Xiamen Travel Guide inc. Gulangyu Island and Top Attractions

Xiamen Travel Guide inc. Gulangyu Island and Top Attractions

Xiamen, or Amoy as some call it, is a small city by Chinese standards being home to only around 600,000 people but it can still get pretty busy being a popular tourist destination for many Chinese. It’s an attractive coastal city, clean and has a certain charm about it not seen in other Chinese cities I have been.

In the 1840s the British invaded the area and began colonizing, opening the port for trade, and soon after many other western countries came into town and established colonies. The memories of this past can be seen in the beautiful old colonial-style buildings that can be found throughout the city.

In 1938 the Japanese invaded and took over the city until 1945 and fortunately, after the Japanese surrender, Chinese life here began again. Today Xiamen is a peaceful, breezy tourist hotspot, and it’s easy to see why, with great weather, great views and a laid back feel.

Xiamen has been well established as a tourism destination, Zhongshan Road near the Ferry Terminal caters for visitors perfectly with a long street full of shopping, night markets and loads of places to eat. There are lots of Western-style fast-food chains here, McD’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and I found at least one of the Japanese Ajisen Ramen stores to eat at.

This old European style architecture houses one of China’s famous luxury brand stores, PCD.

Even the backstreets of Xiamen have loads of character.

And just like everywhere in China, there’s plenty of food stalls and even ‘food streets’ packed with little restaurants and stalls.

The Esplanade at night is a popular place where locals and visitors relax and take in the cool breeze that comes off the water.

Gulangyu, or Kulangsu, is most certainly the main reason most people come to Xiamen. A quaint island with almost exclusively European architecture and a very bohemian vibe. It was on this island that British and European countries opened their consulates post the Sino-British war.

Today, Gulangyu is a bustling tourist spot and Chinese tourists flood the small but beautifully scenic island. Attractions on the island are mostly colonial architecture, family mansions, and the beautiful coastal views,  including

  • Huang Rongyuan Mansion (1920)
  • former British Consulate (1844)
  • former German Consulate (1870)
  • Melon Building  (1922)
  • Yizu Mansion (1920s)
  • Koh Family Mansion (1930s)
  • Yang Family Villa (1913)
  • the former Japanese Consulate
  • former Dutch Consulate (1890) and now Museum of Gulangyu history
  • Bagua Building (1907) and now Piano Museum
  • the Gothic Spanish-Catholic Church (1917)
  • Huang Family Villa  (1920s)
  • the Union Church (1863)
  • Trinity Church (1928)
  • Sunlight Rock where you can still find traditional Min-nan style houses (1900s)
  • Gulangyu Beach
  • Shuzhuang Gardens

The island is easy to stroll around and maps are easily available. You can spend a large part of the day here, but not much more unless you are fanatical about colonial architecture. Some people do like to stay on the island, especially couples, and on the map below I have included a marker and link for the top-rated places to stay on the island.

Ferry to Gulangyu

Note you should get ferry tickets as early as possible as they sell out. Also, note while there is a more central ferry it’s local passengers only.

Take the ferry from Xiamen International Cruise Center (厦门国际邮轮中心) at Dongdu to Sanqiutian or Neicuoao Terminals on Gulangyu. 25 min journey. The roundtrip fare is 35 RMB.

 

Xiamen & Gulangyu Attraction Map

This map includes the famous buildings on Gulangyu (approx locations) plus attractions in Xiamen and my pick for the top ten hotels.

 

Top Places to Stay in Xiamen

Also see my top picks for 15 hotels in Xiamen

 

The Top Attractions and Things to do in Xiamen

  • Gulangyu (鼓浪屿) –  the famous island noted for its scenic vistas and European architecture.
  • Jimei (集美大学) – Jimei University in Xiamen is famous for being reputed as the most beautiful school in China. It also has a lot of interesting architecture and its also home to white dolphins.
  • South Putuo Temple (南普陀寺) – a beautiful Buddhist temple founded in the Tang Dynasty
  • Hulishan Battery and Huli Hill Fort (胡里山炮台) – Read more
  • Zhongshan Road (中山路步行街) – shopping, snacking, and European colonial architecture

 

Top Foods to try in Xiamen

Xiamen is most well known for its fresh seafood and you will not have to go far to find it. Here is a list of the local favorite dishes of all types

  • Xiamen Glass Noodles 面线糊
  • Oyster omelet 海蛎煎
  • Xiamen Fish Balls 厦门鱼丸
  • Sea worm jelly 土笋冻
  • Shacha Noodles 沙茶面
  • Shrimp Noodle Soup 虾面
  • Xiamen Spring Roll 春卷
  • Xiamen Pot Stickers 韭菜盒
  • Braised Duck with Ginger 姜母鸭
  • Xiamen Wonton soup 扁食汤

 

Attractions Near Xiamen

  • Kinmen –  take a ferry to the island and see villages with traditional Fujianese architecture.
  • Hakka Tulou – In Yongding County, 3-5 hours from Xiamen. Read More
  • Taiwan – You can take a ferry from Xiamen to Taiwan.

 

 

A Must See: The Historic Centre of Macau – Travel Guide

A Must See: The Historic Centre of Macau – Travel Guide

Exploring the Historic Centre is one of the top things to do in Macau and the cities number one tourist attraction also being inscribed on the World Heritage List. It’s a collection of buildings and temples that reflect the history of Macau, in particular, the history of east meets west, with most of the buildings reflecting the city’s Portuguese past.

The attractions are spread out around the south-west side of Macau Island, and the easiest way to take all this in is to get a Macau World Heritage brochure or a What’s on Macau map, which most hotels seem to have, and follow the walking route.

A-Ma Temple – Get there when the tour buses arrive and enjoy the crowd!
Moorish Barracks

You could race through the walk in a couple of hours particularly if you are prepared to skip a few, but you could also just as easily spend a relaxing day wandering and sight-seeing. Myself, I started at the A-Ma Temple and ended at the Ruins of St Pauls Church.

St Lawrences Church

The Senado Square area is quite popular and also features plenty of places to eat and shop. It’s also at the central area of all the sights.

Dom Pedro V Theatre

The major drawcard of the heritage area is the Ruins of St. Pauls Church, Mount Fortress and Senado Square.

Senado Square
St Dominics Church
Ruins of St Pauls – the rest of church was lost in a fire back in the 1800’s
Mount Fortress – hmmm, the purpose of this canon is?

Key Attractions

The list of famous buildings and attractions in the Historic Centre of Macau include

  • A-Ma Temple – Built in 1488, the temple is dedicated to Matsu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen.
  • Moorish Barracks – The barracks was built in August 1874 to accommodate a regiment from Goa, Portuguese India. It was designed by an Italian architect.
  • Lilau Square – Near A- Ma temple, it is a small public square featuring two Banyan trees.
  • Mandarins House – It was the residence and family home of the late Qing theoretician and reformist Zheng Guanying (1842-1921).
  • St Lawrence’s Church – It was first built approximately during 1558 and 1560 in memory of St. Lawrence, who is regarded by Portuguese as a patron saint in navigation.
  • St Joesphs Church – The seminary was established in 1728 and, following the end of the Jesuits’ mission, was taken over by the Lazarites. The church was erected in 1758.
  • Dom Pedro V Theatre – The theatre was built in 1860 by local Portuguese to commemorate their reigning king, Peter V. It used to be a regular meeting place for the Portuguese and Macanese people living in Macau.
  • Sir Robert Ho Tung Library – The building was constructed before 1894 and was owned by Dona Carolina Cunha. Later the mansion was purchased by Hong Kong businessman Sir Robert Ho Tung in 1918 as a retreat and he lived there between 1941 and 1945.
  • St Augustines Church – It was constructed in 1586 by Spanish Augustine priests.
  • Leal Senado Building – Built in 1784 by the Portuguese.
  • Senado Square – a beautiful paved town square that connects many of the iconic buildings. It was redeveloped in the 1990’s to what we see today.
  • Sam Kai Vui Kun Temple – Chinese Guan Yu temple.
  • Holy House of Mercy – It was built 1569 as a medical clinic
  • Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady – Originally built in 1623 it was later replaced in 1850 and rebuilt in 1937 with the stone building we see today.
  • Lou Kau Mansion – The building was built around 1889 as a home of Lou Kau, a prominent Chinese merchant.
  • St Dominics Church – Built in 1587 and established by three Spanish Dominican priests.
  • Ruins of St Pauls – Built from 1602 to 1640 by the Jesuits, the church was one of the largest Catholic churches in Asia until it was mostly lost to fire in 1835.
  • Na Cha Temple – A Chinese folk temple that dates back to 1888.
  • Old City Walls – Constructed under Chinese rule in the late 1500’s
  • Monte Forte – The fort was built between 1617 and 1626 on the 52 metres tall Mount Hill, located directly east of the Ruins of St. Paul’s.
  • St Anthonys Church – originally built in 1560 it was reconstructed several times and what we see today is the 1930’s iteration built from stone.
  • Casa Garden – Built in 1770, the park was originally the residence of a wealthy Portuguese merchant Manuel Pereira.
  • Protestant Cemetery – Established in 1821 by the British.
  • Gui Fortress – a 17th-century colonial military fort, chapel, and lighthouse complex.

Historic Centre Map and Walking route

Click for larger image

 

My Favorite Places to Stay in Macau

  • Harbourview Hotel Macau – Four-star with a very convenient location and affordable rates
  • Hotel Guia – Three-star offering clean modern rooms in a good location, a great restaurant, and walking distance to some key attractions.
  • The Parisian Macao – Five-star, if you want to splurge it doesn’t get much better, offering a true luxury getaway experience and a French theme to boot.

 

Macau Travel Guide – the Top Sights & Things to do

Macau Travel Guide – the Top Sights & Things to do

Macau is renowned for its casinos and its massive entertainment offerings, but the city offers a host of attractions, an insight into China’s colonial history, beautiful architecture, and villages by the beach that you won’t want to leave.

Jump To: MapTop Ten Things to doTop Ten SightsWhere to stay – Top Ten CasinosTransport

Macau is a little bit like Hong Kong in that it is still part of China but has its own administration, legal system, and economic system, and it is referred to as a Special Administrative Region of China. Macau is neither a country nor city, it is an autonomous region of China that uses its own currency, citizens hold a Macau SAR passport, and they have their own legal system.

What makes Macau very different from Hong Kong is that for one, it’s much smaller, secondly it’s former Portuguese rule has forged a unique culture and thirdly, most noticeably, is the legalised casinos.

I was heading to Macau from China, so, for the most part, it’s just like going to another country, meaning that I was officially departing China, and also requiring the normal customs checks and an entry visa for Macau.

Lucky for me, for Australians, the visa process for Macau is quite simple, I arrived at the border and without question, the official checking my passport automatically stamped it with a 30-day visa.

Macau’s Senado Square

Like Hong Kong, foreign trade played a large part in forming what exists today. Portuguese traders used the area as a port in the mid-1500s and many of those traders began to settle in the area. Eventually, there were so many that they requested self-administration from the Chinese in the mid-1800s and were allowed some level of autonomy as a community. Following the Opium Wars of 1839-42, Portugal had developed an even larger presence in the region and by the late 1800s Macau was ceded to Portuguese rule. Later, and through the 1900’s Macau was slowly handed back to the Chinese, and in 1999 it was officially handed back by the Portuguese government and China regained sovereignty. Much like Hong Kong, the region retained its own government and a level of autonomy.

The Macau of today is a popular tourist destination, and with the legalisation of casinos, it’s also now a gambling mecca, and its where the Chinese come to play, and many people from around the world for that matter! And they like playing!

It really is an odd contrast, in one part of China I have seen communities still struggling to break free from poverty, residing in ramshackle dwellings and now I’m staring at ultra-modern grand gambling palaces where many Chinese throw money away like its toilet paper.

Stanley Hos’ Grand Lisboa

Some of that money ends up in Australian hands, James Packer has some large casino investments here, but the king of the casino industry in Macau is a Chinese native Stanley Ho.

Outside of the casinos, you can take in Macau’s sights in a day if you’re just taking a quick look, or two to three days if you really want to explore things in a relaxed fashion. The place really isn’t that big geographically.

As far as sight-seeing goes the most interesting part of Macau is the Heritage Area which features numerous historic buildings from its Portuguese past. Joined to Macau by three bridges are Tapai Island, Cotai, and Coloane. More about these places in posts to follow.

Streets of Taipa

At the end of the day, its really is hard to look beyond the casinos, they are just in your face 24/7, it’s what Macau is about. The massive casino/entertainment/hotel buildings dominate the skyline during the day, and light up the night sky of Macau and drive its tourism industry, and thus it’s economy.

For detailed information on shopping and casinos visit Macau Shopper which also has a guide to Hotels in Macau

Also Read: Taipa Island Macau | Coloane Macau | Cotai and the Cotai Strip | Historic Center of Macau

My Favorite Places to Stay in Macau

  • Harbourview Hotel Macau – Four-star with a very convenient location and affordable rates
  • Hotel Guia – Three-star offering clean modern rooms in a good location, a great restaurant, and walking distance to some key attractions.
  • The Parisian Macao – Five-star, if you want to splurge it doesn’t get much better, offering a true luxury getaway experience and a French theme to boot.

 

Macau Map

Featuring my picks for the top ten: hotels, attractions, things to do and casinos.

 

The Top Ten Sights in Macau

1. Ruins of St Paul’s
The remaining facade of a church built in the 17th century that was destroyed by fire in 1835.

Bus Routes : 3, 3X, 4, 6A, 8A, 18A, 19, 26A, 33, N1A

2. Senado Square
Macau’s urban center and a beautiful display of architecture and urban design from the Portuguese era.

Bus Routes : 3, 3X, 4, 6A, 8A, 18A, 19, 26A, 33, N1A

3. ‘Leal Senado’ Building
The first government building and beautiful neo-classical architecture

Open hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (closed on Mondays) – Bus routes: 3, 3X, 4, 6A, 8A, 18A, 19, 26A, 33, N1A

4. A Ma Temple
A temple dedicated to the famous sea goddess, Mazu.

Open Hours: 7 am to 6 pm – Bus Routes – Barra Square : 1, 2, 5, 6B, 10, 10A, 11, 18, 21A, 26, 28B, 55, MT4, N3

5. St Dominic Church
Beautiful old church.

6. Macau Tower
Featuring an observation deck and revolving restaurant.

Bus Routes: 9A, 18, 23, 26, 32, 73

7. Guia Fortress
Lighthouse and old military post

Open Hours: 10 am to 5.30 pm – Bus Routes: 2, 2A, 6A, 12, 17, 18, 18A, 19, 22, 23, 25, 25X, 32, 56

8. Fortaleza do Monte
Ancient fort with cannons.

Open Hours: 7 am to 7 pm – Bus Routes: 10, 11, 21A, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8A, 26A, 33

9. Kun Iam Ecumenical Centre
A statue dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy.

Open Hours: 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Friday – Bus Routes: 10A, 17, 30X

10. Chapel of St. Michael
Another beautiful church

Bus Routes: 2, 4, 7, 8, 8A, 9, 9A, 12, 18, 19, 22, 25

Also see: Historic Centre of Macau

 

The Top Ten Things to do in Macau

1. Eat Macanese Cuisine – a fusion of Western, Chinese, and Portuguese. It’s not to be missed, one of the icons, while deceptively simple is a must-try, the famous Pork Bun.

2. Try the World’s Highest Commercial Bungy Jump (at Adventure Zone Macau at the Macau Tower)

3. Explore St Lazarus Church District featuring cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and a haven for artists.

4. Watch the world’s largest water show at The House of Dancing Water

5. Visit the Pandas at Macao Giant Panda Pavilion

6. Explore the museums – Taipa Houses-Museum Macau Wine Museum, Museum of Macau, Grand Prix Museum, Maritime Museum, Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt, Macau Museum of Art, Handover Gifts Museum of Macao, Macau Tea Culture House, Communications Museum, Museum of Taipa and Coloane History

7. Visit the Macau Science Center featuring loads of interactive games, and educational environment.

8. Visit the Heritage Exhibition of a Traditional Pawnshop Business

9. Explore the beaches of Coloanne – Hac Sa beach

10. Visit the Flora Garden – a garden in Sao Lazaro.

The Top Ten Casinos in Macau

The Venetian Macao – The Venetian Macao casino is the largest casino in the world, offering 850 table games and 4100 slot machines operating 24 hours a day. I struggle to find any place in the world that can compare with it. The Venetian also offers hotel resort, shopping, restaurants, a wellness hospital, Venetian pools, an indoors grand canal, mini golf, gym and so much more. Click here to know more about The Venetian Macao Casino.

Website: VenetianMacao.com | Venetian Resort Hotel Deals

 

The Parisian Macao – Owned by Las Vegas Sands, it’s more than a casino, it offers a journey into a French-themed wonderland with a recreation of classic French boulevards and even the Eifel Tower. Click here to know more about The Parisian Macao.

Website: Parisian Macao | Parisian Macao Hotel Deals

 

Galaxy Casino – It has a jaw-dropping scale to it, so much so that its split into 5 parts which offer a staggering 1,200 slot machines and over 600 gaming tables. It features a choice of five different luxury hotels including The Ritz Carlton, Banyan Tree, JW Marriot, Hotel Okura, Galaxy Hotel and Broadway Macau. Hotel guests can enjoy the amazing Skytop Wave Pool which covers 4,000 square meters and features a large white sand beach which is part of the Grand Resort Deck. If you are not a hotel guest you can buy a pass to the Grand Resort Deck at the Galaxy website.

Website: GalaxyMacau.com | Galaxy Hotel

 

Grand Lisboa – You can’t miss this one, it has an iconic design and at night it’s lit by over a million LED’s. Click here to know more about Grand Lisboa.

Website: GrandLisboa.com | Grand Lisboa Hotel Deals

 

Sands Macao – Owned and operated by Las Vegas Sands Corporation it features hotel and casino plus live shows and entertainment at its Xanadu Lounge and Sands Theatre. Click here to know more about Sands Macao.

Website: SandsMacao.com | Sands Macao Hotel Deals and Cotai Jet Packages

 

Wynn Macau Casino – Here’s something not to miss, the free Dragon of Fortune Show in the foyer of the Wynn Casino, it’s a short show that runs every 30 minutes that combines lighting, sound effects, moving sculpture and Chinese tradition. Other attractions include an art gallery, jellyfish aquarium, a water show and more. Click here to know more about Wynn Macau Casino.

Website: WynnMacau.com | Wynn Macau Hotel Deals

 

MGM Macau – Be sure to see the 8-meter tall aquarium that is the centerpiece of the main foyer known as Grand Praca which is a staggering recreation of Portuguese architecture being modeled of Lisbon’s railway station. You’ll also find some luxury brand shops here, eight different dining options, spa and of course gaming. Click here to know more about MGM Grand Macau Casino.

Website: mgm.mo | MGM hotel deals and packages

 

City of Dreams – houses a casino, four hotels inc. Crown Towers, Morpheus, Grand Hyatt, and the Hard Rock Hotel along with a wide range of entertainment. There are actually three gambling areas inc. City of Dreams Casino, Hard Rock Hotel gaming area, and the Signature Club. For entertainment, the House of Dancing Water is an acclaimed show well worth the ticket cost, plus there is the Cubic Nightclub, Kid’s Club and live music at Hard Rock Cafe. Click here to know more about City of Dreams.

Website: CityofDreamsMacau.com | City of Dreams Hard Rock Hotel Deals

Star World – features regular live entertainment. It also houses a popular French bakery cafe, Passion. by Gérard Dubois and many great value Asian Chinese restaurants such as Laurel Cantonese restaurant, Tsui Wah a Hong Kong tea restaurant, Jade de Jardin (Michelin Star) which offers Shanghai cuisine and several others. Click here to know more about it.

Website: StarworldMacau.com | Star World Hotel Deals

 

Buses and Transport in Macau

Taxis

The flag-fall charge is MOP19.00 for the first 1600 meters, with MOP2.00 added every 240 meters thereafter.

MOP2.00 is charged for waiting per minute at the passenger’s request. There is a MOP3.00 surcharge for each item of luggage carried in the boot. There is a MOP5.00 surcharge for boarding a taxi at Macau International Airport, the taxi station of Taipa Ferry Terminal, the campus of the University of Macau or journeys from Macao to Coloane. The surcharge for Taipa to Coloane is MOP2.00.

You can call a taxi via +853 288 12345 or visit http://macaotaxi.com/en/ there is a MOP5.00 fee plus normal taxi metered rates.

 

Public Bus

They are modern and air-conditioned, most fares are MOP2.5 with no change given so you must bring correct money. Longer distances to Taipa and Coloanne are between MOP3-5. You can get information on bus routes here http://www.dsat.gov.mo/bus.. or download their APP, or just use google maps.

 

Hop on Hop-Off Bus

A convenient way to take in the sights of Macau is the hop-on/hop-off bus. The open-top bus allows you to hop-off at 15 tourist attractions including Macau Fisherman’s Wharf, Macao Science Centre, Kun Iam Statue, Wynn Casino, Lisboa Casino, New Yaohan Mall, Macau Tower, A-Ma Temple, Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16, Inn Hotel, Rua do Cunha, City of Dreams Casino, Sands Cotai Central Casino, The Venetian Macao, Galaxy Macau.

Meeting and Purchase Point: Unit 1646, arrival hall, the Macao Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal
Time: 9:30 am to 4:15 pm Daily (Departure every 45 minutes, duration of each tour 90 minutes)
Website: http://www.goldspark.com.mo

Hop on hop off sightseeing route map – click for larger image

 

Ferry

Ferries run between Macau and Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Zhuhai & Guangzhou (charter only). Macau has three ferry terminals being the Macau Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal (Hong Kong Ferries & Shenzhen Airport Ferries) & Macau Inner Ferry Terminal (Zhuhai Ferries) and Taipa Ferry Terminal (Hong Kong Ferries & Shenzhen Shekou Ferries)

Hong Kong <> Macau Ferries

Turbo Jet: turbojet.com.hk | Cotai Jet: cotaiwaterjet.com/..

Ferries leave Hong Kong from:

  • Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal – 3/F Shun Tak Centre, 200 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan
  • Hong Kong International Airport – SkyPier (you can transfer from flight directly to ferry without passing HK Immigration)
  • China (HK) Ferry Terminal on Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon.
  • Tuen Mun Ferry Terminal – 148 Wu Chui Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories

Travel time is approx one hour.

Shenzhen, China <> Macau ferries

Turbo Jet: turbojet.com.hk | Xunlong Ferry: xunlongferry.com (CN)

Shenzhen Macau Ferries leave from Shekou Ferry Terminal and Shenzhen Fuyong Ferry Terminal (near Shenzhen Airport)

Travel time is approx one hour and twenty minutes.

Zhuhai, China <> Macau ferries

Ferries transit hourly from 8 am to 4 pm between Macau Inner Harbour Pier 14 and Zhuhai Wanzai Ferry Terminal. The service is operated by Zhuhai Macau Ferry Co Ltd.

 

Macau International Airport

The airport offers a selection of duty-free stores selling international goods, personal needs, and some local products. On the landside, there is a McDonald’s and 7 Eleven. Airside there is a food court and Airport Restaurant. There is also the Plaza Premium Lounge (www.plaza-network.com) where you can pay a fee and make use of WiFi, lounge chairs, hot food and beverage buffet, TV, bar and there are also VIP rooms you can enjoy in private.

Macau Airport site: http://www.macau-airport.com

Transport to and from the airport
For Bus, the most convenient way to travel to your hotel is to take one of the many free shuttle buses. Walk toward the north exit of the airport and walk out into the parking lot then you will find them.  Buses depart every 15-20 minutes between 11:00 am and 9:00 pm.

For Taxi, you can find the taxi queue outside the arrival hall. A trip downtown normally costs around MOP40.00.

 

 

The Ten Best Sights and Attractions in Chengdu + Map

The Ten Best Sights and Attractions in Chengdu + Map

Chengdu, unfortunately, doesn’t make it on to many peoples list of places to visit while in China unless they are visiting Tibet or maybe going to see the Giant Buddha. That’s a bit of a shame as it is a really nice city, with friendly people and a somewhat relaxed environment compared to many other major Chinese cities.

Chengdu has plenty to offer including shopping, sightseeing, and wonderful food along with its major drawcard being the Panda bears. It’s a place worth hanging around for at least a few of days, or more if you like.

Here is a brief intro to my three favorite places in Chengdu followed by a list of the top ten attractions with addresses and open times.

Giant Panda Breeding Research Base

It’s a must visit, as they really aren’t that many chances in China where you can see so many and get so close. I’ll cover my visit there in a dedicated post Panda bears

 

Wenshu Monastery

Wenshu Monastery is a famous Buddhist temple and is one of the four major temples of Zen Buddhism. Previously known as Xin Xiang temple it was built during the time of the Sui Dynasty around the years 605-617AD. It features a large pagoda, plenty of walkways and many temples. It’s an active monastery too, with many monks in training. Don’t miss the tunnel that goes underground to another temple with a giant golden Buddha.

Entry cost was 5 yuan. You can wander around this place in an hour or so, but it’s a nice place to sit back and relax, and the friendly monks serving tea in the courtyard are all too happy to have you sit down for even longer, even if you cant understand each other!

 

The Wuhou Shrine

Built-in 223 AD this shrine covers a vast area including various temples and gardens. The shrine was built in honor of Zhuge Liang who was a military strategist and leader during the Three Kingdoms Period. You may also find yourself spending time here drinking tea with temple minders! It’s also the largest museum in China for artifacts from the Three Kingdom period. Entry was 60 yuan.

The River Viewing Park (or Wangjiangluo Park)

Standing alongside the Brocade River this park covers over 2.5 hectares. The park features many beautiful pavilions and it’s quite popular with photographers and those looking to relax. Next to the park is a large bamboo garden with tea houses providing drinks to hundreds of Chinese just sitting, relaxing and many playing the game Mahjong.

 

Attractions addresses and details

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

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 RMB; Rear Qingcheng Mountain: 20 RMB; Ten-Thousand Buddha Cave: 5 RMB; Crystal Cave: 10 RMB
Address: Qingcheng Mountain Town, Chengdu 611844, China

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

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

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.

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

Jinsha Site Museum
Recommended Visiting Time: 2-3 hours
Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00
Tickets: RMB 80
Address: No.2, Jinsha Site Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu.

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

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

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

 

Where’s my pick of the best place to stay in Chengdu? The Chengdu Tibet Hotel

For transport maps and the top foods to try, see my Essential Intro to Chengdu

 

Chengdu Attraction Map

 

Chengdu Tourist Map