I didn’t think there was that much to do besides look at cuddly pandas but it turns out there is quite a lot of things to do in Chengdu. We had four days in this stopover city and they went by so fast. When you’re in China you only think of the main places like Beijing and Shanghai but thankfully I had my boyfriend convince me to go to Chengdu! Here are some things you can do when you arrive in Chengdu 🙂
5 Things To Do In Chengdu
Leshan Buddha – This famous Buddha is only a 2 hour bus away from Chengdu and is worth carving out time for. Arrange your tour the night before or there is high speed trains that leave from both Chengdu Train Stations
Mount Qingcheng – This is one of the original Taoist Temples just a 40 minute high speed train away from Chengdu North Station. It is a 90 Yuan entrance, 60 Yuan round trip cable car, 5 Yuan for the boat across the lake and 10 Yuan for the Crystal Cave. You can do this as a half day trip!
Panda Breeding Centre – One the main things to do in Chengdu is visit the panda breeding centre. Unlike depressing zoos that break my heart, the breeding centre is an amazing place where the pandas and other animals are taken care of. Their wellbeing comes first! They started with 6 pandas and now have a hundred and eighty! Quite impressive.
You can do a half day tour for 130 Yuan. You arrange at you hostel/hotel, don’t bother trying to get their yourself it will just be a lot of ache and wasted time. The driver will pick you up and drop you off at the breeding centre. Your entrance fee is included in the price! I highly recommend doing this because you will leave around 7:30 in the morning and the panda centre will be relatively quite. After 10 you will notice tons of people swarming the centre and will have a hard time enjoying yourself!
Wenshu Temple & Vegetarian Buffet – Leave it to me to add a buffet to the list of things to do but seriously.. go. It was soooo good! I wish my stomach was bigger so I could have eaten more. This was probably one of my favourite things to do in Chengdu just because it was so delicious and different. I’m a vegetarian and found it hard to eat in China despite my efforts at learning some of the language and mapping out places to eat. It’s all easy on paper but in real life? I struggled. I made this vegetarian survival guide if you’re a fellow veggie. So when we got to this buffet I went a bit savage.
The temple was pretty but I wouldn’t go to out of my way to see it but! The buffet. That’s a different story. Located conveniently beside the temple you’ll find a really pretty tea garden and if you keep going straight you’ll reach the main area for food. Upstairs is set meals (also good) and you’ll get the option for hot pot for 55 Yuan or the buffet (you want this one) for 35 Yuan!
All you can eat and you get 5 Yuan back if you finish your plate. Everything is delicious and if you find a “meaty” looking dish with nuts in it try that. It’s a Sichaun specialty dessert which translates to “many things melting together.” Yum!
Jinli Pedestrian Street – One of my favourite things to do in Chengdu was visit this vibrant street. This street is full of venders, food stalls, live music, a tea garden and so much more. The whole place is buzzing with excitement and it’s not really a street at all but more like a little village. Very cool. This street was actually one of the highlights because I had never experienced something like it.