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Updated by Joanna James on Dec 17, 2019
Headline for 5 Top-rated attractions in Chengdu & easy day trips – Places you must visit while in Chengdu
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Top-rated attractions in Chengdu & easy day trips – Places you must visit while in Chengdu

For thousands of years, Chengdu has played a strategic role in history. Located in a wheat and rice-growing region in the country, Chengdu is known for industry, scenery, history and culture.


Planning your trips and where to stay

You have the option of consulting tour companies that'll take the trouble of planning a day tour for you, and Chengdu accommodation will not be found wanting with the likes of Citadines South Chengdu.


Dujiangyan Irrigation System

The ingenious Dujiangyan Irrigation System was constructed in 250 BC. Located closely to Guanxian on the upper slopes of the Minjiang River, the irrigation system was built to prevent disastrous flooding. As a result of this ingenuity, the region hasn't been flooded in 2,200 years. While you are admiring the positive effect the irrigation system has brought upon, you could visit the Cave of the Heavenly Master, which is only a few paces away. According to historical records, Zhang Daoling, who founded the Taoist religion, taught his disciples in the cave. You will also see several statues in the cave that date back to prehistoric times. While you are exploring the cave and appreciating the irrigation system, you can also take several detours to nearby temples and mountains.


Leshan Giant Buddha

Being the largest sculpture of Buddha in the world, it is no wonder that it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The greatness of this colossal sculpture attracts pilgrims from every corner of the globe. The element that's most fascinating is that the sculpture is chiselled directly from the stone. The work was initiated by Haitong, a Buddhist monk who lived at the time, and was carried out by several other monks and a few artists after his demise; the work of the sculpture reached completion in AD 803. You can book yourself a day tour; an English-speaking guide will accompany you. There are a few lookout points that allow excellent viewing, and while you are at it, make sure you visit a few other temples in the area.


Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Someone visiting Chengdu is given the opportunity to closely observe pandas at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. The facility was founded in 1987 with just 6 rescued pandas, but now the number has grown up to 80 pandas; the establishment also has facilitated about 120 panda births. Included with a day tour to the facility is a visit to the on-site-museum; the museum features a display of items used for reproductive problems of pandas. Also, you should be minded not to be disappointed if you see them sleeping, as they always are, on your visit. If you want to avoid the likelihood of seeing sleeping pandas, make plans to visit the facility in the morning. To benefit fully from your tour, make sure your trip includes the baby panda holding option and the option where you can make food for pandas.


Mount Emei and its temples

Situated 160 kilometres away from Chengdu, Mount Emei, has enough historical credit to warrant a visit. The mountain is dedicated to Bodhisattva Puxian and is revered by Chinese Buddhists. Reaching a height of 3,099 km, the mountain is shrouded in mystery as well as it is in mists and clouds. The temples located on Mount Emei give cause for thousands of pilgrim visits. There are over 200 shrines, and 20 temples and monasteries have survived to see the present day.


Anshun Bridge

The Bridge is one of the praiseworthy creations in Chengdu. Built over the Jin River – what you see in the present day isn't the original creation – the bridge was recreated in 2003. The original bridge was built in 1746, and it was destroyed in a catastrophic flood in 1947. The replica, however, is not wanted in any way as it represents its predecessor with every feature. You'll also see a smattering of restaurants built over the bridge where you can enjoy dining with a view.