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Chengdu is the provincial capital and largest city of Sichuan Province in southwest China.
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Points of Interest in Chengdu
- Kuanzhaixiangzi (宽窄巷子). Very nice place with lots of (expensive) tea houses, restaurants and local snacks. Great for relaxing. Streets date from late Qing-dynasty style but are rebuilt recently. Free government Wi-Fi in this place.
- Tianfu Square (天府广场) (In the center of Chengdu). This square, overlooked by an enormous Chairman Mao statue in the center of the city, has been spruced up. Every evening at dusk, as well as at noontime, an elaborate water show, synchronized to music, bursts out from the square's fountains. Below the square is the hub of Chengdu's subway system.
- People's Park (人民公园) (It located in the west of Tianfu Square which has two blocks between them, 15 mins walking distance.). This park is a important entertainment place for Chengdu citizen. Every day, especially the holidays, there are many local people in it, that means tourist can find the real leisure life of Chinese old people. They are singing and dancing in separate groups. If you follow the sound, you can find them. Some practice calligraphy with water on the floor around a monument in the north-western corner of this park. Some parents take their unmarried children's information here to find potential candidates. There are many tea houses here, where local people drink tea and play majong. The average price of one cup of tea is ￥10. There also is a Sichuan snack restaurant, Zhong's Dumpling(钟水饺). Besides dumplings, you can find almost all famous Sichuan snacks in it, at fair prices. This park has no entry fee.
- Sichuan Science and Technology Museum (四川科技馆) (Take a taxi or bus to Tianfu Sq and walk to the large building directly behind the Chairman Mao statue). This huge four-storey museum is filled with interactive exhibits about science, aerodynamics, space, mathematics, robotics and physics. Children will love the interactive displays and indoor playground on the 4th floor. Adults will appreciate the descriptions in both English and Chinese. Everyone will love the crowd-pleasers like the robotic orchestra and walk-through maps of Sichuan's waterways. During weekdays this museum can either be overrun by local school groups or be so deserted it's almost creepy. Closed on Mondays. Overall, quite good value for money, especially on a rainy day. ¥30, free for children.
- Chengdu Zoo (成都动物园) (In the north of the city near the Panda Research Base). Offers all the typical animals that one might expect in a zoo (elephant, tigers, giraffes, monkeys, as well as panda bears). While the zoo itself is large and spread out, some of the cages are woefully small and the facility seems understaffed. Might be good for a family to visit. The zoo has vendors selling Chinese snacks as well as some carnival type rides. ¥12.
- Sichuan University Museum (四川大学博物馆; Sichuan Daxue Bowuguan), Wangjiang Rd (望江路) (About a 15 min ride from Xinnanmen bus station or a 40 minute walk), ☎ +86 028 85412313. 9AM-5PM. Excellent display of local artifacts and is worth while way of spending an hour or two. The museum is one of the better in China and there are four floors of well lite, air conditioned displays with decent English translations. Starting in the basement, enter the first room where dozens of stone carvings dating from the Han dynasty to the Tang are on display. The room next door has a moderately interesting display on the museum's history and numerous examples of ancient bronzes and stone age artifacts. The first floor is mostly artifacts from the Ming and Qing dynasty, including furniture, silk clothing, and an interesting display of leather puppets. The second floor has the perhaps the most engaging display: artifacts and daily use items from ethnic minority groups in China's southwest, including Tibetans, Miao, Yi, Qiang, Jianpo and Naxi. The third floor has a decent display of calligraphy scrolls, paintings, and ceramics. The museum is currently closed after the city changed the location of several universities. Plans are pending for a new museum to be built. ¥30 (students ¥10).
- Sichuan Opera (四川歌剧院). Most guest houses and travel agencies offer to arrange visits to these traditional shows. It is more like a burlesque cabaret than an actual opera, sometimes including magicians, traditional musicians, shadow plays, comedy (spoken in Chinese though), and dancers besides the traditional pieces. Of course the most famous is never omitted: quick face-changing and fire spitting performed by dancers clad in colourful traditional costumes. You will follow the story sitting at your table, sipping on your constantly refilled tea cup and nibbling some salted snacks. Note that there are many teahouses in the city that offer the show every night. Try the local favorite at Shu Feng Ya Yun (蜀风雅韵) teahouse located in Chengdu Culture Park (文化公园) on Qintai Road (it is beside Qingyang Temple). You will be seated on a covered open ground (cooled by fan; no A/C), which is actually the center of the traditional teahouse building. You might have to book in advance or just ask the concierge of your hotel to book it for you. ¥150 back rows; ¥220 front rows.
- Wuhouci Temple (武侯祠) (near Jinli street, south-west of Tian fu square). This temple is built for commemorating Zhuge Liang(诸葛亮 ), he is the minister of Shu (蜀)) in Three Kingdoms Period. He is famous through the Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. There are dozens of dust covered statues of obscure historical figures behind glass and not much else. The gardens are attractive, but not extensive. It is next to Jinli Ancient Street. ￥60.
- Jinli Ancient Street (锦里古街). This neighborhood is part of the old city of Chengdu; it features hotels and small stores built in an old-fashioned style. Antiques are sold in a variety of different stores. It is very popular among both tourists and locals, especially at night, with many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. You will find a lot of famous local snack food over there, prices ¥1-10. Restaurants and bars in Jin Li are more expensive than outside. There are also antique hotels in there. Some consider Jin Li is to be tourist trap, which is partly true. However, this 'new old street' offers regional and fairly affordable street food specialties as well and can be combined with a visit to the Wuhouci Temple (entry fee 60 yuan, unless you are the holder of a Panda Card). Don't forget to take your camera.
- Jinsha Archaeological Site (金沙遗址) (Take Line 7、14、82、83、96、111、311、401 and 502 and get off at the north of Qingyang Avenue.Take Line 901 and get off at Jinsha Relics Road.). Recently discovered site featuring various tools and art pieces from around 3,000 years ago. The amount of unearthed items is just massive. They include pottery, blades, jade items, building foundations and various golden art pieces. There are two main buildings: the hall constructed over the centre of the excavation site and the modern exhibition hall with various artifacts on display. ￥80.
- Wenshu Temple (文殊院), 15 Wenshuyuan St, (成都文殊院街15号) (Off Renmin Zhong Rd). This Tang Dynasty Buddhist temple is the most impressive, and perhaps also the most used, temple in Chengdu. It is dedicated to the Buddhist representation of Wisdom, Wenshu Pusa (Manjusri Bodhisatva), and contains more than 450 Buddha statues and other precious relics. In addition to the halls and gardens, the temple also has a charming tea house that offers an insightful window of Chengdu life as it is frequented by locals who engage in games of chess, reading, knitting and just chatting with family and friends. The temple also has a delightful vegetarian restaurant with seats offering views over the gardens (NOTE - as of September 2012, the tea house and restaurant are closed for renovations). There are many shops around the temple. Entry fee is a steal at only 5 yuan.
- Qingyang Temple (青羊宫; Qingyanggong; lit. Palace of the Black Ram), 9 Xierduan, Ring Rd One (一环路西二段9号). This Taoist temple is the oldest and biggest of its kind in the area, located in the west of downtown. A large and still-active temple that takes into consideration Taoist philosophy in its construction, and with both a park next door and a number of relaxed courtyards inside. While it has a long history, the buildings are modern, cheaply-made concrete constructions, and it quite frequently shows. The statues inside are also cheap modern constructions of no real interest. A teahouse and a vegetarian restaurant can be found within the temple complex. ¥10.
- Happy Valley (欢乐谷; Huanlegu) (Catch the Number 48 Bus from Luomashi Metro Station to its Terminus then keep walking in same direction once you get off the bus, cross the motorway and the park is on your right hand side). 09:00 - 18.30. Moderate size amusement park with 3 main roller coasters, Water Rides, Kids zone and water park (in Summer). Overall Good day out for both adults and families, makes a nice break from the city and has enough attractions to fill a full day out, As of 2011 the entrance to the park is now a sports retail outlet, Imax and Indoor Sky diving Centre with Resturants 150 ¥, discount for students.
- A Thousand Plateaus Art Space (千高原艺术空间; Qian Gaoyuan Yishu Kongjian), 87 Fangqin St 芳沁街87号 (In Yulin Community, next to Little Bar and K Gallery.), ☎ +86 28-85126358, fax: +86 28-8512635, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su, 11AM-6PM. A contemporary art gallery in Chengdu exhibiting Chinese and international artists. Exhibit openings generally happen once a month, and other events also take place. Free entry.
- Siguniangshan (四姑娘山). Four Girls Mountain is located in the county territory, Qionglai mountains, by the four adjacent Xuefeng, perennial snow, such as four beautiful white fairy standing in the hills, hence the name. Four Girls Mountain and famous male and high, steep mountain, directed at the blue sky, as all mountaineers attention.
- Liujiang Old town alt="柳江古镇" Liujiang town, located 25 km southwest of the county to spend Hongya River tributary of Liujiang sides. Town was founded in the Southern Song Dynasty, and modern architecture across the water from the Ming and Qing era buildings.
- Street sub-town(街子古镇)Street of the town, 25 km northwest of the city in Chongzhou the Fengqi mountain, the mountain connected with Qingcheng.
- Floraland (国色天香) (Expect an expensive taxi ride out to the suburbs, or take one of the buses that will guide you to the park). The park includes a moderate selection of rides (water, relaxing and thrill), and various recreation activities. Weekends can get packed, so try to go during a weekday. ¥60.
- Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (Take tourist bus 902 (from Xinnanmen Bus Station), or public bus 97 or 198, or take a taxi from downtown for ¥50 (if traffic is light)), ☎ +86 28 83510033. This is the biggest facility of this kind in the world. Due to habitat destruction and other reasons, the giant panda is maybe the most famous endangered animal. It is home to some 60 giant pandas, but also has some red pandas and a colony of black-necked cranes. The pandas are basically on display for tourists but views are much closer than is possible at most Western zoos. A small museum and a cinema screening related documentaries is also available. A restaurant and souvenir-stalls top off the tourist installations. The best time to visit is in the morning, when pandas are most active. Pandas sleep during the hottest time of the day. Feeding time is around 9:30-10:00. It is recommended to arrive as early as you can to avoid the hordes of school and tour groups that arrive every morning. You can take a photo holding a baby/young Panda for ¥1300. Entry fee is ¥58. English-speaking tour guide ¥100..
- Luodai Ancient Town (洛带古镇), Luodai Town, Longquanyi District, Chengdu (Luidai Town is about 25km east of downtown Chengdu. Chengluo (成洛) Road goes directly there. There is also a bus that goes directly there. Catch it at a small building behind the Xinnanmen bus station, right where Shiqi road bends. Cost is ¥7. There appears to be no regular schedule, just show up, and when the bus is full (enough), it departs. No bus number, just look for signs to '洛带'. In Luodai, once you exit the train station, turn right on Bajiaojing street, then left at Huaishui Middle Street, and the entrance is on your left.). Over 1 km long streets with older building (in various states of disrepair) lined with stores. The primary attraction is the many different types of food and snacks available, especially Hakka food, that are hard to find in other places (along with some amount of stores selling standard tourist crap and costumes to rent for photos). The buildings that line the street are of some, but not great, interest; more interesting are a number of older buildings and halls that give one a feel for older China. Signage and shops appear to be Chinese-language only. Entrance: free;.
Chengdu is located on the edge of the fertile plains of the Red Basin in China's Sichuan Province. Due to its agricultural wealth, Chengdu is sometimes called the "Land of Milk and Honey". The Funan river bisects the city, although boat traffic, common until the 1960s, has all but vanished.
The greater city area is divided into five districts and 12 counties, altogether home to more than 14 million people. Chengdu has the reputation as a very "laid-back" city that emphasizes culture and relaxation and as a result of this and much green space is ranked one of the most livable mega-cities in China. It is credited with a good nightlife scene and contains many new western style buildings in the large city center.
Summer weather is hot and humid, as the city is surrounded by small mountains to the east and sits in the Red Basin. Furthermore, an hour to the west lie the foothills of the mighty Tibetan Plateau and the fabulously scenic mountains of west Sichuan.
The city is famous for its lack of sun, so don't come expecting to get a sun tan.
For up-to-date information on activities, places and attractions you should check out the CHENGDOO citylife magazine's listings. You will find copies in most bars, restaurants, cafes, hostels and hotels.
- Chunxi Road (春熙路). Take an afternoon or evening to walk down this shopping street, located in the center of the city. Makes for a good change of pace. Various clothing stores, bookstores, restaurants, arcades, and cinemas. Good place to find something to eat; including a hotpot buffet, Japanese restaurants, Western food, and much more. However, the major disadvantage with this area is that each brand has many stores in this location (similar to other parts of China). For instance, Nike, Adidas, and Li-Ning, each have about 4-5 stores in Chunxi Road alone which reduces the variety of things to buy. If you are looking for stores in the same vein as Louis Vuitton and Ermenegildo Zegna, these stores are located outside of the Chunxi Road area and near the Tianfu Square district.
- KTV, various locations. Spend an evening singing with friends, enjoy popcorn, beer and other refreshments. Songs available in English, Chinese, and more.
- Foot and body Massage. Chengdu is famous for its relaxed and laid back lifestyle. The foot and body massage is very popular in Chengdu with a lot of varieties. Generally, these places cater to groups of people who come in together, relax in a private room, perhaps eating fruit, pig ear, or sipping tea, while receiving a fully-clothed massage or foot washing. Prices are very reasonable, often well under ¥80 per person. Some places offer ¥25 per hour for a very nice foot massage, including washing, soaking and massaging feet, free hot/cold drink (tea, coke or juice), fresh fruit. A great way to relax with friends. Beware of erotic massage places that may be hard to tell from authentic ones. Watch out for establishments (such as on Yuhe side street, next to the Sheraton) that have two price boards, one in Chinese, and one in English with heavily inflated prices (eg. foreigners - 80 yuan, Chinese - 40 yuan).
- Read a Book. The Chengdu Bookworm (see listing in the Eat Section) has a membership-based lending library of English language books, as well as travel guides for sale. Peter's Tex Mex, as well as some of the other restaurants that cater to foreigners, have book exchanges.
- Play Weiqi (the game of Go), e-mail: email@example.com. As a symbol of Chinese culture, Weiqi is one of the world’s great strategy games where a few simple rules lead to limitless possibilities. Weiqi is hugely popular in Chengdu to the point where it has been nicknamed Weiqi City. Chengdu Weiqi Classroom is the only place where foreigners can study this game with English speaking assistance.
- Cosmetics and Hair. Local woman love to get their nails and hair done at the mall. You can get your nails done beautifully (filed, buffered, polished and hand painted with beautiful patent) between ¥10-20 at most shopping centre. There are quite a few very popular ones located on the ground floor of Beijing Hualian (北京华联）in Yanshikou. You can also get your hair temporarily straightened or curled at ¥10-15. They do very nice style and it will last until you wash your hair.
- Drink tea, Renmin Park (People's Park). Teahouses are plentiful in Chengdu, and drinking tea and playing Mahjong is how many local people relax. On a sunny afternoon pick a table in the park with an out-door tea house and sip your tea while listening to the locals gossiping. Not for the faint hearted, take the opportunity to have your ears cleaned by local "experts" armed with a tuning fork and a myriad of "insertion tools". Weird but effective! There are thousands of teahouses in Chengdu so you'll find them from other places than Renmin Park as well.
You will find no shortage of delicious and fiery Sichuan food in Chengdu. Most of the food is quite spicy, be sure to specify whenever you order: non-spicy (不要辣; búyàolà), a little spicy (微辣; wēilà) or 'old' (very) spicy (老辣; lǎolà). If you are not accustomed to it yet, a bottle of sweetened soy, almond, peanut, or cow milk, or something else sweet will work much better than water to quell the fire. If you are used to the hottest of authentic Indian or Thai food, the level of spiciness in Sichuan food should be no problem at all. However, Sichuan food also makes heavy use of Sichuan pepper (花椒; huājiāo), which looks like but is not a true peppercorn, and causes your mouth to become somewhat numb. Sichuan pepper is added in most spicy dishes. If you can eat spicy food but do not like Sichuan pepper, you need to order so (不要花椒; bú yào huājiāo). However, Sichuan pepper (in addition to causing numbing) has an important citrusy taste that it adds to foods and authentic Sichuan tastes bank on the play between the flavours of both Sichuan pepper and chili peppers, and it is strongly recommend you at least try the authentic versions with the Sichuan pepper before deciding for yourself.
The spiciest food in Chengdu is hotpot (also called steampot or steamboat), although the tradition originated in Chongqing, so it is not really Chengdu food. Sichuan hotpots are basically a big pot of soup and spices simmering in a hole in the middle of your table. Patrons choose from a large selection of meats, vegetables and other add-ins. Most popular include: lamb, mushrooms, beef, tofu, quail eggs, potatoes and various others (pork, green vegetables, fish balls, carrots, and even pig's brain!) You can choose spicy pot or non spicy pot. With spicy hot pots, unlike eastern hot pots, the soup is NOT for drinking; instead, fish out your cooked items with chopsticks (do not fish the liquid out with a spoon, it is too spicy even for locals to drink; the fished out vegetables will be spicy enough), dip them in the small bowl of oil provided to each person, and enjoy.
You may also find the local food too oily or too salty for your taste, and may want to advise your server accordingly.
There are also a lot of weird local snack type of food, such as spicy dragon prawns (look like very small crayfish; 麻辣龙虾), spicy snails (香辣田螺), Chongqing duck neck (九九鸭脖子), Bangbang chicken (棒棒鸡), spicy rabbit meat (二姐兔丁). These ones are so delicious and you must try them. But you need to ask a local to take you to the right place. Quite often you will find that the small restaurants and shops offer the most delicious and cheapest food. If you want to find even cheaper food options, street vendors are the way to go (though the Chengdu police have been doing their best to extinguish this long tradition and you may have trouble finding them these days). Serving everything from barbeque (烧烤) to steamed breadrolls(馒头), they are a cheap and offer a great option for a quick bite to eat.
If you are less adventurous but still like Chinese food, or just tired of Sichuan food, there are a number of Cantonese and Hong Kong restaurants, including Lei Garden near Shangri-la Hotel.
There are a number of stalls and hole in the wall type places all over town. Food here is dirt cheap, expect to pay no more than ¥8 for a meal, and the quality is good. Things to be on the lookout for are spicy bowls of breakfast noodles, (担担面; dandanmian), double cooked pork (回锅肉; húigūoròu), and dozens of dishes coated in "málà" the Sichuan chili spice famous the world over.
- Yulinchuanchuanxiang (玉林串串香), Various locations throughout the city. Cheap and fast hotpot variety. This is a help-yourself style meal, go to a backroom and choose your own kabobs. Stick the kabobs into a hotpot soup, and have them boil. Pull them out and enjoy. Large kabobs are ¥1, and small ones are ¥0.1 each. Expect to be full for less than ¥25. There are both spicy and non-spicy variations. There is a large selection of meats, vegetables, and other add-ins. Beer is available in large bottles and sweet soymilk (Dounai) is also served.
- Lanzhou Lamian (兰州拉面), Located everywhere. A bowl of noodles starts for about ¥4, and reach a maximum of ¥7. Varieties include egg, lamb and beef. Other dishes are reasonable in price as well. Breads for 1 kuai a piece, and Mutton Kabobs (羊肉串) go for 1 kuai per stick. Da Pan Ji (大盘鸡) is a great choice if eating with a group. Usually offered in small or large sizes, a small size will cost about ¥40 and feed 3 or 4 people. A large order might cost about ¥60. This dish includes chicken, potatoes, onions and other vegetables in a moderately spicy sauce. Can eat with bread or noodles to make a great meal.
- Steamed buns (包子; baozi). Sold for breakfast or lunch from street vendors throughout the city. Yacai bao (芽菜包) is a local Sichuan special variety you are unlikely to find elsewhere and typically contains some mixture of Yacai (芽菜), a type of preserved vegetable, and potentially some meat. Other typical fillings include beef, red bean paste, mushrooms, green vegetables or pork. Three buns cost around ¥1 or larger buns cost ¥1 each as well. A container of soy milk (豆漿 dou jiang) is about the same price.
- Mike's Pizza Kitchen (Chengdu Pizza Delivery), Tongzilin, Europe City (In the south of Chengdu), ☎ 8522-6453. 11AM-10PM. Freshly made to order pizza. Authentic New York style pizza pie, stone-baked. Delivery only. ¥30-150.
- Wenshu Temple Vegetarian Restaurant (文殊院素餐馆), 15 Wenshu St (文殊院街15号), ☎ +86 28 693-870. In the grounds of a monastery and run by monks. Offers a huge selection of traditional vegetarian dishes, including some containing imitated meat.
- Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant ((北海道日本料理)), Various locations throughout the city (Locations include Chunxi Rd (春熙路), Yulin S Rd (玉林南路), outside of Sichuan University (Near Cafe Paname), and more). Authentic Japanese food. Serves curry, tonkatsu, unagi-don, fried rices, sushi, ramen noodles, and various other selections. Serves Chinese and Japanese beers, as well as a selection of plum wine and sake. Food quality varies. Meals range from ¥20 upwards, expect a plate of sushi to be quite a bit more expensive, but sides are generally decent priced.
- Chen Mapo (陈麻婆), 208 Shuanglin Rd (成都市双林路208号新华公园正门对面). Supposedly opened by the Mapo herself in 1862. The place to eat Mapo Doufu, it does not get any more authentic than this. Spicy food eaters will love this, those who do not like spicy food should probably skip it altogether.
- Namaste/Afila ((亚非拉-娜玛什蒂印度餐吧)), 20 Remin Nan Rd, Section 4, Wuhou District (武侯区人民南路四段20号), ☎ +86 28-85569118. Specializes in Indian and Nepalese cuisine, particularly tandoori and curries. Great for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
- Fiesta Thai, Linjiang Zhong Lu 6, Right beside Traffic Hotel and the 902 Panda Base Bus Stop, ☎ +86 28-85454530. Specializes in Thai cuisine. Great food and exceptional service when you need a break from oily and spicy Sichuan food.
- Veranda Bridge Restaurant. This restaurant is actually a historic bridge over Fulan River. Sichuan food. Very good reputation within Chengdu.
- Huang Cheng Lao Ma (On 3rd section of south part of the 2nd Ring Rd), ☎ +86 28 85139999. Elaborate restaurant featuring hot pot followed by live entertainment, including Sichuan face-changing. Don't miss the diorama scene of ancient Chengdu built into the restaurant lobby's floor. A separate section on the ground floor of the restaurant also features a pan-Asian buffet with contemporary entertainment. Child care is available on premises. Prices are in the range of ¥100 per person for dinner and one drink.
Chengdu has a few local Western restaurants. Service is always friendly, although you should expect occasional mistakes, such as appetizers served at the same time as your meal. Chengdu is just starting to get accustomed to Western tastes.
- Chengdu Bookworm, 28 Renmin S Rd. Has something for everyone. It is an English language lending library, a Western restaurant, a bar, as well as an occasional venue for local singing and musical talent. Expats might want to join the membership library or take kids to the children's morning story hours. Evenings, you might find a travel author reading from and signing books, poetry reading, or singing. Great place for to connect with others, catch up on some reading, or just relax.
- Grandma's Kitchen. Western restaurant with four locations around Chengdu, including one next door to Peter's on Zhong Hua Yuan.
- Peter's Tex-Mex, ☎ +86 28 85180903. Actually an American restaurant with some Mexican dishes. Peter's has good food. The Zhong Hua Yuan location also has homemade ice cream, the best ice cream you will find in Chengdu. If you are coming from out of town, the Zhong Hua Yuan location is right in a major expat area with lots of other restaurants and shopping surrounding it. ¥12-¥150+ for a meal.
- Paul and Dave's Oasis (Directly opposite the Travel Hotel and main bus station (other side of river)). A place for volunteers, ex-pats, and all manner of foreigners, a place where you can go and just chill. Though he does serve Chinese food, you're better off going elsewhere for this, it is however a place where you can sit and lose yourself for a day or so. Usually occupied by the local foreigners, usually playing Western music.
- All of the hotels in the "Splurge" category have Western restaurants or buffets. Call ahead for more information.
A popular district of bars, also known as the bar street, is located by the southern shore of Jin River next to Anshun Bridge. The well known Lan Kwai Fong from Hong Kong started its business in the mainland of China in 2010 and the first city is Chengdu. The area is located a little north-west from Anshun Bridge.
- Club 88 (88号酒吧), 99 Shaoling Rd, Wuhou District (武侯区少陵路88号). Currently Chengdu's hottest club. Awesome lighting and music, dancing in the walkways and people just trying to get seen. Expect crowds of people, packed tables, and action going on through the night well past the other clubs closing times. Get there early to get a table or come (very) late to wind down the night when everything else dies.
- Babi II (Walking distance from Shangri-la Hotel). Club.
- Babi, Shaolin Rd (Right next to Club 88). Club.
- Cafe Paname, 143 Kehua N Rd (科华北路143号) (Nearby Sichuan University). A bar with a younger crowd and laid-back environment Expect an occasional DJ event which will make the bar a little more lively on Fridays and Holidays. ¥10 Suntory beer on tap is a perk.
- Highfly Cafe, 18 Linjiang Rd, ☎ +86 28 85442820. Relaxed place with a tiny outside sitting area. They serve beers and Western food including pizza and breakfast. There is one computer for free Internet access and a small book exchange (2 for 1).
- Feeling4Seasons Cafe, Orient Times Mall 2F, Xiadongda St (Near Dongmen Bridge), ☎ +86 28 66208848. Good Italian coffee: espresso, cappuccino, especially latte. Also pasta and pizza. They also provide Internet service: wireless access for your laptop, loan of a wireless card if you don't have one, use of a PC if required. You can also burn CDs. It is also one famous China blog freelancer's cafe bar; he published a book named "Ten Years, Flying with one Dream".
- Mooney's Irish Pub (In the Shangri-la Hotel). A real classy traditional Irish pub. Sometimes they have a live band or other entertainment. Also they have a free billiard table which is nice. Offering beers on tap, whiskies and signature dishes.
- Shamrock Pub (三叶草酒吧), 15, 4th Section, Renmin S Rd (Near Linshiguan Rd and the U.S. Consulate), ☎ +86 28 85236158. This Irish pub in is currently the hub of Chengdu's small expatriate community (of approximately 3,000). Friendly pub atmosphere and live music some evenings. In addition to drinks the pub serves dishes including pizza, meat pies, sausage rolls, steaks, burgers, curries and a range of other snacks. The pub is also an active sponsor of several nonprofit organizations, including holding events for moon bear rescue and for the disabled. Copies of the informative Chengdoo book are available at the Shamrock.
- High Connections Coffee House, Fu A-20 6 Shuangqing S Rd, Qingyang District (On the west side of Chengdu near Metro and the Southwest Financial University), ☎ +86 28 87325855. Provides a relaxing, comfortable, environment with soft lighting and easy-listening music. They have non-smoking and smoking sections. Bring your computer and hook up to the wireless Internet. Their coffee (both Espresso and good old fashioned drip American style) and muffins are an excellent way to begin a day. They also have large conference rooms available for meetings.
Also, on the southern bank of Jinjiang there is a row of bars between Renmin South Road and Xin South Road. Beers will cost ¥10-20 per bottle, but buying bulk cans will save you a good bit of money with special deals. There will also be street vendors selling various snacks. This makes for a good night with the clubs Babi II, Ta & Ta, and Soho just around the bend.
- 8trees Wine Bar & Restaurant, 9 Pingan Alley, ☎ +86 28 86699060. Located in a century old Roman Catholic church, and offers the most unique romantic dinning experience. Recommended signature dishes are the tantalizing mouthwatering North American beef, marinated with fresh herbs and spices; the lamb main simmered with exotic spices. On the lighter side, there is the conscious side dish which is very popular with weight-watching regulars who complement their meals with the rich creamy soups offered in the menu. A must see for the church underground wine cellar.
- The Leg & Whistle Pub, Kehua Jie, ChuanDa Hua Yuan (2F) (科华街1号附19号2楼) (Kehua Jie is off Kehua Bei Lu which leads to the South Gate of Sichuan University. The Leg is up one flight of stairs above a pharmacy and opposite a Wowo 24 hour convenience store.), ☎ +86 28 85460114, 18980986112. The closest thing you'll find to a real English 'local' pub in Chengdu. It's number one for football coverage with three screens but feel free to ask about other sports if you're interested. The people there are very friendly and will do their utmost to make you feel welcome.
- Little Bar (New) (小酒馆 (芳沁店)), 87 Fangqin St, Yulin Shangwugang, 1F (成都市芳沁街87号附5号丰尚玉林商务港1楼, ☎ +86 28 85568552. Rock bar. The bigger shows are on Friday and Saturday and the bands start playing at 8PM and finish at 10PM. ¥25 entrance fee. A bit hard to find so best to get a cab to take you if you are not familiar with the area. Not to be confused with Little Bar (Old), the sister bar on Yulin West Road.
- Empty Bottle, 3/F, Yulin Life Plaza, 15 S Yulin Rd. Very popular amongst the locals. Live music and other kinds of shows every night.
- Jellyfish, Ke Hua Bei Lu #143, Lan Si Jia Le Bi Sq, 2F. 8pm. Lively and crowded cocktail bar with a DJ playing music. Lot of expats but also local folk.
- Chunxi Road area (春熙路) (SE from Tianfu Sq. Walk 1 block E from Tianfu Sq along Renmin E Rd, Chunxi area starts from that crossing). A street and a contiguous shopping district. More than 700 shops in the area including shopping malls, department stores, boutiques and street stalls.
- Songxian Qiao Antique Market (送仙桥古玩市场), Qing Yang District, Song Xian Bridge (Close to the Green Ram Taoist Temple in the western city, from the temple walk straight west, it is on your right hand side after you crossed the bridge over the channel). Big market with communist relics, old porcelain dishes, jewellery, calligraphy equipment and also some Tibetan stuff. Great bargains can be found here if you are into antiques, jewellery, and gifts.
- Lotus Wholesale Market (荷花池) (Next to north railway station, take the metro there and cross the road to SE block). A huge area of shops selling all kinds of local stuff from clothes to kitchen ware and home decoration to toys. The area employs over 100,000 people and its daily sales are over ¥10 million .
- Wuhou Tibetan Area shops (藏饰用品一条街) (Next to Wuhou Temple). About two blocks of shops adjacent to Wuhou Temple selling clothing, textiles, jewelry, Tibetan music etc.
- Panda Toys. All sorts of plush pandas, and other panda trinkets, are sold at the gate of the panda base, as well as ones of a slightly higher quality at the shop inside the panda base itself.
- Galleria (Next to Auchan and Ikea near the crossing of Renmin South Rd. and 3rd Ring Rd.). New international standard shopping mall with about 200 stores and naturally a lot of international brands.
Supermarkets are located throughout the city, although the selection of imported foods is limited.
- Sabrina's Country Store, 54 Kehua N Rd (Across from the western gate of Sichuan University and near Linshiguan Rd), ☎ +86 8524 2987. If you want to buy American food, and do not mind a 50% premium, this has friendly service and all imported products.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Chengdu on Wikivoyage.