Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province and one of the largest cities in Western China. It is known as a relaxed and laid-back city, in contrast to some of China's other metropolitan centers. It is a rich agricultural center and has become known as China's 'Land of Milk and Honey' due to its excellent produce.
Chengdu is the gateway to the western hinterlands of China and the plateau of Tibet, with some stunning and wild scenery
Any visit must include the Panda Breeding Base in the north of the city. This provides a unique opportunity to see these reclusive creatures.
Dujiangyan is the place to see some of the best examples of ancient Chinese buildings, engineering and Taoist temples.
Sichuan cuisine is some of the best in China and in Chengdu you will find an incredible variety of dishes not found in the Western world.
Do as the locals do and visit a teahouse in the evening to enjoy the unique Sichuan Opera shows.
Chengdu has sweltering summers and cold wet winters, so Spring and Fall are the best times to visit.
Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport lies 12 miles outside of the city center and has flights from across China and many international connections. You can take the number 1 express bus into the city center for ¥10 or take a taxi for ¥45.
Chengdu has excellent train connections from all across China, with many high-speed bullet trains, such as the service from Chongquing which costs ¥97.
Chengdu is at the center of an extensive highway network across Western China, with the G317 running to the northwest, the G318 connecting with Tibet in the west and the G5 running northeast from Beijing.
The city is served by a number of bus services from other Chinese cities, such as Hongyan, with a fare of ¥108 to Chengdu.
The Traffic Inn Hostel on Desheng Road has good facilities, free WiFi and English-speaking staff with dorm beds from ¥35 and en-suite double rooms from ¥170. The Nanfu Bund Hotel on Shunjiang Road, meanwhile, offers five-star accommodation from ¥350.
Jinjaing District - is a young and lively area with lots of bars and international brand shopping.
Wuhou District - is a large and wealthy neighborhood with some historic sights, such as the Wuhou Temple and the ancient Jinli Street.
Qingyang District - is a picturesque neighborhood to the west of the city center and is home to the stunning Qingyang Palace.
Chengdu has an extensive and efficient modern metro system. Tickets cost from ¥2-¥4 depending on distance. Local buses cost ¥2.
Taxis are plentiful and metered. Flag fall is ¥9 and then you will pay ¥3 per mile.
Chengdu has a hugely congested rush hour in the morning and evening, so driving at these times is best avoided. Car rental is from around ¥130 per day.
Chunxi Road is the city's main shopping street, with more than 700 stores selling everything from fashion and jewelry to books and music. Songxian Qiao Antique Market in the Qing Yang District is great for crafts, antiques and souvenirs.
A quart of milk bought in Chengdu will cost around ¥12.25, and a dozen eggs is priced at ¥7.80.
There is great food all over Chengdu. Look out for Lanzhou Lamian, which has outlets across the city. It serves great local food, with noodle dishes from just ¥4. Wenshu Temple Vegetarian Restaurant on Wenshu Street does a great buffet for ¥35 and spicy hotpot dishes from ¥50.