9 Things to Explore in Chengdu

9 Things to Explore in Chengdu

Chengdu is a major city located in Sichuan province. It is rich with history, heritage, and a rich gastronomical culture. With archaeological sites dating back to four thousand years, panda research facilities and several unique UNESCO heritage sites, Chengdu offers exciting experiences for every type of traveler.


In today’s guide, we’ll discuss things that you don’t want to miss.


We have a little surprise for you at the end so make sure you read through to the end. 


And without further ado, here are nine things that you should explore on your next trip to Chengdu!


Spend a day at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Base

Chengdu Panda Breeding Center

With only 1,600 giant pandas left in existence, the Chengdu Panda Breeding Base is doing the vital work of maintaining this vulnerable population. While they are technically no longer endangered, pandas still need assistance in preservation so that they don’t disappear from the wild. The internationally renowned research base is one of Chengdu’s main attractions. The center features a panda nursery, giant panda exhibit, and a red panda exhibit.

Tip: Arrive early when doors open at 7:30 to avoid the crowds!

How to get there: Take bus 87, 198, 198a, or 655 to Xiongmao Jidi ( Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding) Station. Or, by metro take Metro Line 3 and get off at Dong Wu Yuan Station. Use Exit B and take bus 198 or 198a direct to the base.

Leshan is the largest stone carved Buddha in the world. The statue is carved directly into a cliff face and measures a staggering 71 meters in height. It is one of the four sacred mountains of Buddha, The statue is best viewed by ferry, where you can take a riverboat to the Buddha’s feet, alternatively, you can also walk down near its head and all the way down to the feet. There are also many scenic temples in the area. 

How to get there: From Chengdu, visitors can take the Chengdu-Kunming Railway Line, which runs through Leshan city.

Named a UNESCO city of gastronomy in 2011, Chengdu is an important place of culinary fame. The city is known for its hot pot or mala hot pot, which features the infamous Sichuan peppercorns. Sichuan peppercorns are spicy, but their main allure is the numb and tingly sensation it creates in the mouth as you eat it. With the peppery spice and the heat from the soup, it is not uncommon from diners to work up a sweat during the meal. In Chengdu, the most popular hot pot ingredients are offal, sliced meat, fish balls, and vegetables.


Take a Cooking Class with the Locals

Chengdu Banquet Dish

There is a reason why Chengdu is known as one of the most exciting food cities and culinary capitals of the world. With bold exciting flavors around every corner, it is the perfect place to get your feet wet with learning more about southern Chinese cuisine. Take a cooking class to so you can take the mouth-numbing flavors and techniques home with you when your trip is over.

Sign up for a local cooking class today!


You won’t want to miss this unique Chinese performance!

In the Jinli alleys, try and catch a bian-lian performance. These are Chinese opera shows where actors quickly change faces or “bian lian” while dancing on stage. The change of faces is done by expertly changing masks so quickly that you will be puzzled at how they do it. The show is a like a tea ceremony with acrobatic acts.


Dig Up some Artifacts at Jinsha Site Museum

Jinsha Archaeological Site

Channel your inner Indiana Jones at the Jinsha Archaelogical Site.

The Jinsha Site Museum is home to artifacts dating back to 1200 – 650 BC. Archaeologists discovered Jinsha's significance in 2001, where relics like jade, boar tusks, gold, and ivory were uncovered in the area. The discoveries indicate that the Chengdu region had inhabitants since the bronze age in 310 BC. Now the area home to Jinsha Site Museum, which spans an impressive 38,000 square meters, where visitors can view the artifacts found at the Jinsha Site in 2001. 

How to get there: By metro, take Metro Line 7 and get off at Jinsha Site Museum, Exit C. Buses 82, 83, 100, 111, 142, 163, 211, 1029, 1043, 163, and 209 will also take you to the museum. 



Explore the Roots of Taoism at Mount Qingcheng

Qingcheng Mountain

Mount Qingcheng, located in Dujiangyan area, is a culturally significant Taoist heritage site. Home to 36 mountain peaks, the mountain is known as the birthplace of Taoism because it was home to Taoist thought leader Zhang Tianshi. Thus, the mountain is home to a multitude of beautiful natural and cultural sites. Among others, some of the most famous spots include Tianshi Cave, Sanhuang Palace, Sanqing Palace, and Huangdi Temples.

How to get there from Chengdu: Take bullet trains from Chengdu Railway Station to Qingchengshan Railway Station. Then take bus 101 to Mt. Qingcheng (Front Mountain) or take a regular bus from Xinnanmen Bus Station or East City Bus Station to Qingchengshan

Visit Huanglong National Park to see the spectacular natural beauty of the regions.

This beautiful national park will take your breath away. Located in the northwestern part of Sichuan province, the valley contains cascading cerulean pool, waterfalls, caves and beautiful limestone formations and was declared a UNESCO site in 1992. The Huanglong Valley is said to resemble a dragon winding through the valley. And because of its calcium carbonate deposits, the area is colored with golden yellow limestone deposits, thus the valley was aptly named Huang Long, which means yellow dragon in Chinese. 

How to get there: Take a bus from Chengdu Chadianzi Bus Station to Songpan county, then take a bus to Huanglong.


Pay Tribute to A Great Poet

Dufu Thatched Cottage
Dufu Thatched Cottage 

Dufu was an iconic poet during the Tang Dynasty. During that time, Du Fu spent four years of his life living in a thatched cottage in Chengdu Province.  Those years were considered the peak of his creativity, and during that period, he penned two hundred and forty poems.

The home was declared a national heritage site by the Chengdu government in 1961. Spend some time strolling in his iconic thatched cottage, which is now a twenty-four-acre park and museum. The site includes idyllic gardens, waterfalls, and beautiful pavilions. 

Hours: May to Sep.: 8:00 - 20:00, Oct. to Apr.: 8:00 - 18:30

How to get there: Take bus 19, 35, 58, 82, 151, 165, 170, 1024, 1031, 1134, g59 or g74, and get off at Dufu Caotang station.

Featured In

cookly press
cookly press