Chengdu City Profile
Often compared to Beijing for its wide boulevards and upscale department stores, Chengdu is actually much more down-to-earth than the larger city. As a long-time home to artisans such as basket weavers, cobblers, and tailors, Chengdu is a fascinating city to explore for its variety of markets and for its older, wooden houses that hang over boulevards in older parts of the city.
Chengdu is in west China, and is the capital of Sichuan province.
Chengdu can get very hot in the summer, with temperatures beyond 90°F/32°C, although its proximity to the Tibetan highlands can sometimes bring a cool breeze. Winters are cold, but spring and autumn are more pleasant.
It is possible to fly between Chengdu and many destinations in China, including Beijing, Chong-qing, Guangzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Kunming, Lhasa, Nanjing,
Shanghai, and Urumqi. It is also possible to get a direct flight to Hong Kong. There are bus stations, from which buses depart to most areas of the country. Train routes will take you to most major cities, but buying a ticket can be tricky.
Taxis, buses, and bicycles, which are abundant and cheap, are the best options for getting around town.
Places of Interest
Chengdu is home to Wenshu Monastery, a Buddhist place of worship that dates back many centuries. There are also a few interesting temple parks within cycling distance of the center of town, including Wenhua Park. Interesting museums include the Sichuan Museum and the Suchuan University Museum. If you are into pandas, visit the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, which is a breeding ground for many types of pandas and has a lot of information in English on the animals.
Some travelers have been the victims of crime in Chengdu, but fortunately few reports have been of a violent nature. Be particularly careful on the path that runs along the river between the Jinjiang and Traffic hotels, avoid walking
alone late at night, and take special care of any bag or purse that you carry onto a crowded bus.