The city is home to the usual Chinese high-rise buildings and
residential blocks, but a sprinkling of flourishing parks injects a
colourful cheer to the proceedings. These are lined with
long-established teahouses, some of which are over a thousand years
old. From jasmine to exquisite green teas produced in the nearby
hills, Chengdu has long created liquid inspiration for writers and
travellers passing through.
Chengdu may be the gateway to the wider Sichuan region, but
before heading on you should immerse yourself in the city's many
cultural activities, The Chengdu and Sichuan Art Museums are packed
with relics and art, both old and new. Visit the Jinsha site and
learn about a major archaeological discovery made in 2001, while
browsing thousands of unearthed treasures.
If you fancy cooing over adorable giant pandas, Chengdu's Giant
Breeding and Research Base, on the outskirts of the city, is a firm
favourite. Early morning marks the best time to pay a visit. You'll
find the pandas happily munching away at their bamboo breakfast and
rolling around playing with each other in a carefully constructed
environment, designed to mimic their own natural habitat.
For those who like to spice up their life, there's nowhere
better to try the famously fiery Sichuan cuisine than in the
capital. The regional culinary style is famously busy with the
chilli but beware, even pro chilli fiends should proceed with
caution when trying Sichuan sizzling and spicy hot pots and stir
fries. You have been warned, and we can recommend the best
restaurants in town in which to test those taste buds.
If you're one for post dinner activities, this buzzing city has
plenty to keep your evenings occupied. Witness the psychedelic mask
changes in a traditional Sichuan opera, or head to one of many
modern bars and clubs in the city - enjoying Chengdu after dark is
a telling insight into local life.