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Chengdu

Travel Guide Asia China Sichuan Chengdu

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Introduction

Chengdu 'Take Away'

Chengdu 'Take Away'

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Chengdu (成都), the capital of the Sichuan province, is steeped in history dating back thousands of years. In the early 4th century AD, the 9th Kaiming king of the ancient Shu moved his capital to the city's current location from today's nearby Pixian. The name Chengdu was given to the city, meaning "become a capital".

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Sights and Activities

  • The Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre is easily accessible by tour (around 70 RMB per person including entrance fee) and is bookable in any hostel. You can wander around, seeing pandas munching bamboo and lazing around, you can also have your picture taken with pandas, but this is a rather extortionate amount of money (around 2000 RMB)!
Panda!

Panda!

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  • Chengdu Opera is famous for it's 'changing faces' perfomance, and often also features fire eaters and unusual light arrangements; The shows are almost performed on a daily basis and tickets can be booked through hostels.
  • Leshan Buddha the biggest Buddha can be visited on a day trip from Chengdu. It will take you the best part of 3 hours to travel there and the same back but it is well worth the journey. The easiest way to do this trip is to head to the south bus station in Chengdu. inside buy a ticket to Leshan (costing about 44 Yuan each way) this is a straight highway bus taking you direct to Leshan this part of the journey is about 2 hours and leaves the south bus station every half hour. After you arrive in Leshan you need to get the number 13 bus that stops infront of the station by the water fountain this will cost you 1 yuan and take you on a nice sceninc tour through the city this takes a little over 30 minutes be careful not to get off at the pier for the boat trip the Buddha itself is further down the road you can't miss it there are signs everywhere. Then get off and enjoy. Reverse for the journey back.
  • Sichuan Cooking Lessons the province is famous for its spicy dishes, so if you love to cook this is a must. Classes can be booked through hostels.
  • Chengdu Tea Houses China is famous for its tea houses and Chengdu has the best tea houses in China. The tea house in People's Park is the most famous, located on the shore of a lake, amidst green swaying trees.

Further A Field

  • Jiuzhai Valley National Park is a 45-minute flight from Chengdu or 10 hours scenic bus ride. In the north of Sichuan, in the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Jiuzhai Valley and Huanglong UNESCO World Heritage Sites are said by many to be China's most picturesque sites. Home to the giant panda, Sichuan golden monkey and Sichuan takin among 300+ others, this is one of South West China's most important biodiversity zones.

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Weather

The best time to visit Chengdu is from March to June and from September to November, however with a warm climate and average temperature of 15 °C-16 °C, Chengdu remains pleasant and relatively dry the year round. Summers can be hot though with temperatures over 30 °C.

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Getting There

By Plane

Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) is located 16 kilometres from downtown Chengdu and is one of the biggest and fastest growing airports in China. There are dozens of airlines serving both Chinese cities as well as destinations in the eastern part of Asia, like Macau, Hong Kong, Japan, Bangkok and South Korea. The only destination further away is Amsterdam, served by KLM.

By Train

There is one train a day to Lhasa, depending on the time of the year. Chengdu is also well connected to Xian, with connections onwards to Beijing. The journey takes around 16 hours overnight.

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Getting Around

Travel Agents

  • Tibet F.I.T. Tianxian North Road 3, Soho 3rd Floor Of Commercial Building, Mobile:13708059757, email: davidliu333@hotmail.com. If looking to arrange travel to Tibet this is a good travel agency with its main office in Lhasa and another office in Chengdu.

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Eat

The Sichuan province is well known for its spicy food and you will have lots of delicious options to choose from in Chengdu. The food can be quite spicy, however If you are used to authentic Indian or Thai food, this should not be a problem. The spiciest food in Chengdu is hotpot, basically a big pot of soup and spices simmering in a hole in the middle of your table.

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Sleep

Budget

Travellers rating of these accommodations and many others include:

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Chengdu Dreams International Hostel242 Chengdu Wuhouci Road(Opposite the Wuhou TempleHostel81
Chengdu Mix Hostel (Backpacker's Guesthouse)#23 Xing Hui Xi Lu Rd.Hostel89
Chengdu Sam's GuesthouseNo.130 Shanxijie StreetGuesthouse78
Dragon Town International Youth Hostel26 Kuan Xiang Zi Street, ChengduHostel84
Holly's HostelNo.246Wuhouci DajieHostel83
Jinjiang Inn (N) Chengdu WenShuFangNo. 3 Yinsi Rd, QingyuanHotel87
Sim's Cozy Garden Hostel(Guesthouse)No.211, Section 4, First Ring Road NorthHostel85
The Loft Design HostelNo.4 Xiao Tong Xiang, Tong Ren Road, ChengduHostel85
Wenjun Mansion Hotel180# Qintai street Chengdu city Sichuan province,Hostel85
Chengdu Traffic Inn (Hostel)#6 Lin Jiang Zhong Lu Jing Jiang DistrictuHostel87
Chengdu Lazybones Backpacker Boutique Hostel16#, Yang Shi JieHostel88
Nova Traveller's LodgeNo.10 Taishengbei RoadHostel87
Nature BC HostelNo. 5 Er Duan of Middle Renmin RoadHOSTEL-
Cici's HouseRoom 308, block 3, building 3, Xin lv jiGUESTHOUSE-
Mr. Panda Hostel107# Zhengfu Jie Qingyang DistrictHOSTEL85
Blacksmith HostelNo.10 Wenhua Road Baiguolin DistrictHOSTEL-
No.48 International Youth hostelNo.48 zhimin Road,wuhou ,chengduHOSTEL-
Chengdu Dengba HostelNO.15, Yonglinglu, ChengduHOSTEL-
Chengdu Teahouse Garden HostelNo.28 Meng Zhui Wan Street, Chengdu,Sichuan,ChinaHOSTEL-
The Better Accommodation2nd Floor,QiWu Building No.12 South Section 4 of No. 1 Ring Road, ChengduHOSTEL-
Nice House HostelBuilding No.31, Xin Er Cun,Xiti Roa JingNiu district,HOSTEL80
Chengdu Flipflop Lounge HostelNo.98, Dongsheng StreetHOSTEL89
Chengdu Country Village HouseYuanjiang Village Qingcheng Shan DujiangyanGUESTHOUSE-
Steam HostelNo. 30 Wu Hou Ci Street Inside Sichuan Chemical Industry Designing InstituHOSTEL-
Chengdu Free Guys HostelNo 55, Dongjiaochang Street Jinjiang DistrictHOSTEL84

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Keep Connected

Internet

Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.

Post

China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 30.67
  • Longitude: 104.071022

Contributors

as well as LauraChina (13%), loubylou (9%), Nick.t (6%), Hien (5%), Lavafalls (4%), Peter (3%), JZG (1%), Sander (1%)

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Chengdu Travel Helpers

  • PandaSis

    I traveled here alone last year and worked as a volunteer in a Panda reserve so can tell you what's good to visit here and how to organize trips in the surrounding area.

    Ask PandaSis a question about Chengdu

This is version 45. Last edited at 7:56 on Aug 21, 13 by Utrecht. 28 articles link to this page.

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