Chengdu ( 成都 Chéngdu )
Chengdu ( 成都 Chéngdu ) is located in southwest China, is the capital of the Sichuan province and a sub-provincial city.
Chengdu is located in the fertile plains of western Sichuan province. Due to its agricultural wealth Chengdu is sometimes called "Land of Milk and Honey". The greater city area is divided into five districts and 12 counties, altogether home to 9.2 million people. It is the 5th (2005) most populous city in China. Chengdu is also one of the most important economic centers as well as transportation and communication hubs in China.
More than four thousand years ago, the prehistorical Bronze Age culture of Jinsha (Chinese: 金沙; pinyin: Jinsha) established itself in this region. The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which Chengdu is located, is called Tianfu zhi guo (Simplified Chinese: 天府之国; pinyin: Tianfu zhi guó) in Chinese, which means "the Land of Abundance".
Get around in Chengdu City
Chengdu has an extensive system of city buses plying the streets. At each bus stop, there is a list of the bus lines coming through on this road, and on some city maps the whole network is displayed. Tickets are ¥1 for common and ¥2 for air-conditioned buses respectively.
Taxis are equipped with meters, which should be used. A free taxi will display an illuminated sign with Chinese characters in its dashboard. Taxi fares at ¥5 on flagfall and increase at ¥1.4 per km. The meter records fares in increments of ¥1. Try to have small change on hand for taxi rides.
There are bicycle-propelled pedicabs san lun che (三轮车) who will take you short distances. Fix a price (¥5-10) in advance.
Most guesthouses have bicycles for hire. Check for technical problems before starting out unless you want to be held responsible for it later. If you leave your bicycle, do so in one of the designated "parking lots", where it will be guarded over for a small fee. If you can't find such a place, be sure to lock it securely against some structure.
When to Visit
Spring (April and May) or Fall (September and October) is the best time to visit Chengdu. Summer in Chengdu is hot and humid and Winter is wet and cold.
Where to Stay
Xian is by no means cheap. A regular single room at a hotel will gouge you from 250 yuan and up. However, there are many low priced budget hostels starting as low as 30 yuan for a dorm bed, so if you're on a budget be sure to check around.
Chengdu Jason's Nest Guest House (成都驴行天下青年旅舍), No.26 west way of south railway station, 0086-28-85125498. Fully-equipped hostel with spacious bright rooms, clean bunks, the Tibetan-style dining room and bar. Located in the leisure, entertainment, dining center of Chengdu, with most attractions within a ¥10 taxi ride. It's a ¥30 taxi ride from the airport or north rail station, a 10-minute walk from the south station, or call for a free pick-up. Helpful, very knowledgeable staff.
Traffic Hotel (交通饭店; No. 6 Linjian St, 成都市临江路6号; tel. 028-85451017), conveniently placed just near Renmin Nanlu directly bordering the Xinnanmen bus station. This hotel is one hundred percent geared towards foreign backpackers and is a good place to around a tour or buy tickets. Four-bed dorms rooms are ¥30 per bed and three-bed dorms are ¥40. The rooms and shared bathrooms for ¥40 are very clean and come with a reliable air conditioner. Washing machines are available for ¥10 per load; bring your own detergent. Singles and doubles start at ¥200 and range up to ¥500.
Chengdu Mix Hostel (Backpackers' Accommodation, Guesthouse & Youth Hostel) 成都驴友记青年旅舍, No.23 Xing Hui Xi Lu, Ren Jia Wan, Wan Fu Bridge, Chengdu, Sichuan, P.R.China. In downtown, with cheap beds, good shower, nice food, lots of people! Wi-fi for laptop, DVDs for you, free Internet, 20GB of Music, very friendly staff.
Dragon Town Youth Hostel 成都市宽巷子27号, 27 Kuanxiangzi St, tel. 028-86648408, fax 028-86245901, firstname.lastname@example.org. A five minute walk north of the Renmin park. Serving younger people and families, catering mostly for young western budget tourists. Many travelling services available from within the hostel, such as tours to nearby attractions, Tibet travel tours. Facilities include Internet access, restaurant and camp grounds. Cheapest accommodation is ¥15/bed with rooms starting from ¥100.
Sam's Guesthouse 130 Shanxi Jie, email@example.com: tel.028-86099022, 10 minutes walk from the Chairman Mao Statue at Renmin Nanlu. Look for Rongcheng Fandian (Rongcheng hotel). Sams Guesthouse office is next to the entrance to the Rongcheng Fandian. Rooms start from ¥80. Doubles are ¥120.
Sim's Cozy Guesthouse 42 Xizhushi, tel :028-86288691, mobile: 8613980787075, firstname.lastname@example.org,is close to Wenshu temple in the northern part of town. Opened in 2004 by two experienced travellers, it's located in a nice old house and has a fairly big seating area and a small garden. Care has been taken to avoid the typical pains of the traveller's everyday life, so for instance toilets are equipped with paper, there is a lockable security box at your bed, mosquito-coils adorn the rooms and corridors, the bar provides guitars and cold beers and so on. Staff is extremely friendly and helpful. They do arrange tours to several sights. There is Internet access for ¥5 per hour. A dorm bed is ¥15, doubles and triples with/without air-con are from ¥70 to ¥120. If you don't want to stay in the dorm, is advisable to make a reservation some days in advance.
Xiaoguanyuan Hotel (小观园 xiǎoguānyuán), 成都市宽巷子40号, 40 Kuanxiangzi St, tel. 028-86640663, 028-86639883, 028-86640241. Beautiful garden and classical architectured hotel. Staff is Chinese speaking only though, but with a good location and rooms starting from ¥100, a very good offer. Just 50m from the Dragon Town Youth hostel.
The Loft Located three blocks north of Dragon Town Hostel. Very modern hostel. Use to be a printing factory but now converted to a contemporary style hostel. Has free pool table, free Internet access (Nov.2006), TV and DVD. Rooms are clean. Twins and doubles cost ¥120.
In Chengdu, mid range hotels are those not afiliated with a national or international brand and generally charging between RMB 300 to RMB 700 per night. The hotels in this category can generally put up the facade of the more expensive hotels, but often suffer noticeably from deferred maintenance or haphazard customer service. The hotels listed here all have lobby staff who speak at least a basic level of English and usually offer a free Chinese breakfast.
Sunjoy Hotel #34, 4th Section of Renmin nan lu. The Sunjoy is a 7 story hotel with a nice Chinese restaurant, good facilities and small but nice rooms. Located near US Consulate. About RMB400/night.
Chengdu's luxury hotels provide world class service at very reasonable prices. Business and leisure travelers can expect, at a minimum, to find fluent English speaking staff, Western and Chinese restaurants, full conference facilities, business center, sauna and concierge service at all of these hotels. Room rates range from US$100 - $US150 per night for a standard or deluxe room.
Chengdu Lido Sheraton: Modern, American managed hotel conveniently located in in the center of Chengdu near Tian Fu Square and the sports stadium, but a few blocks away from shopping districts. This hotel can accommodate the most discriminating of guests in luxury and world class service.
Sofitel Chengdu: French managed, overlooks Fulan river, similar to but more expensive than the Sheraton.
Jin Jiang Hotel: Chengdu's first international luxury hotel, the Jin Jiang still offers exceptional service. While it has been eclipsed in luxury by the newer hotels listed in this section, it offers reasonable room rates and great service, with good facilities for conferences of all sizes.
Kempinski Hotel: German managed hotel offers hospitality and luxury. Great German events, including Ocktoberfest, Christmas and New Year's parties. Excellent gym, pool and workout facilities. Close to the United States Consulate.
Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Hotel: The Holiday Inn goes all out to indulge its guests with the finest of service. Great service, very responsive management.