City Guide

Chengdu City Guide

The introduction of Chengdu


As the capital city of Sichuan, Chengdu is a city with many faces. The city is located in 30.05 to 31.26 degrees latitude north and 102.54 to 102.53 degrees longitude east .It is typical of a sub-tropical humid monsoon climate. On the one hand this is an incredibly modern and vibrant place. Chengdu has blossomed in terms of affluence and investment. On the other hand, Chengdu is also a famous tourist city. It has two State-level, seven provincial and two city-level scenic spots, three State-level and two provincial-level forest parks,one State-level and two provincial-level natural reserves.  


Main attractions of Chengdu


Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage:

jinsha museumDu Fu's Thatched Cottage (Dufu Caotang) is the quaint former residence of one of China's most famous poets , Mr Dufu (712-70 AD). It was in Chengdu, at this small and simple house, that Du Fu was inspired to write more than 200 poems which are regarded today as masterpieces of realist poetry. In memory of the great poet, temples and pavilions were added to the site during the Song Dynasty. The exhibits here include a brief account of Dufu's life and some of his original calligraphy and poems. The complex also contains three imposing statues of some of China's greatest poets; Du Fu, Li You and Huang Pingjiang (the latter two were Song dynasty poets). Today, this is a pleasant site to visit, with nice buildings dotted about, teahouses and pleasant bamboo gardens to wander and explore. This site is also home to the Chengdu Du Fu society.



Temple of the Marquis of Wu:

The Temple of the Marquis of Wu (Wuhou Ci) is located in the outskirts of Chengdu, at the edge of the pleasant Nanjiao park. The site consists of a restored Tang dynasty temple, dedicated to the Shu dynasty prime minister and war strategist Zhu Ge Liang. Zhu Ge (181-234 AD) lived during the Three Kingdom's period and this character features largely in the famous historical novel, The Three Kingdom's written in the late Ming Dynasty. Today, there is a large temple here containing a statue of Zhu Ge and an impressive Three Wonders Tablet, so called because it contains exquisite examples of calligraphy, carving and poetry. The tomb of the founder of the Shu dynasty, Liu Bei, is also here. This is an interesting place for those knowledgeable in Chinese history and legend. Other travelers however, may find the site less engaging.


Wenshu Temple:

Wenshu Temple (Wenshu Yuan) is Chengdu's oldest and largest temple and is usually bursting with life and atmosphere. A temple was originally built at this site in the north of the city during the Tang Dynasty. The building today however is a Qing Dynasty construction consisting of an impressive collection of buildings containing some intricate and beautiful art and architecture. There are five halls at the complex, all with pretty tiled roofs, carved eaves and beautifully painted ceilings. There is also a Museum here detailing the history of the temple and displaying some wonderful examples of traditional calligraphy and painting.


The Giant Panda Breeding Research Institute:

The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base is the best place to see Chengdu's most famous residents. The city zoo is very depressing and best avoided but the institute 18km from the town center, houses 12 bears in good conditions. The panda has long been associated with China, and although they are no longer given as gifts to visiting officials, China's pandas still face the huge problem of extinction. The Museum here graphically details the bear’s reproductive problems and there is also a large Breeding ground at the site. Researchers here recently announced that they plan to give the pandas the drug Viagra in an attempt to raise numbers. These creatures are notoriously reluctant to breed and scientists hope that by giving the pandas Viagra, they will boost the bear's sex drive and improve the chances of reproduction.


River Viewing Pavilion Park ( Wangjianglou Park ) :

The River Viewing Pavilion (Wangjianglou) park is a lovely, historic place with forests of 100 varieties of bamboo! The yellow columns of bamboo with their thin green leaves cast wonderful shade and make a exquisite sound when the wind blows. The pavilion is more than 30 meters tall, overlooks the Jin River (Jinjiang), and was once the symbol of Chengdu. The pavilion itself was built in memory of Xue Tao, a Tang Dynasty female poet who loved bamboo and wrote many poems here. She reportedly drew water from a well that is also in the park grounds.


Dujiangyan Dam Irrigation System:

The Dujiangyan Irrigation system is a miracle of ancient Chinese ingenuity. Before the completion of Dujiangyan, the plains around the Min River were prone to floods due to the fast moving Min River flowing down from its mountain source and meeting flat ground. It was in the Warring States period about 2200 years ago, that the engineer Li Bing and his son led the construction of the Dujiangyan irrigation system that tamed the Min River and irrigated the surrounding plains.


Qingchengshan Mountain:

Mt.QingchengshanMt Qingchengshan is one of the ancient cradles of Daoism. The mountain has numerous Daoist temples and sites along the paths to its peak. The area is green all year round and is known for its secluded tranquility. Jianfu Temple (Jianfu Gong) sits at the base of the mountain and is a large, well-preserved Daoist temple from the Tang Dynasty. About halfway up the mountain sits Tianshi Cave (Tianshi Dong) the temple and school of Zhang Daolin, a famous Daoist master who taught here and contributed greatly to spreading Daoism in China. The present Tianshi Cave buildings were built at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Lastly, near the peak sits Shangqing Temple, which was originally established in the Jin Dynasty, while the current temple buildings are Qing Dynasty constructions.



Sanxingdui Museum:

Sanxingdui, located in the city of Guanghan, 40 km from Chengdu, Sichuan Province, is recognized as one of the most important ancient remains in the world for its vast size, lengthy period and enriched cultural contents. The first Sanxingdui relics were discovered by a farmer in 1929 and excavation has continued ever since. During this period, generations of archaeologists have worked on the discovery and research of the Sanxingdui culture. In 1986, two major sacrificial pits were found and they aroused widespread academic attention around the world. The Sanxingdui finds are exciting, but they remain enigmatic. No texts have been found, nor is there any mention of this culture in the records of other countries. Analysis of lead and other elements in the bronzes indicates sources similar to those of other cultures along the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. At this point, however, the unique culture that produced these artifacts remains a mystery. The whole design of the museum is simple, but with a solemn style. The flame is peculiar. The main object is a deformed spiral. It has the poetic charm with historical, geographical features and cultural art. It fully shows the broadness and profundity of Sanxingdui culture. The designs of Sanxingdui Museum have many architectural breakthroughs. Modern Technologies (sound, light, and electricity) are used to show the charm of the ancient site. The displays also provide foreigners with information about the history of China.


Jinli street:

Dating back to the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), Jinli Street in Chengdu was one of the busiest of commercial boulevards of the Kingdom of Shu, during the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280). It is thus known as the "First Street of the Shu Kingdom." At the time of the Three Kingdoms period, the production of the famous Shu brocade (a rich silk fabric with raised patterns in gold and silver) was centralized at the southern bank of the Jinjiang River in Chengdu, adjacent to the historical Temple of Marquis Wu. Visitors from all over China and abroad gathered here in this ancient street to relax, take in the surroundings, and perhaps taste some of the local specialties. It is said that citizens of Chengdu are particularly fond of dining and socializing, and perhaps this is what helps to create the city‘s leisurely ambience. Chengdu has been newly designated as one of the ten most livable cities in China.       


Jinsha Museum:

Discovered in February, 2001, the Jinsha Site was the most significant archaeological discovery in the 21st century in China. Thousands of gold plates, jade articles, stone wares, bronze wares and ivories of Kingdom of Shu (221 - 263) are discovered form the site. Among them the Holy Bird is the most famous one that has become the sign of China Cultural Heritage. In November of 2004, the Jinsha Site Museum began to be built on the site and after two years' construction, the advanced, world first-class museum will be opened.


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