Experience the breakneck pace of this flourishing hub from the comfort of W Chengdu, located in the Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone. Arrive in no time at all, thanks to a comprehensive high-speed railway network and regular flights from major destinations at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU). Chengdu is also the gateway to Tibet, Xi’an and Yunnan.
Despite its astronomical growth, this early urban center of Han Chinese culture retains much of its historical character. Lose track of time in the old town, brimming with legends, stories and the lingering spirit of celebrated Tang dynasty poet Du Fu. Immerse in his decorated life and work at the cottage where he lived. Imagine life in one of China’s earliest cultural dominions when you amble down alleys where old artisans work, songbirds sing and residents hover over chess games. Explore sprawling parks with beautiful bamboo-lined paths and lakeside teahouses. At Song Xian Qiao Antique City, indulge in art and trinkets on display at 500 stalls. Delve further back into history at Jinsha Museum, a major archaeological site containing ruins and relics of the 3,000-year-old Shu kingdom. Be enchanted by Chengdu Panda Base, home of the world’s largest population of giant pandas. After dark, take in Sichuan’s unique version of Chinese opera with its magical face mask-changing moves, or energize in the city’s pulsating nightlife.
Within two hours by car are four majestic UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Leshan Grand Buddha is the largest Buddha sculpture in the world. Find yourself in a sea of clouds at the Golden Summit of the breathtaking Mount Emei. Discover the secluded tranquility of well-preserved Taoist temples at Qingcheng Mountain Admire the medieval hydraulic engineering feat that is the Dujiangyan Irrigation System.
Turn up the heat when you plunge into Chengdu’s passion for food. Fiery cuisine is matched only by the gusto with which locals dig into trademark dishes like hot pot, kung pao chicken, shredded pork with chili and soy, and garlic eggplant. More than 6,000 intensely flavored traditional dishes are served in old family joints and famous restaurants. It is no surprise that UNESCO has honored Chengdu as a world capital of gourmet food. True to the city’s progressive character, emerging chefs are also breaking new ground by reviving old dishes with modern techniques and enhancing familiar spices with new ingredients.