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Chengdu Travel Guide

jiuzhaigou valley scenicJiuzhaigou Valley Scenic

Chengdu, in southwest China’s Sichuan province, adjoins Tibet to the west. It is the most popular gateway to Tibet. Although there are flights to Tibet from other cities in China, the most frequent and reliable flight service to Lhasa, capital of Tibet, is from Chengdu.  

Chengdu is a popular tourist city in China. Most travelers come to Chengdu for the giant panda and the city’s old culture. A 5-day trip is enough if you only want to see the pandas, the Giant Buddha in Leshan, and temples in the city. This is the most popular route that most travelers choose. See our 5-Day Chengdu Panda Trip

The areas to the west of Chengdu offer breathtaking natural scenery. Jiuzhaigou National Park and Huanglong National Park are well-known for their clean lakes, waterfalls, colorful ponds, snow-mountains, and gorges.  The Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou travel route is one of China’s best scenic itineraries. Another off-the-beaten path to cover the stunning scenery in the region is from Chengdu to Daocheng and Yading. This is a popular photography travel route.

Planning a Chengdu Trip

Travelers comes to Chengdu firstly for the giant pandas and the Buddhist temples on Mt. Emei.

Highlights You Should Not Miss:

    panda breeding and research centre  deliciousA giant panda in Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Base
  • Cute giant pandas — you can even work as a panda keeper!
  • Mt. Emei for its Buddhist culture and mountain views
  • The Giant Buddha in Leshan, the largest Buddha statue in the world
  • Enjoy a cup of tea in a local teahouse with local people

How to Arrange Your Itinerary

The First Day: Arrive in Chengdu. Have a cup of tea at a riverside tea house; and enjoy local Sichuan opera while having your tea.

The Second Day: Visit the giant panda center and get close to the delightful pandas, then walk along Chengdu’s Kuanzhai (‘Wide-Narrow’) Lane, a old street with lively local life.

The Third Day: Visit the Giant Buddha in Leshan.

leshan giant buddhaThe Giant Buddha

The Fourth Day: Visit Mt. Emei. Take in its Buddhist culture and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery.

See China Highlights' best selling 5-day Chengdu tour, or let's help customize a tour for you.

Planning Your China Tour Including Chengdu

For a first time trip you may not want go to Chengdu as there are more popular places to go, like Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, and Guilin. Chengdu is a good second time destination, which is not as popular and crowded as Beijing and Xi’an.

A classic China Chengdu tour is to enter by Shanghai, then fly to Chengdu, and then to Guilin and Yangshuo, exiting via Hong Kong. This is a natural route, combining some of the best natural and manmade sights in China.

Other popular options are combining Chengdu with a Tibet visit or a Yangtze cruise, as Chengdu is the most popular and bookable air gateway to Tibet, and also near Chongqing. The more popular downstream Yangtze cruises start in Chongqing. A Chengdu route with a Yangtze cruise and Tibet is quite expensive, as it combines two relatively expensive options.

See below the most popular China tours including Chengdu.

Chengdu Travel Tips

Post Offices

  • Zip Code: 610000
  • Shuwa Street Post Office: 25 Shuwa North Street, Chengdu
  • Mengzhuiwan Post Office: 346 Shuanglin Road, Chengdu
  • Shawan Post Office: 71 Shawan New Road, Chengdu
  • Yiguanmiao Post Office: 6 Yongfeng Road, Chengdu

Currency Exchanges

You'd better exchanges your currency in Bank of China, or the Hotel you stay in. Don't trust any peddler in the street who provides you the service, as they may give you counterfeit currency.

Useful Telephone Numbers

  • Tourism: 028-96927, 028-86622065, 028-86764621 (Fax)
  • Public Bus: 028-85073535, 028-85076868
  • Taxi: 028-86636630

Cyber Cafes

You can find cyber cafes all around the streets and lanes of Chengdu, especially around colleges and universities. The charge is CNY 1.5 to CNY 2 per hour. If you don't bring your laptop to China, these cyber cafes can be one of your choices to get in touch with your friends and families.