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A Taste of Sichuan (Bite Size)

Overview

A bustling metropolis and engine of China’s western growth, Sichuan’s capital nonetheless remains best known for its fiery cuisine and relaxed lifestyle.

Our bite sized break is packed with tantalising cuisine, cooking classes and food photography, shopping for spices, night markets, UNESCO heritage site Leshan and adorable Pandas.

This short culinary journey will take you off the beaten track and reveal Chengdu’s true spirit and cuisine.

Recommended for:

If you prefer to travel at your own pace with our local guides, our private trips are for you. Our culinary journeys focus on immersion into the local culture. We introduce you to experts who invite you into their culture and kitchens to participate.  Min 2 guests.

Highlights:

  • Taste delicious Sichuan Cuisine, from spicy tofu to subtle hotpots
  • Learn to cook the dishes at the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine, China’s top culinary academy
  • Sample local street food, all kinds of spiciness and small eats
  • Hike on the Happy mountain to see the largest carved Buddha in the world, an impressive UNESCO world heritage site
  • Partake in a traditional tea ceremony with local tea connoisseurs
  • Join our professional food photographer for an exhilarating photo tour at the night market & studio
  • Dine at a tiny restaurant by the “new emperor of Chinese gastronomy” (Financial Times)
  • Watch Sichuanese opera, an incredible spectacle of “face changing” and fire breathing
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Location

Sichuan’s capital is well known for: drinking tea and eating hot pot, such is the city’s reputation as a culinary capital that knows how to take it easy. Chengdu’s cuisine is irresistible and tea drinking is a custom that took hold here 1,300 years ago and never let go.

Considering the laid-back attitude, admirable green space and pockets of ‘old’ Chéngdū you’d hardly know that the city is China fifth-most populous city. People are friendly and the pace unrushed. The capital is filled with charming streets, cultural attractions, markets, fiery cuisine and an even spicier nightlife.

Chengdu is the gateway to scenic Jiuzhaigou, UNESCO heritage sites such as the Buddhist mountains of Emei Shan and Le Shan, and one of the most important panda breeding and conservation centres. It also serves as a great stop over for travellers exploring the western part of China and Tibet.

Cuisine

Sichuan cuisine is considered one of the four great Chinese cuisines.
It is famed for its intense flavours, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from copious use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique Sichuan Peppercorn. A good Sichuan meal is not all “hot and spicy” but much more sophisticated and subtle. A Sichuan banquet is well balanced and should have constant variety and excitement, from fiery to soothing, savoury to sweet and something light. Variety is the spice of life in Sichuan province!

Some of the more recognised Sichuan dishes include Sichuan Hot Pot, Spicy deep-fried chicken, Dandan noodles, Mápó dòufu (mápó tofu) to fiery dishes, such as shuizhuyu (fish in a sea of sizzling chilli oil).

Accommodation

Five-star Boutique Hotel

Located inside a historic Qing Dynasty quarter – Kuan Zhai Alley, our boutique hotel is the perfect location to explore bustling Chengdu, close to Narrow Street and Renmin Park.

Make yourself at home in one of the 45 beautifully appointed rooms, mixing East and West high design. A blend of old houses converted into a boutique hotel, featuring contemporary design and luxury to make your stay complete – from complimentary wireless Internet, 600-stitch cotton flax bedding to deep soaking bathtubs and rainfall showers.

Depending on your budget and preference, we will also be happy to suggested alternative partner hotels.

Dates 2017

From March to November, upon request.

Dates to avoid:
– May 1st-3rd
– October 1st-7th

Our suggested itinerary is based on 3 nights/ 4 days and can be entirely tailor-made according to your preferences, extended or shortened.

It is a food experience in its own right or can be added on to an extended itinerary.

Prices 2017

From RMB 7100 (approx USD 1200)

Single supplement: 3200 RMB (~520USD)

Note:
– Sept/ Oct high season rates apply
– March till August, November 2015
– We can cater to any budget and are happy to suggest hotel options accordingly

Includes

  • Accommodation for 3 nights, double/ twin share
  • Daily breakfast
  • Private airport transfers to hotel and transportation on tours
  • Guided sightseeing with English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees
  • Meals as specified (soft drinks included)
  • Excursions and activities as outlined in itinerary
  • Hands-on cooking courses
  • Food tours with tastings
  • Booking at gastronomic 18-seat restaurant
  • Food photography class with professional photographer

Excludes

Flights to and from Chengdu, alcoholic drinks, gastronomic dinner

Getting There

Fly directly to Chengdu. We arrange all local transfers.

Map

Day 1

Arrival in Chengdu – discovery of local life – Hotpot – Night market photography

Day 2

Immersion in Sichuan cuisine: Spice market – hands-on cooking course – tea market – street food – Sichuanese opera

Day 3

Happy Mountain and the largest Buddha – Dinner at gastronomic 18-seat restaurant OR streetfood

Day 4

Your choice: Tai Chi in the park or learn professional Food Photography – Departure

Happy guests…

Best adventure travel destination:
Gourmet On Tour‘s China Culinary Tours

Travel + Leisure 2014

Memories we will treasure forever
“Thank you so much for this fabulous experience in Chengdu!

Our guide was extremely knowledgeable, friendly and creative – he absolutely made our foodie days in Chengdu. From the spice market visit, the cooking class where we learned to cook oh-so-spicy Sichuan dishes to sampling truly authentic food, these are memories we will treasure forever.
Visiting the adorable pandas was the icing on the cake. Our guide was intuitive and fascinated us with some wonderful stories that enriched our understanding of Chengdu’s culture. We learned how important food, seasonality and freshness is to the people of the region.
I can highly recommend this tour. Don’t change anything – it is just perfect.
Look forward to travel with you again to another region!”

Diane L., US

What happy guests said about this tour…

  • Best adventure travel destination: Gourmet On Tour ‘s China Culinary Tours

    Travel + Leisure 2014
  • Memories we will treasure forever - Thank you so much for this fabulous experience in Chengdu!

    Diane L., US