5 Day Sichuan Culinary Tour

Highlights:

  • Sichuan hotpot, Kung Pao chicken, Mapo dofu, Twice cooked pork...these well-known Sichuan Cuisines may be much talked by the tourists who have returned to your country from Chengdu. During this tour, you will guided by our professional teachers and chefs to learn the knowledge of Sichuan cuisines and even practice to cooking the authentic Sichuan cuisines
  • Witness in person the gargantuan and awe-inspiring heights of the Leshan Buddha, the world's largest Buddha statue.
  • Get all cute and cuddly with the Giant Panda at the Bifeng Gorge Panda Reserve, the world's premier Panda center

(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1 arrive in Chengdu

You will fly to Cehngdu, the capital of Sichuan province in southwest China. Upon arrival you’ll be met by your English-speaking travel guide. After being taken to your hotel, the res tof your day can be spent at your own leisure. . From traditional teahouses, theaters to modern pubs and clubs, Chengdu people know how to enjoy the night. Every corner in Chengdu offers the warmest welcome, and you are sure to find something to pique your interest during your time on the town.

Day 2 Chengdu (B, L, D)

In the morning you will attend a cooking course (9-11:30) on Sichuan cuisine. During the class, you will learn some theoretical knoledge about two Sichuan courses. The teaching contents will inculde their seasonings and cooking methods etc.

Sichuan cuisine is the most popular cuisine in all of China, defined in terms of the breadth and depth of where it is served. Of course it helps the depth parameter that the neighboring population-dense municipality of Chongqing, formerly a part of Sichuan Province, is one of the areas outside present-day Sichuan Province most enamored of Chuan Cuisine.

The dishes of Sichuan cuisine are famous for their spicy-hot flavors, a spicy-hotness that Sichuaners call "dry hot", insisting that it differs from the "wet hot" spiciness of other cuisines. The difference, say, Sichuaners, is that the spices used to achieve "dry hot" spiciness consists of a mixture of dry ingredients such as crushed peppercorns (black, red and white) and dried, crushed chili, as well as Sichuan Province's own native pepper, huajiao ("flower pepper" from the prickly ash tree, Zanthoxylum bungeanum) that is of course first dried, then crushed. According to Sichuan-cuisine chefs, gourmets and gourmands (which covers just about everyone cooking and eating Sichuan cuisine ), the salient features of "dry hot" spiciness consist of an instantaneous numbing effect on the tongue, and a pleasing, lingering, spicy-hot aftertaste.

For lunch, you will dine at the student’s dining hall. At 2 you will resume your cooking class, and the instructing chef will guide and make comments on your dishes. We will have dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3 Chengdu (B, L, D)

At 9 you will again have your cooking class. During the class, you will learn some theoretical knowledge about another two Sichuan dishes, and lunch will again be at the students' dining hall.

You will resume your classes at 2, and following its completion we’ll go to a famous local restaurant, where you will wear a uniform to observe how the chef’s cook Sichuan food, along with trying out your own recipes!

Day 4 Chengdu (B, L, D)

In the morning, you will be taken to Ya’an to visit the Bifengxia (Bifeng Grge) Panda Breeding Center. In the May 12th 2008 the Wenchuan Earthquake dealt the pandas a crushing blow and over fifty giant pandas living in captivity became completely homeless. In order to save these national treasures, the Wolong National Natural Reserve has, since May 15th, carried out an evacuation plan. Twenty-seven giant pandas were transferred in batches to Chengdu, Fuzhou and Beijng, and the rest were moved to Bifeng Gorge Base of China Panda Protection and Research Center, located in the northern suburbs of Chengdu.

The pandas are assured of healthy growth in their new home, and good news continually flows from Bifeng Gorge Base. In the morning on July 6th, 2008, the panda "Guo Guo" gave birth to the first twin cubs in the base. Guo Guo, the great panda mother, came to the base on June 24th when she was 119 days pregnant. She was really strong and brave to have these baby pandas after surviving the big earthquake, overcoming the difficulties of bumping and shaking on the long journey, and adjusting herself to the new environment. The center is divided into the giant panda breeding zone, baby giant panda care zone, research center, bamboo woods and office area.

We’ll then head to the nearby county of Leshan, having lunch once we arrive. Our first point of interest will be the mountain and temple of Lingyun. Lingyun Mountain (Lingyun Shan) has been a Buddhist shrine since the Tang Dynasty and numerous monasteries have been built at the site over the years. On the hill here is a relatively new temple complex affording excellent views of Dafo himself and containing hundreds of statues.

There is an Oriental Buddha Park (Dongfang Fodu) here which contains more than 3000 Buddhist statues and a 170m long reclining Buddha- which is the largest in the world. The Mahaoya Tomb Mausoleum (Mahaoyamu Museum) is also located on the mountain. This is a Han Dynasty building containing tombs and other burial artifacts from the Han Dynasty.

Following our visit to Lingyun, we’ll set out for the Leshan Buddha. The largest representation of the Buddha in the world, the statue is of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture. The Buddha is located to the east of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River. The statue makes itself the most renowned scenic spot in Leshan City. In December, 1996, the location of the Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites. Begun in the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty, and finished in the year 803, the statue took people more than 90 years to carve. During these years, thousands of workers had expended their efforts and wisdom on the project. As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, Leshan Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song and story. Our visit to the Leshan Buddha will be complete with a river cruise, giving you a glorious vantage point (and photo op!) of which to view the Buddha.

In the late afternoon you’ll be driven back to Chengdu, and you’ll be able to spend the night at your own leisure.

Day 5 Chengdu-departure (B)

After breakfast you will be taken to the airport where you will fly on to your next destination, ending your tour with us.