Guest Post: My Favourite Things to Do in Chengdu
Located in Sichuan Province, Southwest of China, Chengdu is world famous for being the home of the Giant Panda and you won’t be able to forget it as the city has a recurrent theme of pandas throughout, you’ll be able to spot a panda anywhere you go! Even though the pandas are very cute of course, this city has so much more to offer. If you want to increase your spice level, then Chengdu is the place to go, as the renowned Sichuan spice is one of the spiciest in the world, found in food all over the city, especially in hot pots!
It is obvious that this city is constantly growing and expanding as there are skyscrapers popping up everywhere you look and new metro lines being built in every direction below the ground. Chengdu has received much praise recently for being such a thriving and booming city in China. The city was announced as the best-performing economy of any Chinese city, having overtaken technology hub Shenzhen, the previous holder of that title.
Chengdu was listed as one of the happiest cities in China in 2019 and has appeared in the top 10 happiest cities in China 11 times. Who wouldn’t want to visit one of the happiest cities in China?
Here are the top 5 things to do in Chengdu:
1. Explore People’s Park
Sichuan people are famous for their laid-back attitude, giving the city a very relaxed feel to it compared to the craziness of other big cities in China such as Shanghai. The laid-back lifestyle is particularly evident in people’s park, a hotspot for the older generation to visit, where you can find an abundance of activities happening. From drinking tea in one of the many Tea Houses, playing musical instruments, writing calligraphy on the ground and many group dances.
If you visit at the weekend you may be lucky enough to see the singles market where parents post photos and information about their children in hope to find them a potential partner!
You can also hire a boat and row around the lake in the center of the park, to have an exciting experience and see the park from a different perspective.
2. Visit Jinli Street
Jinli street was listed in CNN Travel World’s 21 Most Beautiful Streets in 2019 for its unique traditional Chinese characteristics.
Jinli is a thriving street day and night, being the perfect place to pick up some impressive traditional tourist gifts to take home, try some unique Sichuan street food and watch some interesting performances, from shadow shows to musical and dance performances. You can wander around this lively street for ages exploring all it has to offer and taking in all the traditional surroundings.
3. Chunxi Road
Chengdu’s most renowned and busiest shopping area is not to be missed. Even if you’re not looking to make any purchases it’s an exciting area to explore as it’s always busy and there’s so much to see. The IFS shopping mall located in Chunxi Road has many international luxury brands including Chanel, Moncler, Balenciaga, Dior and many more.
IFS is iconic in Chengdu as it unsurprisingly has a Panda hanging over the walls; you can see the back half of the panda from outside the building and can see the panda’s face when on top of the building, which you can access through IFS.
4. Wenshu Monastery
If you’d like to visit a more cultural attraction in Chengdu then Wenshu Monastery is perfect as it is known to be the best preserved Buddhist temple in the city.
The grounds of the Monastery are peaceful and full of beautiful gardens with a turtle pond making it a lovely area to take a relaxing walk around, especially on a warm day. Just outside the Monastery grounds you will find a unique antiques market where you can discover some fascinating ancient Chinese collectables.
5. Chengdu Panda Base
Last but not least, it wouldn’t be a list of the top things to do in Chengdu without featuring the famed Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding – you can’t visit Chengdu and not visit the pandas!
Here you can see many Giant Pandas going about their daily life, which normally involves enjoying some bamboo, playing around with each other or relaxing. You can also see red pandas, and if you’re really lucky, there may be some cute baby pandas to obsess over. There are lots of restaurants available outside the panda base to grab a bite to eat.
Alongside all of these attractions in Chengdu, there are always many events going on in the city from countless networking events to sporting and music activities, there’s something for everyone. There’s also a big population of teachers, expats and international students.
Chengdu is a city you could never get bored in, however, if you ever fancy a weekend out of the city it’s ideally located for exploring big nearby cities via train, such as Xi’an and Chongqing!
This guest post comes from new Opportunity China staff member, Emily, who lived and worked in Chengdu for 3 months and fell in love with the city!
Are you interested in teaching and living in Chengdu? View our Job Board, or learn more about the 2020 Teach China Graduate Program.
Read another blog about Chengdu here: GUEST POST FROM CHENGDU: PANDA PILGRIMS AND RABBIT HEADS