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Historical Destinations in Chengdu

Last updated by meimeili at 2013/11/28; Destinations: Chengdu

Chengdu, aptly described as “the land of abundance” is the capital of Sichuan province. Boasting long history, it features several places of historical interest that tourists cannot afford to miss. The best ones are listed below:

Emei Mountain

Emei Mountain is one of the four most famous Buddhist Mountains nestled in the southwest part of E’meishan City. It is highly regarded as the place of enlightenment. Towering 3,080m above sea level and filled with green wooded areas, it boasts elegance and magnificence. Records from 16th and 17th century suggest that Chinese ancient martial arts are practiced in the monasteries on top of the mountain. Some regard it as the origin of Chinese boxing. Emei Mountain features variety of temples where some of the exquisite Buddhism antiques can be found.

The first Chinese Buddhist temple was also built in the breathtaking surroundings of Emei Mountain, which has been declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over the centuries, the numbers of temples have increased which turned the site into one of Buddhism holiest places. Today, the mountain represents Great Virtue and Great Practice. The hundred temples and monasteries found here are considered center of refuge.

Opening Times: 7am-7pm
Location: Emeishan 614201, China
How to get there: Take the bus from Chengdu (Xinnanmen Bus Station) to Emei Town.
Ticket Price: ¥185

Qingyang Taoist Temple

Qingyang Taoist Temple, which was previously called “Xuanzhong Taoist Temple” is one of the most celebrated Taoist temples in all of China. It was built during Tang Dynasty, a flourishing period for Taoism. Numerous restorations have taken place since the temple was built. Along those that were restored during the Qing Dynasty are the Universe Hall, Lingzu Hall, the Eight Diagrams Pavillion, Doulao Hall, Sanqing Hall, Wuji Palace, and Hunyuan Palace. Important Taoist cultural relics that can be found here include the stone sculpture of Patriach Lv Dongbin, which is considered one of the Taoist immortals based on Chinese history and Abstract of Collected Taoist Scriptures. The annual fair, which is held in memory of Laotze, the founder of Taoism, take place every 15th of the second lunar month. This is held next to the Qingyang Taoist Temple and is something that tourists shouldn’t miss.

Opening Times: 6am-6pm
Entrance Fee: CNY 5
Address: No. 9 West 2nd section Qingyang District
Phone: 028-87766584 
How to Get to: Take bus no. 25, 5, 58, 27

Golden Summit Scenic Area

Legend has it that Prince Zhu Mo, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang 21st son who lived during Ming Dynasty, has donated 150kg of gold that was subsequently used to build the golden hall on top of Emei Mountain. This, according to some people, explains why the doors, tiles, pillars, and window lattices of the hall are made from pure gold and copper. When the sun strikes, the hall looks green and gold. This explains why it is now called “Golden Summit.”

Golden Summit Scenic area is nestled on the surrounding areas of Mount Emei where several temples are found. Being the biggest Chinese Buddhists pilgrimage and due to its exemplary scenic views, it was awarded as the scenic masterpiece in the Chinese World. Golden Summit which is a great additional place to visit for tourists who are going to Mount Emei, boasts seas of clouds, spectacular landscape, breathtaking sunrises, and mysterious Buddha Rays.

Opening Times: 7am-7pm
Location: Emeishan 614201, China
Phone: 0833-5522070

Wenshu Monastery

Among the temples and monasteries that are found in Chengdu, Wenshu Monastery is the best-preserved in all of Sichuan Province. It was built in 618-907 AD by a man named Cidu, an accomplished Buddist monk who lived in the area for several years. According to legends, Cidu, who lived in a simple hut and enjoyed ascetic life, was cremated during which the Wenshu Bodhisattave appeared in flames for a considerable amount of time. For this, he was highly regarded as Bodhisattva Wensh reincarnation. This explains why the monastery was named Wenshu. Today, the monastery houses several important cultural treasures and relics. It is also the home to more than 300 Buddha statues that are made from jade, mud, stone, iron, and wood. Some were built during Qing and Liang Dynasties. Other cultural and historical relics that can be found here are ancient calligraphies and paintings. The famous one was written by emperor Kangxi entitled “Kong Lin.” Also stored inside the monastery are Buddhism relics likek the Indian Beiye sutra, the broken skull of Xuanzan, a thousand-Buddha cassock, and hair embroidery Kwan-yin.

Opening Times: 6am-6pm
Ticket Price: CNY 5
Address: No. 15 Wenshu Yuan Street
Phone: 028-8695283
How to Get to: Buses: 302, 1, 16, 3, 64, 99

Huanglongxi Ancient Town

Huanglongxi Ancient Town, which is 50km away from Chengdu, is hailed as one of China’s top 10 ancient towns. With history of over 1,700 years, the town boasts deep traditional construction style and rich culture. The town main attractions are the well-preserved buildings that were built during Qing Dynasty. These attract not just international tourists but film makers as well. Because of this Huanglongxi is now dubbed as the “Hollywood of China. Tourists who have been here were fascinated with its ancient temples, streets, houses, wharves, and curving alleys. 1,700 years after the town was built, it still keeps the profound folk-custom culture that is unique in the Sichuan province.

Chinese Pinyin: Huang Long Xi Gu Zhen
Location: Huanglongxi Town, Shuangliu County 610200, China
How to Get to: Take bus from Xinnanmen station,
Opening Time: 8am-4pm

Baoguo Temple

Baoguo Temple is the first one to be built on Mount Emei and used to be the headquarters of Buddism Association. Highly regarded as the gateway to Mount Emei, the entire temple covers a total land area of 10 acres. Built after classical Chinese Courtyard, the temple was designed to lean towards the mountain next to four buildings of varying height. The temple houses one of the most vivid and graceful Buddha sculpture which dates back from the Ming Dynasty. Another precious antique that cannot be missed appears in front of the hall, which stands 7 meters tall and is made from purple copper. Every year, different Buddhist festivals are held here.

Opening Times: 6am-6pm
Address: Emeishan City
Phone: 0833-5591811
How to Get to: Bus from Xinnanmen Station to Mt.Emei,
Ticket Price: CNY 35

Tomb of Wangjian

Tomb of Wangjian, also known as Yong Tomb, can be found in the northwest side of Chengdu City. Built in 847 AD, this is the tomb of the Emperor of Former Shu in Five Dynasties. Wangjian used to be the leader of an army under Tang Dynasty and he was the one who established the Former Shu Kingdom in Chengdu. It was only in 1942 that the tomb was discovered and it was opened to the public on the same year. It features ancient buildings and spectacular stone carvings, which are highly, regarded as artistic flower of the tomb’s construction.  Antiques that can be found here include precious paintings that tell the story of Tang, Sui, and Five Dynasties.

Opening Times: 8am-5pm
Address: Eastern Fuqin Street, Jinniu District, Chengdu 610081, China
How to Get to: Buses: 54, 25, 46, 42, 48

Du Fu Cottage

Du Fu Cottage is located on the west side of Chengdu City and is known as the Sacred Land in Chinese Literature history. Du Fu is a poet that lived during the Tang Dynasty. During the war in 759 AD, he transferred from Gansu Province to Chengdu together with his family where he built the historic cottage. Here, he wrote 240 poems until he moved out four years after. Du Fu’s original cottage was demolished but another poet in the First Shu Dynasty rebuilt it. It was restored twice, once in 1500 and once in 1811. During the two great restorations, the general lay out of the cottage was integrated with Du Fu’s original residence and his memorial museum. Today, the cottage serves as one of the greatest attractions not just in Chengdu but also in the whole Sichuan province.

Opening Times: 6am-6pm
Address: No.38 Qinghua Rd., Qingyang District
Phone: 028-87319258
How to Get to: Buses: 509, 35, 17, 82, 301, 84, 309