Things to do in Chengdu, China

Located on the edge of the plains of the Red Basin, Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. Regarded as one of the most important economic, transportation and communication centers in Western China, Chengdu is ranked as one of the most livable mega-cities in the country. In recent times, the city has seen an increasingly growing demand for a new breed of luxury accommodations such as Fraser Suites Chengdu, which blends elegance, sophistication and attention to detail all into one. Known for its agricultural wealth, Chengdu which has a population of over nine million is often referred to as the ‘land of milk and honey’ and is also the natural habitat of extremely cute giant pandas! Here are some of the things you can do in one of the most iconic cities in China.

Photos of Wolong Nature Reserve, Wenchuan County
This photo of Wolong Nature Reserve is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Wolong National Natural Reserve – Cute giant pandas. Those three words should be enough reason to drive three hours from Chengdu to the Wolong National Natural Reserve. Located in the east of Mt. Qionglai, it is home to the largest and best-known panda reserve in China. Established in 1963, the reserve covers an area of about 200,000 hectares in the Qionglai Mountains region. Housing over 150 highly endangered giant pandas, the Wolong National Natural Reserve gets over 100,000 visitors a year. Managed by the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda, the Wolong Panda Reserve was founded in 1980 with assistance from World Wildlife Fund. Whilst learning more about this highly lovable creature and its living habits, visitors can also have photo opportunities with baby pandas. In addition, with an accompanying donation, visitors can also ‘adopt’ a panda by naming it! Although known primarily for the giant pandas, Wolong National Natural Reserve is also home to rare and endangered animals such as the red panda, golden monkey, white-lipped deer (Cervus albirostris), gnu (wildebeest) and precious plants like yew and beech.

Photos of Jiuzhaigou World Heritage Site, Jiuzhaigou County
This photo of Jiuzhaigou Valley is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Jiuzhaigou Valley – Located in Nanping County, 450 kilometers (about 280 miles) to the north of Chengdu City, Jiuzhaigou (literally “Nine Village Valley”) takes its name from the nine Tibetan villages along its length. It is not hard to imagine why this famous attraction was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. At first glance, Jiuzhaigou valley looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale book or painting. The blue lakes, waterfalls, verdant forests, snow-covered mountains, and the folk customs of the indigenous people gives this place a dreamlike eloquence. Located north of Chengdu Jiuzhaigou valley has breathtaking natural scenery. Legend has it that long long ago the deity of mountain named Dago had a crush on the goddess Semo, and he gave a mirror that was made from wind and cloud to the goddess. However, the devil appeared and caused Semo to drop the mirror smashing it into 108 pieces, which fell down to the earth and then turned to 108 colorful lakes in the valley. Waterfalls and streams link 108 lakes of various sizes, many of which are classic ribbon lakes at the base of glacially formed valleys. Covering an area of nearly 30,000 hectares, there are numerous flora and fauna including 2,576 higher plant species and over 400 lower plant species. The diversity of flora has provided a good environment for wild animals and there are 170 species of vertebrates, 141 species of birds and 17 species of rare animals including giant pandas, takins and golden monkeys. Although Jiuzhaigou valley is a 10 hour drive from Chengdu, it is highly recommend making the trip out here to experience the stunning beauty of the waterfalls, colorful lakes, and snow-capped peaks.

Opening hours: 07:00 to 19:00 in peak season; 08:00 to 18:00 in off-peak season.

Photos of Baoguang Temple of Chengdu, Chengdu
This photo of Baoguang Temple of Chengdu is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Baoguang Temple – Founded during the Tang Dynasty, the Baoguang (Divine light) temple acquired its name from the emperor Xizong of Tang Dynasty (618-907) when he saw the light radiating from the temple one night. Located in Xindu County, the temple is 18 kilometers (11 miles) away from Chengdu and is a popular destination for travelers from China and abroad. Today, Baoguang temple is known for its storied history, splendid architecture, and majestic sculptures. Baoguang Temple consist of one tower, five halls and sixteen courtyards. The temple has a number of halls; Cangjinglou Hall is recognized as the biggest and one of the most outstanding halls of Baoguang Temple. Arhat Hall, another attraction of Baoguang Temple, covers an area of 1,600 square meters (17,223 square feet). The hall houses 577 kinds of sculptures by Li Guangxiu and his disciples and each statue in Arhat Hall has a unique posture and expression. In addition to the historic relics and sculptures, there are many national treasures including ‘Running Horses’, drawn by Xu Beihong, a famous Chinese artist. Other cultural relics preserved in the temple include Shelizi (Buddhist relics) of Baoguang Temple; bronze Ding (an ancient cooking vessel), and other precious paintings by well-known artists.

Photos of Huanglong Scenic Valley, Songpan County
This photo of Huanglong Scenic Valley is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Huanglong Scenic Valley – Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, this scenic and historic interest area is located in the Songpan County, in the northwest part of Sichuan Province.  This place is nown for its colorful lakes formed by calcite deposits, especially in Huanglonggou (Yellow Dragon Gully), as well as diverse forest ecosystems, snow clad mountains, gushing waterfalls and hot springs. Huanglong’s beautiful scenery is concentrated in the 3.6-kilometer long valley that includes snow covered mountains and the easternmost glaciers in China. As a result of the layered calcium carbonated deposit patterns, the valley resembles a golden dragon winding its way through the forest, stone mountains and glaciers. There are numerous colorful lakes of different shapes and sizes scattered all along the valley. The lakes are strewn with gold colored limestone deposit giving the water a shimmering golden hue. And in sunlight, a golden dragon seems to surge forth from the forest. Hence the name ‘Huanglong Valley’ (Yellow Dragon Valley). If you happen to visit Huanglong valley in spring, you are in for a treat. In spring, the luxuriant trees, blooming flowers, butterflies and birdsong adds a breathtaking dimension to the beauty of the lakes. From the lakes, one can see the interwoven reflection of trees, mountains, clouds and sky – truly a visual feast! In the Huanglong (Yellow Dragon) Cave, visitors can find three sitting Buddha figures whose bodies are encrusted with calc-sinter crystals. In winter, the ice forest, bamboo shoots and waterfalls form a magical icy scene. Shitazhenhai is the most beautiful attraction in Huanglong. The calcium carbonate deposits give a myriad of different hues to the water, which is truly breath-taking. Zhuanhua Pond is crystal clear and the spring water never stops welling up. If you throw flowers or leaves into the pond, they will swirl rhythmically with flow of the water. This place is definitely a must visit! It is recommended spending the entire day exploring and marveling at the beauty of nature at its finest.

Opening hours: 09:10 to 16:40 every day.

And when you are visiting Chengdu,  consider staying at our luxurious property in Chengdu and enjoy the most sophisticated, spacious living between the Central Business District and Tian Fu Square. Adjacent to a high-end shopping mall, this Chengdu hotel apartment is close to commercial and shopping complexes as well as plenty of entertainment and dining options. Conceived by renowned international architects and featuring décor by acclaimed interior designer from Hong Kong, Fraser Suites Chengduis nothing less than breathtaking – both inside, and out.

Business travellers and extended leisure visitors will appreciate our fully equipped kitchens and up-to-the-minute home theatre equipment, as well as walk-in wardrobes and ergonomically designed desks and chairs. Along with a full range of facilities and renowned service, this standout accommodation in Chengdu offers levels of service more usually found in top hotels.                                                                                                             With two whole floors dedicated to health and wellness, guests can enjoy facilities including a beautiful indoor pool, revitalizing hot and cold tubs, steam and sauna rooms, as well as an aerobics room. In addition to the dining café, there’s a billiard room, children’s play room, The Retreat, and a Business Centre offering a full suite of services, including impressive function rooms. Along with a personalized daily housekeeping service, guests have the benefit of a 24-hour concierge. Fraser Suites Chengdu is well-served by major transportation links and is ideally situated close to a major entertainment hub, so you’ll always find plenty to do and see. Enviably located for business, shopping and dining – and providing easy connectivity to the rest of the city – and beyond into Sichuan Province – Fraser Suites Chengdu provides all of the ingredients for an unforgettable stay.

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