Chengdu was our first stop in China, we loved everything about the city and it made us really excited to see what else this amazing country has to offer.
Chengdu feels like a very new city with an ‘up and coming’ feel to the place. It has a lot of greenery and heritage streets. The perfect balance between nature and man, as well as old and new.
Things To Do:
Obviously my number one is the panda research centre in Chengdu, I absolutely love anything to do with conservation and wildlife. The centre is a non profit organisation who are doing their best to prevent these magnificent creatures becoming extinct. Almost all the pandas born in captivity are released into the wild. Entrance costs ¥58 per person and a taxi from our hotel cost ¥48, we got there early and spent the whole morning there.
Chengdu has lots to do outdoors, on a sunny day visit one of the many beautiful parks around the city or stroll along the Jinjiang River. Our favourite parks were people’s park, best for families and Baihualan park best for a peaceful stroll. Both free to enter.
For a taste of ‘old Chengdu’ visit the perfectly restored wide and narrow alleys. The buildings are exactly as they used to be although they now hold souvenir shops and restaurants. Both ally’s are pedestrian only.
Tianfu square sits right in the centre of the city, apparently it represents the four forces of nature, fire, ice, water and earth. I couldn’t see the resemblance but it’s a nice place to relax and there is an underground shopping mall which has a really good food court. The main shopping district is a few minutes east of the square. The Anshun Lang Bridge is really pretty especially if you do a night time walk along the river.
Wuhou temple costs ¥60 to enter. We were lucky enough to meet a lovely student inside who wanted to practice his English so he gave us a free tour of the place. Theres actually quite a few temples within the same complex and worth checking out if your in the area.
The Dujiangyan scenic area and irrigation system is one of the first in china, apart from the system itself there is also a really picturesque old town and a high up observation platform. Entrance to the viewpoint costs ¥90 per person and there are daily shuttle buses from the city centre for ¥29 per person. It takes around 90 minutes to reach by bus but it’s worth it for a great day out.
Where To Eat:
We ate mainly at local cafes during our 5 days in Chengdu, they were all small hole in the wall types and the names were only in Chinese, I couldn’t direct you to any of them, half the time we didn’t even know the street names, sorry! However they all cost around ¥12 for a good meal and were all the same great standard so you probably won’t go wrong with any of the cafes around.
We did visit the Chunxifang Tangsong Food Street which was pretty cool, it’s an indoor food street set out like a traditional old Chinese street. The food was great and there are lots of choices.
There is a metro line that runs directly from the airport to the city, though it’s not 24 hours (last train at 11pm). A taxi will cost around ¥120 depending where in town your staying.
The metro system is very easy to use and really cheap, fairs are from ¥2 to ¥5 depending where your going. The system isn’t fully up and running yet as it’s fairly new, currently only 3 of the 6 lines are in operation but expect more in the near future.
Where To Stay:
Sam’s cozy hotel was amazing, the rooms were spotless and the location was good. We only paid £15 per night including breakfast through hotels.com. Also, their free map was really good, we used it during our whole trip to Chengdu.