Giant Panda Breeding & Research Centre
If you love Panda’s then Chengdu is the place to be! This world-famous breeding centre conserves the lives of giant and red pandas through caring, protecting and breeding them in a humongous space of 247 acres. There are very few pandas in the world and that’s what makes this place so unique.
However, with this comes masses of tourism, so much so that you have to queue for ages and, as cute as they are, it’s quite repetitive, fighting passed people just to see the same looking panda over and over again. As well as this, the pandas don’t really do a lot. I would recommend going to visit, but perhaps don’t bother wondering the whole place. Focus on the outdoor viewing area, the red pandas and the panda incubators.
NOTE: You can’t touch or feed the Panda’s.
World’s largest stone Buddha
Located in Leshan, the stone Buddha is roughly a two-hour drive from Chengdu. You can either get a boat around the Buddha (however this has a time restriction and you cannot see the base of the Buddha from here) or you can hike up and spend as long as you like there, plus its cheaper than the boat tour! This is exactly what we did.
The way up is quite a scenic route, but once you get in the line to see the Buddha it’s an insanely long queue. We went in the early morning on an off-peak day and still waited for two hours before we could then walk for about 15 minutes down the side of the Buddha to see it from below. Despite this, the Buddha was incredible and the atmosphere was surreal. I really enjoyed the experience, it’s just a shame a 10 minute look around the Buddha has to take so much time up before!
After seeing the Buddha, you can also hike up to the pagoda, which doesn’t take long at all and is very pretty.
Traditional Opera Show
The Chinese opera show is a form of musical theatre, which amalgamates different art forms from ancient china into something a little more modern. It’s almost like a talent show, with fire breathing, dancing, singing and many more unique skills! The most famous part of the show is the ‘changing of the masks’, where the people wear magnificent clothes and have masks on their faces which change rapidly and un-noticeably.
Moreover, there’s a tea house next door to the theatre which is very authentic, so if you have some time before the show, check it out!