Chengdu, with its more than 14 millions inhabitants, is the fourth town of China, the capital of Sichuan province, and one of the most important economic, commercial, financial and cultural city of Western China.
During first week of August 2016 it will take place on hard surface the 1st edition of International Chengdu Challenger with a 125,000 USD money prize, that is one of the richest tournament of the year for this category. Many are players who could be protagonists of this event. From number one seeded Teymuraz Gabashvili to Kostantin Kravchuk, from Go Soeda to experienced spanish Ramirez Hidalgo, not to mention Chinese task force led by Ze Zhang and Di Wu. One of the main reasons of interest, however, remains to see at work two phenomenal young players like South-Korean Duck Hee and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas.
To arrive in Chengdu is quite simple if you are already in China because railway station is one of the six biggest in the country, while if you come from a foreign country you will arrive by air using one of the many routes and air companies which operate regularly on Shuangliu International Airport. Here you can try to book your flight to Chengdu.
Chengdu is an enormous town with a wide range of attractions (temples, natural parks, museum and so on), but if i should choose just three of them I choose these ones:
- Giant Panda Breeding Research Base: One of Chengdu’s most popular attractions, this reserve is 18km north of the city centre. Home to nearly 120 giant and 76 red pandas, the base focuses on getting these shy creatures to breed. In Autumn you have the possibility to see newcomers in a real nursery for little pandas. Could be a great idea to visit in the morning, when the pandas are most active. Feeding takes place around 9.30am and in the late afternoon, too. Pandas spend most of their afternoons sleeping, particularly during the height of midsummer, when they sometimes disappear into their (air-conditioned) living quarters. Ticket price is 59 yuan (about 6€) and opening time is 8:00-17:30. Official site here.
- Mount Qingcheng: This mountain sits above sea level at a height of 1,260 meters . It is the birth place of Taoism and is not only known in China as being one of the great mountains of Taoism, and as of 2000 it was also included in the world heritage list. The mountain is praised for being one of the most peaceful places under heaven, and it’s no wonder why, all you hear when you’re there is the sound of water running, birds singing, the wind blowing through the lush green trees, and your own footsteps. The mountain has 36 peaks, from the foot of the mountain looking up you’ll see at the highest peak is Laojun Pavilion. Ideal to visit completely this amazing place is 2 days. Far 66 km from Chengdu, you can use a bus (2hrs) or a more expensive train (35 minutes) to arrive in.
- ANSHUN BRIDGE: This bridge is located over the Jinjiang River in the southeast downtown of Chengdu. Meaning “peaceful and propitious”, it dates back to the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). With a spectacular view, particularly at night when the banks are lit, the veranda bridge houses a restaurant spanning the river and it is a popular eating location in the city. In the 13th century, famous Italian traveler Marco Polo mentioned four bridges in China in his travelogue and the Anshun Bridge was one of those which impressed him most. From following picture pheraps you could understand the reason why…
Accomodations in Chengdu arte very numerous, most of these get an incredibile value for money. Click here for a complete list of 732 structures available.
These are, on the other hand, my favorite ones:
- 3 STARS HOTEL – CHENGDU GREAT RAIN HOTEL Located at only a 10-minute walk from Shahe Park and only 8 mnutes taxi to Chengdu North Railway, this hotel offers wide (30mq2) and modern style rooms with colorful decorations and well-equipped facilities. Prices start from 27€ for a double room with free Wi fi included (no breakfast).
- 4 STARS HOTEL – GRAND SCENT HOTEL. Located in Chengdu Hi-Tech zone, this hotel offers modern room and free wifi in all area. Very good the Chinese restaurant on site. Prices start from 70€ per day for a 32 mq2 room with full breakfast included. A free parking area is available for all guests.
- 5 STARS HOTEL – CROWNE PLAZA CHENGDU PANDA GARDEN. This magnificent hotel is just 5 minutes drive from Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base and offers his guest an indoor pool, an outdoor one, spa treatments, and free shuttle buses to downtown and Panda Base. Superior room large 40 m2 are available from 89€ for day with breakfast and free wi-fi connection included.
Useful links for futher info on this cute destination:
CHENGDU ON CHINA HIGHLIGHTS