Chengdu in China may be the start point for our amazing Panda Volunteer Experience, but did you know that it is also home to a whole host of other amazing sights and attractions? We know that a trip to China will be a once in a lifetime journey for many of our volunteers, so we wanted to help you learn more about how you can make your trip to Chengdu unforgettable and really make the most out of your time in this amazing city. Here are our top 10 things to do in and around Chengdu!
Guosetianxiang Theme Park
Locally known as Floraland, this theme park is based in Wenjiang City just outside of Changdu and it is the perfect place to spend a day. There are around 40 rides here and if it is a hot day you can even cool down by paying a visit to the section of the park that is filled with water rides! Ticket prices for Guosetianxiang are very reasonable, and if you want to pay it a visit it is a 45 minute journey from Chengdu city centre.
Mount Qingcheng is found North West of Chengdu and it is home to some of the most spectacular sights in the entire area. This mountain can be divided into two parts, the anterior and the posterior. The anterior section of the mountain plays host to the main scenic attractions and covers and area which is approximately 15 kilometres square. Within this area you will find an abundance of cultural relics and historical sites, amongst them is Jianfu Palace and the Tianshi Cave. Mount Qingcheng can be reached via trains and busses from Chengdu city centre.
Wenshu Yuan Monastery
In a country which has a rich a varied history it is hard to decide which elements of it to see on a visit here, but the Wenshu Yuan Monastery should make that list. This is a location within which you are able to soak up the traditional elements of Chinese culture and watch the local monks as they go about their daily business. Many people have described this as the ideal place to stop and think about your surroundings, so if you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life in Chengdu for a moment or two, this is the place to go to.
Jinli Pedestrian Street
Jinli is an ancient street dating back over 2000 years to the Qin-Han dynasty in Chengdu. Nowadays the street is home to a selection of food and souvenir shops, and this is the place to gather at night-time in the city! You’ll be able to try a wide selection of traditional Chinese street food here, and the lanterns that adorn the walkway are perfect for a photography session!
Wuhou Memorial Temple
This temple is set back from the busy main streets of Chengdu and it is supposedly the final resting place of Lui Bei, the famed emperor during the 3 kingdoms period in China thousands of years ago. Wuhou is located very close to the Jinli street market mentioned above, so it is extremely easy to combine both of these wonderful attractions into one day! We recommend that you do a little research on the history of the site before visiting though to truly appreciate the historical significance of this location.
Du Fu Cottage
Du Fu was a famous Chinese poet who lived during the Tang Dynasty, and as the name of the cottage implies it was his home! Du Fu built the original cottage in 760ad and during his four years in the house he composed over 240 poems that are now considered to be national treasures. As you can imagine, the house suffered in the 1300 or so years that have passed since it was inhabited by Du Fu, and nowadays the building is a shrine to Chinese literature and has a commemorative museum in the form of a traditional garden.
Chengdu Opera House
Opera began in Chengdu during the time of the Qing Dynasty from (1644 to 1911) and since then it has become an important part of the local culture. You will be able to take in the incredible sights of the opera at the Shufeng Sichuan Opera House, and the performances are bright, colourful and most importantly quite cheap! Performances start at 8 every night, so you have plenty of chances to enjoy the show.
Tianfu Square is one of the busiest areas in Chengdu and it is a great place to really soak up the local atmosphere. The square is home to a whole host of attractions, and as they are so close together you will be able to squeeze a lot in during a day trip here. The attractions which can be found in the square (which is actually circular in shape!) include the Sichuan Science and Technology Museum, the Sichuan Art Gallery, Chengdu Museum, the Imperial Mosque, and plenty of shopping malls for you to explore and purchase a souvenir or two in!
Huan Huaxi Park
This park is the biggest in the whole of Chengdu and it combines the modern designs of the various gardens with the deep historical culture of the surrounding area. Poetry is a strong theme throughout the park, and you will see this reflected in the various statues that can be found dotted throughout the large open spaces. Huan Huaxi is also home to a large population of Egrets which can be seen fishing on Egret Island, so bring your binoculars!
Eat All Of The Food!
From the various street markets through to the selection of wonderful cafes and restaurants that can be found throughout the city, the food in Chengdu is something that should be thoroughly enjoyed. Here you will be able to experience a selection of some of the finest food China has to offer, so no matter what your taste buds prefer you will find something to enjoy.
There are a couple of other activities and places that we couldn’t fail to mention, and they will help to add a bit of variation to your stay in Chengdu. First up we have the Teddy Bear Museum, which as you can probably imagine is home to an awful lot of Teddy Bears, and this is the perfect place to spend an hour or two, with or without children! You should also pay a visit to one of the many tea houses in Chengdu, as this is where you will get the chance to experience authentic Chinese tea in a picturesque location.
There is a lot to do in Chengdu, and our list is only scratching the surface. If you have anything else you would like to add then please let us know and we will update the piece, but until then we wish you the best of luck exploring this incredible city.
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