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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 12, 2018
Headline for 48-Hours in Chengdu: A Step-By-Step Itinerary
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48-Hours in Chengdu: A Step-By-Step Itinerary

Chengdu, the capital city of China's Sichuan province is a breath-taking mix of modernistic architecture and natural beauty.

1

Landing

The city's international airport lies only a mere ten miles away from the city centre, and attracts flights from a host of internationally renowned air-travel commodities such as British Airways, KLM and Qatar Airways. This close proximity makes the city easily accessible via either bus or taxi. If you choose the prior, there are two routes at your disposable, Route 300 (from 6:30 am to 8pm) and Route 303 (from 6am to 10pm). Travel by bus takes about an hour, so a taxi is a swifter travel choice. Be warned however that taxi drivers tend to speak minimal English. Luckily, most of the accommodation in Chengdu is located close by to the airport, such as the Somerset Riverview Chengdu.

2

Getting Your Bearings

At first glance Chengdu might seem like an endless urban spill, but there's method to this metropolitan madness. Most of the best that Chengdu has to offer correlate around the city centre, which is surrounded by the Fu and Jin rivers respectively. Tianfu Square is the city's metropolitan and transportation hub with converging metro and bus routes.

3

Check-In

Chengdu has a wide range of accommodation options to choose from, ranging from budget hostels to luxury hotels, ensuring the city caters to any budget or preference.

4

Day One - Take a Ride

The most popular place in Chengdu is the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, which is best visited in the morning at about 9am when the Pandas wake up to feed.

5

Lunch

Ideally, Jin Lin's vast array of stalls is a great start on a journey into Sichuan food, featuring delights such as spiced chicken-kebabs and fish-flavored tofu. Conveniently, most of these stalls contain English translations and conversions of prices.

6

Shopping Spree

South of Jin Li is Chengu's Tibetan quarter, which is lined with shops selling Buddhist paraphernalia such as statues, prayer-wheels, and jewellery. East of Jin Li is a series of up-market tea-shops, each containing a distinct experience to be had.

7

A Unique Dining Experience

One of the best culinary experiences to be had in Chengdu is Xiaojing Sifancai, a restaurant run from a lady's own kitchen. There's a strict reserve policy since only two tables are available, and there is no menu. One simply mentions the budget and level of spice and await a multi-course tasting menu. There are also various hot-pot restaurants serving the best of Sichuan cuisine.

8

Day Two - Temple Run

A visit to Chengdu would be incomplete without travelling to the serene working monastery located near the Fu river. It's actually a massive network of ancient temples, pagodas and gardens.

9

Brunch

Situated on the Eastern side of the Wenshu grounds is a vegetarian outlet like no other where people from all walks of life ranging from monks to travellers indulge in Sichuan specialities.

10

A Cultural Education

The mysterious Shu Kingdom ruled Sichuan in the ancient time of the first century BC. The best place to experience their wonders is at an open excavation of their sacrificial digs located at Jinsha.

11

The Grand Finale

Witness the amazing 'Face-Changing Act', at the Sichuan Opera, where talented performers effortlessly switch-masks with every swipe of their hands.

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