This fast-growing city with a population of 14 million, is an important economic hub with many high-rise buildings and lively night-time venues. Chengdu is divided into five urban districts, with the Funan river running through the city.
Despite the city’s fast-paced modernisation, there is a wealth of culture and history to explore. Chengdu’s famous tourist attractions include the Wuhouci Temple, Tianfu Square, the Chunxi Shopping District and the Panda Research Base.
Chengdu has a laid-back gay scene that blends well into the mainstream environment. Public displays of affection, gay and straight are generally tolerated.
There are a few ‘exclusively gay’ and gay-friendly Bars which are more for socialising than hooking up. The Chengdu nightlife scene attracts a very mixed, international and gay-friendly crowd.
Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport serves flights to most major cities in China and some international destinations. Train connections are available to most cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Kunming.
There are two metro lines. Line 1 runs north-south, and Line 2 east-west. Taxi are widely available. Official taxis are equipped with meters. Chengdu has an extensive system of buses, however bus lines and maps are all in Chinese, so less helpful for non-Chinese reading tourist.
Tianfu Square (天府广场) – the city centre with the large Chairman Mao statue and all-day water show with synchronised music.; hub of Chengdu’s subway system.
Jinli Ancient Street (锦里古街) – this Old Town neighbourhood is popular with locals and visitors for its wide range of hotels, antique shops, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
Wuhouci Temple (武侯祠) – located southwest of Tianfu Square next to Jinli Street, the temple is home to dozens of dust-covered statues of historical figures and attractive gardens.
Chunxi Road (春熙路) – popular shopping street in downtown Chengdu, with many restaurants, clothing stores, bookshops, arcades and cinemas.
Kuanzhaixiangzi (宽窄巷子) – a relaxing neighbourhood in Qing-dynasty style with lots of teahouses and local eateries; free WiFi available.
Chengdu Panda Research Base – the biggest facility of this kind in the world for giant panda breeding.
Wenshu Temple (文殊院) – Chengdu’s most impressive and famous Buddhist temple from Tang Dynasty period.
Qingyang Temple (青羊宫) – the oldest and biggest Taoist temple in the area, located in the west of city centre.
Sichuan Provincial Museum (四川省博物馆) – showcases a great collection Chinese paintings, bronze wares, Buddhist sculptures, Tibetan artefacts and anthropological objects from the province.
Sichuan Opera (四川歌剧院) – this venue features a variety of stage performances including traditional musicians, magicians, comedy (in Chinese), shadow plays and dancing.
Surrounded by scenic mountains, Chengdu is known for its lack of sun. Summer months can be hot and humid. The most pleasant time to visit is in the winter.
Chengdu is one of the most liveable mega-cities in China. Its large city centre is home to many world-class, international brand hotels.
Our recommended Chengdu Hotels offer a great base to explore the city’s attractions, gay scene and nightlife.