Friday, January 13, 2023
Chengdu Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Chengdu

travel guide

Chengdu, traditionally romanized as Chengtu, is a large city in Western China and the provincial capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. It has administrative standing as a sub-provincial government. The administrative area has a population of 14,427,500 people, with a city population of 10,152,632. Chengdu is China’s fifth-most populated agglomeration, according to the 2010 census, with 10,484,996 people living in the built-up (or metro) region, which includes Guanghan City in Deyang and Xinjin County.

Chengdu is one of Western China’s most major economic, financial, commercial, cultural, transportation, and communication hubs. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is one of the world’s top 30 busiest airports, while Chengdu Railway Station is one of China’s top six rail hubs. Chengdu is also home to a slew of multinational businesses and more than a dozen consulates. Due to the high demand in Western China, more than 260 Fortune 500 businesses have opened operations in Chengdu. China Daily ranked it as China’s fourth-most livable city in 2006.

Chengdu is situated in the lush Chengdu Plain, which is also known as the “Country of Heaven”, which is commonly translated as “The Land of Abundance.” The Jinsha site implies that during the period of the foundation of the state of Shu, prior to its absorption by Qin in 316 BC, Chengdu became the hub of the bronze age Sanxingdui civilization.

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Chengdu | Introduction

Chengdu – Info Card

OPULATION :  • Sub-provincial city 14,427,500
• Urban 10,152,632
• Metro 10,484,996
FOUNDED :   311 BC
TIME ZONE :  China Standard (UTC+8)
LANGUAGE :  Standard Chinese or Mandarin (Putonghua, based on the Beijing dialect), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghainese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages (see Ethnic groups entry)
RELIGION :  Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%-4%, Muslim 1%-2%; note: officially atheist
AREA : • Sub-provincial city 14,378.18 km2 (5,551.45 sq mi)
• Urban 3,679.9 km2 (1,420.8 sq mi)
• Metro 4,558.4 km2 (1,760.0 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  500 m (1,600 ft)
COORDINATES :  30°39′31″N 104°03′53″E
SEX RATIO :  Male: 51.83
 Female: 48.17
ETHNIC :  Han Chinese 91.5%, Zhuang, Manchu, Hui, Miao, Uyghur, Tujia, Yi, Mongol, Tibetan, Buyi, Dong, Yao, Korean, and other nationalities 8.5%
AREA CODE :  28
POSTAL CODE :  610000-611944
DIALING CODE :  +86 (0)28
WEBSITE :  Official Website

Tourism in Chengdu

Chengdu is situated in China’s Sichuan Province, on the outskirts of the Red Basin’s rich plains. Chengdu is known as the “Land of Milk and Honey” because of its agricultural abundance. The Funan river runs through the city, but boat transportation, which was prevalent until the 1960s, has all but disappeared.

The metropolitan region is organized into five districts and twelve counties, with a population of almost 14 million people. Chengdu has a reputation for being a “lazy” city that values culture and leisure, and as a consequence of this and its abundance of green space, it is considered one of China’s most livable megacities. It has a thriving nightlife scene and a vast city center with numerous new western-style structures.

The city is flanked to the east by tiny mountains and situated in the Red Basin, thus summers are hot and humid. Furthermore, the slopes of the huge Tibetan Plateau and the breathtakingly picturesque mountains of west Sichuan are an hour to the west.

Don’t expect to obtain a tan in this city since it is known for its lack of sunshine.

Climate of Chengdu

Chengdu has a humid subtropical climate affected by monsoons that is mostly pleasant and humid. It has four different seasons, with modest rainfall concentrating mostly in the summer months, and is devoid of both hot summers and cold winters. In the winter, the Qin Mountains (Qinling) to the north buffer the city from harsh Siberian winds, making the brief winter milder than in the Lower Yangtze. In January, the 24-hour daily mean temperature is 5.6 °C (42.1 °F), and although snow is uncommon, there are a few frosty episodes each year. Summers are hot and humid, although not to the level that they are in the Yangtze basin’s “Three Furnaces” cities of Chongqing, Wuhan, and Nanjing. In July and August, the 24-hour daily mean temperature is approximately 25 °C (77 °F), with afternoon highs sometimes reaching 33 °C (91 °F); prolonged heat, as seen in most of eastern China, is uncommon.

Rainfall occurs throughout the year, but is most abundant in July and August, with relatively little in the colder months. Chengdu also has one of the lowest annual sunlight totals in the country, with less sun per year than parts of Northern Europe, and most days are gloomy, even when there is no rain. This is particularly true during the winter, when the weather is often drab and dismal, exacerbating the bad air quality. The city gets 1,073 hours of bright sunlight each year, with monthly percent potential sunshine ranging from 16 percent in December to 38 percent in August. Autumn (October–November) is brighter and warmer throughout the day than spring (March–April). The yearly average temperature is 16.14 degrees Celsius (61.1 degrees Fahrenheit), with extremes ranging from 5.9 degrees Celsius (21 degrees Fahrenheit) to 37.3 degrees Celsius (99.1 degrees Fahrenheit).

Geography of Chengdu

Chengdu is situated on a broad plain with elevations varying from 450 meters to 720 meters.

The high and steep Longmen Mountain to the northwest, and the Qionglai Mountains to the west, both of which surpass 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) in height and contain Miao Jiling (5,364 meters, 17,598 feet) and Xiling Snow Mountain (5,164 m, 16,942 ft). A big primeval forest with substantial biological resources and a giant panda habitat may also be found in the western mountainous region. The low Longquan Mountain is east of Chengdu, while the west bordering region of the hilly terrain of the middle reaches of the Min River, an area marked by multiple converging rivers, is west of Chengdu. Because to its lush soil, pleasant temperature, and unique Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Chengdu has been renowned as “the Abundant Land” from ancient times.

Chengdu is situated on the Chengdu Plain, on the western side of the Sichuan Basin, with plains dominating the landscape. The prefecture’s latitude varies from 30° 05′ to 31° 26′ N, while its longitude extends from 102° 54′ to 104° 53′ E, spanning 192 kilometers (119 miles) east to west and 166 kilometers (103 miles) south to north and administers 12,390 square kilometers (4,780 square miles) of territory. Deyang (NE), Ziyang (SE), Meishan (S), Ya’an (SW), and the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture are all nearby prefectures (N). The Jin, Fu, and Sha Rivers run through the city, which is situated at a height of 500 meters (1,600 feet). The geography gets more complicated outside of the local metropolitan area: to the east, the Longquan Range and the Penzhong Hills  to the west, the Qionglai Mountains, which climb to 5,364 m (17,598 ft) in Dayi County. The lowest point in Chengdu Prefecture is in Jintang County, at 378 meters (1,240 feet).

Economy of Chengdu

Chengdu has been recognized by China’s state council as the country’s western logistics, commerce, finance, scientific, and technology center, as well as a transportation and communication hub. It is also a vital industrial and agricultural hub.

Chengdu was named “a benchmark city for investment environment in interior China” in the World Bank’s 2007 survey report on worldwide investment environments.

According to a report published by the State Information Center in 2010 based on research conducted by Nobel Laureate Dr. Robert Mundell and celebrated Chinese economist Li Yining, Chengdu has become a “engine” of the Western Development Program, a benchmark city for the investment environment in inland China, and a major leader in new urbanization.

Twelve Fortune 500 firms built offices, branches, or operation centers in Chengdu in 2010, the most in recent years, including ANZ Bank, Nippon Steel Corporation, and Electricite De France. Meanwhile, Fortune 500 businesses that have created headquarters in Chengdu, including as JP Morgan Chase, Henkel, and GE, have boosted their investments and expanded their presence in Chengdu. By the end of 2010, Chengdu had over 200 Fortune 500 firms, putting it #1 in Central and Western China in terms of the number of Fortune 500 enterprises. There are 149 international corporations and 40 local companies among them.

Chengdu has risen to the top of China’s investment destinations, according to the 2010 AmCham China White Paper on the State of American Business in China.

Numerous large-scale firms support Chengdu’s core sectors, which include machinery, automobiles, medicine, food, and information technology. In addition, a growing number of high-tech businesses from outside Chengdu have established themselves there.

Chengdu is quickly becoming one of Central and Western China’s most popular investment destinations. By October 2009, 133 multinational corporations with subsidiaries or branch offices in Chengdu were among the world’s 500 biggest corporations. Intel, Cisco, Sony, and Toyota, who have assembly and manufacturing bases in Chengdu, as well as Motorola, Ericsson, and Microsoft, which have R&D facilities in Chengdu, are among these MNEs. Chengdu’s proposal to build a national bio-industry base has been officially accepted by the National Development and Reform Commission. Chengdu’s government has announced an intention to develop a 90 billion CNY biopharmaceutical industry by 2012. China’s aerospace industry has started work on a high-tech industrial park in the city that will focus on space and aviation technologies. The local government hopes to recruit both foreign and domestic service outsourcing enterprises, and to establish itself as a well-known service outsourcing hub in China and throughout the globe.

Internet, Comunication in Chengdu

The country code for China is 86. The area code for Chengdu is 28. There are coin-operated pay phones everywhere across Chengdu, and calling cards may be obtained from a variety of retailers. Local landline phone numbers in Sichuan are eight digits long, but cellular phone numbers are eleven digits long and begin with 13, 15, or 18.

Internet

Internet connectivity is available in most guesthouses and at low-cost internet cafés across town. Look for the Web-character and the Bar-character in the Chinese name for an internet cafe:

On the second floor of the Xinnanmen Bus Station, only 100 meters from the Traffic Hotel, there is a huge Internet café. The connection is quick, and the access time is 2/hour.

Foreigners are frequently unable to use public internet cafés because registration requires a Chinese ID card, which foreigners do not have. This is not an issue at hotels or guesthouses.

How To Travel To Chengdu

Get In - By plane

Located 20 km from downtown Chengdu, Chengdu International Airport is one of China’s major air hubs, recently ranked fourth in terms of passenger traffic. It offers flights to/from most major cities in China, many smaller cities in Sichuan and some international destinations such as Amsterdam, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Osaka, Phnom Penh, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Singapore.

Bus No. 303 runs from the airport to the city center and costs ¥10. It stops at the Air China office on Renmin Nanlu (2nd section), next to the entrance of the Minshan Hotel (there is no bus stop!). Just look for a row of taxis/pedicabs, as they are also waiting for the bus. The last bus leaves the airport around 1am.

The average cab ride from the airport to the city center costs ¥45. There is no extra charge for luggage or extra passengers. If you are going to the airport from the city, you will have to pay an additional ¥10 for the toll on the airport highway. If you want to take a cab from the airport, go to the domestic flight arrival area and exit the terminal, where you should see the official cab stand where you can line up for cabs marked green and yellow or blue and yellow. Beware of scammers and illegal cab operators who stalk foreign tourists inside and outside the terminal with unmarked vehicles. Beware of those who have official-looking ID cards but are fakes. The fare offered is often more than ¥100 and if you negotiate with them, you may sit in the cab for a while before agreeing to raise the price again.

Get In - By train

There are rail connections to Kunming in Yunnan, Chongqing and Xi’an.

Chengdu North Station (成都北火车站) (Chengdu Bei Zhan) (Line 1, Chengdu North Metro Station). Previously, it was simply called Chengdu Station, but was renamed when Chengdu East was opened. Handling of most long-distance trains and most high-speed trains to Chongqing

Chengdu East Station (成都东站) (Chengdu Dong Zhan). New station serving local Sichuan destinations and some connections to Chongqing.

Chengdu South Station (成都南站) (Chengdu Nan Zhan) (Line 1, Chengdu South Metro Station).

Get In - By bus

There are three bus stations in Chengdu, serving different destinations.


Chádiànzi (茶店子汽车站), +86 28 8750 6610.

Destination Price (¥) Departures (HH:MM) Duration (HH:MM) Lunch break Last update
Hongyuan 108 06:30 10:00 Yes 2009/06
Jiǔzhàigōu (九寨沟) 121 08:00 10:00 yes 2009/02
Rìlóng (日隆镇) 69 06:40 9-12:00 yes 2009/02
Ruo Ergai 88 07:00 07:20 10:00  ? 2005/06
Sōngpān (松潘县) 74 06:30 07:00 07:30 8:00 – 11:00 (due to the elimination of the earthquake in Wenchuan) Yes 2009/11
Wòlóng (卧龙) 23 11:40 4:00  ? 2005/06
Langzhong (阆中) 46 7-18:30 (every hour) 4:00 No 2009/10

Xīnnánmén (新南门汽车站), +86 28 8543 3609. There is a tourist information center nearby, where you can get a free map of the city and order a bus to your accommodation.

Destination Price (¥) Departures (HH:MM) Duration (HH:MM) Lunch break Last update (YYYY/MM)
Daocheng 217.00 10:00 2 days  ? 2005/06
Éméi Shān (峨嵋山) 45 07:00-19:00 (every 20 min.) 2:00-3:00 No 2012/05
Jiǔzhàigōu (九寨沟) 140 08:00 11:00 yes 2009/02
Kāngdìng (康定) 103/115/125 8AM-2PM (every hour) 7:00 AM Yes 2009/10
Ganzi (甘孜) 172 7:00 AM 2 days Yes 2009/10
Ya’an (雅安) 37/42 7:20-7PM (every 35 minutes) 2:00 No 2009/10
Lèshān (乐山) 46 7:20-7:35 (every 30 minutes) 2:00 No 2011/05

Wǔguìqiáo (五桂桥汽车站), +86 28 8471 1692.

Destination Price (¥) Departures (HH:MM) Duration (HH:MM) Lunch break Last update
Chongqing 130 All-day, hourly trips 04:00 yes 2009/10

How To Get Around In Chengdu

Get Around - By Metro

The first line of the Chengdu Metro was inaugurated in October 2010. It crosses the city from north to south, along Renmin Street, and connects the northern and southern railway stations. The price of a one-way ticket is ¥2 to ¥4 depending on the distance. You can buy tickets from vending machines (in English) with ¥1 coins or ¥5 and ¥10 bills. There are also ticket offices if you do not have the corresponding tickets.

When you enter the subway, you must pass your luggage through an X-ray machine. The ticket is displayed at the doors on the reader on the right. You will also need your ticket to exit the subway, so keep it safe. When you get off, you insert the ticket into a slot that collects it. This slot is also on the right side of the barrier, so be careful, because it is very easy to accidentally open the barrier next to you. When you disembark, you must wait behind the yellow line until the passenger in front of you has passed the gate and the gate indicates that it is now accepting your ticket. If you are outside the line, the barrier will not let you through and you will have to back up for it to accept you as a new passenger.

Line 2 of the Chengdu Metro opened in September 2012. This line runs from the northwestern suburbs of Chengdu to the southeastern part of the city and has a connection with Line 1 at Tianfu Square Station. This line is especially convenient for travelers arriving and departing from Chengdu East Station.

Chengdu Metro Line 4 was put into operation on December 26, 2015. This line runs from Intangible Cultural Heritage Park to Wannianchang and has a connection point with Line 2 at Chengdu TCM University & Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital and serves the future site of Chengdu West Station (not yet built).

Get Around - By bus

Chengdu has an extensive city bus system that runs along the streets. At each bus stop, there is a list of the bus routes that run on that street, and some city maps show the entire network. However, the bus routes and maps only use Chinese characters and even when the bus announces the stop, it usually does so only in Chinese. Tickets cost ¥1 for non-air-conditioned buses (now very rare) and ¥2 for air-conditioned buses. The fare is paid by depositing the exact amount in a metal box next to the driver. There is no possibility to get change, so prepare the exact amount in cash. Normally, you get on at the front door and get off at the back door. In the new articulated buses, you can get on at either the front or the back door, with the middle door reserved for getting off.

If you stay in Chengdu for a while, you should buy a transit card (公交卡). They are sold in all markets in Hong Qi and in some pharmacies. Not only will you not have to worry about giving the right change, but you will also get two hours of free transfers and some discounts. The card costs ¥20 and can be topped up with three types of credits. The first is cash. If you use the cash on your card, you get a 10% discount on the ticket price. So a normal bus ride costs ¥1.80 instead of ¥2. You can also load credits (次) for this month and credits for the next month. Each credit costs ¥0.50, and two credits are needed for most bus rides (non-Aircon buses, which are increasingly rare, cost one credit). Most trips therefore cost only ¥. 1.Credits expire at the end of the month for which they were intended, so you have to make an effort not to buy too many or too few. Note that some bus lines (usually the ones with the highest numbers) and the subway only accept your cash credits (not credits), which do not expire. Other lines (usually those serving the suburbs) only accept cash. When you board the bus and touch your card, the screen will show you the number of credits remaining for that month (if you have used credits) or the cash credit (if you have used the registered cash value on your card).

Get Around - By taxi

Official cabs are either green or blue and have a taximeter. An available cab has an illuminated sign with Chinese characters on the dashboard. To turn on the taximeter, simply tilt the sign. Make sure the driver does this, and if not, you can try it yourself, and the driver usually understands what you mean. Some cab drivers may try to offer you a fixed price, but only accept it if you know it is cheaper than with the meter on. Cab drivers don’t speak English and don’t understand the map, so have an address written in Chinese handy. Drivers don’t know many street names, so it’s best to have the address of a known place near your destination. Collect cab maps of hotels and restaurants and show them to the drivers, and when you are near your destination, give directions by pointing with your hand. This method usually gets you to your destination – however, some drivers will not follow your instructions or will get angry if you travel a longer distance than expected.

The cab fare is ¥8 for old cabs and ¥9 for new cabs and increases by ¥1.9 per kilometer after the first 2 kilometers. For trips of 10 to 60 km, the price per kilometer is increased by 50% to compensate for the cab returning empty. At night, the departure price is increased by ¥1 and the price per kilometer is ¥2.20. The price of waiting for a cab is one kilometer for five minutes, and the taximeter counts trips at less than 12 km/h as waiting time. Cabs often refuse to accept ¥100 bills, so it is best to have some change on hand.

Cabs can be hard to find depending on the area. There are also unlicensed cabs in the city, but they are quite difficult to locate. If you use a cab, you should know your destination and expected fare and negotiate the fare beforehand.

Get Around - By bike

Most guesthouses offer bicycles for rent. Check before you leave to make sure there are no technical problems, unless you want to be held responsible afterwards. If you leave your bike, do so in one of the designated “bike parks”, where it will be supervised for a small fee. If you can’t find one, securely tie it to a building. Be careful, as bicycle traffic can be very heavy.

Get Around - By Motorized Pedi-cab

There are still a few motorized bicycle-powered pedal cars, called san lun che (三轮车), which can travel moderate distances. Set a price in advance (¥5-¥15). Passengers ride behind the driver. The ride is fun, but san lun che are endangered and no longer allowed to cross or ride on some roads, and perhaps they will soon disappear altogether. Until 2005, all of these pedicabs were modified bicycles, with the driver pedaling. Today, almost all of them are motorized, either by electric motors or by gasoline engines.

Districts & Neighbourhoods In Chengdu

Chengdu is a sub-provincial city in China. It has direct authority over ten districts, five county-level cities, and five counties:

Name Simplified Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Population
(2010)
Area (km2) Density
(/km2)
City Core
Qingyang District 青羊区 Qīngyáng Qū 828,140 66 12,548
Jinjiang District 锦江区 Jǐnjiāng Qū 690,422 61 11,318
Jinniu District 金牛区 Jīnniú Qū 1,200,776 108 11,118
Wuhou District 武侯区 Wǔhóu Qū 1,083,806 77 14,075
Chenghua District 成华区 Chénghuá Qū 938,785 109 8,613
Suburban districts
Longquanyi District 龙泉驿区 Lóngquányì Qū 767,203 558 1,375
Qingbaijiang District 青白江区 Qīngbáijiāng Qū 381,792 392 974
Xindu District 新都区 Xīndū Qū 775,703 481 1,613
Wenjiang District 温江区 Wēnjiāng Qū 457,070 277 1,650
Shuangliu District 双流区 Shuāngliú Qū 1,158,516 1,067 1,086
Pi County 郫县 Pí Xiàn 756,047 438 1,726
Satellite cities
Dujiangyan 都江堰市 Dūjiāngyàn Shì 657,996 1,208 545
Pengzhou 彭州市 Péngzhōu Shì 762,887 1,420 537
Qionglai 邛崃市 Qiónglái Shì 612,753 1,384 443
Chongzhou 崇州市 Chóngzhōu Shì 661,120 1,090 607
Jianyang 简阳市 Jiǎnyáng Shì 1,420,000 2,215 641
Rural
Jintang County 金堂县 Jīntáng Xiàn 717,225 1,156 620
Dayi County 大邑县 Dàyì Xiàn 502,198 1,327 378
Pujiang County 蒲江县 Pújiāng Xiàn 239,562 583 411
Xinjin County 新津县 Xīnjīn Xiàn 302,199 330 916

Prices In Chengdu

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk 1 liter $1.90
Tomatoes 1 kg $1.07
Cheese 0.5 kg $4.60
Apples 1 kg $1.95
Oranges 1 kg $1.70
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $0.90
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $11.50
Coca-Cola 2 liters $1.45
Bread 1 piece $1.25
Water 1.5 l $0.45

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $18.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $28.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $48.00
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $3.90
Water 0.33 l $0.30
Cappuccino 1 cup $3.95
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $1.70
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $0.85
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $0.50
Coctail drink 1 drink $10.00

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema 2 tickets $16.00
Gym 1 month $40.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $6.00
Theatar 2 tickets $50.00
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $0.09
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $2.90

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics 1 pack $2.60
Tampons 32 pieces $
Deodorant 50 ml. $6.80
Shampoo 400 ml. $6.00
Toilet paper 4 rolls $1.55
Toothpaste 1 tube $1.23

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $65.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M) 1 $40.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas) 1 $90.00
Leather shoes 1 $

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline 1 liter $0.90
Taxi Start $1.25
Taxi 1 km $0.30
Local Transport 1 ticket $0.30

Tourist (Backpacker) – 29 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:meals in cheap restaurant, public transport, cheap hotel.

Tourist (regular) – 81 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:mid-range meals and drinks,transportation, hotel.

Sights & Landmarks In Chengdu

In Chengdu

  • Tianfu Square (天府广场) (in central Chengdu). This square, dominated by a huge statue of Chairman Mao in the center of the city, has been enhanced. Every evening at dusk and noon, the fountains in the square give rise to a lavish water show synchronized with music. Below the square is the hub of the Chengdu subway system. A small shopping mall has been built on the metro entrance square, almost literally under Mao’s nose.
  • Sichuan Science and Technology Museum (四川科技馆) (next to Tianfu Square). This huge four-story museum is filled with interactive exhibits on science, aerodynamics, space, mathematics, robotics and physics. Children will love the interactive exhibits and indoor play area on the 4th floor. Adults will appreciate the descriptions in English and Chinese. Public attractions such as the robot orchestra and walkable maps of Sichuan waterways will delight everyone. On weekdays, the museum can either be overrun by school classes or so deserted as to be almost eerie. It is closed on Mondays. Overall, good value for money, especially on a rainy day. ¥30, free for children.
  • People’s Park (人民公园) (two blocks west of Tianfu Square). This park is a rare island of tranquility amidst the noise and bustle of central Chengdu. It offers beautifully landscaped walks, lakes with canoe rentals, tea stores and restaurants, children’s rides, small sports facilities and other attractions. Some seniors enjoy singing and dancing in separate groups in the park. Some people practice calligraphy with water on the ground around a monument in the northwest corner of the park. Some parents bring their unmarried children’s data here to find potential candidates. The park is a great place to take a child or date, and it’s always full of locals relaxing and having fun. For the laughing public, there is an informational sign that lists the city’s current air quality and states that the air pollution is four times less than the U.S. Embassy reports. Admission is free.
  • Kuanzhaixiangzi (宽窄巷子). A very nice place with many (expensive) teahouses, local restaurants and snacks. Ideal for relaxing. The streets date back to the late Qing Dynasty, but have been recently redeveloped. Free state Wi-Fi at this location.
  • Chengdu Zoo (成都动物园) (metro line 3, Chengdu Zoo stop). It features all the typical animals you would expect from a zoo (elephants, tigers, giraffes, monkeys and pandas). The zoo itself is certainly large and spacious, but unfortunately some of the cages are very small and the facility seems understaffed. The visit may be worth it for a family. The zoo has vendors selling Chinese snacks, as well as some rides. ¥12.
  • Sichuan University Museum (四ם大学博物馆; Sichuan Daxue Bowuguan), Wangjiang Rd (望江路) (about 15 minutes by car from Xinnanmen bus station or 40 minutes by foot), +86 28 85412313. 9AM-5PM. Excellent display of local artifacts; worth spending an hour or two here. The museum is one of the best in China and has four floors of well-lit, air-conditioned exhibit rooms with decent English translations. Start in the basement and enter the first room, where dozens of stone sculptures dating from the Han Dynasty to the Tang era are on display. In the next room, there is a moderately interesting exhibit on the history of the museum and many examples of ancient bronzes and Stone Age artifacts. On the second floor, there are mostly artifacts from the Ming and Qing dynasties, including furniture, silk clothing, and an interesting display of leather dolls. The second floor houses perhaps the most interesting exhibit: artifacts and objects of daily use from ethnic minority groups in southwest China, including Tibetans, Miao, Yi, Qiang, Jianpo, and Naxi. On the third floor, calligraphy scrolls, paintings and ceramics are displayed. The museum is currently closed after the city changed the location of several universities. There are plans to build a new museum. ¥30 (students ¥10).
  • Sichuan Opera (四川歌剧院). Most guesthouses and travel agencies offer to arrange tours of these traditional shows. They are more like a burlesque cabaret than a real opera and sometimes include magicians, traditional musicians, shadow puppets, comedy (but in Chinese) and dancers in addition to the traditional plays. Of course, the most famous piece is not to be missed: rapid face changes and fire spitting, performed by dancers in colorful traditional costumes. You will follow the story while sitting at your table, sipping your constantly filled cup of tea and nibbling on some salty snacks. By the way, there are many teahouses in the city where the show takes place every night. Try the Shu Feng Ya Yun Tea House (蜀风雅韵) in Chengdu Culture Park (文化公园) on Qintai Road (next to Qingyang Temple). You sit on a covered outdoor space (cooled by a fan; no air conditioning), which is actually the center of the traditional teahouse. You may need to book in advance or ask your hotel concierge to reserve the space for you. ¥150 back rows; ¥220 front rows.
  • Wuhouci (武侯祠) Temple (located near Jinli Street, southwest of Tian Fu Square) was built in memory of Zhuge Liang (诸葛亮), a minister of Shu (蜀), during the Three Kingdoms. He became famous through the Chinese novel The Novel of the Three Kingdoms. There are dozens of dusty statues of obscure historical figures behind glass, and not much else. The gardens are attractive, but not very large. It is located next to Jinli Ancient Street. ¥60.
  • Jinli Ancient Street (锦里古街). This area is part of Chengdu’s old town and houses hotels and small stores built in an old-fashioned style. A large number of stores sell antiques. The area is very popular with both tourists and locals, especially at night where there are many bars, restaurants and nightclubs. There are many famous local snacks at prices ranging from 1 to 10 ¥. The restaurants and bars in Jin Li are more expensive than outside. There are also some old hotels. Some people consider Jin Li as a tourist trap, which is partly true. However, this “new old street” also offers quite affordable regional street food and can be combined with a visit to Wuhouci Temple (60 yuan entrance fee, unless you have a Panda Card). Don’t forget to bring your camera.
  • Jinsha Archaeological Site (金沙遗址) (Take Line 7、14、82、83、96、111、311、401 and 502 and get off at the north of Qingyang Avenue. ). Recently discovered site containing various tools and artworks dating back about 3,000 years. The quantity of objects unearthed is enormous. These include pottery, blades, jade objects, building foundations and various gold artworks. There are two main buildings: the hall built above the center of the excavation site and the modern exhibition hall where various artifacts are displayed. ¥80.
  • Wenshu Temple (文殊院), 15 Wenshuyuan St, 15(成都文殊院街号) (Off Renmin Zhong Rd). This Tang Dynasty Buddhist temple is the most impressive and perhaps the most used in Chengdu. It is dedicated to the Buddhist representation of wisdom, Wenshu Pusa (Manjusri Bodhisatva), and houses over 450 Buddha statues and other precious relics. In addition to the halls and gardens, the temple also has a charming teahouse that offers a glimpse into Chengdu life, as it is frequented by locals playing chess, reading, knitting, or just chatting with family and friends. The temple also has a lovely vegetarian restaurant with seating overlooking the gardens. There are many stores around the temple. The entrance fee, which is only 5 yuan, is a good deal.
  • Qingyang Temple (青羊宫; Qingyanggong; literally: Black Ram Palace), 9 Xierduan, Ring Rd One9 (一环路西二段号). This Taoist temple is the oldest and largest of its kind in the area and is located west of the city. It is a large temple that is still in operation, and its construction took into account Taoist philosophy, and has both a park next to it and a series of relaxing inner courtyards. Although it has a long history behind it, the buildings are cheap modern concrete constructions, and it often shows. The statues inside are also cheap modern constructions that are not really interesting. Inside the temple complex there is a teahouse and a vegetarian restaurant. ¥10.
  • Happy Valley (欢乐谷; Huanlegu) (take bus No. 48 from Luomashi subway station to the terminus and after getting off, walk in the same direction, cross the highway and the park is on the right). 09:00 – 18.30. Medium-sized amusement park with 3 large roller coasters, a water coaster, a children’s area and a water park (in summer). Overall, good day trip for adults and families, offers a nice break from the city and has enough attractions to fill a whole day, Since 2011, the entrance to the park is now a sports store, Imax and Indoor Sky Diving Center with restaurants ¥150, discount for students.
  • A Thousand Plateaus Art Space (千高原艺术空间; Qian Gaoyuan Yishu Kongjian), 87 Fangqin St 87芳沁街号 (in Yulin Township, next to Little Bar and K Gallery. ), +86 28-85126358, fax: +86 28-8512635, e-mail:[email protected] Tue-Sun, 11AM-6PM. A contemporary art gallery in Chengdu that exhibits Chinese and international artists. Exhibition openings are usually held once a month, and other events are also organized. Free admission.
  • Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (take tourist bus 902 (from Xinnanmen bus station), or public buses 97 or 198, or take a cab from downtown for ¥50 (if traffic is light)), +86 28 83510033. This is the largest such facility in the world. Due to habitat destruction and other reasons, the giant panda is perhaps the most well-known endangered animal. The facility houses about 60 giant pandas, but also some red pandas and a colony of black-necked cranes. The pandas are primarily on display for tourists, but you can get much closer than in most Western zoos. There is also a small museum and a cinema where documentaries are shown. A restaurant and souvenir stores complete the tourist facilities. The best time to visit is in the morning, when the pandas are most active. The pandas sleep during the hottest part of the day. Lunch time is between 9:30 and 10:00 am. It is recommended to arrive as early as possible to avoid the hordes of school groups and tourist groups that arrive every morning. The entrance fee is ¥58. English-speaking guide ¥100.

Greater Chengdu

  • Floraland (国色天香) (plan an expensive cab ride to the suburbs, or take one of the buses that take you to the park). The park offers a moderate selection of rides (water, relaxation, and thrill) and various recreational activities. It can get crowded on weekends, so try to go on a weekday. ¥60.
  • Luodai Ancient Town (洛带古镇), Luodai Town, Longquanyi District, Chengdu (About 25 km east of downtown Chengdu. Chengluo Road (成洛) leads directly to it. There is also a bus that goes directly to it. Get in a small building behind the Xinnanmen bus station, just where Shiqi Road turns. The price is ¥7. There seems to be no regular schedule, just show up and when the bus is full (enough), it leaves. No bus number, just look for signs saying “洛带”. In Luodai, after leaving the station, turn right into Bajiaojing Street, then left into Huaishui Middle Street. ). More than a kilometer of streets lined with old buildings (in various stages of decay) and stores. The main attraction is the wide variety of food and snacks, especially hakka food, which is hard to find elsewhere (as well as a number of stores selling the usual tourist stuff and costumes for rent for photos). The buildings lining the street are of some interest, but not major interest; more interesting are a series of older buildings and halls that give a sense of ancient China. Signage and stores seem to be in Chinese only, entry is free.
  • Siguniangshan (四姑娘山). Four Girls Mountain is located in the county area, the Qionglai Mountains, the four neighboring Xuefeng, multi-year snow, as four beautiful white fairies stand in the hills, hence the name. Four Girls Mountain and famous male and high, steep mountain, directed to the blue sky, as all mountaineers attention.
  • Liujiang old town (柳江古镇). Liujiang City, located 25 km southwest of the county, to pass the Hongya River tributary of the Liujiang sides. The city was founded in the southern Song Dynasty, and modern architecture on the other side of the water of the Ming and Qing era buildings.
  • Lower city street (街子古镇). City street, 25 km northwest of the city in Chongzhou the Fengqi Mountain, the mountain connected to Qingcheng.

Things To Do In Chengdu

You can find up-to-date information on activities, places and attractions in the CHENGDOO citylife magazine. Copies are available at most bars, restaurants, cafes, hostels and hotels.

  • Chunxi Road (春熙路). Take an afternoon or evening to stroll down this downtown shopping street. It’s a great way to take your mind off things. Various clothing stores, bookstores, restaurants, game rooms and movie theaters. It’s a good place to find something to eat, including a hotpot buffet, Japanese restaurants, Western dishes and more. The main drawback of this area, however, is that every brand has many stores here (like in other parts of China). Nike, Adidas and Li-Ning, for example, each have 4-5 stores in Chunxi Road alone, which limits the choice of shopping options. If you are looking for stores like Louis Vuitton and Ermenegildo Zegna, you will find them outside Chunxi Road and near Tianfu Square.
  • KTV, various locations. Spend an evening singing with friends, enjoying popcorn, beer and other refreshments. Songs in English, Chinese and more.
  • Foot and body massage. Chengdu is famous for its relaxed and casual lifestyle. Foot and body massage is very popular in Chengdu and there are many variations. Groups of people are usually served who gather together, relax in a private space, perhaps eat fruit or pig ears, or drink tea, while receiving a fully clothed massage or foot wash. Prices are very affordable, often well under ¥80 per person. Some places offer a very nice foot massage for ¥25 per hour, including foot washing, soaking and massage, a free hot/cold drink (tea, coke or juice) and fresh fruit. A great way to relax with friends. Beware of erotic massage parlors, which are hard to distinguish from the real thing. As a general rule, if you can see the clients from the outside, it is more likely to be a serious provider. The more compartmentalized the interior, the more concerned you should be. Watch out for establishments (e.g., on the Yuhe side street next to the Sheraton) that have two price boards, one in Chinese and one in English, with grossly inflated prices (e.g., foreign – 80 yuan, Chinese – 40 yuan).
  • Read a book. The Chengdu Bookworm offers a lending library with English-language books and travel guides for sale. Peter’s Tex Mex and a few other restaurants that cater to foreigners offer a book exchange.
  • Play Weiqi (the game of go), e-mail: [email protected] A symbol of Chinese culture, Weiqi is one of the world’s great strategy games, in which a few simple rules lead to unlimited possibilities. Weiqi is so popular in Chengdu that the city has been nicknamed Weiqi City. The Weiqi classroom in Chengdu is the only place where foreigners can learn this game with English-speaking support.
  • Cosmetics and hair. Local women love to have their nails and hair done in shopping malls. In most shopping malls, you can get beautiful nails done for ¥10-20 (filed, buffed, polished and hand-polished with a beautiful varnish). On the first floor of Beijing Hualian (北京华联) in Yanshikou, there are very popular stores. For ¥10-15, you can also have your hair straightened or curled temporarily. The hairstyle is very pretty and holds until you wash your hair.
  • Having tea, Renmin Park (popular park). There are many tea houses in Chengdu, and many locals relax by drinking tea and playing mahjong. On a sunny afternoon, find a table in a park with an open-air teahouse and sip your tea while listening to the locals chatter. Not for the faint of heart: take the opportunity to have your ears cleaned by local “experts” armed with a tuning fork and a myriad of “introductory tools”. Strange, but effective! There are thousands of teahouses in Chengdu, so you will find them in places other than Renmin Park.

Food & Restaurants In Chengdu

Pineapple

The favorite snack of the locals is fresh pineapple, which is peeled and sold on a stick on every other street corner. In general, it is recommended to avoid fresh fruit in China because of water contamination. But here, if you ask to peel a fresh pineapple (not one of the already peeled ones waiting in a water tank), chances are it’s okay – and delicious to boot.

Cooked foods

There is no shortage of delicious and fiery Sichuan dishes in Chengdu. Most of the dishes are quite spicy. Be sure to indicate when ordering: not spicy (不要辣; búyàolà), a little spicy (微辣; wēilà) or “old” (very) spicy (老辣; lǎolà). If you’re not used to it yet, a bottle of sweetened soy, almond, peanut or cow’s milk, or any other sweet product, will be much more effective than water in putting out the fire. If you are used to the spiciness of authentic Indian or Thai dishes, the spiciness of Sichuan cuisine should not be a problem. However, Sichuan cuisine also makes heavy use of Sichuan pepper (花椒; huājiāo), which looks like a peppercorn but isn’t really a peppercorn and can make your mouth a little numb. Sichuan pepper is added to most spicy dishes. If you can eat spicy dishes but don’t like Sichuan pepper, you should order it (不要花椒; bú yào huājiāo). However, Sichuan pepper (in addition to its anesthetic effect) has an important citrus flavor that it adds to dishes, and the authentic Sichuan flavor relies on the interaction of the aromas of Sichuan pepper and Chilean pepper, and it is highly recommended to at least try the authentic Sichuan pepper versions before making a choice.

The spiciest dish in Chengdu is the hotpot (also called steampot or steamboat), although the tradition originated in Chongqing and so it is not really Chengdu food. Sichuan hotpots are actually a large pot of soup and spices simmering in a hole in the center of the table. Diners choose from a wide variety of meats, vegetables and other side dishes. The most popular are lamb, mushrooms, beef, tofu, quail eggs, potatoes and various other ingredients (pork, greens, fish balls, carrots and even pig brains! In spicy pots, unlike oriental pots, the soup is NOT meant to be drunk; instead, fish out the cooked food with chopsticks (don’t fish out the liquid with a spoon, it’s too spicy to drink, even for locals; the fished out vegetables are spicy enough), dip them in the small bowl of oil provided to each person and enjoy.

You may also find the food there too fatty or too salty, and you should point this out to your server.

There are also many strange local snacks, such as spicy dragon shrimp (look like very small crayfish; 麻辣龙虾), spicy snails (香辣田螺), Chongqing duck neck (久久鸭脖子), Bangbang chicken (棒棒鸡), spicy rabbit meat (二姐兔丁). These dishes are so delicious that you absolutely must try them. But you have to ask a local to guide you to the right place. You will often find that small restaurants and stores have the most delicious and cheapest dishes. If you’re looking for even cheaper food, turn to the street vendors (although the Chengdu police have done their best to eradicate this long-standing tradition and it can be hard to find them these days). They offer everything from barbecue (烧烤) to steamed buns (馒头), and are a good, cheap option for a quick meal.

If you’re less adventurous but still like Chinese food, or if you’re just tired of Sichuan cuisine, there are a number of Cantonese and Hong Kong restaurants, including Lei Garden near the Shangri-la Hotel.

Throughout the city, there are a series of stalls and holes in the walls. The food here is ridiculously cheap, you don’t have to pay more than ¥8 for a meal, and the quality is good. We especially recommend the spicy bowls of noodles for breakfast (担担面; dandanmian), double-cooked pork (回锅肉; húigūoròu), and dozens of dishes made with “málà,” the world-famous Sichuan chili seasoning.

  • Yulinchuanchuanxiang (玉林串串香), several locations around the city, cheap and fast hotpot variant. This is a self-service dish where you choose your own skewers in a back room. Dip the skewers in a stew soup and let them cook. Remove and enjoy. Large skewers cost ¥1, small ones ¥0.1 each. For less than ¥25, you will be satisfied. There are spicy and non-spicy variations. There is a wide selection of meats, vegetables and other side dishes. Beer is available in large bottles and sweetened soy milk (dounai) is also served.
  • Lanzhou Lamian (兰州拉面), you can find them everywhere. A bowl of noodles starts at about ¥4, ¥7 maximum. There are eggs, lamb and beef. Other dishes are also cheap. Bread for 1 kuai a piece and mutton kabobs (羊肉串) for 1 kuai a baguette. The da pan ji (大盘鸡) is a good choice if you are eating in a group. They usually come in small and large sizes, with a small size costing about ¥40 and feeding 3 or 4 people. A large order costs about ¥60. This dish consists of chicken, potatoes, onions and other vegetables in a moderately spicy sauce. It can be eaten with bread or noodles and makes an excellent meal.
  • Steamed buns (包子; baozi). They are sold for breakfast or lunch by street vendors throughout the city. Yacai bao (芽菜包) is a local Szechuan specialty that you probably won’t find anywhere else. It usually contains a mixture of yacai (芽菜), a kind of preserved vegetable, and possibly some meat. Other typical fillings include beef, red bean paste, mushrooms, greens or pork. Three buns cost about ¥1, larger ones also cost ¥1 each. A container of soy milk (豆浆 dou jiang) costs about the same.

Budget

  • Mike’s Pizza Kitchen (Chengdu Pizza Delivery), Tongzilin, Europe City (south of Chengdu), +86 28 8522-6453. 11AM-10PM. Freshly made to order pizza. Authentic New York pizza, baked in a stone oven. Delivery only. ¥30-150.

Mid-range

  • Wenshu Temple Vegetarian Restaurant (文殊院素餐馆), 15 Wenshu St15 (文殊院街号), +86 28 693-870. Located on the site of a monastery and run by monks. Offers a wide range of traditional vegetarian dishes, including some with imitation meat.
  • Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant ((北海道日本料理)), several locations in the city (including Chunxi Rd (春熙路), Yulin S Rd (玉林南路), outside Sichuan University (near Paname Coffee)). Authentic Japanese food. You can find curry, tonkatsu, unagi-don, fried rice, sushi, ramen noodles and various other dishes. Chinese and Japanese beers are available, as well as a selection of plum wine and sake. The quality of the dishes varies. Meals start from ¥20 and up, a plate of sushi is a bit more expensive, but side dishes are generally cheap.
  • Chen Mapo (陈麻婆), 208 Shuanglin Rd208 (成都市双林路号新华公园正门对面). Allegedly opened in 1862 by Mapo himself. The place to eat mapo doufu – you can’t get more authentic. Those who like spicy food will find it here, those who don’t like spicy food better not go there at all.
  • Namaste/Afila ((亚非拉-娜玛什蒂印度餐吧)), 20 Remin Nan Rd, Section 4, Wuhou District20 (武侯区人民南路四段号), +86 28-85569118. Specializes in Indian and Nepali cuisine, including tandoori and curries. Suitable for both vegetarians and omnivores.
  • Fiesta Thai, Linjiang Zhong Lu 6, right next to Traffic Hotel and 902 Panda Base bus stop, +86 28-854530. Specializes in Thai food. Great food and excellent service if you need a break from the greasy and spicy Sichuan cuisine.

Splurge

Chinese

  • Veranda Bridge Restaurant. This restaurant is actually a historical bridge over the Fulan River. Sichuan food. Very good reputation in Chengdu.
  • Huang Cheng Lao Ma (on the 3rd section of the southern part of the 2nd ring road), +86 28 85139999. Elaborate restaurant offering stews followed by live entertainment, including a changing face of Sichuan. Don’t miss the diorama scene of ancient Chengdu built into the floor of the restaurant’s lobby. A pan-Asian buffet with contemporary entertainment is also offered in a separate area on the first floor of the restaurant. Childcare is available on site. Prices are around ¥100 per person for dinner and a drink.

Western

There are a few local Western restaurants in Chengdu. The service is always friendly, although you should expect occasional mistakes, such as when appetizers are served with the meal. Chengdu is just getting used to Western tastes.

  • Chengdu Bookworm, 28 Renmin S Rd. Has something for everyone. It is an English lending library, a western restaurant, a bar and an occasional performance venue for local song and music talent. Expats can join the member library or take their children to morning reading sessions. In the evenings, you can meet a traveling author who reads excerpts from his or her books and signs them, reads poetry or sings. It’s a great place to meet other people, read or just relax.
  • Grandma’s Kitchen. Western restaurant with four locations in Chengdu, including one next to Peter’s in Zhong Hua Yuan.
  • Peter’s Tex-Mex, +86 28 85180903. Actually, it’s an American restaurant with some Mexican dishes. Peter’s serves good food. Zhong Hua Yuan also has homemade ice cream, the best ice cream you will find in Chengdu. If you are coming from out of town, Zhong Hua Yuan is located directly in a large expatriate area with many other restaurants and stores in the area. ¥12-¥150+ for a meal.
  • Paul and Dave’s Oasis (right across the river from the Travel Hotel and the main bus station). It’s a place for volunteers, ex-pats and all sorts of foreigners, a place to just hang out. It does serve Chinese food, but it’s better to go somewhere else for that, but it’s a place to sit and get lost for a day or two. It is usually used by local foreigners, who usually play western music.
  • All hotels in the Splurge category have Western restaurants or buffets. Please call in advance for more information.

Shopping In Chengdu

  • Chunxi Road area (春熙路) (SE of Tianfu Sq. 1 block E of Tianfu Sq walk along Renmin E Road, Chunxi area starts at this intersection). A coherent street and shopping area. More than 700 stores in this 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 (near the Green Ram Taoist Temple in the west of the city, go straight west from the temple, it is on the right after crossing the bridge over the canal). Large market with communist relics, antique porcelain dishes, jewelry, calligraphy accessories and also some Tibetan goods. If you are interested in antiques, jewelry and gifts, you can get good deals here.
  • Lotus Wholesale Market (荷花池) (next to North Station, take the subway there and cross the street to the SE block). It is a huge area of stores selling all kinds of local products, from clothes to toys to kitchenware to home decor. More than 100,000 people are employed there and daily sales exceed 10 million yen.
  • Stores in the Tibetan neighborhood of Wuhou (藏饰用品一条街) (next to Wuhou Temple). About two blocks with stores next to Wuhou Temple selling clothes, textiles, jewelry, Tibetan music, etc.
  • Panda toys. All kinds of stuffed pandas and other panda jewelry are sold at the door of the panda base, but also slightly more upscale items in the panda base store itself.
  • Galleria (next to Auchan and Ikea, near the intersection of Renmin South Rd. and 3rd Ring Rd. ). New international standard shopping mall with about 200 stores and of course many international brands.

There are supermarkets all over the city, but the choice of imported food products is limited.

  • Sabrina’s Country Store, 54 Kehua N Rd (opposite the west gate of Sichuan University and near Linshiguan Rd), +86 8524 2987. If you want to buy American food and don’t mind paying an extra 50%, you’ll find friendly service and only imported products here.

Nightlife In Chengdu

On the south bank of the Jin River, next to the Anshun Bridge, there is a popular bar district, also known as the bar street. Hong Kong’s famous Lan Kwai Fong was transferred to mainland China in 2010, and the first city is Chengdu. The area is located a little northwest of Anshun Bridge.

  • Club 88 (88号酒吧), 99 Shaoling Rd, Wuhou District88 (武侯区少陵路号), currently the hottest club in Chengdu. Great lighting and music, dancing in the aisles, and people who just want to be seen. Expect to see crowds, full tables and action all night long, well past the closing hours of other clubs. Go early to get a table or come (very) late to finish the night when everything else is over.
  • Babi II (within walking distance of the Shangri-la Hotel). Club.
  • Babi, Shaolin Rd (right next to Club 88). Club.
  • Cafe Paname, 143 Kehua N Rd143 (科华北路号) (near Sichuan University). A bar with a younger clientele and a relaxed atmosphere. On Fridays and holidays, the bar is alive with occasional DJ events. Suntory beer on draft at ¥10 is a plus.
  • Highfly Cafe, 18 Linjiang Rd, +86 28 85442820. A casual establishment with a small outdoor seating area. Serves beer and Western food, including pizza and breakfast. There is a computer with free Internet access and a small book exchange (2 for 1).
  • Feeling4Seasons Cafe, Orient Times Mall 2F, Xiadongda St (near Dongmen Bridge), +86 28 66208848. Good Italian coffee: espresso, cappuccino, especially latte. Also pasta and pizza. There is also an Internet service: wireless access for your laptop, loan of a WLAN card if you don’t have one, use of a PC if necessary. You can also burn CDs. It is also the café-bar of a famous Chinese blog-freelance who published a book called “Ten Years, Flying with one Dream”.
  • Mooney’s Irish Pub (in the Shangri-la Hotel). A really stylish traditional Irish pub. Sometimes there is a band or other entertainment. There is also a free pool table, which is very nice. They serve draught beers, whiskies and typical dishes.
  • Shamrock Pub (三叶草酒吧), 15, 4th Section, Renmin S Rd (near Linshiguan Rd and the US Consulate), +86 28 85236158. This Irish pub is currently the center of Chengdu’s small expat community (about 3,000). Friendly pub atmosphere and live music on some nights. In addition to drinks, the pub also serves pizza, meat pies, sausage sandwiches, steaks, burgers, curries and a variety of other snacks. The pub is also an active sponsor of several non-profit organizations, including events to save moon bears and help people with disabilities. Copies of the informative book Chengdoo are available at The Shamrock.
  • High Connections Coffee House, Fu A-20 6 Shuangqing S Rd, Qingyang District (on the west side of Chengdu, near the subway and Southwest Financial University), +86 28 87325855. Offers a relaxing and comfortable environment with soft lighting and relaxing music. There is a non-smoking area and a smoking area. Bring your computer and enjoy wireless internet access. Coffee (both espresso and good old American drip coffee) and muffins are a great way to start the day. In addition, large conference rooms are available for meetings.

Also, on the south side of Jinjiang, there are a number of bars between Renmin South Road and Xin South Road. Beer costs ¥10-20 per bottle, but if you buy large cans, you can save a lot of money with special offers. There are also street vendors offering various snacks. With Babi II, Ta & Ta and Soho clubs nearby, it’s easy to have fun here.

  • 8trees Wine Bar & Restaurant, 9 Pingan Alley, +86 28 86699060: Located in a centuries-old Roman Catholic church, this restaurant offers a unique romantic dining experience. Recommended specialties include mouthwatering North American beef marinated with fresh herbs and spices, and roasted lamb with exotic spices. On the lighter side, there’s the conscious side dish, popular with weight-conscious regulars, who complement their meals with the menu’s rich, creamy soups. The church’s underground wine cellar is also a must.
  • The Leg & Whistle Pub, Kehua Jie, ChuanDa Hua Yuan (2F)1192 (科华街号附号楼) (The Kehua Jie is located on Kehua Bei Lu, which leads to the south gate of Sichuan University. The leg is at the top of a staircase, above a pharmacy and across from a 24-hour Wowo store. ), +86 28 85460114, +86 18980986112. This is the closest you can get to a real English pub in Chengdu. With three screens, it is the place to go for soccer broadcasts, but don’t hesitate to ask for other sports if you are interested. The people are very friendly and do their best to make you feel welcome.
  • Little Bar (New) (小酒馆 (芳沁店)), 87 Fangqin St, Yulin Shangwugang, 1F8751 (成都市芳沁街号附号丰尚玉林商务港楼, +86 28 85568552. Rock bar. The biggest shows are on Fridays and Saturdays, and the bands start at 8pm and finish at 10pm. Admission costs ¥25. A bit difficult to find, so it’s better to take a cab if you don’t know the area. Not to be confused with the Little Bar (Old), its sister bar on Yulin West Road.
  • Empty Bottle, 3/F, Yulin Life Plaza, 15 S Yulin Rd. Very popular with the locals. Every night there is live music and other entertainment.
  • Jellyfish, Ke Hua Bei Lu #143, Lan Si Jia Le Bi Sq, 2F. 8pm-1am. Lively and crowded cocktail bar with a DJ playing music. Lots of expats, but also locals.

Stay Safe & Healthy In Chengdu

In some areas of Chengdu, thieves are very common. Be careful in the markets of Yanshikou and especially near the North Station. In crowded buses, there are also many thieves who cut bags and pockets with razors. Also, always be careful with your bag when riding a bicycle in the city, as thieves like to ride by bicycles at traffic lights and rummage through pockets.

Traffic can be hectic and both motorists and cyclists are not careful of pedestrians. Be careful when crossing streets; even if the WALK signal is green, free-flowing right-turning traffic may try to run you over.

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