Located in the west of Sichuan basin China, with vast land, old times, long history, Chengdu enjoys the reputation of being a "Land of Abundance" since ancient times. Chengdu, as the capital of Sichuan province, has rich historical culture and fine natural landscapes and humanistic sceneries. Chengdu is also home to the Giant Panda Breeding Base, one of the most important centers for the captive conservation of the Giant Panda in the world.
l Must-See Tourist Attractions in Chengdu:
1. Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding:
Chengdu is the homeland of the Giant Panda, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is the world’s famous giant panda ex situ conservation base, scientific research and breeding base, public education base and educational tourism base. The Base is located at No. 1375 Outer North Panda Avenue, Chenghua District of Chengdu, and covering an area of about 247 acres, 10 kilometers from downtown Chengdu and about 30 kilometers from Shuangliu International Airport.
There are also another three giant panda bases situating in and around Chengdu: Dujiangyan Panda Base, Wolong Panda Research Center and Bifengxia Panda Base. From these three bases you could not only see the giant pandas and panda cubs, you can also take care of them as a Panda Keeper or Panda Volunteer.
The best time to visit giant panda bases is in the early morning, before 08:00AM at best. Or else, you may see a flood of tourists and inactive pandas. Feeding time is 08:30–10:00AM.
2. Chengdu City Around:
Chengdu is known as a relaxed and laid-back city. When visiting Chengdu, you will be influenced by its leisure pace of life: teahouses around the streets and lanes, Sichuan restaurants, hot pot restaurants, snack bars, etc.
As the landmark of Chengdu City, Chunxi Road lies at the center of Chengdu. It reveals the most prosperous and fashionable appearance of Chengdu. It’s the "3rd pedestrian street in China" with various stores, shopping malls, delicious food, snacks, and hotels.
Kuanzhai Alley :
Kuanzhai Alley or Wide & Narrow Alleys, situated in the Qingyang District of Chengdu city, consists of three paralleled streets: Kuan Alley (Wide Alley), Zhai Alley (Narrow Alley), and Jing Alley. Kuanzhai Alley is the most well-preserved ancient street of the Qing Dynasty in Chengdu, it enjoys equal popularity together with Daci Temple, Wenshu Monastery, so called Three Ancient Blocks. Kuanzhai Alley has been attracting millions of tourists by the typical buildings in ancient Qing style of quadrangle courtyard, with still maintaining the original looks for hundreds of years.
Jinli Ancient Street:
Located in the east of Wuhou Memorial Temple of Chengdu, Jinli Ancient Street was once the “The First Street of Shu Kingdom”, it’s also the well-known pedestrian commercial street in Chengdu. Jinli Ancient Street condensed the essence of life in Chengdu: Teahouse, inn, restaurant, bar, stage, delicacies, handicrafts, local products from which showing the unique glamour of The Three Kingdoms culture and Sichuan folk customs. It’s also a wonderful and picturesque place when strolling in the evening, with the fancy lanterns and the street performances.
Wuhou Memorial Temple, situated next to Jinli Ancient Street, also called Wu Hou Shrine, Wuhou Temple, it’s an ancestral temple in memory of Zhuge Liang, Liu Bei and other heroes in Shu of Three Kingdom. Built in 223 AD, Wuhou Memorial Temple is the unique Emperor’s tomb integrated with his prime minister’s shrine in one temple. Wuhou Memorial Temple has been listed in National 4A Scenic Spots and referred to Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit, the most Far-reaching Museum of Three Kingdoms Period and Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit, with its rich culture background, distinct Chinse style architecture and brilliant garden rich of spectacular vegetation.
With a history of some 1,400 years, Wenshu Monastery is one of China's most significant Buddhist centers. It’s situated in Qingyang District of Chengdu City, first built in Sui Dynasty and reconstructed in Qing Dynasty. Covering an area of more than 20 million square meters, Wenshu Monastery is one of the National Key Buddhist Monasteries determined by the state council, and the Key Cultural Relic Protection Unit in Sichuan Province. Its existing wooden buildings are the typical of the Western Sichuan Plain ancient architectures style. Wenshu Monastery is a Buddhist holy place which integrating Buddhist cultural relics, ancient garden construction, pilgrimage, sightseeing and religious study.
3. Chengdu Nearby Attractions:
Leshan Giant Buddha:
The Giant Buddha at Leshan Mountain in Sichuan Province of China, carved in the Tang Dynasty (618 A.D.-907 A.D.), is 71 metres high, making it the largest statue of Buddha in the world. Leshan Giant Buddha is a key scenic spot in Ermeishan mountain, locates in the east of the mountain and the joint of Minjiang River, Dadu River and Qingyi River. It was included by UNESCO on the list of World Heritage sites.
There are two ways to explore the Giant Buddha: walking and boating. It is recommended to visit in the morning, if you prefer to take a close-up view of the Giant Buddha, walking along the plank pathways you will appreciate the changing views from various angles of the Buddha, from head to foot, when from boating you will enjoy panorama and magnificent of the Buddha. Taking a boat trip will be highly recommended in the peak tourist season (July–October) to avoid the crowds, besides, it’s also a better choice for who are not so good at climbing.
4. Mount Emei:
Mount Emei is located in the southwestern part of the basin of Sichuan province, it is 7 kilometers away from Emeishan city, and Emeishan City is 156 kilometers from Chengdu, 34 kilometers from Leshan city.
The Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area, has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for both cultural and natural heritages, since 1996.
Being among the four mountains held sacred by Buddhists in China, Mount Emei is well known for its imposing, elegant, mystic and spirit. It’s famous for worshiping the Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. There are four great natural miracles on the mountain: Sunrise of Emeishan, Sea of clouds, The Buddha's halo, The vigil light. The Mt. Emei is consisting of four mountains, Da'e, Er'e, San'e and Si'e (meaning the four biggest mountains). Usually we talk about the Mount Emei is referred to the biggest one. Mount Emei is over 23 kilometers long, with an acreage of 115 square kilometers. The peak of Emeishan is 3099 meters over the sea level, but the plain on the foot of the mountain is on about 400 meters. It’s possessed both natural and cultural heritages, hence the reputation of Vegetable Kingdom, Animal Paradise and Geological Museum.
And if you’re energetic and would like to explore Mount Emei on your own, hiking will be a good choice, normally it takes about 2 days to climb to the mountain top from the front mountain side, and the scenery along the way is glorious while hiking from the backside of mountain to the golden summit only costs one day, but with less splendid sightseeing. There are also two cableways are available for visitors: the Wannian cableway and Golden summit cable way. The cable car costs about RMB65 up and RMB45 down, for peak seasons, RMB30 and 20 for off seasons. In additional, you could also take the jampan instead if you’re Lazy or with poorer strength, the price is not cheap, around RMB30-40/km, anyway you can bargain with the porters.
More about Mount Emei:
Recommended visit time: 2 or 3 days
RMB150/person (peak seasons 4th Jan-15th Dec)
RMB90/person (low seasons15th Dec -14th Jan )
Best visit time: Spring (March-April) & Autumn (September-October)
Best Viewing time:
Sunrise: 06:00 during summertime / 07:00 during wintertime
Sea of clouds: 9:00-10:00 & 15:00-16:00
The Buddha's halo: 9:00-10:00 & 15:00-16:00
The Vigil Light: The night of the end or beginning of every Chinese lunar month or sunshine after rain
Summer Escape: June- October
Winter Skiing: November-March
5. Mount Qingcheng:
Mount Qingcheng is located in the southwest of Dujiangyan City, Chengdu, Sichuan Province. It’s 68 kilometers east of Chengdu city, 10 kilometers southwest of the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, covering an area of 200 square kilometers and 1260 meters above sea level. Mount Qingcheng is the birth place of Taoism. It’s not only known in China as being one of the great mountains of Taoism, but also listed in UNESCO's World Culture Heritage. With verdant green forest, standing peaks and evergreen all the year, Mount Qingcheng is praised as one of the most peaceful
places under heaven.
More about Mount Qingcheng:
Peak Season (2nd March-30th November): 08:00-17:00
Low Season (1st December-1st March): 08:00-18:00
Recommended visit time: 2 days
Entrance fee: RMB90/person
6. Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area:
Located in Nanping County, Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province, Jiuzhaigou Valley, is well known for being the World Natural Heritage, National Scenic Spots and Historical Sites, National 5A Tourist Attractions，National Nature Reserves and National Geological Park.
Jiuzhaigou Valley literally means “Nine Village Valley”, it is named after the nine Tibetan villages scattered throughout the scenic area. With green lakes, stunning waterfalls, colorful forest, snow-capped mountains, Tibetan customs and blue ice, Jiuzhaigou is simply a fairyland on earth!
There are over 220 bird species found in Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserve and also a number of endangered plant and animal species, including the giant panda, Sichuan golden monkey and the Sichuan takin. Besides, there are 74 species of rare plants and 18 species of animals under National Protections.
Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area was closed since August,2017, due to the earthquake and mudslides, and reopened on 1ST October,2019. Regarding its popularity and it limited 5000 Entrance tickets selling each day. Shuzheng Valley, Rize Valley, Zechawa Valley and Zaru Valley are the four hot touring routes, with highlights of Shuzheng Lake, Five flower Lake, Pearl Shoal Waterfall, Nuorilang Waterfall, Five Colored Pond, The Reed Lake, Long Lake, Zharu Temple.
Best visit time:
Whenever you visit Jiuzhaigou Vallley, you’ll experience unique scenery of it. However, Jiuzhaigou Valley in autumn (September and October) will be the best visit time with its most gorgeous scenery.
May 1–November 15: 7:00am to 7:00pm
November 16– April 30: 8:00am to 6:00pm
Peak Season (April 1–November 15): RMB220/person
Low Season (November 16 – March 31): RMB80/person
7. Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area:
Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area is known as a mountain fairyland, and famous for its colored pool, snow mountain, canyon and forest. It was listed on the World Nature Heritage Site List in 1992. It’s located in the Huanglong Village, Songpan County, Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province, and 100 kilometers from Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic Area, 43 kilometers from the airport.
Best visit time: From April to November
Peak Season (1st April-15th November): RMB190/person
Low Season (16th November – 31st March): RMB80/person
Cable car: RMB80/person for up, and RMB40/person for down
l Best time to visit Chengdu:
With a subtropical monsoon climate, Chengdu has an early spring, hot summer, cool autumn and warm winter. The best time to visit Chengdu is spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November), when to enjoy pleasant temperatures and clear weather. From June to August in Chengdu, it gets very hot and steamy, and sees a lot of rainfall in the summer. Winter (December to February) in Chengdu is humid and cold. So it’s better to avoid to visit Chengdu during summer and winter.
l How to get to Chengdu:
Travelers have a lot of choices for travelling to Chengdu.
Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is located in Shuangliu county, southwest suburb of Chengdu city, 16 kilometers from the city center. It’s one of the main hub airports in southwest China, with flights from/to most provinces and cities in China, like Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guilin, Kunming, Lijiang, Shangri-La, Guiyang, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macau and Taipei, and main destinations in Sichuan like Jiuzhaigou, Daocheng, and Aba Hongyuan. Besides, most flights leaving for Lhasa are taking off from this airport, making it the gateway of western China. Moreover, there are flights from/to most Asia and Europe countries.
There are two Terminals in Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. Terminal 1 is mainly for international and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan flights, while terminal 2 is for domestic flights.
It’s convenient to transfer around from the airport, there are expressways connected to Chengdu city, and airport shuttle bus, subway, local bus, taxi or long-distance coach from other cities nearby are also the good choice for travelers.
Subway Line 10 is the most convenient and efficient way to travel between the airport and the city, with running time at 06:05am-23:05pm.
Travel by Hight Speed Train around China is popular and convenient way, and Chengdu is will be no exception. As the largest railway hub in southwest China, there are four railway stations in Chengdu:
Chengdu East Railway Station:
As Chengdu’s main station, it’s located 10 kilometers from the downtown area. High-speed trains here runs to/from Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, Xi'an, Hangzhou, Chongqing, Leshan, and Emeishan.
Chengdu Railway Station:
It’s also called North Railway Station by locals. It is about 5 kilometers from the city center. This station serves regular trains running to many large cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Lhasa, Hangzhou, Kunming, and Guilin, and some bullet trains operating to Shanghai, Wuhan, Chongqing, Dujiangyan, and a few other cities.
Chengdu South Railway Station:
Intercity High Speed Trains are mainly leaving for Mianyang, Leshan from this station.
Chengdu West Railway Station:
This station mainly serves bullet trains running from Chengdu to Ya’an.
Chengdu is the largest highway hub in southwest China, with 6 national highways intersection, including National Highway 108 and 319. The most widely-use Bus Btations by tourists are Chadianzi Bus Station and Chengdu Xinnanmen Station. Buses are departing here to the popular tourist sites nearby, such as the Leshan Giant Buddha, Mount Emei, Jiuzhai Valley, and Mount Qingcheng, Daocheng, Hailuogou and Ruoergai.
l About the Visa:
Visa-free travel in Chengdu is made possible now! From Jan 1st2019, Chengdu has been implementing the 144 Hour Transmit Visa-Free Policy, visitors qualified of 53 countries could travel in Chengdu for 144 hours without visa. Please go and enjoy your 1-6 days Chengdu tours.
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