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Biking to Pandas and Buddhas
The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which provincial capital Chengdu is located, is known as the "Country of Heaven" and often translated as, "Land of Milk and Honey". You will leave China after this tour with more understanding of its ancient culture, an insight into the agriculture and natural environments and a camera full of photos of stunning landscapes, towering mountains and playful panda bears!
- CategoryCultural & Historical
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration7 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level3 - Intermediate
- Activity Level3 - Active
- Elevation2 - Moderate
- Distance185.2 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance32.9 miles
How long is the tour? How many days of riding?
This tour is 7 days long, with 5 riding days.
How many riders will be in the group?
Groups can be from 2 to 16. For groups of 9 or more, a second guide joins the tour.
Is there a minimum age for this tour?
Yes, riders must be 18 years old by the time the tour starts.
Can I rent a bike for the tour?
Yes, a well-known brand of mountain bike is available for hire at an additional cost.
What's the tour like?
The tour will start in Chengdu and from there the first tour highlight will be visited, the Dujiangyan Panda Valley. This new centre offers refuge for these magnificent, rare animals with rearing and breeding programmes. These giant pandas are the symbol of China, and the research centre provides education and raises awareness of the plight of these great creatures and their environment. The tour then moves on to discover two ancient towns and Mengding Mountain, which is famous for its tea culture.
On the mountain you can take a walk at the Mengdingshan Royal Tea Gardens, a delight with its atmospheric pavilions and walking paths. China's tea growing history can be traced back to the Western Han Dynasty over 2,000 years ago, Reputed to be the birthplace of Chinese tea cultivation, the tea trees planted at Mengding by a herdsman were believed to be the very beginning of China's tea history.
The next visit is UNESCO Heritage listed Mount Emei, one of China's Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains and traditionally regarded as a place of enlightenment. The unsurpassed views are one of the great spectacles of Mount Emei and is yet another high point of the tour in every sense of the word! The ride then follows the river to the town of many temples, Leshan. The last day takes one on a walk through bamboo forests and to Huang Long Xi, a picturesque town where many Chinese movies have been filmed.
Suitability: There are climbs and downhill runs, but they are all on paved roads so a smooth steady effort is possible. Being physically fit will of course be a huge asset. This tour is partially supported in that a vehicle will follow but will only have room for a few cyclists at a time.
Biking Conditions: This bike tour is all on smooth, paved roads. There are some climbs, and these could be a challenge for those without a moderate level of cycling experience and a basic level of good physical condition.
Am I safe?
The tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue. But to a large degree, riders must be responsible for their own safety during the tour. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a cycling tour.
Where does the tour start and finish?
The tour starts and finishes at Chengdu. Fly in and out through Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU).
Do I have to pay if travelling alone?
You are not required to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. The tour operator will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender. If you cannot be matched, they will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share, a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room.
Are helmets included when hiring a bike?
Yes, if you're hiring a bike from the operator, a complimentary helmet is provided, although you are welcome to bring your own if you wish.