Chengdu is believed to have be founded in the 3rd century BC by the Qin Dynasty. It became famous for its satin and fine brocades, and was noted for its display of wealth and refined culture. Over the years Chengdu has always been an administrative and business hub and a leading city in China for business.

Known by many other names like the “Land of Abundance” and “Heavenly State”, Chengdu is one of the most liveable cities in China because of its green space and its emphasis on relaxation and culture. Many are also drawn to the city because it is a natural habitat of giant pandas.

Top 5 Attractions in Chengdu

  1. Panda Research Base

    Located 10 kilometers from the heart of Chengdu, Panda Research Base is undoubtedly the most popular attraction of the city. The research base is home to 80% of the giant pandas in the world. It is created to imitate the natural habitat of giant pandas and provide them the most suitable environment for breeding. Spread over 92 acres, the research base is also home to a wide range of other animals and 20 different rare animals including white storks, black-necked cranes and lesser pandas. The animals are provided a natural habitat and good food. Visitors will find the research center to be a serene and relaxing spot with fresh air, flowers, hills and bamboo.

  2. Mount Qingcheng

    Known to be one of the most important Taoist mountains in the country, Mount Qingcheng is a cultural, historic and scenic attraction that draws thousands of visitors each year. Surrounded by several peaks, the mountain is a city in itself. It is a peaceful spot with abundant trees and beautiful natural scenery. There are several historic sites as well as cultural relics at Mount Qingcheng. The most popular among these are the Tianshi Cave, Shangqing Palace and Jianfu Palace. Jianfu Palace was constructed during the Tang Dynasty while the Shangqing Palace was built during the Qing Dynasty. Tianshi Cave is home to a major Taoist temple.

  3. Jinsha Site Museum

    Located within a large park, Jinsha Site Museum is great museum for those with an interest in ancient civilizations. The museum showcases a wide range of pottery, jade, gold and other objects found by archaeologists when they discovered an ancient village from the Shu Kingdom dating back 3,000 years. Jinsha Site was once the core of the Zhou and Shang dynasties. Within the park are three cemeteries, 70 building spots, 63 sacrificial spots and thousands of valuable relics. The museum consists of the Ecological Garden, Cultural Heritage Protection Centre, Exhibition Hall and the Relics Hall.

  4. Wu Hou Temple

    Wu Hou Temple is a large park that is home to several shrines dedicated to the Shu Kingdom ministers. Built originally in 223 AD, the park is not just historically important and architecturally interesting but is also a good place for a leisurely stroll. The main part of the Wu Hou Temple consists of five different sections — First Gate, Second Gate, Hall of Zhuge Liang, the Corridor and Hall of Liu Bei. Inside are clay sculptures of ministers and the Shu Emperor. The large stele inside is an important cultural relic, measuring 367cm (144″) tall and 95cm (37″) wide.

  5. Jinli Street

    Jinli Street is a pedestrian street brimming with inns, souvenir shops, teahouses and snack stalls. The buildings on the street are restored to their ancient glory and reflect the architecture of Three Kingdoms era. Strolling through the street feels like taking a trip back in time with brick walls and wooden steles. Stores on the street are unique and sell celebrity paintings, calligraphy, curios, folk handicrafts, lacquer products and Shu embroidery. The street is quite busy but the small stores have a tranquil, relaxing atmosphere.

Shopping in Chengdu

Chengdu offers a good variety of knick-knacks and souvenirs for visitors to select from. For a unique local flavor, bamboo bowls are a good choice. Shu embroidery and brocade are very popular and also a good shopping choice since they are available in a wide range of colors. Other than these, Chengdu is also famous for ornate silverware. Qingcheng silk rugs are decorative and stunning to look at.

There are several good shopping streets in Chengdu like Chunxi Road. The area is home to a large number of street stalls, boutiques, department stores and shopping malls. Those interested in antiques will find the Songxian Qiao Antique Market a wonderful place to visit. It is a large market offering calligraphy equipment, jewelry, porcelain dishes and communist relics. Good bargains are also available on antiques. If you are visiting the Panda Research base, the shop inside sells plush pandas and various panda souvenirs to take back home.

Food & Drink in Chengdu

Chengdu is known for its fiery hot cuisine. Sichuan cuisine is not just hot but is known for combining a wide range of flavors. The cuisine makes use of more than 4,000 ingredients and 40 different cooking methods.

One of the typical Sichuan dishes to try is Ma Po Tofu, which was originally created during the Qing Dynasty. Another typical dish is Sautéed Pork with Chili and Pepper. In this dish red and green seasonings are used to add vivid colors as well as an explosion of flavors.

For those who can handle spicy dishes, Dengying dried beef is a delicious treat to try. Some of the other dishes famous in Chengdu are twice-cooked pork, shredded pork with fish flavor, Dan Dan noodles, and Kung Pao chicken. Chengdu hotpot can be found all over the city and is a flavorful dish to try.

For those who are a little adventurous, there are several unique snacks available in Chengdu like spicy rabbit meat, Bangbang chicken, Chongqing duck neck, spicy snails and dragon prawns. Small restaurants and food stalls often specialize in these delicious and inexpensive dishes. Throughout the city there are a number of street vendors and small restaurants serving good quality food.

Chengdu Transportation

  1. Air

    Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is one of the busiest airports in China. Located 12 miles outside the city centre, it receives the 4th largest passenger volume in the country. The airport connects almost all major cities within the country as well as small cities in the province. International flights to and from the airport include Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Bangkok, Mumbai, London, Singapore and San Francisco.

  2. Train

    Chengdu is the largest railway hub in the region. Chengdu Station offers several long distance trains. Chengdu East Station serves high speed bullet trains for Chongqing and several Sichuan destinations. Train connections are also available to several major cities like Xi’an, Kunming, Shanghai and Beijing.

  3. Long-distance Bus

    There are several bus stations in Chengdu including Ximen Bus Station, Chengdu Bus Station, Dongmen Bus Station, and Beimen Bus Station. Chengdu Bus Station offers transportation to destinations like Nanning City, Yibin City, Chongqing and Wanxian County. Buses for Lhasa in Tibet run from the Gaosuntang Bus Station while buses headed for south Sichuan run from the Beimen Bus Station.

  4. Subway

    Chengdu Metro currently has two operational lines. Line 2 runs from Chadianzi Bus Terminal to the city’s south east side. Line 1 runs from Shengxian Lake to Hualong Road. Chengdu Metro offers a fast, comfortable and affordable way to get around the city.

  5. City Bus

    Chengdu has an extensive network of city buses extending in every direction, especially to major attractions. There are also several special sightseeing buses covering famous attractions in the city. Bus No. 901 is a roofless, double-decker bus covering attractions like Jinsha Site, Wu Hou Temple, Reming Road, Songxian Bridge and Qingyang Temple.

    Bus No. 902 departs from the New South Gate Distributing Centre and covers attractions like the Panda Research Centre, Longtan Temple, Chenghua Avenue and Wenshu Workshop.

Chengdu Photos

Chengdu Anshun bridge by Philippe Lejeanvre - 乐让菲力IMG_0102 by 图鸦 (JiBai's Photograph)我是一只鱼 by nzfisherChengdu - Tianfu square by Philippe Lejeanvre - 乐让菲力白领凤鹛 White-collared Yuhina by gychen0715Spiloxene canaliculata by 图鸦 (JiBai's Photograph)Chengdu - Jinli Lantern Festival by Philippe Lejeanvre - 乐让菲力Chengdu, China by Khin Khung
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