Chengdu is depicted in a poem as “Chengdu Landscape, as if endowed by the Ninth Heaven, is shared in the creations of many a master artist.” It is a provincial capital in Southeast of the Sichuan basin with over 3 million inhabitants in the city proper, and over 10 million in rural areas. The average annual temperature of 16.2 , an annual sunshine time is 1,239 hours and the frost-free period is 300 days.
Chengdu is more than 2,000 years old. In contrast to some other Chinese urban centers, and despite raging redevelopment, Chengdu has managed to preserve the atmosphere how one might imagine China to have once been sometime in the past. It is also known as the hibiscus city or the brocade city, and it has been a famous cultural centre with age-old colorful traditions of both religious and civil significance for the past 2,500 years in Chinese history. Tea cooking and tea culture are also originated in Chengdu. It has almost a southern aspect, with colorful old streets lined by scores of small restaurants and walkways that remain crowded until late with traders, buyers, and people out for a stroll.
Due to its special geographical location, western part of the city is cooler than the east part of the city. In July, Chengdu will be at around 20-30 degree Celsius (or 72-86 degree Fahrenheit). It rains in July and an umbrella is recommended.
Flights: Most flights will be landed in Chengdu Shuangliu Airport. International flight is limited to regional areas such as Hong Kong or Bangkok. The airport is 20km from the city center (around 35 minutes drive).
Rail: Chengdu is the most important transport hub in southwestern China. There are trains running between Chengdu and the major cities of China, such as Beijing, Xi’an, Kunming, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Urumqi, Shanghai, Lanzhou. (For more information, refer to http://www.chinahighlights.com/china-trains/chengdu-train-schedule.htm for train schedules and charges.)
Public Bus: It costs 1 Yuan for common buses and 2 Yuan for air-conditioned buses in Chengdu. Tourists can get to most of the scenic spots in the city by bus.
Taxies: The starting price is 5 Yuan (for the first 1 km) and it it’s then 1.4 Yuan for every additional km. A 50% return charge is required when the distance exceeds 7 km.
Pedicabs: The price is similar to that for taxies, sometimes even more expensive. Generally the starting price is 5 Yuan. It can seat up to 2 adults and one small child without luggage.
Attractions (Click here to download the travel suggestions)
The city of Chengdu is home to China’s living treasures the Giant Panda, as well as many other endangered species. Chengdu’s local cuisine is world renowned for its delicious spiciness. The life pace in Chengdu is slow.
The following are some of the attractions in Chengdu:
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding: is located on the mountain of Futoushan in the northern suburbs of the city, 18km away from the town center. The Breeding Center opened in 1993 for the sole purpose of breeding, researching and educating the public about China’s giant pandas. It covers an area of over 92 acres, and is home to several species of rare and endangered animals. The best time to visit is in the morning, between 8:30 and 10am, during feeding time. Outside these hours the bears are likely to be indulging in their favorite pastime, sleeping!
Wenshu temple: has a history of over 1000 years, and is the largest and the best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu. It has been a destination for Buddhist pilgrims for centuries as well as a famous tourist site that features many Buddhist cultural relics.
Leshan Giant Buddha: The Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Spot, named after the giant statue of Buddha, was included on the UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1996. Over 233 feet in height and 28 feet in width, the Leshan Giant Buddha is the biggest colossus in the world and it symbolizes brightness and happiness.
Sanxingdui Museum: located 25 miles north of Chengdu City, the museum houses relics from one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the twentieth century.
Qing Yang Gong Temple: otherwise known as Green Goat Palace, is situated in the western portion of Chengdu City. According to legend, Qing Yang Gong was said to be the birth place of the founder of Taoism, Lao Tsu, and is where he made the first sermon about Taoism. Qing Yang Gong is regarded as a cultural and historical site of great importance in Chengdu.
Sichuan Opera Theatre: is characterized by unique solos, refined acting, rich percussion, and talented comedians, whose skills are unparalleled in the world. Sichuan Opera performances are always full of wit, humor, lively dialogues, and pronounced local flavors. To portray special characters, the opera incorporates a series of stunts, including the famous “face-changing.” In Chinese opera, facial makeup is usually painted, but in Sichuan Opera, the performer can change his or her facial makeup in the snap of a finger right on stage.
Jiuzhai Kou (Nine Stockaded Gap): rated by the UN as one of the greatest natural legacies in the world, Jiuzhaikou is located 450 kilomiles away from Chengdu. With the total area of over 72,000 hectares, it is named as Jiu Zhai Kou because there were 9 “Zang” (a Chinese clan) stockaded villages. The area is famous for its magnificent waterfall and fountain and is also known as “Kingdom of fairy tale”
E’mei Mountain: Noted by the UN as one of the greatest legacies of ancient culture and natural landscape, E’mei Mountain is situated 160 kilometers away from the southwest Chengdu. The mountain extends more than 200 kilometers and the epic reaches 3099 metres above the sea level. In E’mei Mountain its features are craggy, the cliffs are layered and the trees are a lush green-that is why there is a Chinese saying that “Emei is the most beautiful place in the world”.