Chengdu is known throughout the rest of China as ‘the land of milk and honey’, famous for its abundant countryside and bounty of agricultural produce. So although you wouldn’t come to Chengdu to work on your tan, the Western image of a city choking under clouds of smog and a lack of sunlight is a little off the mark.
In fact, Chengdu is a modern cosmopolitan metropolis that reflects China’s economic growth and gradual acceptance of capitalism. Chunxi Road alone boasts 10 Adidas and Nike stores combined, although those with a more cultural bent will probably prefer the crumbling façade and beautiful teahouse of the Qingyang Temple, or the interactive exhibits at the Sichuan Science and Technology Museum. You may leave Chengdu a little paler than when you arrived, but you’ll be a lot more enlightened…
Chengdu's Top 10
10. Chunxi Road The high fashion and pricey restaurants filling this street would feel more at home in a European capital.
5. Sichuan University Museum One of the best museums in China, housing an impressive collection of native art and ancient artefacts.
9. Jilong Little Great Wall Exactly what it says – a smaller outpost of the famous Great Wall.
4. Happy Valley of Chengdu An extremely popular amusement park, with roller coasters, water slides and hordes of tourists.
8. Floraland A slower-paced amusement park, with something for every age and every heart rate.
3. Mount Qincheng The steep, treacherous climb to the top makes the stunning view all the more worth it.
7. Wenshu Temple The busiest temple in Chengdu Province. Over 450 statues of Buddha line the walls.
2. Jinli Ancient Street The best-maintained street from the ancient city, it now houses an intriguing collection of antique stores.
6. Sichuan Opera Actually more cabaret than opera, with magicians, musicians and jugglers. Fun, but don’t expect a night of high culture.
1. Giant Panda Centre The largest of its kind in the world, this research facility promotes the breeding of the endangered animal.
- Dujiangyan Irrigation System – This ancient Chengdu irrigation system was built in the 3rd century BC.
- Jinli Ancient Street – Ancient Sichuan culture comes alive on this famous Chengdu street.
- Kuanzhai Ancient Street – This area of Chengdu showcases the ancient history and culture of the Qing dynasty.
- Dufu’s Home – This ancient home was the birthplace of one of Chengdu’s most famous residents.
- Luodai Ancient Town – Containing buildings that date back to the 17th century, this Chengdu attraction allows visitors to travel back in time.
Chengdu Art & Culture
- Jinsha Site Museum – This beautiful museum has some of the most important historical relics from the Chengdu area.
- Chengdu Culture Park -- This park is home to the famous Chengdu Lantern Festival, a time when the city is lit with traditional lanterns.
- Chengdu International Exhibition Centre – Many come to this Chengdu attraction just to see the beautiful architecture of the building itself.
- Chengdu Radio and TV Tower – This landmark can be seen from all over Chengdu.
- Green Ram Temple – This popular Chengdu temple shows the rich religious history of the area.
- Chunxi Road – The most flourishing pedestrian shopping area in Chengdu.
- Chengdu Lacquer Craft Factory – Many beautiful wooden products can be found at this popular Chengdu outlet.
- Chaotang Bei Lu Market – This Chengdu market is a great place to find unique gifts and genuine antiques.
- Qing Shi Qiao Art, Flower and Pet Market – This unusual Chengdu store features artworks, beautiful plants, flowers and pets.
- omen’s Market – This Chengdu market caters to women.
Gay & Lesbian Chengdu
- Beatles Bar – A favourite place to listen to great music.
- MC Club – This large Chengdu gay club features one of the city’s biggest dance floors.
- Mu Di Di – This gay club in Chengdu has a beautiful design and features nightly karaoke.
- Bian Zou – A cabaret club in Chengdu, which is a favourite among gays and lesbians.
- Journey of Romance Bar – One of the best spots in Chengdu for karaoke.
- Giant Panda Breeding Research Base – One of the most popular attractions in Chengdu.
- Mount Qincheng – This mountain provides beautiful natural scenery and a great place to take outdoor photos.
- Live Water Park – A great way to spend a day in the sun, this water park in Chengdu has many different activities.
- Renmin Park – One of the most popular places in the area for a stroll.
- Wangjiang Park – This park offers a chance to get away from city life for a nice walk.
- Play a game of squash at the Chengdu Sports Centre.
- Watch a swim meet at the Chengdu Aquatic Centre.
- Catch a football match at Chengdu Stadium.
- Get a workout at the Sichuan Gymnasium in Chengdu.
- Play all types of sports at the Moon Bay Sports Complex in Chengdu.
A celebration of an ancient myth surrounding a dragon, January’s Firedrake Festival features a lengthy procession and performances throughout the city.
March’s Chengudu Flower Fair is over 1,000 years old and celebrates both the blossoming flowers and the birthday of Lao Zi, the father of the Taoist religion.
The Lantern Fair kicks off in February with street performances and snack vendors, and ends brightly as thousands of lanterns are released into the night sky.
The Nanhe River plays host to a spectacular regatta in May for the Xinjin Dragon Boat Race. There are prizes for decoration as well as rowing skill.
One of the largest car shows in China, September’s Chengdu International Automobile Fair is worth seeing for an Eastern take on a very Western modern tradition.
When To Go
Chengdu has a subtropical monsoon climate, with heat and wetness often hitting at the same time – particularly in July and August.
Winter averages 5ºC (41ºF), but the wind chill makes it feel colder.
Spring is the most pleasant time to visit, with good weather and a calendar packed with festivals.
Chengdu has an extensive bus service servicing most major locations. Just memorise your bus number, bus route and location in Chinese.
Taxis are a cheaper and less stressful method of travelling, but you’ll need the address written down in Chinese.
The city is cycle-friendly, and bikes are a good option during the daytime hours.
The capital of Sichuan province is one of the key financial centers in China. The invariable favorite of the investment community, Chengdu is a desirable tourist destination as well. With a name that translates as "Land of Abundance", the city consistently ranks as one of the most livable in China.
As a place of human settlement, the roots of Chengdu go back over four millennia. Today the city stands out as a notable hub of culture, heritage architecture and historical monuments. For most first-time visitors, Mount Qingcheng is the one must-see attraction in Chengdu. The peak is the spiritual heart of Taoist study and contains many important temples and shrines. Together with the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, still in use today more than 2,000 years after construction, Mount Qingcheng is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Last but not least, no visit to Chengdu would be complete without a tour of the city's famous tea houses.
Attractions & Activities
Restaurants & Nightlife
Chengdu has a mild but humid climate, with hot summers and short, dry winters.
- Winter (December to February) 3-11°C
- Spring (March to May) 8-26°C
- Summer (June to September) 19-29°C
- Fall (October to November) 10-21°C
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