres around three sacred snowcapped mountains, a holy trinity encircled by forested valleys, crystal-clear rivers and glacier-fed lakes. These...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Statue in Le Shan

Le Shan Grand Buddha

Le Shan Grand Buddha

Le Shan’s serene, 1200-year-old Grand Buddha sits in repose, carved from a cliff face overlooking the confluence of three busy rivers: the Dadu, Min and Qingyi. The Buddhist monk Haitong conceived the project in...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Dege

Bakong Scripture Printing Press

Bakong Scripture Printing Press

This fascinating 1729 printing press houses an ongoing printing operation that still uses traditional woodblock printing methods and maintains more than 290,000 scripture plates, an astonishing 70% of Tibet’s...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Dzogchen

Dzogchen Gompa

Backed by mountains, the massive Dzogchen monastery complex sits halfway up a steep ridge overlooking a valley dotted with stupas, shedras (Buddhist colleges), dormitory blocks, and further chapels and prayer...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Tagong

Ser Gyergo Nunnery

Known locally as ani gompa (Tibetan for ‘nunnery’), Hépíng Fǎhùi is home to around 500 nuns and more than 100 monks. Lama Tsemper was a revered hermit who spent much of his life meditating in a cave about two...

Top ChoiceZoo in Chengdu

Giant Panda Breeding Research Base

Giant Panda Breeding Research Base

One of Chengdu’s most popular attractions, this panda park 18km north of the city centre is the easiest way to glimpse Sichuan’s most famous residents. Don't, however, make the mistake of thinking you'll be...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Litang

Former Residence of the 7th Dalai Lama

Kelzang Gyatso (1708–57), the seventh Dalai Lama, was born in a cold, dark, cave-like room in the basement of this house during a period of intense political struggle. He eventually grew into a visionary leader,...

Top ChoiceZoo in Ya'an

Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Base

Ya'an Bifengxia Panda Base was established in prime forest in Ya'an in 2003 for research purposes rather than tourism, and its mission expanded in 2008 following the earthquake that severely damaged its sister...

Top ChoiceNational Park in Northern Sichuan

Huanglong National Park

Unaffected by the earthquakes that have so impacted nearby Jiuzhhaigou National Park, the lesser known but almost equally gorgeous Huanglong National Park is a stunning valley with terraces of coloured limestone...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Zigong

Dinosaur Museum

Relive your childhood palaeontology fantasies at this spectacular dinosaur museum. It was the first museum of its kind in China and is arguably one of the best dinosaur museums in the world. Built on top of the...

Top ChoiceNational Park in Four Sisters Mountain

Haizi Valley

Considered by many the most beautiful of the three valleys in the Four Sisters Mountain area, Haizi Valley's eponymous lakes and majestic views of the Four Sisters peaks make it hard to disagree. It's a steep...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Monastery in Yulongsi Valley & Mt Gongga Shan

Gongga Monastery

Set at an altitude of 3941m and cut off from the outside world by winter snows for months on end, the Gongga Monastery (also known as the Minya Konka Monastery) has an unforgettable location with views directly...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Ganzi

Degongbu Temple

Surrounded by the mud-brick buildings belonging to the smaller of Ganzi's two Tibetan quarters, this 13th-century temple's two dimly lit halls (one historic, the other finished in 2007) are filled with the smell...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Chengdu

Wenshu Monastery

This Tang dynasty monastery is dedicated to Wenshu (Manjushri), the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, and is Chengdu’s largest and best-preserved Buddhist temple. The air is heavy with incense and the low murmur of...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Chengdu

Chengdu Museum

Spanning ancient Shu and pre-Qin dynasties to the Revolutionary era and modern Chengdu, this spectacular five-storey museum (completed in 2016) is packed with historical and cultural relics of the city's past....

Top ChoiceNature Reserve in Northern Sichuan

Wolong Giant Panda Garden

China's leading panda conservation centre and, almost certainly, the best place to see pandas in China, the Wolong Giant Panda Garden is home to 74 captive pandas (and there are thought to be 150 wild pandas in...

Top ChoiceVillage in Danba


Comparatively remote Zhonglu, 13km from Danba, is less a village and more a collection of grand, traditional stone houses spread across a lush, green mountain slope. It's blissfully cool and quiet, and though...

Top ChoiceNational Park in Bamboo Sea

Shunan Zhuhai National Park

Swathes of swaying bamboo, well-marked walking trails and a handful of charming lakes and waterfalls make south Sichuan’s Bamboo Sea a worthwhile detour. There are more than 30 types of bamboo across this...

National Park in Sichuan

Jiuzhaigou National Park

Jiuzhaigou National Park

The raw mountain beauty and sparkling lakes of Jiuzhaigou National Park was, for many, a highlight of China. However, in August 2017 a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck near Jiuzhaigou, affecting the parks...