A crucial commercial and economic hub for many centuries, Chengdu is an ancient city that dates back to Neolithic times. Throughout the centuries, Chengdu has weathered foreign invasions and natural disasters alike, including the Mongol invasions, World War II, and of course, the recent 2008 earthquake.
Today, Chengdu is a pleasant, sprawling city, voted one of the most livable in all of China as well as one of the best places to invest in. Chengdu is a university town and is home to a large, thriving community of students and intellectuals. Perhaps its most famous residents are the adorable giant pandas, who live in various preserves just outside the city.
A handpicked selection of experiences endorsed by our experts. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, let us know, as our extensive network of local contacts can open many doors.
Chun Xi Lu Boulevard
Stroll along the tree-lined Chun Xi Lu Boulevard, whose tea cafés, boutiques and restaurants are popular with students of nearby universities.
Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center
Visit the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center and meet privately with the scientists responsible for developing the center’s advanced panda reproduction program, which has produced more than 46 cubs in 11 litters over the past ten years. Explore the grounds and have your photo taken with baby and adult pandas.
Jiuzhaigou National Park
Jiuzhaigou, or the Valley of the Nine Villages, is a land of expansive, polychrome lakes, thickly forested hills, and gentle valleys. Named for the nine Tibetan villages within the area, Jiuzhaigou’s signature feature may well be its lakes, tinted a surreal shade of aquamarine. In recent years, Jiuzhaigou was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A little over two hours away from Chengdu is the Leshan Giant Buddha. Carved out of a stone cliff face, the Buddha is situated in Leshan at the juncture of three rivers: the Min, Qingyi, and Dadu Rivers. Carving began in the Tang Dynasty in 713 and ended in 803 AD, a monumental 90-year effort that resulted in a 233-foot (71 meter) high Buddha. His hair is comprised of 1,021 separate buns that form an elegant coif.
Qingyang Taoist Temple
The Qingyang Taoist Temple is considered the birthplace of Lao Zi, the founder of Taoism. As the day winds down, relax in the tea pavilion’s bamboo chairs, sip fragrant jasmine pearl tea, and observe a fast-paced game of mah jong.
Shu Xiu Fang Embroidery Workshop
Visit the Shu Xiu Fang embroidery workshop where you learn from artisans who craft Sichuan’s legendary textiles, renowned for fine needlework, elegant colors, graceful lines, and their design in the style of traditional Chinese paintings.
Sichuan Cooking Class
Enjoy a private culinary lesson from a master chef in how to cook and prepare local Sichuanese delicacies.
See an abridged Sichuan Opera at the Wuhou Temple, where performances are held in the traditional courtyard setting with tea service. Different from Western (or even Peking) Opera, this local style is distinguished by elaborate acrobatic stunts, sharp wit, lively characters, and audience participation. Afterwards, meet with the performers and catch a glimpse of the usually off-limits backstage area and dressing rooms.
Visit Wenshu Monastery, an exquisite architectural site. Dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), it is one of the most active Buddhist centers in China; its sculptured roofs, colonnades, reflecting ponds and ornate, crimson buildings are a fine and increasingly rare example of classical Chinese architecture.
Afterwards, enjoy a Sichuan style lunch at the temple’s vegetarian restaurant.
Explore in-depth information, experiences and highlights by navigating to specific regions using the links below on the right.
Western & Silk Road
Get a real feel for China on this luxury 10-day tour that whisks you through Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, and Shanghai. Stay at some of the country’s most prestigious hotels while taking in key sights, from the Temple of Heaven, to the Great Wall of China, to the Terracotta Warriors, Yu Gardens, and more.
- 10 days / 9 nights
- Price Per Person
- From $10,200
China's Natural Wonders: National Parks and Pandas
Journey through China’s most picturesque landscapes on this exciting 13-day luxury journey. You’ll hike through the stunning Yellow Mountain and Jiuzhaigou National Park, tour Tibetan villages of the Zharu Valley, and play with Pandas in Chengdu, while staying at luxury hotels like Amanfayun or Banyan Tree.
- 13 days / 12 nights
- Price Per Person
- From $18,800
The Sights of Sichuan
Marvel at Sichuan, China’s incredible history and natural beauty on this 8-day luxury tour that voyages through Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou, and Mt Emei. Get a taste for the area’s past at sites like Huanglong and the Giant Buddha of Leshan, while also checking out the Chengdu Panda Base and the Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic Area.
- 8 days / 7 nights
- Price Per Person
- From $6,500
Yushu and Litang Tibetan Horse Festivals
Experience the splendor and fun of Tibet’s iconic horse festivals. You’ll travel to rustic lodgings in Xining, Yushu, Serxu, Derge, Xinlong, Litang, Danba, and Chengdu, as you check out key sites like the Great Monastery of Kumbum, Yellow River, Serxu Monastery, and the Yajiang Valley.
- 17 days / 16 nights
- Price Per Person
- From $12,400
The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu, situated in the center of the capital of Sichuan province, is a strong new contender in Southwest China’s luxury hotel market. The hotel is located in Tianfu Square, one of the city’s main commercial districts. The Ritz-Carlton has 353 well-appointed suites designed in the style of a traditional Chengdu courtyard home, some of which can still be found in the old parts of the city. The room interiors combine light woods and a palette of cool blue and golden colors intended to subtly reflect the city’s heritage in a modern context. The hotel’s facilities include an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, spa, ballrooms and meeting rooms. There are three restaurants to choose from, serving refined Cantonese cuisine and other international specialties, as well as a lobby lounge where guests can enjoy a sweet treat with their afternoon tea.
Situated in the center of Sichuan's capital city, the Shangri-La Chengdu offers spectacular views of the Jinjiang River and of Chengdu's bustling metropolis. Its spacious guest rooms are fitted with modern furnishings and designed to offer the best views. For authentic Sichuan and Cantonese cuisine, dine at Shang Palace, or choose Cafe Z to sample South American, Middle Eastern, and Asian fare. The health club is outfitted with indoor swimming pool, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools and an extensive array of cardiovascular equipment. There is also a business center for Internet access. The Shangri-La Chengdu's spa, Chi, offers treatments based on ancient Chinese principles of restoring balance and harmony to the mind and body. The hotel is approximately 30 minutes from Shuangliu International Airport (CTU).
The Temple House
Blending the traditional with the modern just like the city it stands in, The Temple House is a masterclass in elegant design. Guests enter through the lovingly-restored courtyard, dating back to the Qing dynasty, and the historic style is integrated into many of the building’s features. The hotel’s service, though, is slick and up to date, with paperless systems ensuring an effortless check-in so guests may relax in their elegant room, apartment or suite in no time. From local and international cuisine to tea and cocktails, the dining options are comprehensive and delicious, and with a spa, indoor pool, steam and sauna facilities and a state-of-the-art gym on site, every whim is taken care of.
Waldorf Astoria Chengdu
A branch of the Hilton Worldwide hotel and resort brand, the Waldolf-Astoria Chengdu provides world-class comforts in the rising economic power located 1000 miles west of China's capital. With a cultural heritage spanning 2,300 years, Chengdu is home to such relics of an older time as Wenshu Monastery and Jinli Market Street as well as modern marvels like the New Century Global Center. The Waldorf Astoria Chengdu itself is anchored in the center of the Chengdu Hi-Tech Zone, close to the Shuangliu International Airport. Its guest rooms’ floor-to-ceiling windows perfectly frame scenes of this modern corridor of Chengdu while their interiors are expertly decorated with Chinese aesthetics. Further views of the citycan be enjoyed from each of the six restaurants and lounges while guests will find an indoor pool and 24-hour fitness center on the 48th floor. The hotel ideally caters to both business and pleasure trip with elegant meeting rooms and a world-class spa. Personal concierges ensure each guest is allotted a unique and unforgettable experience.
China Goes Well With
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
An Asia-focused magazine brought to you by Remote Lands - a platform for adventure, luxury, and authenticity from experts and explorers around the continent.
The Unbearable Cuteness of Pandas: My Experience in Chengdu
- Catherine Heald
I am a self-confessed panda junkie. Seeing pandas in a zoo does not suffice for me, and I had always wanted to personally interact with these adorable creatures – to touch and feed and play with a panda…
Chengdu: China’s most famous bear and So Much More
A symbol both of the Chinese nation and of wildlife conservation, few species are as unique as the panda — or as adorable.
Top 5 Must-Try Chengdu Dishes for the Sichuan Foodie
- Sharon McDonnell
Chengdu is the home of sizzling spicy Sichuan food, cuisine with a pungent, distinctive taste and so, so many chili peppers.
What Others Say
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A California father and son
Also unforgettable was our experience driving through Beijing in an old fashioned motorcycle side car followed by lunch with a local family in their traditional hutong house.