Things to see and do in Chengdu
1. Visit Giant
Located just 6 miles (10 km) away from downtown Chengdu, this is the most convenient place for visitors to see the giant pandas at a close range.
2. Watch Magical Face Changing
Sichuan Opera (Chuan Ju) originated at the end of the Ming (1368-1644) and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). With immigrants flooding into Sichuan, different dramas were brought in to blend with the local dialect, customs, folk music and dances. Gradually, brisk humorous Sichuan Opera, reflecting Sichuan culture, came into being.
3. Visit Leshan
The Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya (a Bodhisattva usually represented as a very stout monk with a broad smile on his face and with his naked breast and paunch exposed to view) in sitting posture.
Wuhou Temple (Memorial Temple of Marquis Wu) was built in the 6th century in memory of the Emperor Liu Bei and the Prime Minister Zhuge Liang of the Shu Kingdom.
5. Visit Mount
It is a Taoist mountain located about 20 kilometers southwest of Dujiangyan City. It is also a very attractive and intriguing scenic spot that is covered by luxuriant and verdant trees.
6. Relish Chuan
Chengdu cuisine has three categories, Sichuan Cuisine, Hotpot, and Snack. Sichuan cuisine is famous for piquancy, but its flavoring is complex as well as hot.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months
after the expiry date of your visa and you’ll need at
least one entire blank page in your passport for the
visa. You may be required to show proof of hotel
reservations and onward travel from China, as well as a
bank statement showing you have $100 in your account for
every day you plan to spend in China.
A standard 30-day single-entry visa can be issued from most Chinese embassies abroad in three to five working days. Express visas cost twice the usual fee. In some countries (eg the UK and the US) the visa service has been outsourced from the Chinese embassy to a Chinese Visa Application Service Centre, which levies an extra administration fee. In the case of the UK, a single-entry visa costs £30, but the standard administration charge levied by the centre is a further £36.
A standard 30-day visa is activated on the date you enter China, and must be used within three months of the date of issue. 60-day and 90-day tourist visas are reasonably easy to obtain in your home country but difficult elsewhere. To stay longer, you can extend your visa in China at least once, sometimes twice.
Visa applications require a completed application form (available at the embassy or downloaded from its website) and at least one photo (normally 51mm x 51mm). You normally pay for your visa when you collect it. A visa mailed to you will take up to three weeks. In the US and Canada, mailed visa applications have to go via a visa agent, at extra cost. In the US, many people use the China Visa Service Center, which offers prompt service. The procedure takes around 10 to 14 days.
Hong Kong is a good place to pick up a China visa. However, at the time of writing only Hong Kong residents were able to obtain them direct from the Visa Office of the People’s Republic of China. Single-entry visas processed here cost HK$200, double-entry visas HK$300, while six-month/one-year multiple-entry visas are HK$500. But China Travel Service (CTS) and many travel agencies in Hong Kong can get you a visa in two to three working days. Expect to pay HK$650 for a single-entry visa and HK$750 for a double-entry. Both American and UK passport holders must pay considerably more for their visas.
Be aware that political events can suddenly make visas more difficult to procure or renew.
Getting To / Around in Chengdu
The city has one airport, the Shuangliu International Airport (CTU), in the southwest of the city. Located about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the city center, it is the largest aviation hub in central and western China, and aims to form the national aviation hub in mainland China. It has flights to more than 70 domestic cities and over 20 international cities. Frequent one-hour flights are available to Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province. Flights to Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, take about one and a half hours, with two-hour flights available to Lhasa, capital of Tibet. It is convenient to visit the Jiuzhaigou Scenic Spot by air, a 40-minute flight from CTU to Jiuhuang (Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong) Airport with one-way full fare of CNY 980, excluding departure tax and fuel surcharge. Visitors are advised to book flights early for this popular trip. Discounts may be available through hotels or travel agencies.
As the largest railway hub in southwest China, the city has convenient railway transportation. At present, it has three railway stations for passenger transport: Main Railway Station, namely North Railway station, East Railway Station, and South Railway Station. Another passenger railway station, west railway station is now under construction. When completed, the “two principals (north and east railway stations), two assistants (south and west railway stations)” setup of the city's rail transport will be formed and better service passengers.
Currently, Chengdu metro line 1, line 2, line 3, line 4 and line 10 are in operation, while line 5 and line 7 are under construction. Passengers can take line 1 from Shengxian Lake to Guangdu via North Railway Station, Tianfu Square, Sichuan Gymnasium, South Railway Station, Jincheng Plaza and other places in the city. Line 2 can take travelers to Chadianzi Bus Station, People's Park, Chunxi Road, East Railway Station, Institute of Public Administration and other areas. Line 3 runs between Taipingyuan and Military General Hospital, passing Chunxi Road, Chengdu Zoo, Xinnanmen Bus Station and Zhaojue Temple. Line 4 connects Xihe and Wansheng, passing some popular scenic areas like Wide and Narrow Alley, Sichuan Museum and Cultural Park. Chengdu metro line 10 phase one covers around 11 km (7 mi) and links Taipingyuan and Terminal 2 of Shuangliu International Airport encompassing 6 stations. According to the short-term plan, Chengdu plans to build more than 10 metro lines which would make the subway transport easily accessible to the city's major distribution centers.