Chengdu is located on the edge of the fertile plains of the Red Basin in China's Sichuan Province. Due to its agricultural wealth, Chengdu is sometimes called the "Land of Milk and Honey". The Funan river bisects the city, although boat traffic, common until the 1960's, has all but vanished.
The greater city area is divided into five districts and 12 counties, altogether home to more than 9.2 million people. Chengdu has the reputation as a very "laid-back" city that emphasizes culture and relaxation and as a result of this and much green space is ranked one of the most livable mega-cities in China. It is credited with a good nightlife scene and contains many new western style buildings in the large city center.
Summer weather is hot and humid, as the city is surrounded by small mountains to the east and sits in the Red Basin. Furthermore, an hour to the west lie the foothills of the mighty Tibetan Plateau and the fabulously scenic mountains of west Sichuan.
The city is famous for its lack of sun, so don't come expecting to get a sun tan.
Bus #303 operates between the airport and the city center, costing ¥10, stopping at the Air China airline office on Renmin Nanlu (2. Section) next to the entrance of the Minshan Hotel (there is no bus stop! just look for a bunch of taxis/pedicabs, since they are also waiting for the bus. The last bus leaves the airport around 1AM.
Taxi fare from the airport to the city center averages ¥45. There is no extra charge for luggage or additional passengers. When going from the city to the airport, add an additional ¥10 to cover the toll on the Airport Expressway. If you intend to take a taxi from the airport, head for the domestic arrival area and exit the terminal where you should see the official taxi stand where you can queue for marked, green-and-yellow or blue-and-yellow taxis. Beware scammers and pirate taxi operators who are waiting to prey on foreign tourists with unmarked vehicles both inside and outside the terminal. Beware some who may sport official-looking, but fake, identification. The fare offered will often exceed ¥100, and if you bargain with them, you may find yourself sitting in the cab for a while until agreeing to raise the price back up.
Chengdu's rush hour traffic can be hellish. Plan your itinerary around not having to be on the road during these hours.
The first line of the Chengdu Metro  opened in October 2010, slicing north-south through the city along Renmin Rd and connecting the North and South railway stations together. The fare for a single ride is ¥2-4 depending on distance. You can purchase tickets from machines (English available) with ¥1 coins or 5¥ and 10¥ notes. Ticket booths are also available if you don't have suitable notes.
When entering the metro you need to put your bags through an x-ray machine. The ticket is flashed by the gates on the reader on your right side. You need the ticket to get out as well so keep it safe. When exiting the ticket is placed into a slot that collects it. Again this slot is on the right side of the gate, so pay attention since it's very easy to accidentally open the gate next to you. When exiting, you must wait behind the yellow line until the passenger in front of you has passed and the gate shows it now accepts your ticket. If you're beyond the line the gate won't let you through and you need to back away for it to accept you as a new passenger.
Chengdu has an extensive system of city buses plying the streets. At each bus stop, there is a list of the bus lines coming through on this road, and on some city maps the whole network is displayed. However, the bus lines and maps only use Chinese characters, and even if the bus announces the station, it will usually only be in Chinese. Tickets are ¥1 for common and ¥2 for air-conditioned buses. After 10PM, tickets are ¥2 for common and ¥3 for air-conditioned buses. The fare is paid by putting the exact amount to a metal box next to the driver. There's no possibility to get change so make sure you have the exact amount of cash available.
There's no official route map in the Internet but there is a well functional service available  in Chinese. Click on Chengdu on the map, then select the middle tab from (公交) from the search field. To show the route of certain line, click 高级搜索 and type the line number to the search field that appeared on the right side. You can also select from and to destinations from the map via a context menu (the two topmost options) and the service shows the route with bus line numbers and also where to change the bus if needed.
Official taxis are either green or blue and are equipped with meters. A free taxi will display an illuminated sign with Chinese characters in its dashboard. The meter is turned on by tilting the sign, make sure the driver does that and if not, you can try to do it yourself and the driver usually gets your point. Some taxi drivers may try to offer you a fixed price but don't take it unless you know it's cheaper than with the meter on. Taxi drivers don't speak English nor do they understand the map, so have an address written in Chinese with you. Drivers don't know many street names so it's best to have the address to some well known place close to your destination. Collect taxi cards from hotels and restaurants and show them to the drivers, and when close to your destination start instructing by pointing with your hand. This method usually gets you there - some drivers however will not follow your instructions or get angry for you traveling a longer distance than what they expected.
Taxi fare is ¥8 on flagfall for the older taxis ¥9 for the new ones, and increase at ¥1.9 per km after the first 2 kilometers. For rides from 10 to 60km the km fare is increased by 50% to compensate the taxi returning empty. During night time the starting price is ¥1 more and per km price is ¥2.20. Waiting price for the taxi is one km fare per every five minutes, and the meter counts traveling with speed less than 12 km/h as waiting time. Taxis often refuse to accept ¥100 bills so try to have some change on hand.
Taxis can be difficult to find depending on the area. There are also unlicensed taxis in the city but they're quite hard to notice. If you use one, know your destination and expected price and negotiate the fare beforehand.
By motorized pedi-cab
There are still some motorized bicycle-propelled pedicabs called san lun che (三轮车) which can take you moderate distances. Fix a price (¥5-15) in advance. The passengers ride behind the driver. The ride is fun, but san lun che are being phased out and are forbidden cross or ride on certain streets, and may be gone altogether soon. Until the year 2005, all of these pedicabs were modified bicycles actually pedalled by the driver. Today, virtually all are motorized, either by electric or gasoline powered engines.
Most guest houses have bicycles for hire. Check for technical problems before starting out unless you want to be held responsible for it later. If you leave your bicycle, do so in one of the designated "bicycle parks", where it will be guarded over for a small fee. If you can not find such a place, be sure to lock it securely against some structure. Be careful as the bike traffic flow can be intense.
A statue of Mao in Tianfu Square
Tianfu Square, (Metro Tianfu Square). This square, overlooked by an enormous Chairman Mao statue in the center of the city, has been spruced up. Every evening at dusk, as well as at noontime, an elaborate water show, synchronized to music, bursts out from the square's fountains. Below the square is a large shopping mall and the future hub of Chengdu's subway system.
Sichuan Science and Technology Museum (四川科技馆), (Take a taxi or bus to Tianfu Square and walk to the large building directly behind the Chairman Mao statue), . This huge four-storey museum is filled with interactive exhibits about science, aerodynamics, space, mathematics, robotics and physics. Children will love the interactive displays and indoor playground on the 4th floor. Adults will appreciate the descriptions in both English and Chinese. Everyone will love the crowd-pleasers like the robotic orchestra and walk-through maps of Sichuan's waterways. During weekdays this museum can either be overrun by local school groups or be so deserted it's almost creepy. Closed on Mondays. Overall, quite good value for money, especially on a rainy day.¥30 per adult, free for children.
Chengdu Zoo, (In the north of the city near the Panda Research Base). Offers all the typical animals that one might expect in a zoo (elephant, tigers, giraffes, monkeys, as well as panda bears). While the zoo itself is large and spread out, some of the cages are woefully small and the facility seems understaffed. Might be good for a family to visit. The zoo has vendors selling Chinese snacks as well as some carnival type rides.¥12 per adult.
Sichuan University Museum (四川大学博物馆; Sichuan Daxue Bowuguan), Wangjiang Road (望江路) (About a 15 minute ride from Xinnanmen bus station or a 40 minute walk), ☎ +86 028 85412313, . 9AM-5PM. Excellent display of local artifacts and is worth while way of spending an hour or two. The museum is one of the better in China and there are four floors of well lite, air conditioned displays with decent English translations. Starting in the basement, enter the first room where dozens of stone carvings dating from the Han dynasty to the Tang are on display. The room next door has a moderately interesting display on the museum's history and numerous examples of ancient bronzes and stone age artifacts. The first floor is mostly artifacts from the Ming and Qing dynasty, including furniture, silk clothing, and an interesting display of leather puppets. The second floor has the perhaps the most engaging display: artifacts and daily use items from ethnic minority groups in China's southwest, including Tibetans, Miao, Yi, Qiang, Jianpo and Naxi. The third floor has a decent display of calligraphy scrolls, paintings, and ceramics. The museum is currently closed after the city changed the location of several universities. Plans are pending for a new museum to be built.¥30 (students ¥10).
Sichuan Opera. Most guest houses and travel agencies offer to arrange visits to these traditional shows. It is more like a burlesque cabaret than an actual opera, sometimes including magicians, traditional musicians, shadow plays, comedy (spoken in Chinese though), and dancers besides the traditional pieces. Of course the most famous is never omitted: quick face-changing and fire spitting performed by dancers clad in colourful traditional costumes. You will follow the story sitting at your table, sipping on your constantly refilled tea cup and nibbling some salted snacks. Note that there are many teahouses in the city that offer the show every night. Try the local favorite at Shu Feng Ya Yun (蜀风雅韵) teahouse located in Chengdu Culture Park (文化公园) on Qintai Road (it is beside Qingyang Temple). You will be seated on a covered open ground (cooled by fan; no A/C), which is actually the center of the traditional teahouse building. You might have to book in advance or just ask the concierge of your hotel to book it for you.¥150 for back rows; ¥220 for front rows.
Jinli Ancient Street (锦里古街). This neighborhood is part of the old city of Chengdu; it features hotels and small stores in old-fashioned style. Antiques are sold in a variety of different stores. It is very popular among both tourists and locals, especially at night, with many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. You will find a lot of famous local snack food over there, prices ¥1-10. Restaurants and bars in Jin Li are more expensive than outside. There are also antique hotels in there. Some consider Jin Li is to be tourist trap, which is partly true. However, this 'new old street' offers regional and fairly affordable street food specialties as well and can be combined with a visit to the Wuhouci Temple (entry fee 60 yuan, unless you are the holder of a Panda Card). Don't forget to take your camera.
Jinsha Excavation Site. Recently discovered site featuring various tools and art pieces from around 3,000 years ago. The amount of unearthed items is just massive. They include pottery, blades, jade items, building foundations and various golden art pieces. There are two main buildings: the hall constructed over the centre of the excavation site and the modern exhibition hall with various artifacts on display. Entry: a rather steep 80 yuan (adults). But it's worth seeing it.
Wenshu Temple (文殊院), 15 Wenshuyuan Street, (成都文殊院街15号) (Off Renmin Zhong Road). This Tang Dynasty Buddhist temple is the most impressive, and perhaps also the most used, temple in Chengdu. It is dedicated to the Buddhist representation of Wisdom, Wenshu Pusa (Manjusri Bodhisatva), and contains more than 450 Buddha statues and other precious relics. In addition to the halls and gardens, the temple also has a charming tea house that offers an insightful window of Chengdu life as it is frequented by locals who engage in games of chess, reading, knitting and just chatting with family and friends. The temple also has a delightful vegetarian restaurant with seats offering views over the gardens. Entry fee is a steal at only 5 yuan.
Qingyang Temple (青羊宫; Qingyanggong; lit. Palace of the Green Ram), 9 Xierduan, Ring Road One (一环路西二段9号). This Taoist temple is the oldest and biggest of its kind in the area, located in the west of downtown. A large and still-active temple that takes into consideration Taoist philosophy in its construction, and with both a park next door and a number of relaxed courtyards inside. While it has a long history, the buildings are modern, cheaply-made concrete constructions, and it quite frequently shows. The statues inside are also cheap modern constructions of no real interest. A teahouse and a vegetarian restaurant can be found within the temple complex.¥10.
Happy Valley (欢乐谷; Huanlegu). Great amusement park with roller coasters and water park.
Floraland (国色天乡), (Expect an expensive taxi ride out to the suburbs, or take one of the buses that will guide you to the park). The park includes a moderate selection of rides (water, relaxing and thrill), and various recreation activities. Weekends can get packed, so try to go during a weekday.¥60.
Chengdu's Panda Base, located just outside the city, is a favorite of visitors
Panda Research Base, (Bus 902 route end or take a taxi from downtown for ¥30), ☎ +86 28 83510033, . This is the biggest facility of this kind in the world. Due to habitat destruction and other reasons, the giant panda is maybe the most famous endangered animal. It is home to some 60 giant pandas, but also has some red pandas and a colony of black-necked cranes. Views of the pandas from much closer than is possible at many Western zoos. Also a small museum and a cinema screening related documentaries. A restaurant and souvenir-stalls top off the tourist installations. The best time to visit is in the morning, when pandas are most active. Feeding time is 9:30.Entrance: ¥58; English-speaking tour guide: ¥100.
Luodai Ancient Town and Jinlong Little Great Wall. More info below (Get Out section)Entrance: free;.
For up-to-date information on activities, places and attractions you should check out the CHENGDOO citylife magazine's listings. You will find copies in most bars, restaurants, cafes, hostels and hotels.
Chunxi Road (春熙路). Take an afternoon or evening to walk down this shopping street, located in the center of the city. Makes for a good change of pace. Various clothing stores, bookstores, restaurants, arcades, and cinemas. Good place to find something to eat; including a hotpot buffet, Japanese restaurants, Western food, and much more. However, the major disadvantage with this area is that each brand has many stores in this location (similar to other parts of China). For instance, Nike, Adidas, and Li-Ning, each have about 4-5 stores in Chunxi Road alone which reduces the variety of things to buy. If you are looking for stores in the same vein as Louis Vuitton and Ermenegildo Zegna, these stores are located outside of the Chunxi Road area and near the Tianfu Square district.
KTV, various locations. Spend an evening singing with friends, enjoy popcorn, beer and other refreshments. Songs available in English, Chinese, and more.
Foot and body Massage. Chengdu is famous for its relaxed and laid back lifestyle. Foot and body massage is very popular in Chengdu with a lot of varieties. Generally, these places cater to groups of people who come in together, relax in a private room, perhaps eating fruit, pig ear, or sipping tea, while receiving a fully-clothed massage or foot washing. Prices are very reasonable, often well under ¥80 per person. Some places offer ¥25 per hour for a very nice foot massage, including washing, soaking and massaging feet, free hot/cold drink (tea, coke or juice), fresh fruit. A great way to relax with friends. Beware of erotic massage places that may be hard to tell from authentic ones.
Read a Book. The Chengdu Bookworm (see listing in the Eat Section) has a membership-based lending library of English language books, as well as travel guides for sale. Peter's Tex Mex, as well as some of the other restaurants that cater to foreigners, have book exchanges.
Play Weiqi (the game of Go), (email@example.com), . As a symbol of Chinese culture, Weiqi is one of the world’s great strategy games where a few simple rules lead to limitless possibilities. Weiqi is hugely popular in Chengdu to the point where it has been nicknamed Weiqi City. Chengdu Weiqi Classroom is the only place where foreigners can study this game with English speaking assistance.
Cosmetics and Hair. Local woman love to get their nails and hair done at the mall. You can get your nails done beautifully (filed, buffered, polished and hand painted with beautiful patent) between ¥10-20 at most shopping centre. There are quite a few very popular ones located on the ground floor of Beijing Hualian (北京华联）in Yanshikou. You can also get your hair temporarily straightened or curled at ¥10-15. They do very nice style and it will last until you wash your hair.
Drink tea, Renmin Park (People's Park). Teahouses are plentiful in Chengdu, and drinking tea and playing Mahjong is how many local people relax. On a sunny afternoon pick a table in the park with an out-door tea house and sip your tea while listening to the locals gossiping. Not for the faint hearted, take the opportunity to have your ears cleaned by local "experts" armed with a tuning fork and a myriad of "insertion tools". Weird but effective! There are thousands of teahouses in Chengdu so you'll find them from other places than Renmin Park as well.
The following universities accept foreign students with the proper visa:
A language School offers different typs of mandarin chinese courses with flexible schdules. Students can sign up all year around for their one-on-one class or small group class within 5 students. All the teachers are well trained master's degree holders major in TCFL(teaching chinese as a foreign language). They also offer various kinds of Chinese culture activities. Price is reasonable and affordable.
Private Chinese language lessons are available for ¥40-85 per hour. Ask for a referral at one of the universities, or from another student. Textbooks for learning Chinese are available at many local bookshops.
Bear in mind that the Mandarin spoken by the locals amongst themselves is South-Western Mandarin. This is substantially different from putonghua or Beijing Mandarin, Taiwan Mandarin or Singapore Mandarin that foreigners and overseas Chinese typically learn. However most locals will speak putonghua with you if you speak it.
Job postings for English teaching are located in many guest houses, at Western bars and restaurants, anywhere foreigners congregate. Also worth to check are GoChengdoo and their Chengdoo Magazine of which you can grab a copy from many places throughout the city.
The Peace Corps  has its China headquarters in Chengdu, (Sichuan University Campus), and places highly selected and qualified U.S. Citizen volunteers in 2 year assignments throughout provinces in West China teaching English.
Chunxi Road area (春熙路), (Southeast from Tianfu Square. Walk one block east from Tianfu Square along Renmin East Road, Chunxi area starts from that crossing.). A street and a contiguous shopping district. More than 700 shops in the area including shopping malls, department stores, boutiques and street stalls.
Songxian Qiao Antique Market (送仙桥古玩市场), Qing Yang District, Song Xian Bridge (Close to the Green Ram Taoist Temple in the western city, from the temple walk straight west, it is on your right hand side after you crossed the bridge over the channel). Big market with communist relics, old porcelain dishes, jewellery, calligraphy equipment and also some Tibetan stuff. Great bargains can be found here if you are into antiques, jewellery, and gifts.
Lotus Wholesale Market (荷花池), (Next to north railway station, take the metro there and cross the road to southeast block.). A huge area of shops selling all kinds of local stuff from clothes to kitchen ware and home decoration to toys. The area employs over 100000 people and it's daily sales is over RMB10 million.
Wuhou Tibetan Area shops (藏饰用品一条街), (Next to Wuhou Temple). About two blocks of shops adjacent to Wuhou Temple selling clothing, textiles, jewelry, Tibetan music etc.
Panda Toys. All sorts of plush pandas, and other panda trinkets, are sold at the gate of the panda base, as well as ones of a slightly higher quality at the shop inside the panda base itself.
Galleria, (Next to Auchan and Ikea near the crossing of Renmin South Rd. and 3rd Ring Rd.), . New international standard shopping mall with about 200 stores and naturally a lot of international brands.
Supermarkets are located throughout the city, although the selection of imported foods is limited.
Sabrina's Country Store, 54 Kehua N Rd (Across from the western gate of Sichuan University and near Linshiguan Rd), ☎ +86 8524 2987. If you want to buy American food, and do not mind a 50% premium, this has friendly service and all imported products.
You will find no shortage of delicious and fiery Sichuan food in Chengdu. Most of the food is quite spicy, be sure to specify whenever you order: non-spicy (不要辣; búyàolà), a little spicy (微辣; wēilà) or 'old' (very) spicy (老辣; laola). If you are not accustomed to it yet, a bottle of sweetened soy milk or milk or something sweet will work much better than water to quell the fire. If you are used to the hottest of authentic Indian or Thai food, the level of spiciness in Sichuan food should be no problem at all. However, Sichuan food also makes heavy use of Sichuan pepper (花椒; huajiao), which looks like but is not a true peppercorn, and causes your mouth to become somewhat numb. Sichuan pepper is added in most spicy dishes. If you can eat spicy food but do not like Sichuan pepper, you need to order so (不要花椒; bu yao huajiao). However, Sichuan pepper (in addition to causing numbing) has an important citrusy taste that it adds to foods and authentic Sichuan tastes bank on the play between the flavours of both Sichuan pepper and chili peppers, and it is strongly recommend you at least try the authentic versions with the Sichuan pepper before deciding for yourself.
The spiciest food in Chengdu is hotpot (also called steampot or steamboat), although the tradition originated in Chongqing, so it is not really Chengdu food. Sichuan hotpots are basically a big pot of soup and spices simmering in a hole in the middle of your table. Patrons choose from a large selection of meats, vegetables and other add-ins. Most popular include: lamb, mushrooms, beef, tofu, quail eggs, potatoes and various others (pork, green vegetables, fish balls, carrots, and even pig's brain!) You can choose spicy pot or non spicy pot. With spicy hot pots, unlike eastern hot pots, the soup is NOT for drinking; instead, fish out your cooked items with chopsticks (do not fish the liquid out with a spoon, it is too spicy even for locals to drink; the fished out vegetables will be spicy enough), dip them in the small bowl of oil provided to each person, and enjoy.
You may also find the local food too oily or too salty for your taste, and may want to advise your server accordingly.
There are also a lot of weird local snack type of food, such as spicy dragon prawns (look like very small crayfish; 麻辣龙虾), spicy snails (香辣田螺), Chongqing duck neck (九九鸭脖子), Bangbang chicken (棒棒鸡), spicy rabbit meat (二姐兔丁). These ones are so delicious and you must try them. But you need to ask a local to take you to the right place. Quite often you will find that the small restaurants and shops offer the most delicious and cheapest food. If you want to find even cheaper food options, street venders are the way to go. Serving everything from barbeque (烧烤) to steamed breadrolls(馒头), they are a cheap and offer a great option for a quick bite to eat.
If you are less adventurous but still like Chinese food, or just tired of Sichuan food, there are a number of Cantonese and Hong Kong restaurants, including Lei Garden near Shangri-la Hotel.
There are a number of stalls and hole in the wall type places all over town. Food here is dirt cheap, expect to pay no more than ¥8 for a meal, and the quality is good. Things to be on the lookout for are spicy bowls of breakfast noodles, (担担面; dandanmian), double cooked pork, and dozens of dishes coated in "mala" the Sichuan chili spice famous the world over.
Yulinchuanchuanxiang (玉林串串香), Various locations throughout the city. Cheap and fast hotpot variety. This is a help-yourself style meal, go to a backroom and choose your own kabobs. Stick the kabobs into a hotpot soup, and have them boil. Pull them out and enjoy. Large kabobs are ¥1, and small ones are ¥0.1 each. Expect to be full for less than ¥25. There are both spicy and non-spicy variations. There is a large selection of meats, vegetables, and other add-ins. Beer is available in large bottles and sweet soymilk (Dounai) is also served.
Lanzhou Lamian (兰州拉面), Located everywhere. A bowl of noodles starts for about ¥4, and reach a maximum of ¥7. Varieties include egg, lamb and beef. Other dishes are reasonable in price as well. Breads for 1 kuai a piece, and Mutton Kabobs (羊肉串) go for 1 kuai per stick. Da Pan Ji (大盘鸡) is a great choice if eating with a group. Usually offered in small or large sizes, a small size will cost about ¥40 and feed 3 or 4 people. A large order might cost about ¥60. This dish includes chicken, potatoes, onions and other vegetables in a moderately spicy sauce. Can eat with bread or noodles to make a great meal.
Steamed buns (包子; baozi). Sold for breakfast or lunch from street vendors throughout the city. Yacai bao (芽菜包) is a local Sichuan special variety you are unlikely to find elsewhere and typically contains some mixture of Yacai (芽菜), a type of preserved vegetable, and potentially some meat. Other typical fillings include beef, red bean paste, mushrooms, green vegetables or pork. Three buns cost around ¥1 or larger buns cost ¥1 each as well. A container of soy milk (豆漿 dou jiang) is about the same price.
Mike's Pizza Kitchen (Chengdu Pizza Delivery), Tongzilin, Europe City (In the south of Chengdu), ☎ 8522-6453, . 11AM-10PM. Freshly made to order pizza. Authentic New York style pizza pie, stone-baked. Delivery only.¥30-150.
Wenshu Temple Vegetarian Restaurant (文殊院素餐馆), 15 Wenshu St (文殊院街15号), ☎ ''+86 28'' 693-870. In the grounds of a monastery and run by monks. Offers a huge selection of traditional vegetarian dishes, including some containing imitated meat.
Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant ((北海道日本料理)), Various locations throughout the city (Locations include Chunxi Rd (春熙路), Yulin S Rd (玉林南路), outside of Sichuan University (Near Cafe Paname), and more). Authentic Japanese food. Serves curry, tonkatsu, unagi-don, fried rices, sushi, ramen noodles, and various other selections. Serves Chinese and Japanese beers, as well as a selection of plum wine and sake. Food quality varies.Meals range from ¥20 upwards, expect a plate of sushi to be quite a bit more expensive, but sides are generally decent priced.
Chen Mapo (陈麻婆), 208 Shuanglin Rd (成都市双林路208号新华公园正门对面), . Supposedly opened by the Mapo herself in 1862. The place to eat Mapo Doufu, it does not get any more authentic than this. Spicy food eaters will love this, those who do not like spicy food should probably skip it altogether.
Namaste/Afila ((亚非拉-娜玛什蒂印度餐吧)), No.20 Remin Nan lu, Section 4, Wuhou District. (武侯区人民南路四段20号), ☎ 028-85569118. Specializes in Indian and Nepalese cuisine, particularly tandoori and curries. Great for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
Veranda Bridge Restaurant. This restaurant is actually a historic bridge over Fulan River. Sichuan food. Very good reputation within Chengdu.
Huang Cheng Lao Ma, (On 3rd section of south part of the 2nd Ring Rd), ☎ +86 28 85139999, . Elaborate restaurant featuring hot pot followed by live entertainment, including Sichuan face-changing. Don't miss the diorama scene of ancient Chengdu built into the restaurant lobby's floor. A separate section on the ground floor of the restaurant also features a pan-Asian buffet with contemporary entertainment. Child care is available on premises. Prices are in the range of ¥100 per person for dinner and one drink.
Chengdu has a few local Western restaurants. Service is always friendly, although you should expect occasional mistakes, such as appetizers served at the same time as your meal. Chengdu is just starting to get accustomed to Western tastes.
Chengdu Bookworm, 28 Renmin South Rd, . Has something for everyone. It is an English language lending library, a Western restaurant, a bar, as well as an occasional venue for local singing and musical talent. Expats might want to join the membership library or take kids to the children's morning story hours. Evenings, you might find a travel author reading from and signing books, poetry reading, or singing. Great place for to connect with others, catch up on some reading, or just relax.
Grandma's Kitchen. Western restaurant with four locations around Chengdu, including one next door to Peter's on Zhong Hua Yuan.
Peter's Tex-Mex, ☎ +86 28 85180903. Actually an American restaurant with some Mexican dishes. Peter's has good food. The Zhong Hua Yuan location also has homemade ice cream, the best ice cream you will find in Chengdu. If you are coming from out of town, the Zhong Hua Yuan location is right in a major expat area with lots of other restaurants and shopping surrounding it.Prices range from ¥12 to more than ¥150 for a meal.
Zoe's Barbeque & Restaurant, 30 Section 4 Renmin S Rd (人民南路四段30号), ☎ +86 28 85593345, . Western BBQ and more, the best pork ribs in Chengdu. Good food with friendly service, plus wireless access.
Paul and Dave's Oasis, (Directly opposite the Travel Hotel and main bus station (other side of river)). A place for volunteers, ex-pats, and all manner of foreigners, a place where you can go and just chill. Though he does serve Chinese food, you're better off going elsewhere for this, it is however a place where you can sit and lose yourself for a day or so. Usually occupied by the local foreigners, usually playing Western music.
All of the hotels in the "Splurge" category have Western restaurants or buffets. Call ahead for more information.
A popular district of bars, also known as the bar street, is located by the southern shore of Jin River next to Anshun Bridge. The well known Lan Kwai Fong from Hong Kong started it's business in the mainland of China in 2010 and the first city is Chengdu. The area is located a little north-west from Anshun Bridge.
Club 88 (88号酒吧), 99 Shaoling Road, Wuhou District (武侯区少陵路88号). Currently Chengdu's hottest club. Awesome lighting and music, dancing in the walkways and people just trying to get seen. Expect crowds of people, packed tables, and action going on through the night well past the other clubs closing times. Get there early to get a table or come (very) late to wind down the night when everything else dies.
Babi II, (Walking distance from Shangri-la Hotel). Club.
Babi, Shaolin Road (Right next to Club 88). Club.
Cafe Paname, 143 Kehua North Road (科华北路143号) (Nearby Sichuan University). A bar with a younger crowd and laidback environment Expect an occasional DJ event which will make the bar a little more lively on Fridays and Holidays.¥10 Suntory beer on tap is a perk.
Highfly Cafe, 18 Linjiang Road, ☎ +86 28 85442820. Relaxed place with a tiny outside sitting area. They serve beers and Western food including pizza and breakfast. There is one computer for free Internet access and a small book exchange (2 for 1).
Feeling4Seasons Cafe, Orient Times Mall 2F, Xiadongda Street (Near Dongmen Bridge), ☎ +86 28 66208848, . Good Italian coffee: espresso, cappuccino, especially latte. Also pasta and pizza. They also provide Internet service: wireless access for your laptop, loan of a wireless card if you don't have one, use of a PC if required. You can also burn CDs. It is also one famous China blog freelancer's cafe bar; he published a book named "Ten Years, Flying with one Dream".
Shamrock Pub (三叶草酒吧), 15, 4th Section, Renmin South Road (Located near Linshiguan Road and the US Consulate), ☎ +86 28 85236158, . This Irish pub in is currently the hub of Chengdu's small expatriate community (of approximately 3,000). Friendly pub atmosphere and live music some evenings. In addition to drinks the pub serves dishes including pizza, meat pies, sausage rolls, steaks, burgers, currys and a range of other snacks. The pub is also an active sponsor of several nonprofit organizations, including holding events for moon bear rescue and for the disabled. Copies of the informative Chengdoo book are available at the Shamrock.
High Connections Coffee House, Fu A-20 6 Shuangqing South Road, Qingyang District (On the west side of Chengdu near Metro and the Southwest Financial University), ☎ +86 28 87325855, . Provides a relaxing, comfortable, environment with soft lighting and easy-listening music. They have non-smoking and smoking sections. Bring your computer and hook up to the wireless Internet. Their coffee (both Espresso and good old fashioned drip American style) and muffins are an excellent way to begin a day. They also have large conference rooms available for meetings.
Also, on the southern bank of Jinjiang there is a row of bars between Renmin South Road and Xin South Road. Beers will cost ¥10-¥20 per bottle, but buying bulk cans will save you a good bit of money with special deals. There will also be street vendors selling various snacks. This makes for a good night with the clubs Babi II, Ta & Ta, and Soho just around the bend.
8trees Wine Bar & Restaurant, 9 Pingan Alley, ☎ +86 28 86699060, . Located in a century old Roman Catholic church, and offers the most unique romantic dinning experience. Recommended signature dishes are the tantalizing mouthwatering North American beef, marinated with fresh herbs and spices; the lamb main simmered with exotic spices. On the lighter side, there is the conscious side dish which is very popular with weight-watching regulars who complement their meals with the rich creamy soups offered in the menu. A must see for the church underground wine cellar.
Little Bar (New) (小酒馆 (芳沁店)), 87 Fangqin Street, Yulin Shangwugang, 1F (成都市芳沁街87号附5号丰尚玉林商务港1楼, ☎ +86 28 85568552, . Rock bar. The bigger shows are on Friday and Saturday and the bands start playing at 8PM and finish at 10PM. ¥25 entrance fee. A bit hard to find so best to get a cab to take you if you are not familiar with the area. Not to be confused with Little Bar (Old), the sister bar on Yulin West Road.
Empty Bottle, 3/F, Yulin Life Plaza, 15 South Yulin Road. Very popular amongst the locals. Live music and other kinds of shows every night.
Jellyfish, Ke Hua Bei Lu #143, Lan Si Jia Le Bi square, 2nd floor, . Lively and crowded cocktail bar with a DJ playing music. Lot of expats but also local folk.
Chengdu Dreams Travel International Youth Hostel (梦之旅国际青年旅舍), 242 Wuhouci Road (成都市武侯祠大街242号) (Opposite Wuhou Temple, reachable by bus 57 from near the train station to Wuhouci Station (武侯祠站), cross the street and walk slightly further), ☎ +86 28 85570315, 85570322 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Dorm beds and private rooms of various sorts available. Travel office and English help, 24 hour large volume hot shower, a roof-top bar, garden tea house, kitchen for self cooking. Tends to be frequented by Chinese tourists more than foreigners, but the hostel staff have at least 2-3 people that speak perfect English.Dorms ¥30, ¥25 with HI card.
Chengdu Jason's Nest Guest House (成都旅行天下青年旅舍), 26 west way of south railway station, ☎ +86 28 85125498. Fully-equipped hostel with spacious bright rooms, clean bunks, the Tibetan-style dining room and bar. Located in the leisure, entertainment, dining center of Chengdu, with most attractions within a ¥10 taxi ride. It is a ¥30 taxi ride from the airport or north rail station, a 10-minute walk from the south station, or call for a free pick-up. Helpful, very knowledgeable staff.
Chengdu Mix Hostel (成都驴友记青年旅舍), 23 Xinghui West Road, Renjiawan, Wanfu Bridge (In downtown near Wenshu Temple), (email@example.com), . With cheap beds, and lots of people. Wi-fi for laptops, free Internet. Atmospheric building with a lot of Tibetan knick-knacks. The staff all seem somewhere around twenty. If you call ahead and book they will pick you up from the train or bus station.
Dragon Town Youth Hostel, 27 Kuanxiangzi Street (成都市宽巷子27号) (A five minute walk north of Renmin Park), ☎ +86 28 86648408 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +86 28 86245901), . Serving younger people and families, catering mostly for young western budget tourists. Many traveling services available from within the hostel, such as tours to nearby attractions, Tibet travel tours. Facilities include Internet access, restaurant and camp grounds.Cheapest accommodation is ¥15/bed with rooms starting from ¥100.
Holly's Hostel, 246 Wuhouci Street, ☎ +86 28 85548131, . checkin: noon. Though not as trendy or cool as other hostels in Chengdu, Holly's has a better location than most other hostels in the city. Situated across the Jinli Street, a good starting point for traveling through Chengdu, Wuhouci Dajie also has lots of tibetan restaurants, hot pot restaurants, noodle joints, massage parlors, and camping/climbing stores. Staff speaks excellent english and will help you with your traveling needs. Dorm rooms are nothing fancy but are clean and serve their purpose. Western cafe on the roof, internet access, dvd, etc. Social atmosphere. Perfect for those who want a good hostel and do not care about being hip.¥35 for 8-bed dorm.
The Loft, (Three blocks north of Dragon Town Hostel). Very modern hostel.super chill atmosphere with a large common area makes it great to mingle and meet others. Use to be a printing factory but now converted to a contemporary style hostel. Has free pool table, free Internet access, free umbrellas, free lockers and more.. even TV and DVD room. Rooms are clean.Twins and doubles cost ¥110, dorms ¥45.
Sam's Guest house, 130 Shanxi Street (10 minutes walk from the Chairman Mao Statue at Renmin South Street, look for Rongcheng Hotel, Sam's Guest house office is next to the entrance to Rongcheng Hotel), ☎ +86 28 86118322 (email@example.com). Rooms start from ¥80, doubles are ¥120.
Sim's Cozy Garden Hostel 成都老沈青年旅舍
Sim's Cozy Garden Hostel (成都老沈青年旅舍), 211 North Section 4, First Ring Road (一环路北四段211号) (Look out for two red lanterns with a traditional chinese door at the entrance of the hostel), ☎ +86 28 81979337, . Managed by an experienced travelers couple (Singaporean husband and Japanese wife). Has a small garden and great atmosphere and look. Toilets are equipped with paper, there is a lockable security box at your bed, mosquito-coils adorn the rooms and corridors, the bar-restaurant provides guitars and cold beers, Western and Chinese food and so on. Staff is friendly, helpful, speaks English and are able to arrange tours. Free quality Chengdu map available. There is internet access for ¥5 per hour at the bar. Free WiFi access which works in all bedroom. If you do not want to stay in the dorm, is advisable to make a reservation some days in advance. Transport can be arranged to pick up from the airport.Dorms ¥20-40, private rooms ¥80-240. (30.680754,104.087359)*
Traffic Hotel (交通饭店), 6 Linjian Street (成都市临江路6号) (Near Renmin South Street, directly bordering Xinnanmen Bus Station), ☎ +86 28 85451017, . One hundred percent geared towards foreign backpackers and is a good place to organize a tour or buy tickets. The adjacent Traffic Inn Hostel has a nice common area with a large collection of DVD's and western food. The rooms and shared bathrooms are very clean and come with a reliable air conditioner. The matrasses in the hotel are harder and in the hostel are softer. Washing machines are available for ¥10 per load, bring your own detergent.Free wifi on the whole premises with good reception and good English speaking staff at the hostel.Four-bed dorms rooms ¥30 per bed, three-bed dorms ¥40, singles and doubles ¥200-500 The singles in the hostelbuilding are 60 and doubles 80.
The vast majority of Chengdu's mid-range hotels are not affiliated with a national or international brand and generally charge ¥300-700. The hotels in this category can generally put up the facade of the more luxurious hotels, but often suffer noticeably from deferred maintenance or haphazard customer service. Many are geared mostly towards Chinese and Asian tour groups. The hotels listed below are the best of the bunch with lobby staff who speak at least a basic level of English and usually offer a free Chinese breakfast.
Barsby Hotel, 208 Fuqin West Road, ☎ +86 28 6615.7979 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +86 28 66106999), . checkin: 16:00; checkout: 13:00. In addition to being happily underpriced for the value provided, fans of Fawlty Towers will find themselves confronted by Basil Fawlty's good twin in the person of Mr. Robert Barsby, a true John Cleese lookalike, this hotel's proprietor and veteran of the administrations at a number of the city's finer hotels. Over a free breakfast which can include western style eggs and toast, he will be happy to share with you his experiences and his reason for having created one of the better "boutique" hotels in China. Rooms are spacious, scrupulously clean and well heated, although you need to be careful when showering that the drain is functioning properly, otherwise you're likely to flood the toilet enclosure. The annexed restaurant is a moderately priced decent traditional Chinese establishment, but will not accept the credit card you may have used at the hotel. Certainly one of the best values in any market.¥180.
Chengdu Garden City Hotel, No. 8 Daye Road, Jinjiang District, ☎ 86-028-86663388 (email@example.com, fax: 86-028-86655672), . A four star hotels that offers air-conditioned accommodation rooms, all of which have television, private bathroom, and telephone. Some of its amenities include night club, fitness center and sauna, and a swimming pool.CNY 290.00+.
Chengdu Wenjun Mansion Hotel, 180 Qintai Street, ☎ +86 28 86138785, 86138884, . The hotel offers a wide range of rooms from single to family. This attractive courtyard-style hotel is situated on one of the more tourist-friendly streets in the city, surrounded by buildings in a similar Han and Tang Dynasty style. The courtyard is a perfect place for tired travelers to relax with a drink and play a borrowed game of mahjong or just chat.¥180-260.
Haoge Business Hotel, 1 West 3rd Section of 1st Circle Road, Jinniu District (Next to the Thatched Cottage of Dufu), ☎ +86 28 87777988, . Rooms all boast individually controlled air-conditioning, free Internet connectivity, satellite TV, mini-bar, and IDD phone.Rates start at ¥640.
Jin Jiang Inn, . Part of a China-wide hotel chain; 3 locations in Chengdu; the South Chengdu Yulin location is near Ren Min Nan Road and the US Consulate. Good value for money. Rooms are small but clean and well apportioned. Breakfast and free internet provided. Secure lobby area and friendly staff.¥129-179.
Nanfu Bund Hotel, 117 Shunjiang Road, Jinjiang District, ☎ +86 28 84553939, . Nanfu Bund Hotel is a five star hotel located in Jinjiang District. While staying at this hotel, you might want to visit some of their tourist spots which includes Jinjiang River and Wangjiang Park. They have air-conditioned rooms that has a cable TV, private toilet and bath, hair dryer, and a free high-speed Internet access.From ¥322.25+.
New Times Maruika Hotel Chengdu, Block B, Wen Wu Road, New Times Square, Qingyang District (Within 2 km from the Chengdu Railway Station, Pacific Department, and city center), ☎ +86 28 86530188 (fax: +86 28 86617982), . Three-star hotel featuring air-conditioned guestrooms that has cable TV, a private toilet and bath, safe, hair dryer, and a free broadband Internet connection.¥197.79.
The Pleasure Hotel, 130 Babao Street, Qingyang District, ☎ +86 28 86250888, . Offers 97 air-conditioned guestrooms with a satellite TV, IDD telephone, private toilet and bath, and mini-bar.¥237.80.
Somerset Riverview Chengdu, No 1 Section 3, Renmin South Rd, Wuhou District, ☎ (86-28) 6181 6998 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: (86-28) 6181 6999), . The 200 stylish apartments range in size and layout from the spacious studio to the penthouse, have fully-equipped modern kitchens, home entertainment systems including an iPod docking station, and stylish furnishings.From ¥630.
Super 8 Hotel, SOHO Building, 60 Kehua North Road (Above an enclosed shopping arcade, near the western gate of Sichuan University), ☎ +86 28 85250058, . Free internet. No breakfast. Rooms are small and poorly designed.¥139-188.
Tibet Hotel Chengdu (成都西藏饭店), 10 North Renmin Rd, ☎ +86 28 83183388, . checkin: noon; checkout: noon. ¥300.
X St. Malo Hotel, No. 189 Shuhan Rd, ☎ 86-28-87546363, . Four star garden-style hotel. The guest rooms are designed in trendy and simple style. The hanging garden measuring 2,000 sq. m. is a good place for enjoying the sunlight. The hotel has a Chinese restaurant serving traditional Sichuan dishes, tea house in the lobby and professional foot massage for relaxation.Best rates on official website start at ¥244.
Zenec International Hotel, No. 16 3rd Section Hongxing Road, Jinjiang District, ☎ 86-28-80639999 (email@example.com, fax: 86-28-86725079), . It offers air-conditioned accommodation rooms, all of which have TV with VCR player and sound system, free broadband Internet access, and a mini-bar. Some of its amenities include Chinese and Western Restaurant, spa and sauna, and business center and meeting rooms.CNY 442.00+.
Chengdu's luxury hotels provide world class service at very reasonable prices. Business and leisure travelers can expect, at a minimum, to find fluent English speaking staff, Western and Chinese restaurants, full conference facilities, business center, sauna and concierge service at all of these hotels. Room rates are US$115-200 per night for a standard or deluxe room. The Kempinski and the Jin Jiang Hotel are generally the lowest price within this category.
Chengdu Lido Sheraton, . Modern, American managed hotel conveniently located in in the center of Chengdu near Tian Fu Square and the sports stadium, but a few blocks away from shopping districts. This hotel can accommodate the most discriminating of guests in luxury and world class service.
Sofitel Chengdu, . French managed, overlooks Fulan River, similar to but more expensive than the Sheraton.
Jin Jiang Hotel, . Chengdu's first international luxury hotel, the Jin Jiang still offers good service. While it has been eclipsed in luxury by the newer hotels listed in this section, it offers reasonable room rates and great service, with good facilities for conferences of all sizes.
Kempinski Hotel, . German managed hotel offers hospitality and luxury. Great German events, including Ocktoberfest, Christmas and New Year's parties. Excellent gym, pool and workout facilities. Close to the United States Consulate.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, 31 Zong Fu Street (opposite Chunxi Road shopping area in downtown Chengdu), ☎ 862886786666. (30.65892,104.078722)
Shangri La Hotel, . Chengdu's newest luxury hotel, opened 2007. Very creative buffet restaurant.
Forstar Hotel, . Business hotel offering upscale meeting room facilities, convention center, and business center. It is also a four-star quality accommodation in Chengdu that offers luxurious amenities to vacationing tourists. It has elegant guestrooms, posh restaurant, full service spa, and recreational rooms. Online reservations are now available.
Jinyu Sunshine Hotel, . Four-star hotel offering over 150 guestrooms, all elegantly furnished. Other hotel facilities include banquet halls, restaurants, gift shop, spa, and KTV. Online reservations are now available.
Islamic Republic of Pakistan Consulate General 8th Floor of Western Tower located at No. 12, 4th Section Renmin Nan Road, Chengdu 610041. Visa Service: Monday - friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
United States Consulate General (美国驻成都总领事馆) #4 Linshiguan Lu, Chengdu. Phone 8558-3992. American Citizen Services hours Monday-Thursday 1:30pm-5:00pm, Fridays 9:00-4:00pm.
Royal Thai Consulate (泰国驻昆明总领事馆驻成都办事处) Located in the Kempinski Hotel: 42 Renmin Nan Rd. 4th Section C210-212, Sichuan 610041
German Consulate General (德意志联邦共和国驻成都总领事馆) 25th Floor of Western Tower located at No. 19, 4th Section Renmin Nan Road, Chengdu 610041, Tel: (0086-28)8528 0800 Fax: (0086-28) 8526 8308
Consulate General of Singapore (新加坡驻成都总领事馆) 31/F East Guan Cheng Square, No.308, Shun Cheng Main Street, Chengdu. Phone 86 28 8652 7222
Consulate General of the Republic of Korea (韩国驻成都总领事馆) No. 2, Wangfu Oasis Hotel, Xianan Main Street of Chengdu. Phone 86 28 8616 5800
China's country code is 86. Chengdu's area code is 28. Coin-operated pay phones are located throughout Chengdu, and calling cards can be purchased from many vendors. Local landline phone numbers are eight digits long; cellular phone numbers in Sichuan are eleven digits long and start with 13 or 15.
Internet access can be found in most guesthouses and through cheap internet cafes all over town. Look out for the Pacman-character 吧 in the Chinese name for internet bar: 网吧.
A large Internet cafe is located on the second floor of the Xinnianmen bus station, just 100 meters from the Jiaotong Fandian hotel. The connection is fast and access is ¥2/hour.
Thieves are prevalent around certain areas of Chengdu. Be careful around the Yanshikou markets and especially around the North train station. There are also many thieves on crowded buses who use razors to cut open pockets and bags. Also watch your bag at all times when riding bicycles around the city, thieves like to run alongside bicycles at traffic lights and reach into bags.
Traffic can be hectic and motorists as well as cyclists have a complete disregard of pedestrians. Beware when crossing streets; even when the WALK sign is green, traffic taking a free right turn might try to run you over.
For such a big city, there's surprisingly little Western influence in Chengdu but certainly more than regional "rival" Chongqing. It's definitely not Beijing or Shanghai but this is changing fast with the arrival of more and more foreign students, teachers, and business people. This may be trying initially, as the level of English spoken is noticeably lower than other places, but it's also a blessing; carry a phrasebook and enjoy the authentic Chinese urban experience. The Western quarter, if there is one, seems to be around Kehua North Road.
Families and those short of time might consider hiring a car with driver (¥300-900 per day, depending upon type of car and experience of driver, with cars booked at the luxury hotels the most expensive and highest quality).
The ancient town of Anren, about 45 km to the south.
The Giant Buddha in Leshan is probably the most popular nearby destination. A day trip to this ancient man-made wonder should be about ¥100-150. Two day tours are available which combine the Buddha with a visit to the nearby Buddhist holy mountain Emei Shan.
Mount Qingcheng (青城山) and the Dujiangyan irrigation system (都江堰, built 250 BC) Dujiangyan_Irrigation_System are easy day trips about 40km from Chengdu and make for a fascinating visit. You can do both sites in one long day, or better yet, plan to spend a day at each. Qingcheng is a beautiful mountain with an extensive and well kept network of steps and pathways; it includes many pagodas, a small lake, and a chair-lift for those who don't want to walk. Qingcheng is an important site in the Taoist religion. Dujiangyan has a fascinating history and a marvelous swinging pedestrian bridge. Both trips involve lots of walking. The entrance fees for both sites are not cheap. The mountain is ¥90. The cable car up is ¥35 one way or ¥60 round trip. There is a boat one needs to take to cross a natural pond for ¥5. The irrigation system costs an additional ¥90 to enter. There is high-speed train from Chengdu Railway Station to Dujiangyan and Qingchengshan. The line was opened in May 2010, trains travel up to 220 km/h and the trip takes about half an hour.
Stone Elephant Lake
Stone Elephant Lake Ecological Resort(石象湖)  is a fantastic park with acres upon acres of live tulips and tiger lily flowers as well as nature walks and boat rides, and stone carved animals. The best time to go is during the Tulip Festival in early Spring and when the Tiger Lillies bloom in late summer, however, various flowers are usually in bloom from March through August and the nature walks are open year round. Bring your camera. Also bring a picnic lunch or eat in one of the several Chinese restaurants and noodle shops there. The park is about an hour and 15 minutes drive of pure highway driving south of Chengdu. Arrange a car to take you there or ask about bus service. Admission is ¥50.
Jian Chuan Museum Cluster Industrialist Fan Jian Chuan built this campus of museums to explain the history of 20th Century China. This is the first privately owned museum in Sichuan (privately operated museums in China have only been permitted since the year 2001). The Museum campus contains four buildings about World War II in China - one explaining the Communist Party role, one the Kuomington, one about the American volunteer group "Flying Tigers", and one about Sichuan volunteers. There is also a the modestly named "New China Porcelian Museum", which actually tells the story of the Cultural Revolution through porcelians of that era. A museum that more directly addresses that era is under construction. You will also see buildings explaining the practice of foot-binding and one about prisoners of war. Nearby, you can also walk through a landlord's manor. Make a day trip out of it; the Museum is in the nearby county of Dayi about an hour's drive from Chengdu. Admission is ¥60. Get around the museum cluster by walking or rent a bicycle built for two; a tea-house is located on site.
Bi Feng Xia Bi Feng Xia is a large ecological park in the mountains about a two and a half hour drive from Chengdu. It centers around a huge gorge with waterfalls. One can hike down into the gorge on well marked paths and take an elevator back up. The park also has special panda habitats, as well as a more traditional "zoo". The main reason to go here is for the walks and hikes into the gorge. The zoo, although filled with animals such as tigers, lions, bears, monkeys, and even a drive-through section, has woefully inadequate and sometimes smelly enclosures. (The enormous bird aviary is one exception). Admission is about ¥80, with additional charges for bus rides between different sections of the park. There is an expensive hotel and basic restaurants on site. Direct buses to the park (via Ya'an) leave from Xinnanmen station every 30mins.
Huang Long Xi (黄龙溪, "Yellow Dragon Creek ancient town") is worth a day trip. Buses start from Xinnanmen station (新南门车站) and take two hours. The little town features a few orgiinal dwellings and old temples but mainly recreated buildings from various periods. It does contain a street or two of authentic buildings and nice river view. Perfect biking destination in the countryside.
The Ancient Town of Luodai (洛带) is billed as an ancient village inhabited by the Hakka minority. Most of it is a recreation but still somewhat charming. It's a pleasant day-trip from Chengdu. Buses start form Wuguiqiao bus station(新南门车站 - south Chengdu, next to Tazishan Park) and take about an hour. Alternatively, take a taxi out (about 75 yuan) and come back by bus as return taxi's can be hard to find.
Jinlong (Little) Great Wall: This (replica) Great Wall is situated not far from Luodai Ancient Town. Buses from Luodai bus station or minivans (from eastern city gate) take you there or in about 20 minutes (2-10 yuan). Upon arrival, you can climb this local Great Wall, but be warned: although the wall is only a few kilometres long, it's a steep climb which is best not undertaken in hot weather (i.e. summer). Going all the way up will probably take seasoned hikers 1-1.5 hours.
Sanxingdui (三星堆 sanxingdui) - This is an ancient Chinese city where archaeologists discovered remarkable artifacts that radiocarbon dated circa 12th-11th centuries BCE, and Sanxingdui (Three star mound) is the name given to this previously unknown Bronze Age culture. The Sanxingdui archaeological museum is located about 40 kilometers northeast of Chengdu in Sichuan Province and 10 kilometers east of the city of Guanghan. From Zhaojue Temple Bus Station catch a bus to Guanghan (¥14) and from there use public bus No. 6 to reach the museum (¥2). Entrance is ¥82 (¥42 for students). 0838-5651550.
Further afield, you can also trek out to the Tibetan areas of Sichuan. Buses leave everyday for Moxi and other towns. These long bus trips from Xinnanmen-bus station (it's about seven hours to Moxi, and the heating systems on buses in the winter are painfully inadequate) pass through incredibly steep mountain valleys wandering through the Gongga Mountain range. This all terminates at the Hailuogo Glacier, a massive park nearly nine hours from Chengdu. A good two or three day trip.
The Jiuzhaigou (九寨沟) Valley to the north of Chengdu is famous for its stunning nature and the cyan water terasses.
Siguniang Scenic Park (四姑娘). Located to the northwest of Chengdu, these mountains are sometimes called "China Alps" but are also known as the "four girls" or "four maidens". Prior to the May 12 2008 earthquake, buses could be caught between 6:30AM and 12:00 from Chadianzi (茶店子) tourism bus station (6-9 hours). As a result of the quake there is now a single bus at 6:40AM that takes up to 12 hours. Catch the bus to Xiaojin (小金) and let the driver know your destination is Rilong village (日隆镇).
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