Featured - Sichuan

Essential Intro: Chengdu of Sichuan Province [Top Sights, Food,Transport, & Map]

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province which is located in western China, bordering with Tibet. It’s location actually makes it a great place to get started from, or base yourself in, if you are planning to visit Tibet or the southwest region of China including such places as Leshan or Mt. Emei.

Chengdu is also home to the Giant Panda Bear Research Centre, but more about that in a coming post.

The city has a population of about 11 million but strangely it doesn’t feel crowded, actually, it almost has a relaxed feel. Apparently, Chengdu is rated as one of the country’s most livable cities.

Touring around the city you can see vast contrasts between ultra-modern areas, such as the shopping district surrounding the center of town at Tianfu Square, through to old dilapidated hi-rises, right out rural areas with dirt roads on outskirts of the city.

In between all that is a mass of construction, it’s hard to go too far without seeing cranes at work on new development. The new developments seem somewhat plain with bland architecture that’s seemingly going to date quickly, interestingly many of the developments are themed after western countries and have a mix of residential and retail.

Chengdu also features many temples, which I’ll cover in coming posts, along with parks that line the rivers running through the city. Just walking along the river is an experience as its dotted with old traditional style Chinese architecture and some beautiful bridges.

In most of the parks, there are tea houses filled with people just relaxing, talking (don’t ask me what about), playing cards or the local game Mahjong and of course drinking tea. These people are pretty laid back and as I’ll find out, they love drinking tea!

My impression of Chengdu is that I really like the place, the people are friendly, good spirited and many are quite kind. The food is fantastic and cheap. Chengdu really does have a big country town type feel…

For more stories and info see all the posts about Chengdu China.


The Top Ten Must-See Attractions in Chengdu

1. Giant Panda Breeding Research Base (Xiongmao Jidi)
Recommended Visiting Hours: 3 ~ 4 hours
Open Hours: 07:30 ~ 18:00
Tickets: ¥58/person
Address: 1375 Panda Road, Northern Suburb, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, P.R. China

2. Mount Qingcheng
Recommended Visiting Time: Half day for Front Mountain, Half day for Rear Mountain
Opening Hours: March 2nd ~ November 30th: 8:00 to 17:00 /December 1st ~ March 1st: 8:00 to 18:00
Tickets: Front Qingcheng Mountain: ¥90; Rear Qingcheng Mountain: ¥20; Ten-Thousand Buddha Cave: ¥5; Crystal Cave: ¥10
Address: Qingcheng Mountain Town, Chengdu 611844, China

3. Wenshu Yuan Monastery
Recommended Visiting Hours: 2 hours
Open Hours: 09:00 ~ 17:00
Tickets: ¥5/person
Address: No.66 Wenshuyuan Street, Qingyang District, Chengdu 610017, China

4. Du Fu Cottage
Recommended Visiting Time: 3 hours
Opening Hours: 8:00—18:30 from May to October, 8:00—18:00 from November to next April.
Tickets: 60 RMB/person
Address: No.37 Qinghua Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu city, Sichuan province

5. Kuanzhai Ancient Street of Qing Dynasty
Recommended Visiting Time: 2-3 hours
Opening Hours: 24 hours; most shops (bars excluded) close at 22:00-23:00
Tickets: Free
Address: East of Tongren Road, west of Changshun Street, Qingyang District, Chengdu City.

6. Jinli Pedestrian Street
Recommended Visiting Hours: 2 ~ 3 hours
Open Hours: Some snack stores will close around 22:00, and some drinking bars will open all night
Tickets: Free
Address: No.231 Wuhouci Street, Wuhou District, Chengdu 610041, China

7. Jinsha Site Museum
Recommended Visiting Time: 2-3 hours
Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00
Tickets: RMB 80/person; sales time: 8:00-17:30
Address: No.2, Jinsha Site Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu.

8. Qingyang Palace (Green Ram Temple)
Recommended Visiting Time: 1~2 hours
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00Tickets: 10 RMB/person
Address: West Section 2 of the First Ring road, Qingyang District, Chengdu, China

9. Wuhou Memorial Temple
Recommended Visiting Time: 2~3 hours
Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00Tickets: 60 RMB/person
Address: No.231 Wuhou Temple Street, Chengdu city, Sichuan province

10. Chengdu Renmin Park
Recommended Visiting Time: 1 ~ 2 hours
Opening Hours: All day
Tickets: Free when there are no activities; ¥12/person when there is flower show; ¥8 for the major festivals.
Address: No.12 Shaocheng Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu 610015, China


Chengdu Tourism Map


Chengdu Map with my top picks for hotels 

Map includes the top ten attractions, plus, my picks for the top places to stay based on user reviews and location.

InterContinental Chengdu Global Center

InterContinental Chengdu Global Center

 – Metro access

Offering free Wi-Fi and wired internet access, InterContinental Chengdu Global Center provides a water park, 2 swimming pools and a fitness centre. Mingdu Park is a 15-minute walk away.
Holiday Inn Chengdu Century City West
Holiday Inn Chengdu Century City West is located in the Century City Complex, which also features Chengdu International Exhibition & Convention Centre. It offers Internet access in all guest rooms.
The St. Regis Chengdu

The St. Regis Chengdu 

Offering an outdoor pool and an indoor pool, 8 minutes' walk from Taikoo Li and IFS Shopping Mall, The St. Regis Chengdu is located in Chengdu. Free WiFi access is available.
Chengdu Panda Apartment

Aparthotel Chengdu Panda Apartment

Chengdu Panda Apartment is located in the heart of Chengdu, less than a 5-minute walk from People’s Park Subway Station and a 10-minute walk from the ancient Kuanzhai Alley.
Niccolo Chengdu

Niccolo Chengdu

 5-star hotel - Metro access

Featuring a fitness centre and 2 restaurants, Niccolo Chengdu is located in Chengdu offering commercial accommodation to travelers. Free WiFi access is available in all areas.
The Temple House

The Temple House

 5-star hotel - Metro access

Featuring free WiFi, a spa centre and a terrace, The Temple House offers accommodation in Chengdu, housed at Chunxi Road, the city centre and right next to Daci Temple.
Grand Hyatt Chengdu

Grand Hyatt Chengdu

 5-star hotel - Metro access

Offering a barbecue and spa centre, Grand Hyatt Chengdu is set in Chengdu. The hotel boasts a 1,000-square-metre French-style outdoor garden, a fitness centre and signature restaurants.


Cheng Du Trium Apartment(Taikoo Li)

Apartments Cheng Du Trium Apartment(Taikoo Li)

4 stars - Metro access

Set in Chengdu within 600 metres of Chunxi Road and a 19-minute walk of Tianfu Square, Cheng Du Trium Apartment(Taikoo Li) provides accommodation with free WiFi, a TV and a kitchen.
East House service apartment(Taikoo Li)

Apartments East House service apartment(Taikoo Li)


Situated within 600 metres of Chunxi Road and an 18-minute walk of Tianfu Square in Chengdu, East House service apartment(Taikoo Li) provides accommodation with seating area. Free WiFi is provided.
Mia Suites (Taikoo Li Chengdu)

Apartments Mia Suites (Taikoo Li Chengdu) 

 Metro access
Mia Suites offers accommodation 20 metres from Taikoo Li. Chunxi Road is 600 metres from the property. The accommodation is air conditioned and features a seating area.
Fraser Suites Chengdu

Aparthotel Fraser Suites Chengdu

 Metro access

5 Star - Located 200 metres from Tian Fu Square and 1 km away from the bustling Chunxi Road, Fraser Suites Chengdu is a 30-minute drive from Shuangliu International Airport.

9 Citang St, RenMin GongYuan, Qingyang Qu, Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng, China, 610000

Sichuan, Chengdu, Wuhou, Wuhouci St, 231号武侯祠景区内

QingYang GongShangQuan, Qingyang Qu, Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng, China, 610071

JinSha ShangQuan, Qingyang Qu, Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng, China, 610091

WuHouCi, Wuhou Qu, Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng, China, 610041

Qingyang Qu, Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng, China, 610000

QingYang GongShangQuan, Qingyang Qu, Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng, China, 610072

CaoShiJie, Qingyang Qu, Chengdu Shi, Sichuan Sheng, China, 610081

Sichuan Sheng, Chengdu Shi, Chenghua Qu, 外北熊猫大道1375号 邮政编码: 610081


Transport in Chengdu

Chengdu has a major international airport being the Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) which is located 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the city center. Getting to and from the airport is easy via Line 10 of the Metro system or via buses which are available at Gate 4 and Gate 5 of terminal 2.

Chengdu has four railway stations being North Railway station, East Railway Station, West Railway Station and South Railway Station. North and East are the main stations, and from there you can take High Speed Rail and other services to an endless number of destinations across China.

Long Distance Bus
If the train is not your thing, or it’s booked out, the city has several intercity and provincial bus services. Stations include General Bus Station (Wugui Bridge Bus Station), Xinnanmen Bus Station (Tourism Bus Center), Chadianzi Bus Station, Airport Bus Station, East Railway Station Bus Station, Beimen (North Gate) Bus Station, and Wukuaishi Bus Station.

City Bus
The Chengdu Sightseeing Bus is a super convenient way to get around the main attractions. You can catch it outside any of the major tourist spots. Local buses are fixed fare and you either drop coins/notes in the slot as you get on or use a card. You can determine which bus to take via Baidu Maps http://ditu.baidu.com

Metro (subway) and 2018 Chengdu Metro Map
Chengdu has a well-developed metro system including 6 lines with more on the way. They also have an easy to use English site here: http://www.chengdurail.com/index_en.html


Top Ten Things to Eat in Chengdu

Of course, Sichuan hot pot tops the list of things to try, and you’ll find no shortage of places to do just that. Here’s the alternate top ten.

1. Mapo tofu (Mapo doufu 麻婆豆腐)

2. Kungpao chicken (Gongbao jiding 宫保鸡丁)

3. Dry-fried string beans (Ganbian sijidou 干煸四季豆)

4. Sichuan Dumplings in Chili Oil (Hong You Chao Shou 红油抄手)

5. Dandan noodles (Dandan mian 担担面)

6. ‘Sweet water’ noodles (Tianshui mian 甜水面)

7. Brown sugar rice triangle (Hongtang zongzi 红糖粽子)

8. Silk candy (Bositang 波丝糖)

9. Spicy silk tofu (Mala douhua 麻辣豆花)

10. Red bean and egg pastry (Danhuangsu 蛋黄酥)

Top places to head to for streets eats and restaurants include Jinli Street, Kuan and Zhai Alley, Wenshuyuan block, Shaxixian Food Street, Yangxixian Food Street and Chunxi Road.


Useful resources for planning a Chengdu trip

Go Chengdoo – the cool website features loads of info on whats happening in the city, plus forums, news and more. They also have a printed monthly magazine Chengdoo Citylife.
Chengdutime.com – features news, bus train and plane info, forums and more.
Chengdu at chinatravelguide.com – site provides useful primer with maps, transport info, and key attractions.