When it comes to China, we’ve all heard of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, thought about walking across the Great Wall of China and maybe even visited the Forbidden City. But not many have ventured into the southwestern part of the country to discover the major city and capital of the Sichuan province, Chengdu and the many Chengdu attractions.

The ancient city boasts a great deal of Chinese culture, dating back 4,000 years as a meeting place for many people of the Shu culture. It is now the fourth most populous city in China and referred to as “The Land of Abundance” because of the fertile Chengdu Plain in which Chengdu is located. It is an important base for manufacturing and agriculture. 

Aside from its cultural and logistical aspect, Chengdu is known for its relaxed atmosphere, laid-back local attitude and distinct Sichuan (Szechuan) cuisine. It is not only a less crowded and popular destination to travel to in China, but Chengdu is also a gateway to some of the most picturesque, natural scenery in the west.

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How to get to Chengdu

Before you can get into all of the incredible Chengdu attractions on offer, it goes without saying that you will need to find the most efficient way to get there. Located in the province of Sichuan, one of the country’s leading rice and wheat growing regions, getting there is pretty easy!

In fact, it has even been referred to as the “transportation hub” given its renowned transportation systems. All of the Chengdu attractions are accessible from all of major countries in the world. From incredibly affordable train rides, local bus systems, long-distance taxis and domestic and international flights! When you map out your plan for your trip, keep budget and convenience in mind at all.

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Chengdu attractions

When planning a trip to China, here are four reasons to include Chengdu in your itinerary:

Giant Pandas

This is possibly the most popular Chengdu attractions. Chengdu is home to these giant bears who have roamed the area for some two million years. The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries stretches over 12 counties and 4 cities and is home to more than 80 percent of the world’s giant pandas. Don’t leave Chengdu without visiting the Chengdu Research Base located about 30 minutes outside the city—you might even get to hold a baby panda.

Sichuan Cuisine

The cuisine is known for its bold flavors, well-developed tastes and superb quality. It is also known for its use of the Sichuan pepper in just about everything. Try a fresh noodle dish with hot peppers floating in the broth or a Hotpot make with your favorite meats and vegetable. And grabbing any Sichuan Street food is simply the best. Stop by the entrance of the Sichian University for an array of vendors with appetizing bites to eat.

Join a Sichuan food experience.

Sichuan cuisine - Chengdu attractions
Sichuan Cuisine

Chengdu Teahouses

Another one of the main Chengdu attractions is the teahouses. Relax with a cup of tea in one of Chengdu’s many teahouses. Featuring bamboo chairs, wooden table and a variety of jasmine and green teas, teahouses are where the locals go. So, unwind and relax among the Chinese at a teahouse and maybe even jump into a game of majiang.

Chengdu attractions - teahouses
Chengdu attractions – teahouses

Surrounding Natural Scenery

Chengdu is the gateway to the most breath-taking mountains and spiritual retreats in the western part of the country. West Sichuan is a popular photographer’s route with visits to Jiuzhaigou National Park and Huanglong National Park. It is also where Buddhist temples reside along Mt. Emei with spectacular views and where The Giant Buddha sits in Leshan. All destinations are within a couple hours of Chengdu with bus tour running daily.

Chengdu tour, China
Exploring Chengdu on a tour, China

Chengdu’s geographical location makes it easy to travel to and from many other parts of the world. So no matter where you are coming from or then going to, Chengdu is the perfect pit spot to relax for a couple days and take in the scenic and cultural beauty of Sichuan, China.

Chengdu Attractions: Decadent food scene

Yes, the food options at Chengdu are so incredibly delicious and expansive that it deserves its own paragraph! The vibrant food scene is a definite tourist attraction and should be at the top of your current bucket-list – especially those with a hearty appetite!

Did you know that it’s said that people will fly across China to eat rabbit head in Chengdu? The food is so well spiced and pleasantly potent that it is so worthy of a flight. The foodie city has incredible signature dishes. Below are a few of the most popular options:

  1. Mapo Tofu
  2. Dandan noodles
  3. Chaoshou dumplings
  4. Gongbao jiding
  5. Fried rabbit with chilis

The best part about the local food scene is that there is something for everyone! There are a number of dishes for all pellets, whether you are into spicy food, more moderate flavours or feeling adventurous, Chengdu will have something yummy for your plate.

Chengdu’s geographical location makes it easy to travel to and from many other parts of the world. So, no matter where you are coming from or then going to, Chengdu attractions are plentiful and will quickly prove to be the perfect pit spot to relax for a couple days and take in the scenic and cultural beauty of Sichuan, China.

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  • Travel Dudes

    I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.