You might ride right through Ya'an on your way deeper into the Himalayas toward Kangding, or perhaps farther away from the Tibetan Plateau toward Bifengxia, Mingshan or Chengdu and in the grand scheme of things (in this case traveling in Sichuan), that wouldn't be so tragic.
But if you do find yourself here for a day or two, maybe waiting for a morning bus to the above mentioned locations? then our job is to let you know what you can do.
First thing you should do is find a local fish hot pot restaurant and plan to eat dinner there. Ya'an is known for its delicious fish and their fish hot pot is always huge, always tasty and always memorable. The best place to find these restaurant is along the banks of one of the four rivers that fklow through abnd around this city -- including the might Yangtze River.
The riverside is also home to dozens of teahouses serving up th elocals region's high grade green tea, grown in nearby Minshan County, atop and around the famous Mengding Mountain. The green tea here is excellent, but the city is more famous for the hearty brick tea it exported into Tibet for hundreds of years.
Just off oif the highway coming from Chengdu, you will see a sculpture of the infamous coolie caravans that hauled tea along the famed Horse and Tea Trade route from China into Tibet. This sculpture is pretty much all that is left of that culture.
Ya'an is a common stopover for travelers coming to or out of Tibet, but you can also visit local attractions like Erlangshan, Bifengxia and Mengding Mountain.