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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.
Although public pools in China are overcrowded in summer, and hence many try the private options, the public ones are very cost effective.
Most private hotel pools in Chengdu are mainly for exercise rather than for family fun.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are a number of tracks to run or jog along while in Chengdu. These include:
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).
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.
Tianfu Square is a place to go if you enjoy dancing.