Top 5 Chengdu Day Trips

A Giant Panda Is Eating Bamboo

The adorable giant pandas are the No. 1 reason that people visit Chengdu. Beyond pandas, the delicious Sichuan food and cultural sights make your Chengdu tour richer. It is worth staying here for at least 2 to 3 days.

However, if you only have one day in Chengdu and are wondering how to experience Chengdu in an efficient way, this article will help you decide what to do.

The following five Chengdu day trips options are the most popular. We can help you make the most of your time by providing you with a private guide and car.

1. Chengdu City Day Trip to See Pandas

  • Features: giant pandas, local culture, authentic experiences
  • Highlights: up-close and personal with pandas
  • Duration: about 8 hours
  • Price for reference: from USD 129 pp for a private tour

Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center is the best place to see pandas near Chengdu because of its convenient location and the greatest number of pandas, around 50 at all ages including baby pandas.

It is highly recommended to arrive at the panda base before 8:00 am to avoid crowds and see the pandas at their most active between 9:00 am and 11:00 am. You can spend half a day there to see pandas eating and playing, watch panda breeding movies and see other animals like red pandas.

In the afternoon, pay a visit to two classic attractions in Chengdu city, Wenshu Monastery and Chengdu People's Park.

Wenshu Monastery: This is the best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu. You can see many locals praying and monks doing their work. Be sure to spend some time enjoying a traditional beverage at the on-site teahouse.

Chengdu People's Park: This is the city's oldest public park and the best place to experience the culture and daily lives of local people. You can see many unique local activities such as outdoor karaoke, dancing, ear cleaning, and instant hair cutting.

2. One Day Tour to Chengdu Panda Base and Leshan Giant Buddha

  • Features: giant pandas, Buddha culture
  • Highlights: up-close and personal with pandas, giant Buddha statue
  • Duration: about 8 hours
  • Price for reference: from USD 112 pp for a private tour

In the morning, head to Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center or called Chengdu Panda Breeding Base which is a 30-minute ride away from Chengdu city. You can spend several hours there seeing lovely furry giant pandas of all ages eating and playing, visiting the research laboratory, the museum, the panda playground, and the animal hospital.

Afterwards take a 2-hour drive to the Leshan Giant Buddha, which is the world's largest stone Buddha and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. You may hike the surrounding trails to have a close look at the statue or take a boat to enjoy the whole view of Giant Buddha.

3. Full-day Trip to Chengdu Panda Breeding Center and Mount Qingcheng

  • Features: giant pandas, Taoist culture
  • Highlights: up-close and personal with pandas, Mount Qingcheng
  • Duration: about 8 hours
  • Price for reference: from USD 239 pp for a private tour

First, head to the Chengdu Panda Breeding Center for a close look at giant pandas. You can see them eating and playing. If lucky, you are possible to see cute baby pandas as well as documents and pictures of how these pink little mouse-sized things grow to giant black and white chubby pandas of over 100kg (about 220 pounds).

Then, head to the UNESCO-listed Mount Qingcheng, the birthplace of China's Taoist religion. It is better known for it was featured in 2016's Kung Fu Panda 3 and inspired to create Panda Village. You can hike and ride a cable car up forested Mount Qingcheng ad admire the lush slopes, palaces, lake, and temples.

4. One-Day Dujiangyan Panda Keeper Program Tour

  • Features: giant pandas
  • Highlights: interacting with giant pandas
  • Duration: about 10 hours
  • Price for reference: from USD 219 pp for a private tour

Dujianyan Panda Base is located 60 kilometers, or 1½ hours by car, from Chengdu City. This base is the best place to join a panda volunteer program in which you can make panda food, clean the enclosures, and feed the pandas snacks.

Considering the driving time, you are suggested to depart from Chengdu around 7:30 am. On arrival, you will be prepared for a full day of work. Here is the schedule for reference:
9:00 am–10:00 am: Clean the panda enclosures.
10:00 am–11:00 am: Take a break and tour around the panda base.
11:00 am–11:30 am: Prepare food and feed pandas
11:30 am–1:00 pm: Have lunch and a rest.
2:00 pm–3:30 pm: More cleaning, cake making and feeding.
4:00 pm: Depart for the return trip to Chengdu

Note: There is a daily quota of 60 volunteers for the Panda Keeper Program at Dujianyan Panda Base.

5. Day Trip to Dujiangyan Panda Base and Dujiangyan Irrigation System

  • Features: giant pandas, ancient Chinese Dam
  • Highlights: interacting with giant pandas
  • Duration: about 8 hours
  • Price for reference: from USD 169 pp for a private tour

If you don't want to spend a full day at Dujiangyan Panda Base, you can spend the morning seeing giant pandas and pay a visit to Dujiangyan Irrigation System in the afternoon.

Dujiangyan Dam is the most famous ancient Chinese Dam. It is a 2,000-year-old flood control system and it is still functioning. It works as not only a flood prevention mechanism but also a source of irrigation. Here you will marvel at its dynamic designs, ancient statues and verdant gardens that surround the structure.