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Activities for Active Travellers in Chengdu

Four Girls Mountain Four Girls Mountain is a good place for hiking.

If you are in search of recreational activities as a way of fun or exercising while on a Chengdu tour, the options are limitless. They range from playing all kinds of sports, horseback riding, swimming, hiking, bowling, ice skating in winter, and kite flying especially in summer.

There are fitness centers cropping up everywhere in the city, since the Chinese are becoming more and more image-conscious. And, of course, you can keep fit the Chinese way by spending an hour or so each day learning martial arts. Here are some of the things to try if you are an active Chengdu traveler.

1. Swimming

Public Pools

Although public pools in China are overcrowded in summer, and hence many try the private options, the public ones are very cost effective.

  • Mengzhuiwan Swimming Pool has large sports pools that are even heated during winter.
  • Orchard Swimming Pool, is another public option, located near Section 4, Renmin Nanlu and close to Tongzilin. It charges only 20 yuan per time.
  • There is also a public pool at the Club Le Parc near No. 1 Hospital.

Hotels with Pools

Most private hotel pools in Chengdu are mainly for exercise rather than for family fun.

  • Jinjiang Hotel's pool is open to the public, and only charges 40 yuan per person.
  • The Shangri-La hotel where you must be a member of their health club to enjoy the services.
  • A popular place for tourists is the Orchard Villas pool.
  • Regal Master Hotel's swimming pool which has transparent floor and walls that can help you keep an eye on the Renmin Nanlu traffic!
  • Holiday Inn Chengdu Oriental Plaza near the Panda Center has a pool in the basement.
  • Kempinski Hotel Chengdu's basement pool opens daily from 10.00 a.m. However, you must have a membership to use Kempinski services. In addition to the large swimming pool, there is also the children’s pool, as well as two whirlpools, and a gym. You can choose to pay each time you go.

Other hotels that have indoor swimming pools include Ritz Carlton Chengdu, Crowne Plaza Chengdu, Shangri-La Hotel Chengdu, The St. Regis Chengdu, InterContinental Chengdu Global Center, and Sofitel Chengdu Taihe, among many others.

2. Hiking with Spectacular Views and Nature Trails

Mount Qingcheng Mount Qingcheng

There are myriad of options if you like hiking and doing nature trails. A popular hiking destination is Mount Qingcheng (inspiration for the recent Kung Fu Panda movie), which is to the southwest of Dujiangyan, with its ancient irrigation scheme and panda base. Each year, UNESCO World Heritage listed destination Dujiangyan attracts thousands of travelers from around the world.

You can also choose to hike and witness the beautiful sunrise at Mt. Emei. Options include sight seeing at Zhanglao Terrace, Chu Hall, Huayan Summit, Jiuling Mountain, and Zuantian Slope located on your way from Calming House to Elephant-Bathing Pool.

Another location for hiking and nature exploration is Four Girls Mountain. Read more on the Four Girls mountain and these three valleys in Chengdu.

You can also enjoy the colorful grassland and wild flowers while hiking and trekking on the Tagong Grassland, or witness the longest glacier (14.7 km) located in the Gongga Mountain Range in the Hailuogou Valley of Moxi Town. Read more about trekking at Gongga Shan.

Not to mention the beautiful valleys of Jiuzhaigou: Changping Valley, Double Bridges Valley (Shuangqiao Valley), and Haizi Valley.

3. Boating and Rafting

Dragon Boat FestivalYou could take part in a dragon boat race.

For some boating experience, try pedal boating on the adjacent lake. Chengdu Renmin Park (Address is 12 Shaocheng Road, Qingyang District, Chengdu 610015, China) and Bonsai garden are also places you can ride boats and do fishing.

Xinjin Dragon Boat Races are also held during the Dragon Boat Festival in Xinjin and you can either watch teams or participate.

There are also at least four good white water rafting locations around Chengdu.

4. Cycling

Cycling

You will have opportunity to see the natural beauty of Chengdu on a bike. You can rent a city bike to get around town, or mountain bikes for trips to the countryside or to specific tourist attraction sites. Some of the places to try biking in Chengdu include the Wenjiang trails, Gaowei Bike Park, and the LOHAS (Life of Health and Sustainability) Green Ways. Read more on biking and cycling places in Chengdu.

5. Jogging and Running in Chengdu

There are a number of tracks to run or jog along while in Chengdu. These include:

  • Along the Min River Chengdu: Although you need to be aware of a lot of traffic when crossing the roads, it is about 9.3 kilometers long and offers an interesting scenery.
  • Huanhuaxi park: Unlike the People's Park, this park is not usually crowded. It is also greener and larger than People's Park, and usually attracts runners. It is located next to the Du Fu’s Cottage. However, you are advised to go there and run or jog early before the park gets too busy. It is also possible to make loops around the nearby lake. Read more about Huanhuaxi park and other top parks in Chengdu.

6. Sports and Golfing

Golfing

If tennis, badminton or basketball is your thing — and provided you have players enough to get a game off the ground — you should check out Chengdu Sports Center: 11 Renmin Middle Road; open 8am to 10pm.

For golfing, try the Luxe Hills Golf and Country Club (address is 1188 Guanling Ave. Jintang Town, Chengdu City), or the Sichuan International Golf Club (address is Mu Ma Shan Development ZoneShuangliu Country, ChengduSichuan, 610026).

7. Bowling

But if you are looking for a bit of nighttime fun and exercise sessions, then either billiards or bowling is probably your ticket. Every major hotel has one or more billiard tables, and either billiard or pool tables can be found in expat bars such as the Shamrock Bar and Dave's Oasis.

There are a number of American-standard (AMF) bowling centers in Chengdu, and the number is increasing as the Chinese people discover how fun of the sport is, and the opportunity for active social interaction it provides. Below is a pretty exhaustive list of bowling halls in Chengdu.

  • California Bowling Center: 123 Shawan Road; open 9am–1am
  • Chengdu Bowling Hall: part of the Chengdu Minzu National Hotel, 78 Yongling Road (said to be an upmarket haunt that also incorporates a fitness center)
  • Olympics Bowling: 2F, Lidu Mansion, Section 3, Hongxing Lu; open 9:30am–midnight
  • Wandan Bowling Center: 2 Wandancang Road, open 9am–1am

8. Other Activities

Tianfu Square is a place to go if you enjoy dancing.

Stay Active While Touring Chengdu with China Highlights

Encounter with panda familiesKeep active looking after pandas and hiking at Panda Village on our Kung Fu Panda Tour.
  • 1-Day Kung Fu Panda Tour: Explore the natural beauty of Panda Village, meet panda families, and hike Mount Qingcheng
  • 4-Day History Tour of Chengdu will see you visit destinations that will allow you enjoy boat riding, hiking, doing nature trails and cable car riding in Chengdu.
  • Our 12-Day Essence of China Tour takes you to some of the key highlights in Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, and Yangtze, with the flexibility to keep active.