Start the day at 7:30am, when your private guide collects you from your hotel for the 30-minute drive to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a pioneering conservation facility that led the charge to breed this endangered species in China.
You'll have around three hours to explore the base with your guide, and should see pandas at all ages and stages, from adorable babies through to full-grown adults. The landscaped grounds are also home to red pandas, black swans, koi carp, and more.
At 11am, hop back in your climate-controlled vehicle for the 90-minute drive to your next stop, the Museum of Sichuan Cuisine. Sichuan food is one of China's great cuisines, and becoming increasingly popular in the west: a master chef will guide you through the basics of creating classic Sichuan dishes such as dumplings and kung pao chicken.
Take the time to savor your creations over lunch, before your guide takes you around the museum. See ancient cooking tools, farm equipment, and machinery that have been used to grow and prepare food in Sichuan province for many centuries. Learn how Sichuan's spicy chili bean paste is created, and try your hand at planting vegetables using traditional Chinese tools.
You'll finish at the museum around 4pm, and drive back to your hotel in Chengdu, arriving around 5:30pm, traffic depending.
- 7:30am - From pick-up at your hotel lobby, drive about 30 minutes to the Chengdu panda base.
8:00am to 11:00am - Your guide takes you to Chengdu panda base all of the pandas, red pandas, and black swans.
11:00am to 12:30pm Drive about 1.5 hours from Chengdu to Sichuan Cuisine museum
12:30pm to 4:00pm Learn to cook your own Sichuan food by hand with the help of your English-speaking teacher, and enjoy your lunch.
Afterwards, see the museum with your experienced guide to learn more about cooking techniques, how to produce "Pixian Dou ban" that is typical for Sichuan cuisine, and cooking antiques along with agricultural tools and machines. Experience planting vegetables, try the Sichuan snacks such as dumplings and cold noodles.
4:00pm to 6:00pm - Relax on the way back to your Chengdu hotel.