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Top Things to Do in Chengdu

Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, situated in the west plain in the Sichuan Basin. Renowned as the land with abundance, Chengdu enjoys a pleasant climate, bountiful local products, a crowded of historical sites and natural landscapes and time-honored culture. Tourists would linger their stay here once stepping on this wonderful place.

You can get a soul-enriching and heart-stopping tour from the Chengdu city. This buzzing city is famed for its engaging pandas, culinary sensations and special leisure culture.

Some attractions near Chengdu would also be recommended like the notable UNESCO sites the Great Buddha in Leshan and Mount Qingcheng. We offer a list of ideas about top things to do in this amazing city as below.

The best time to travel around Chengdu is from March to November. Try to avoid the horrible winter from December to February and the peak travel season.

1. Panda Will Blow Your Mind

Panda

Baby Panda

Pandas! You can see and even touch these cute bears! The giant pandas are not only Chinese national treasure, but also are beloved by people all over the world. Sichuan is the hometown of the lovely pandas.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Chengdu Panda Base is the top choice wildlife reserve in Chengdu. It is located in northern suburb of Chengdu. This huge institution replicates the natural habitat of the pandas and devotes to protect this rare species. Through years of cultivation, in the yards there are many bamboo forest paths.

You can get a close-up to the pandas, take photos of them, have a close contact with them. In giant panda room, panda mother feeds its baby. You also can see many swans, peacocks, other endangered wild animals which attracted many tourists from home and abroad.

Address: 1375 Panda Avenue, north of Chengdu, Sichuan Province , China

Admission:

1. 58 yuan/person;

2. 53 yuan/ person in a group (with relevant procedures)

3. 29 yuan/ student in a primary or junior group with letters of introduction

4. 29 yuan/ person at the age of 60-70(with relevant certificates)

Opening Hours: 8:00am - 18:00pm

How to Get There ?

1. Take No. 902 sightseeing bus at the Xinnanmen Bus Station and get off at the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base. The bus runs every 20 minutes.

2. Take bus No.1, 49, 53, 63, 64, 69, 71, and 83 to Qinglongchang Bus Center Stop and then transfer to bus No.198 or 87 to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

3. Take Chengdu Metro line 3 to Panda Avenue Station.

Recommended Tour:

Dujiangyan Panda Base

Panda Volunteer

Panda Volunteer

The main function of the Dujiangyan base is the giant panda's nursing and disease control. Dujiangyan Panda Base was open to the public in June 2013.

Dujiangyan Panda Base offers a special program allowing visitors to take care of these lovely animals in person as volunteers. Visitors who are interested in this program can make an advance reservation, and come close to the lovely pandas.

You not only have a normal visit to see the pandas outside the breeding house, but also have a closer observation to the pandas by doing volunteering work in Dujiang Panda Base. If you participate in the program,you can get to know more about the pandas.

Address: Shiqiao Village, Qingcheng Mountain Town, Dujiangyan City, Chengdu City

Admission:

58 yuan for adults and 29 yuan for children between 1.3 - 1.5 meters (4.3 - 4.9 feet); Free for children under 1.3m.

How to get there from Chengdu ?

taking high speed train from Chengdu to Mount Qingcheng, and get off at Qingchengshan Station, and then transfer to bus No.102 to Panda Base.

Recommended Tour:

2. Incredible Antiquities

Chengdu has a history over 4,000 years, there are a large number of historical sites here. Sever it all up according to taste: ancient and practical irrigation system, mysterious temples, archaic towns that time forgot, small alleys with oriental characteristics.

Dujiangyan Irrigation System

Dujiangyan

Dujiangyan

Don't let this boring name keep you away from this place. Dujiangyan Irrigation System is an amazing engineering project built over 2000 years ago (built in 256 BC) to turn the area usually affected by drought but now can be irrigated. Visiting this area is not only for Libing's (the engineer of the Dujiangyan Irrigation System) great accomplishment but also for the beautiful surroundings with lush mountains and some bridges over the wide Minjiang River.

People can not see its essence only from pictures or the system outside until he gets in and know how the irrigation system works. The project effectively controls flooding and provides a method of irrigation. This attracts many scientists from the world to observe it. Since finished, besides no more droughts, the systems also made Sichuan become a productive agricultural place. People of Dujiangyan made a sculpture of Libing to commemorate him.

In the park, there are many buses taking visitors tour around the scenic area. The best time to visit the site is Spring and Summer.

Address: Gongyuan Road, Dujiangyan Prefecture

Admission: 90 yuan

Opening Hour: 8:30am-17:30pm between December 1 and March 1; 8:30-18;00 for the rest time

Getting there from Chengdu:

1. Take high-speed trains from Chengdu North Railway Station or Xipu Station to Dujiangyan Train Station at 15 yuan. It takes around 40 minutes and runs every 30 minutes. Tourists can buy the ticket at the railway station. When reaching Dujiangyan Station, a taxi ride of 5 – 10 minutes will get you to the destination. 

2. Take bus from Chengdu to Dujiangyan at Chadianzi Bus Station (Yangxi Flyover, Sanhuan North Road, Jinniu District) at 17 Yuan. Buses are available from 06:30 am. Or take bus at West Gate Bus Station (22 West Annan Road, Jinniu District) between 06:30 am—08:30 pm and it departs every 5-10 minutes. Xinnanmen Bus Station (57 Lianjiang Road, Wuhou District) also provides bus service from Chengdu to Dujiangyan from 08:40 am at 25 Yuan.

Tour Idea:

Wenshu Monastery

Wenshu Monastery

Wenshu Monastery

Wenshu Monastery is situated at heartland city and just two stations away from Tianfu Square and near People's Park. Considering the hustle and bustle life outside the wall, the monastery is really a nice place to enjoy a quiet afternoon for a couple hours. The surrounding shows the charms of ancient feeling (built during 605-617) and monks walking around add the spiritual atmosphere. Photos are strictly prohibited with signs. Monks dwellings are off-limits.

Asides from the tranquil environment, the monastery is the home to many valuable relics and thousands of Buddhists scriptures. Visitors can see "blood Buddhists scriptures" written by the blood of three monks in ancient time. The cassock of thousands of Buddhas that was embroided personally by Concubine Tian, a concubine of a Ming emperor, is also on display. Even a parietal bone of Tang Monk found in Nanjing in 1942 is stored in this monastery.Outside the temple there are many eateries and interesting trinkets for sale.

Address: No. 15 Wenshu Yuan Street, Chengu, Sichuan Provinc

How to Get There ?

1. Take bus no.16, 52, 55 or 298

2.Take Chengdu metro line 1 to Wenshu Monastery Station, get out of the subway station via exit K, and the monastery is about 100 meters to the north.

Ticket Price: Free

Opening Hours:9:00 am - 17:00 pm

Tour Idea:

Kuanzhai Alleys and Jinli Pedestrian Street

Jinli Walking Street

Jinli Walking Street

They were built in Qing dynasty (about 1700 AD). There are many ancient buildings and courtyards in the two sites. Both scenic spots have been renovated and now there are many tea houses, hostels, bars, restaurants and stalls selling souvenirs and local food. All are in traditional style giving a feeling of ancient times.

Kuanzhai Alleys are the symbol of the Chengdu local culture. Local residents, inns and the old tea houses, all of these make Kuanzhai Alleys become a unique site. Kuanzhai Alleys are the symbol for modern people to reminisce the past Chengdu.

The Jinli street is a 550 meters walking street of the Qing Dynasty style with antique buildings standing at both sides. It represents the three kingdom culture (220-280). It has been renovated in 2004 and now there are many tea-houses, hotels, bars, restaurants and stalls selling souvenirs and local food. All are in traditional style giving a feeling of ancient times. Tourists can spend a couple hours there to enjoy the scene of street vendors selling local trinkets and silk-making process, playing ancient repeater arrow.

Kuanzhai Alleys

Kuanzhai Alleys

Address:

Kuanzhai Alleys (in the east side of Tongren Road and the west side of Changshun Road, Qingyang District in Chengdu)

Jinli Pedestrian Street (231 Wuhouci Avenue, Wuhou District, Chengdu City)

Admission:Free

Opening Hour: All day long

Recommended Tour:

3. Majestic Natural Landscape

Sichuan’s landscapes span the range from basin to plateau, you can appreciate the sublime sapphire lakes and pure Tibetan styles in West Sichuan Plateau or many splendid temple-topped mountains.

Qingcheng Mountain

Mountain Qingcheng

Mountain Qingcheng

Mount Qingcheng is the birthplace of Taoism. The mountain has two sides: the front side and the back side. You can scramble the mountain and get a great view in the peak

At the foot of the mountain is an ancient town called Tai'an Town. The mountain consists of two parts: the front side and the back side. Each side takes one day trip with lots of walking. The front side is the main part of Mount Qingcheng scenic area with many temples, offering a good opportunity to learn Taoism mythology. The view at the top is great. Mountain Qingcheng is a great summer resort due to its landscape. There are so many archaic temples and a lot of waterfalls.

Though it is renowned as a natural oxygen bar, avoid going there at weekends or holidays since there are numerous tourists and it may lose the charm. Cable cars and boat riding are available in front side. If you are not into temples, we recommend you choose the back side.

Summer is the best time to visit Mount Qingcheng when it offers great green view and cool weather. Sunrise, Cloud Sea and Sacred Lights are highlights of Mount Qingcheng. Two days are needed for climbing the back side and front side of Mount Qingcheng.

Admission: 90 yuan; The back side costs another 20 yuan.

Opening Hours: 08:00am—06:00pm March 2—November 30 and 08:00am—05:00 pm December 1— March

Getting there from Chengdu:

1. Take high-speed trains at Chengdu North Railway Station from Chengdu to Mount Qingcheng. It takes 15 Yuan for about 30 minutes.It departs every 45 minutes from 07:05 am to 07:25 pm in Chengdu and runs between 08:02 am—09:07 in Mount Qingcheng.

2. Take bus from Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station (Yangxi Flyover, Sanhuan North Road, Jinniu District) at 16 Yuan. The bus departs from 06:30 am. Or take bus from New South Gate Bus Station (New South Gate, 57 Linjiang Road, Wuhou District)

Tour Idea:

Leshan Giant Buddha

Leshan Giant Buddha

Leshan Giant Buddha

As the biggest Buddha Carving in the world with a height of 71 meters.It can be traced back to Tang Dynasty (618-907AD). Leshan Giant Buddha was listed in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1996. This dazzling carving is located at the confluence of Min River, Qingyi River and Dadu River. This staggering Buddha always look over Leshan city through the river.

Most travelers choose the Buddha visit and Mount Emei scenic area. There are so many tourists flocking to the Buddha and Mountain Emei. It takes about one hour to climb to the head of the Buddha statue. There are a bounty of antiquited carvings on the wall. These glitzy frescoes can give tourists the sensation of reminiscence. However, in the weekends and holidays, it might take about 3 hours to reach the summit.

Travelers also can take a sightseeing boat of the Minjiang river and have a panoramic view of the Buddha. The ferry may take about 20 minutes. Tourists do not have to wait too much longer. Tourists who want to take the boat cannot get off at the feet of the Giant Buddha.

Address: 2435 Lingyun Street, Shizhong District, Leshan

Admission: 90 yuan (Excluding 70 yuan for a boat ship)

Opening Hours: 07:30am—06:30pm from April 1 to October 7 and 08:00am-05:30pm October 8—March 31.

Getting there from Chengdu:

1.Travelers can take Chengdu-Leshan-Emeishan Intercity High-speed train from Chengdu to Leshan Railway Station, and then change to bus 3 to reach this site.

2. It is 100 miles (about 162 kilometers) from Chengdu City to Leshan City if one travels by the expressway. Visitors can take a long-distance bus from Chengdu Xinananmen Bus Station to Leshan Xiaoba Bus station, and then change to city bus 13 to the site.

Tour Idea:

Mount Emei

Emei Mount Jinding

Emei Mount Jinding

Mount Emei is like a huge green tree standing in the southwest of the Chengdu Basin. It is a divine mountain of Buddhism. After ascending the mountain, you will have a beautiful panorama of the sky.

It is a towering, captivating, ancient and charismatic mountain. The shape of the mountain seems to a dreamlike kaleidoscope. It is also the highest one among all the well-known sight-seeing mountains in China.

Chinese people have given Emei Mountain many nick names in order to depict its beauty including: "Fairy Mountain and Buddhist Kingdom": "Botanical Kingdom": "Paradise of Animals" and "Geological Museum".

There are four scenic spots on the mountain: Baoguo Temple, Wannian Temple, Qingyin Pavilion and Emei Jingding. The peak of the mountain, Emei Jingding, is about 3000 meters above the sea level. If you stand on the peak, you will reach the sky! In 1996, Mount Emei was enlisted in the world natural and cultural heritage site by the UNESCO.

Address: 41 Mingnanshan Road, Emeishan City, Leshan City, Sichuan Province

Admission: 185 Yuan (Jan.15 - Dec.14), 110 yuan (Dec.15 - Jan.14)

Opening Hours: 6:00 am - 18:30 pm

Getting there from Chengdu:

1.By Train: Take a Chengdu-Leshan-Emeishan Intercity High-Speed Train to Emeishan Station, and then change to bus 5A, 8  or tourism bus to this site. 

2.By Long-Distance Bus: Take a bus from Xinnanmen Bus Station to Emeishan Tourism Bus Center (Baoguo Temple Bus Station) at the foot of Mt. Emei, and then walk to the entrance.

Tour Idea:

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Jiuzhaigou Valley is a part of the Aba Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of northwestern Sichuan Province. It is situated at about 330 kilometers northwest of Chengdu. This scenic area is a fabulous masterpiece of nature. Its name comes from the nine stockaded villages of Tibetan, and it is also regarded as a divine mountain by the Tibetan people. It is said that Jiuzhaigou Valley is a fairyland and imbued with natural purity. In addition to the riveting scenery, there are a lot of plants and wild animals in the scenic area.

Tourist can appreciate the pristine lakes, splendid waterfalls, sonw-capped mountains and exotic Chinese minority. Jiuzhaigou Valleys has been designated as an eco-sightseeing site and a paradise for fanatical hikers and campers

The wildlife-packed rainforest covers an area of nearly 30,000 hectares (about 74,132 acres). The diversity of plants create a natural habitat for wild animals, such as the giant pandas, monkeys, red pandas, marmots and rare sheep. Tourists also can see many wild creatures and experience the authentic nature.

Admission: 110 yuan (Apr. 1 - Nov. 15) 40 yuan ( for the rest time)

Opening Hour:8:00 am - 17:00 pm

How to get to Jiuzhaigou ?

1.By Air: Jiuhuang Airport is about 88 kilometers (55 miles) from the mouth of the valley and about 53 kilometers (33 miles) from Huanglong. It takes 40 minutes to fly from Chengdu to the airport and a half hours' ride from the airport to the scenic area. Currently, the airport only operates 2 air routes to Chengdu and Chongqing directly.

2. By Bus: Regular buses are available from Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station at 8:30am and Xinnanmen Bus Station at 9:00am. It is suggested to buy the bus ticket in advance. It takes about 10-11 hours from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou.

Tour Idea:

4. Experience Exotic Culture

Chengdu was also called as the capital of leisure. People in Chengdu prefers a relaxed way of life, chatting in the tea houses, playing Mahjong in their spare time or savoring some local snacks.

Chengdu Tea Culture

Tea Culture

Tea Culture

The tea culture in Chengdu with rich heritage has a long history. Chengdu tea house is very famous among people because it has a plenty of functions: party, entertainment, chatting and so on.

Sipping tea at a local historic tea house is one of must-do in Chengdu, Yue Lai Tea House is one the oldest and best tea houses in the city. It is a nice way to join locals when they having tea.

Recommended Tea House: Yue Lai Tea House

It is a nice way to experience local culture by drinking tea. People of Chengdu like chatting and cracking sunflower seeds when they are sipping tea. Every Saturday, there are a number of shows performed by Sichuan Opera Troupes in some traditional theaters.

Address: 54 Hua Xing Zheng Street, Jinjiang District, Chengdu

Opening hours:  08:30am- 07:00pm

Costs/person:  5 yuan—10 yuan

Getting there:Take Bus no.3, 6, 8, 15, 20, 28, 37, 49, 62, 154, and 902

Tour Idea:

Sichuan Opera

Sichuan Opera

Sichuan Opera

Sichuan Opera is an old building giving a feeling of ancient China. The show consists of a a few short sketches of different genres to give audience an idea of what the opera is. It has acrobatics, hand shadowing, face mask changing and even a comedy show. With English subtitles displayed of both sides of the stages, foreign tourists can still understand the show. Recommended Opera Theater(Shu Feng Ya Yun) Chengdu and the most popular one is Shu Feng Ya Yun.

It is wise of you to get there early before start when chances of seeing the makeup part of the actors are high. During the show free tea is served. Price starts from 200 Yuan to 400 Yuan or so. 

Address: 23 Qintai Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu (in the Wenhua Park)

Opening hours: 08:00am—09:30pm

Getting there: Take Chengdu Metro line 2 and get off at Tonghuimen Station . The theater is in Wenhua Park.

Tour Idea:

5. Tantalize Your Taste Bud

Sichuan Cuisine

Sichuan Cusine

Sichuan Cuisine is well-known for its legendary spice and pepper.In 2011, Chengdu was awarded as Asia’s First City of Gastronomy by UNESCO. Food plays a very hallowed role in Chengdu culture from a variety of street food to special Sichuan dishes. Popular local food include Dandan Noodles, Bean Jellies, Braised Pork Guokui, Mao Xue Wang (boiled duck blood curd) and Chen Mapo Tofu. The price is reasonable and travelers can try them in Jinli Pedestrian Street or Kuanzhai Alleys nearby.

Yi Pin Tian Xia (a representative food street in Chengdu, 131 Yi Pin Tian Xia Avenue, Jiniu District ) Tourists can relish delicious, authentic food that properly reflects the culture and tastes of Chengdu. Sichuan Cuisine is one of the Eight Great Cuisines in China, and famous all over the world for its richness and variety. Hotpot restaurants are pervasive in Chengdu. The restaurants offer “pick-and-choose”ordering. Customers can choose different kinds of hotpots

What to eat in Chengdu:

Chengdu Hotpot: A big pot filled with spicy oil and peppers, surrounded by plates of raw meats and vegetables.

We highly recommended that you should taste Sichuan hotpot, recommended restaurants: Xiao Longkan Hotpot, Western Sichuan Bazi Hotpot and Da Longyan Hotpot. These chain restaurants is pervasive in every corner of Chengdu.s

Chaoshou (Chengdu Wonton):

Chao shou is similar to dumplings, and stuffed wit pork and vegetables.

Long Chaoshou is at the corner of Chunxi Road and Shandong Dajie, about 2 blocks from Chunxi Road Metro station. It is a ideal place to savour Chengdu local food and it is always packed with the youths roaming around Chunxi Road.

 

Chen Mapo Toufu: This tofu is hot, spicy, palatable and full of Sichuan flavor.

Dan Dan Noodles: The tasty noodles are a famous snack in Sichuan which have a long history.

Recommended Restaurants:

Specialty

Specialty

Xiaojing Private Home Cuisine is very near Wuhou Temple and it is hidden in an private apartment, adding private and quiet ambience. The private restaurant is good at local Sichuan food and new-style Sichuan food. Make reservations two days in advance. The location of the restaurant: Room 902 Unit 2 Building 11 of Luofu Shijia, Gaoshengqiao Road, Wuhou District.

Yu’s Family Kitchen is more than a mere restaurant for Chuan dishes. It is located in a traditional Sichuan lane house, providing an enticing dining experience. A meal usually includes starters, additional courses and main dish, which are very different other restaurant.

Tour Idea: