Welcome to Chengdu
Located in the fertile plains of the Sichuan Province's Red
Basin, Chengdu acts like such a small town that it can be easy to
forget it's one of China's largest cities. With nicknames like
'Heavenly State', 'City of Hibiscus' and 'Land of Milk and Honey',
it is no wonder that Chengdu is also ranked as one of its most
Still a hidden gem for many tourists in China, Chengdu lacks the
famous historical sites that draw crowds to tourist magnets
Beijing, Changhai and Xi'an. This doesn't mean that the city lacks
historical importance though, as it was the site of origin for the
Bronze culture, the Southern Silk Road, and printed the first paper
currency. Chengdu is full of history, and visitors can visit
attractions like the Wenshu Monastery, Wuhou Memorial Temple, Tomb
of Wang Jian, Green Ram Temple, and the Thatched Cottage of the
ancient poet Du Fu.
Chengdu is an important culinary destination in China, and
visitors can attend traditional Chinese tea ceremonies at many
teahouses, including Wenshu Monastery and Guanghe Chalou. The food
in Chengdu is some of the best in the region, offering fiery
Sichuan dishes like hotpots, Chongqing duck neck, and spicy dragon
prawns from roadside carts or stylish restaurants.
The top attraction in Chengdu, however, is located in the lush
valleys surrounding the town. The Chengdu Panda Breeding and
Research Center is the world's only centre of its kind, and offers
one-of-a-kind opportunities to see pandas and their cubs.
Chengdu makes a great base for exploring the Sichuan Province,
and is within easy distance of the Giant Buddha of Leshan, Mount
Qingcheng, and the Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area. It is also a convenient
stopover on travels to Tibet, as there are daily flights to
Information & Facts
The official language is Mandarin Chinese, but there are
hundreds of local dialects.
The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY). The Yuan
is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. Make sure you exchange
your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can
be exchanged only within China's borders. Travellers cheques,
preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in
cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. The larger
hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners
will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit
cards are accepted in the main cities at various establishments,
but outside the major cities acceptance is limited. ATMs are scarce
outside the main cities.
Local time is GMT +8.