Chengdu



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Welcome to Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, where giant pandas delight tourists at the Chengdu Breeding Research Base and artisans create porcelains at the People's Garden. Though a modern city, life in Chengdu takes place on the back streets where crowds are waiting outside hot-pot restaurants and tea houses are abuzz with mahjong players and their noisy tile-shuffling game. This is a city that once inspired the great Tang dynasty poet Dufu, whose residence still stands and today it continues to celebrate one of its greatest military strategist Zhugeliang, at the famous Wuhou Shrine.

Chengdu is a tourist's paradise. It has snowcapped mountains, green plains and rugged hills. Fond of adventure? Visit the western mountains and the lowest latitude ski field in China and primary forests. Then there are the eastern suburbs, blooming with flowers all year round, where you can sit in the bamboo groves, have a cup of tea and learn mahjong from the natives. Afterwards return to the downtown area on Yangxi Street for delicious Sichuan dishes and hot pots and visit Chunxi Road, a shopping paradise, lined with department stores and real bargains from whole-sale clothing plazas.

Facts

Population 14.0476 million
Electricity 220 Volt
Emergency numbers Ambulance: 120 Fire: 119 Police: 110
Telephone Area code:028

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1. The Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Base

There are over 30 pandas which visitors can watch during feeding time at 9am. Afterwards it’s nap time in the comfort of their air conditioned enclosures. August to October is a good time to see new-born babies astonishingly small and fragile compared to their stout parents.

Address: 26 Panda Road, Northern Suburb

2. Dujianyan Irrigation System

This great engineering project was constructed in 256BC and still functions today. Logs, stones and bamboo cages were used to make a water conservancy and this simple construction has been protecting the vast Chengdu Plain for over 2000 years. It is a monument to ancient Chinese ingenuity, a walk across the Anlan suspension bridge is one way to enjoy it. A bus to the Dujiangyan Passenger Transportation Center from Xinnamen Center will take about 1 ½ hours. Change to the local No 4 route bus to go directly to the Dujiangyan scenic spot.

Address: West Dujiangyan County, Chengdu

3. Wuhou Shrine

The signboard hanging over the top of the gate reads that this is a shrine for an emperor but it is known more as a place of homage for his minister-Wuhou, whose real name is Zhugeliang. Though constructed to honour both him and emperor Liubei, Zhugeliang is the one that earns greater respect among the Chinese people. His story as one of the greatest folk heroes in Chinese history is recounted in the literary masterpiece Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Address: 231, Wuhou Shrine St

4. Dufu’s Thatched Cottage

Dufu is one of the great poets who lived during the Tang dynasty, China’s golden era, 1000 years ago. His haunting poetry is still being taught in schools today and in this park is his cottage and a temple dedicated to him. Check out the intricate bonsais, plants and Chinese paintings that adorn the place.

Address: 38, Qinghua Road

5. Jinsha Site Museum

The museum’s treasures date back 3000 years including impressive relics like the gold mask with the erect eyes and high nose bridge and a presentation of the intricate process of making jade with bamboo thread.

Address: 2, Jinsha Relics Road, West of Chengdu
Web: www.jinshasitemuseum.com

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It is said that “chi zai zhong guo, wei zai si chuan” - when eating in China, the flavour is in Sichuan. This makes the provincial capital Chengdu the best place to have good Chinese food. Sichuanese cuisine is known for being numbingly hot. However, its flavours can be rather complex and it is possible to have 100 different tasting dishes. Chengdu natives are gourmets, they discuss cuisine, talk about the new dishes of a certain restaurant, enjoy the hotpots, snacks, Sichuan dishes and the international cuisines every day. Most restaurants in Chengdu are open until 21:30

1. Huangcheng Laoma Hot Pot

Sitting at a private hot pot, the convey belt brings the ingredients. This is what you find at the first floor of the Huangcheng Laoma’s buffet. The second floor is another world each room has a strong atmosphere of old Chengdu with the luxurious decorations. It is a gastronomical experience accentuated by the city’s cultural riches.

Address: 20, Section 3, Southern Second Ring Road
Web: www.hclm.net

2. Shunxing Ancient Tea-house

This is a country-yard-like restaurant known for its snacks. It is a place to experience a bygone era - drinking tea, having snacks and Sichuanese dishes and watching folk shows like face changing which is a dying art worth watching.

Address: 258, Shawan Road

3. Qinshanzhai Restaurant

Qingshanzhai offers an alternative to the typical Sichuanese. The dishes here use Chinese herbs and is both nutritious and easy on the palate. The restaurant is a sea of tranquillity with waterscapes and bridges.

Address: 247, Wuhou Shrine Street

4. Three Ears Hot Pot

A trip to Chengdu is not complete without a tasting of hot pot. The highlight here is the fish hot pot. The appetizing smell and tender fish slices are sure to stimulate the taste buds. Be prepared to stand in line for a table.
Address: 10, Nijiaqiao Road

5. Liao’s Ban-ban Chicken

A famous native chain-store that can be seen everywhere. Its tossed and pot-braised dishes are extremely popular. Most popular are the delicious Bon-Bon chicken, pickled boneless claw and tossed rabbit.

Address: 19, Qinghua Road
Web: www.ljbbj.net

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The province of Sichuan is home to several of China’s minority ethnic groups. As its capital Chengdu is one of the best places to explore the array of intricate crafts created painstakingly by hand. Be greeted by colourful TangKas and solemn Buddha statues. Sample Yak Butter Tea along the Tibetan Cultural Street close to Wuhou Shrine or browse around the city’s biggest antique market the two-storeyed Songxianqiao for coins, antique furniture, porcelains, traditional Chinese calligraphy and painting.

Local Sichuanese delicacies are available for visitors in easy-to-carry vacuum-sealed packages for long trips home. The Hongqi Chain Store on Zongfu Road has a substantial range of favourites like sausages, preserved hams, smoked ducks, jerty, Sichuan liquor and dried tofu.

For bargain hunters two malls stand out in the city. Kowloon and Stylemax Plazas are the clothing wholesale markets, while Tianfu Square hosts the big name department stores like Pacific, Wangfujing, Seibu and Ito Yokado.

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You will notice that there is a wide selection of accommodation options in Chengdu from luxury hotel to budget hotels and many famous international brand hotels. You will find many hotels around Chengdu Railway Station and city centre close to some of the major attractions.

1. Shangri-la Hotel Chengdu

The hotel has a reputation as a Chengdu landmark. It is close to the symbols of Chengdu - Hejiang Pavilion and Anshun Bridge. It offers a nice view of Jinjiang River by night, rich breakfasts and top facilities.

Address: 9 Binjiang Dong Road
Web: www.shangri-la.com

2. Tibet Hotel Chengdu

A pretty and comfortable Tibetan-style hotel in northern downtown Chengdu. It is just across the street from Wenshufang Old Street if you are interested in Buddhist temples or want to know more about Chinese custom.

Address: 10, North Renmin Road
Web: www.tibethotelchengdu.cn

3. Jinjiang Hotel Chengdu

This is the first five-star hotel in Southwest China. It faces the Jinjiang River and there is a delightful Indian restaurant across the street.

Address: 80, 2nd section of South Renmin Road
Web: www.jjhotel.com

4. Yinhe Dynasty Hotel

Located in the very center at the Tianfu Square - the heart of Chengdu. The People’s Park, the central garden where elderly dance the afternoon away, is just closeby. If you are felling hungry you will find a restaurant inside the hotel serving Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine.

Address: 88, Shuncheng Street
Web: www.yinhedynasty.com

5. Chengdu Garden City Hotel

Located in the Central Business District convenient for shoppers. A pet street near the hotel sells puppies and kittens. The sea food street - Qingshiqiao - is right behind the hotel for late-night cravings.

Address: 8, Daye Road
Web: www.gch.net.cn

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1. Airport

Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is located 17 km from Chengdu city. The 303 Airport Express leaves every 20 minutes between 6:30 and 20:00. Its 30-minute ride takes you to the Minshan Hotel downtown (opposite the Jinjiang Hotel)

2. Public Transport

Chengdu metro opened one line in 2010 and six more is scheduled to be completed by 2035. Tickets can be bought from the ticket-machines on site. The public bus system may be a little difficult for those who can’t speak Chinese though route maps are available. Most buses run between 6:30 and 21:00.

3. Taxis

It’s convenient and simple to travel by taxi in Chengdu. Just flag down the coming taxi or ask the reception desk at the hotel to hire. Taxis take an extra fee between 22:00 and 6:00. It is advisable to show the destination in Chinese to the driver.

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