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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 30°37′0″N 104°5′59″E / 30.616667°N 104.09972°E / 30.616667; 104.09972

—  Sub-provincial city  —
Chinese transcription(s)
 - Characters 成都
 - Mandarin (Pinyin) Chéngdū
From top: Jin River and Anshun (peaceful and fluent) Bridge, Huaxi campus of Sichuan University, Jinli Street, and a Panda in Chengdu Research and Breeding Centre

Location of Chengdu City jurisdiction (yellow) within Sichuan
Chengdu is located in Sichuan
Location in Sichuan
Coordinates: 30°39′49″N 104°04′00″E / 30.66361°N 104.0666667°E / 30.66361; 104.0666667
Country  People's Republic of China
Province Sichuan
Settled 5th century BC
Established 311 BC
City seat Qingyang District
 - County-level

9 districts, 4 county-level cities, 6 counties
 - Type Sub-provincial city
 - CPC Party Chief Li Chuncheng (李春城)
 - Mayor Ge Honglin (葛红林)
 - Total 12,390 km2 (4,783.8 sq mi)
Elevation 500 m (1,640 ft)
 - Total 11,000,670
 Density 887.9/km2 (2,299.6/sq mi)
 - Major Nationalities Han
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 610000-611944
Area code(s) 28
GDP (nominal) Total (2009) ¥ 450.26 billion (US$65.956 billion)
GDP (nominal) Per Capita (2009) ¥ 35,215 (US$5,159)
License Plate Prefix 川A

Chengdu (Chinese: pinyin: ChéngdūWade-Giles: Ch'eng-tu), located in southwest People's Republic of China, is the capital of Sichuan province and a sub-provincial city. Chengdu is also one of the most important economic centers, transportation and communication hubs in Western China. According to the 2007 Public Appraisal for Best Chinese Cities for Investment, Chengdu was chosen as one of the top ten cities to invest in out of a total of 280 urban centers in China.[1]

More than four thousand years ago, the prehistorical Bronze Age culture of Jinsha (Chinese: pinyin: Jīnshā) established itself in this region. The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which Chengdu is located, is called Tianfuzhi guo (simplified Chinese: pinyin: Tiānfǔzhi Guó) in Chinese, which literally means "the country of heaven", or more often seen translated as "the Land of Abundance". It was recently named China's 4th-most livable city by China Daily.[2]



Caotang the thatched cottage of Du Fu
Statue of Mao

In the early 4th century BC, the 9th Kaiming king of the ancient Shu moved his capital to the city's current location from today's nearby Pixian. He was said to have been inspired by the ancient story of King Tai of Zhou, Grandfather of King Wu of Zhou, moving his capital. History recorded King Tai of Zhou's move as "it took a year to become a town; it took three years to become a capital". Following this, the king of Shu named the new city as "Cheng Du", which means "become a capital" (In Chinese, the word "cheng" means "become", "du" means "capital"). There are, however, several versions of why the capital was moved to Chengdu, and more recent theories of the name's origin point to it as stemming from, or referring to, earlier non-Han inhabitants and/or their languages.

After the conquest of Shu by the State of Qin in 316 BC, a new city was founded by the Qin general Zhang Yi (who as a matter of fact had argued against the invasion). This can be seen as the beginning of the Chinese Chengdu. It was renamed Yìzhou () during the Han Dynasty.

During the partition following the fall of the Eastern Han Dynasty, i.e. the era of the Three Kingdoms, Liu Bei founded the southwest kingdom of Shu-Han (; 221-263) with Chengdu as its capital.

During the Tang Dynasty, both the "Poet God" Li Bаí () and the "Poet Sage" Dù Fǔ () spent some part of their lives in Chengdu. Du Fu constructed the celebrated "Caotáng" (thatched cottage or grass-hut) in the second year of his four-years stay (759-762). But today's Caotang, a rather sumptuous house in the traditional style, was only constructed in 1078 in memory of Du Fu. As early as the Tang dynasty more than 1,200 years ago, Chengdu became one of the foremost commercial cities in China, second to only Yangzhou.

Chengdu was also the birthplace of the first widely used paper money in the world (Northern Song Dynasty, around A.D. 960). The Qingyang Gong Taoist temple was built in Chengdu in the ninth century, meaning "Green Goat".

Two rebel leaders, one around the end of Song Dynasty, the other near the end of Ming Dynasty, set up the capitals of their short-lived kingdoms here, called Dàshu () and Dàxi (西), respectively.

During the Second World War the Kuomintang (KMT, Chinese Nationalist Party) government under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek fled to Sichuan Province to escape the invading Japanese forces. They brought with them businesspeople, workers and academics, who founded many of the industries and cultural institutions which continue to make Chengdu an important center.

In 1944 the American XX Bomber Command launched Operation Matterhorn, an ambitious plan to base B-29 Superfortresses at Chengdu and strategically bomb the Japanese Home Islands. Because the operation required a massive airlift of fuel and supplies over the Himalayas, it was not a significant military success, but it did earn Chengdu the distinction of launching the first serious retaliation against the Japanese homeland.

During the Chinese Civil War, Chengdu was the last city on the Chinese mainland to be held by the Kuomintang-controlled government. R.O.C. President Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo directed the defence of the city at Chengdu Central Military Academy until 1949, when the city fell into Communist hands. The People's Liberation Army took the city on December 10 and the remnants of the Nationalist Chinese government fled to Taiwan.

Today the industrial base is very broad, including light and heavy manufacturing, aluminum smelting and chemicals. The textile industry remains important, with cotton and wool milling added to the traditional manufacturing of silk brocade and satin.

Today it is the headquarters of the Chengdu Military Region.

On May 12, 2008, a 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck causing damage to the area, killing about 80,000 people and injuring 26,413 in the area as of May 12, 2008. 4,021 of the casualties and most of the property damage were from Dujiangyan and Pengzhou, two cities within the administration of Chengdu, the sub-provincial city. While 75 kilometers (48 miles) from the epicenter, Chengdu did not suffer any discernible damage.[3].

Geography and climate

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System located near Chengdu is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites together with Mount Qingcheng

Chengdu has a humid subtropical climate and is largely mild and humid. Chengdu is situated at the western edge of the Sichuan Basin and is therefore sheltered from northwest winds from Siberia in winter by the Qinling Mountains to the north; the short winter is milder than in the Lower Yangtze because of the sheltering effect of the Qinling. Snow is rare but there are a few periods of frost each winter. The summer is longer, but not as hot as in the "Three Furnaces" () cities of Wuhan, Nanjing, and Chongqing in the Lower Yangtze. The average daytime high in July and August is 29°C, with afternoon highs sometimes reaching 33°C or higher. The average low in January is 3°C, with lows sometimes dropping below freezing. Rainfall is common year-round but peaks in July and August.

Climate chart (explanation)
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
Climate data for Chengdu (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 9.3
Average low °C (°F) 2.8
Precipitation mm (inches) 7.9
Sunshine hours 53.3 51.4 83.1 113.9 121.7 117.2 131.9 155.0 77.6 59.4 57.2 51.6 1,073.2
Source: 中国气象局 国家气象信息中心 2009-03-17

Chengdu has one of the lowest sunshine totals in China (less sunshine annually than London), and most days are cloudy even if without rain. This is especially so in the winter months, when it is typically interminably grey and dreary. Spring (March-April) tends to be sunnier, warmer and drier than autumn (October-November).

Administrative divisions

Chengdu is a sub-provincial city. It has direct jurisdiction over 9 districts (区 qu), 4 county-level cities (市 shi) and 6 counties (县xian) :

Map Subdivision Hanzi Subdivision Hanzi
Subdivisions of Chengdu-China.png Chengdu City Proper Chengdu Rural
Qingyang-qu 青羊区 Pengzhou-shi 彭州市
Jinjiang-qu 锦江区 Qionglai-shi 邛崃市
Jinniu-qu 金牛区 Chongzhou-shi 崇州市
Wuhou-qu 武侯区 Jintang-xian 金堂县
Chenghua-qu 成华区 Shuangliu-xian 双流县
Chengdu Suburban Pi-xian 郫县
Longquanyi-qu 龙泉驿区 Dayi-xian 大邑县
Qingbaijiang-qu 青白江区 Pujiang-xian 蒲江县
Xindu-qu 新都区 Xinjin-xian 新津县
Wenjiang-qu 温江区 Dujiangyan-shi 都江堰市

City nicknames

Chengdu is famous for its teahouses

The name "Chengdu" has never changed since the city was founded, and the city has always been in the same location. The nicknames below are not formal names.

In the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-23 AD), brocade produced in Chengdu enjoyed great popularity among the royal and elite class in China. An emperor created the office of Jin Guan (锦官) to oversee brocade production in Chengdu. Since then, Chengdu has been called "Jin Guan Cheng" (锦官城) meaning Brocade Official's City, or in its short form, "Jin Cheng" (锦城) meaning Brocade city.

In the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907-960), Mengchang, the king of the Later Shu Kingdom, ordered the planting of hibiscus on the fortress wall surrounding the city. After this, Chengdu started being called the City of Hibiscus. Nowadays, the hibiscus is still the city flower of Chengdu, but the last city wall was torn down in the 1960s, along with the Royal Palace situated in the middle of the city, where the statue of Mao Zedong now stands.

Culture and folklore

Sichuan opera in Chengdu

The native language in Chengdu is Sichuanese (四川话), otherwise referred as Sichuan dialect. More precisely, "Chengdu Dialect" (成都话/成都方言) is widely used in lieu of "Sichuanese" due to the largely different accents of Sichuanese speakers residing elsewhere.

People from Chengdu (or Sichuan, in general) tend to eat spicy food. Local specialties include Grandma Chen's Tofu (Mapo doufu), Chengdu Hot pot, and Dan Dan Mien (literally meaning, "Noodles carried on a pole" (Dan Dan Noodles). All three dishes are spicy. Mapo Doufu and Dan Dan Mien contain Sichuan peppers (huājiāo; 花椒; literally "flower pepper") to give them additional flavor.

An article by the Los Angeles Times (2006) called Chengdu "China's party city" for its carefree lifestyle. Chengdu outnumbers Shanghai in the number of tea houses and bars despite having less than half the population. The inhabitants have a reputation in China for having a laid-back attitude and for knowing how to enjoy life.


Chunxi Road
Tianfu New Area

The main industries in Chengdu - which include food, medicine, machinery and the information technology - are supported by numerous large-scale enterprises, such as Chengdu Sugar and Wine Co. Ltd., Chengdu Food Group, Sichuan Medicine Co. Ltd., Chengdu Automobile Co. Ltd. etc. Many high-tech enterprises from outside Chengdu are also beginning to settle down there.

Chengdu is becoming one of the favorite city for investment in western China.[4] Among the World's 500 largest companies, 133 multinational enterprises have had subsidiaries or branch offices in Chengdu by October 2009.[4] These MNEs include Intel, Sony, and Toyota that have assembly and manufacturing bases, as well as Motorola, Ericsson, and Microsoft that have R&D centers in Chengdu.[4]

The National Development and Reform Commission has formally approved Chengdu's proposed establishment of a national bio-industry base there. The government of Chengdu has recently unveiled a plan to create a ¥90 billion bio pharmaceutical sector by 2012.[5] China's aviation industries have begun construction of a high-tech industrial park in the city that will feature space and aviation technology. The local government plans to attract overseas and domestic companies for service outsourcing and become a well-known service outsourcing base in China and worldwide.

Electronic and IT industry

Chengdu has long been established as a national base for electronic and IT industry. Several key national electronic R&D institutes are located in Chengdu. Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone has attracted a variety of multinationals, at least 30 Fortune 500 companies and 12,000 domestic companies, including Intel, IBM, NOKIA, Motorola, SAP, Siemens, Canon, HP, Xerox, Microsoft, Tieto , NIIT and Wipro, as well as domestic powerhouses such as Lenovo.[6]

Intel's Chengdu factory is its second in China, after its Shanghai factory, and the first such large-scale foreign investment in electronic industry in interior mainland China. Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, has invested US$525 million in two assembly and testing facilities in Chengdu. Following the footsteps of Intel, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), the world's third largest foundry, set up an assembly and testing plant in Chengdu. Intel's rival AMD is likewise set to open an R&D center in this city.

In November 2006, IBM signed an agreement with the Chengdu High-Tech Zone to establish a Global Delivery Center, its fourth in China after Dalian, Shanghai and Shenzhen, within the Chengdu Tianfu Software Park. Scheduled to be operational by February 2007, this new center will provide multi-lingual application development and maintenance services to clients globally in English, Japanese and Chinese, and to the IBM Global Procurement Center, recently located to the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen.[7] On March 23, 2008, IBM announced at the "West China Excellent Enterprises CEO Forum" that the southwest working team of IBM's Global Business Services is now formally stationed in Chengdu. On May 28, 2008, Zhou Weikun, president of IBM China disclosed that IBM Chengdu would increase its staff number from the present 600 to nearly 1,000 by the end of the year.[8][9]

Over the past few years, Chengdu's economy has flourished rapidly. Chengdu has been quick to become a major base for communication infrastructure, with one of China's nine top level postal centers and one of six national telecom exchanges.

In 2009, Chengdu hosted the World Cyber Games Grand Finals (11-15 November). It was the first time China hosted the world's largest computer and video game tournament.[10]

Financial industry

The financial centre of Chengdu

Chengdu is now building itself to be the financial hub for Western China and has successfully attracted major international financial institutions, including Citigroup, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, etc.

Historically, Chengdu has marked its name in the history of financial innovation. The world’s first ever paper currency 'Jiao Zi' was seen in Chengdu in the year 1023, during the Song Dynasty of ancient China.

Now, Chengdu is not only the gateway of Western People's Republic of China for foreign financial institutions, but also a booming town for Chinese domestic financial firms. The Chinese monetary authority, People's Bank of China (China’s central bank), set its southwest China headquarters in Chengdu City. In addition, almost all domestic banks and securities brokerage firms located their regional headquarters or branches in Chengdu. At the same time, the local financial firms of Chengdu are strengthening their presences nationally, notably, West China Securities, GuoJin Securities and Chengdu Commercial Bank. Moreover, on top of banks and brokerage firms, the flourish of local economy lured more and more financial service firms to the city to capitalize on the economic growth. KPMG opened this first west China office in Chengdu City this October, and before the inauguration of KPMG Chengdu office, its rival, Ernst & Young, had already integrated Chengdu into its global operation for several years.

Defense industry

Located within the city limits is the Chengdu Aircraft Company which produces the recently declassified J-10 Vigorous Dragon combat aircraft as well as the JF-17 Thunder, in a joint collaborative effort with Pakistan Air Force. The company is one of the major manufacturers of Chinese Military aviation technology.

Temple in Chengdu


The Chengdu Statistics Bureau reports that the total investment in fixed assets in 2008 was 301.29 billion yuan (US$43.38 billion). Domestic investment was 180.52 billion yuan (US$26 billion), an increase of 23.5 percent from 2007. The total amount of foreign direct investment reached US$2.25 billion, an increase of 97.3 percent from 2007.

Industrial zones

  • Chengdu Economic & Technological Development Zone
  • Chengdu Export Processing Zone
  • Chengdu Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
  • Chengdu National Cross-Strait Technology Industry Development Park


Chengdu's transportation network is well developed, and Chengdu serves as the starting point for many national highways, with major routes going from Sichuan-Shanxi, Sichuan-Tibet, and Sichuan-Yunnan.

For the year 2007, Chengdu announced the official launch of 37 significant projects, including the Chengdu-Jianyang Expressway in an attempt to accelerate the construction of the experimental district. This project is expected to solve the current transportation problem, which is proved to be the bottleneck in Jianyang's development. Development of major tunnels and the Longquan Lake scenic spot has also been planned to integrate Jianyang better into the Chengdu economic circle.

Several major road projects were also mentioned in the paper: a 15 km tunnel from Shuangliu Taiping to Jianyang Sancha Lake; alteration of the National Expressway 321, from Jiangyang to Longquanyi, totaling 26 kilometers. There will also be a road that connects Longquan Town to Longquan Lake - it will be connected to the Chengdu-Jianyang Expressway and hence shorten the journey by 10 kilometers. The authority has yet to decide whether drivers will have to pay tolls to access the road.


By the end of 2008, there are ten expressways, connecting the center of Chengdu to its suburbs. The expressways that will be open to the public by the end of December are the Chenglin Expressway, extensions of Guanghua Avenue, Shawan Line, and an expressway from Chengdu to Heilongtan.

  • The toll-free Chengjin Expressway in the east of Chengdu is 38.7 km long, with six lines and designed for travel at 80 km/h. After it opens to the public, it will take only about half an hour to drive from the downtown Chengdu to Jintang, half the time of the current journey.
  • The expressway between Chengdu to Heilongtan (Chengdu section), going to the south of the city, is 42 km long. It is also toll-free and a journey from downtown Chengdu to Heilongtan will only take half an hour.
  • The extension of Guanghua Avenue, going towards the west of the city, is 11.6 km long with an estimated investment of 300 million yuan. It will cut the journey time from Chongzhou city to Sanhuan Road to less than half an hour.
  • The extension of Shawan Road going north will be 8.8 km long, and is designed for travel at 60 km/h. After it is connected to the expressways Pixian–Dujiangyan and Pixian–Pengzhou, it will take only 30 minutes to go from Chengdu to Pengzhou.


Chengdu Metro

Public transport

The Chengdu Metro seven line subway system has been planned, and Line 1 is under construction. Chengdu was the site of the June 5th bus fire incident.

Air transport

Chengdu is served by the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport located 16 km southwest of downtown. It has been the busiest airport in Central and Western China and the 6th busiest airport nationwide, with a total of 17.25 million in terms of passenger traffic in 2008.[11]

The Chengdu Airport has constructed a second runway, capable of landing Airbus 380, the largest commercial airplane to date. The second runway had a trial flight in October 2009 and is expected to be in use soon. Chengdu is the fourth city in China with double commercial runways, after Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. On May 26, 2009, Air China, the Chengdu Government and Sichuan Airport Group signed an agreement to improve the infrastructure of the airport and increase the number of international direct flights to and from Chengdu. The objective is to have a passenger traffic of 40 million by 2015, making Chengdu Airport the fourth international hub in China, after Beijing, Shanghai, and GuangZhou.[11][12]. There is also a long-term plan to build a second airport in Jintang County with five runways. Upon completion, it will take less than 30 minutes to travel from Jintang to downtown Chengdu.[13]

Railway transport

With four main railways, the BaoCheng railway (Boaji-Chengdu), the ChengYu railway (Chengdu-Chongqing), the ChengKun railway (Chengdu-Kunming) and the DaCheng railway (Chengdu-Dazhou) crossing it, Chengdu is the center of China's southwestern railway system. Chengdu is also the site of Chengdu Railway Bureau, which administrates the railway system of Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou and Yunnan.

Some new lines are under construction, such as the ChengGuan intercity railway (Chengdu-Dujiangyan), the ChengMianLe railway for passenger transport (Mianyang-Chengdu-Leshan), the ChengYu railway for passenger transport (Chengdu-Chongqing). Some other railways are also included in long term plan.

Chengdu now has four main train stations. Among them the North Marshalling Station is the largest marshalling station in China[14]. Meanwhile, a new station for passenger transportation is to be built in a few years.

River transport

Located to the northwest of Chongqing, Chengdu has no direct access to the Yangtze River, or any other larger river. However, to ensure that Chengdu's goods have access to the river efficiently, the port cities of Yibin and Luzhou -- both of which are reachable from Chengdu within hours by expressways—on the Yangtze have commenced large-scale port infrastructure development. As materials and equipment for the rebuilding of northern Sichuan are sent in from the East Coast to Sichuan, these ports will see significant increases in throughput.


Chengdu is the center of higher education and scientific research in Southwest China.

Colleges and universities

Sichuan University

Chengdu is the center of higher education and scientific research in Southwest China.

National universities include:

Important provincial universities include:

Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

International schools

Secondary schools


The United States Consulate General at Chengdu opened on October 16, 1985. It was the first foreign consulate in west-central China since 1949. Currently eight countries have consulates in Chengdu. The Philippines will open a consulate in Chengdu soon. The United Kingdom also has a visa application center in Chengdu.

Consulate Year Consular District
United States United States Consulate General Chengdu 1986 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou/Tibet
Germany Germany Consulate General Chengdu 2003 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
South Korea South Korea Consulate General Chengdu 2004 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
Thailand Thailand Consulate General Chengdu 2004 Sichuan/Chongqing
France France Consulate General Chengdu 2005 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou
Singapore Singapore Consulate Chengdu 2006 Sichuan
Pakistan Pakistan Consulate General Chengdu 2007 Sichuan/Chongqing/Yunnan/Guizhou/Tibet
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Consulate Chengdu 2009 Sichuan/Chongqing/Shaanxi/Yunnan/Guizhou

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

In 1979, Chengdu signed a sister city agreement with Montpellier, France, the first pair of Sino-French sister cities. Later Chengdu signed sister city agreements with cities in ten countries, as well as signing a friendly region agreement with the Dalarna province in Sweden. Chengdu has had many friendly exchanges with the sister cities. Montpellier, for example, has a Chengdu Street and a Chengdu Plaza. The soccer team Chengdu Blades is owned by Sheffield United F.C.

See also


  1. ^ Chengdu's June News | All Roads Lead To China
  2. ^ Jing, Fu (2006-01-03). "Beijing drops out of top 10 'best city' list". China Daily. 
  3. ^ "Casualties in Wenchuan Earthquake" (in Chinese). 2008-05-24. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  4. ^ a b c "Chengdu Leading the West (in Chinese)". 2009-10-21. 
  5. ^ "Chengdu Eyes a ¥90b Biopharma Industry (in Chinese)". 2009-10-20. 
  6. ^ "Branches of Fortune 500 Businesses in Chengdu". 2007-10-29. 
  7. ^ "IBM Expands Global Delivery Capabilities to Inland China". IBM Press Room. 2006-11-27. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  8. ^ "IBM 成都分公司" (in Mandarin). IBM Press Room. 
  9. ^ "IBM to Further Investment in Chengdu". People's Government of Sichuan Province. 
  10. ^ "WCG 2009 in Chengdu, China". 
  11. ^ a b "Agreement to build an airport hub in Chengdu". People's Net. 2009-05-26. 
  12. ^ "Chengdu airport". Sina. 2009-05-26. 
  13. ^ "Chengdu connection". China Daily. 2008-01-21. 
  14. ^ "Chengdu city info southwest china". Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  15. ^ Chengdu University of Traditional chinese Medicine webiste
  16. ^ Chendy Medical College website (English)

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Chengdu (成都; Chéngdū; [1]) is the capital of Sichuan Province in south-west China.

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) 10 12 17 22 26 28 30 30 25 21 16 11
Nightly lows (°C) 3 5 8 13 17 20 22 22 19 14 9 4
Precipitation (cm) 1 1 2 5 9 11 24 25 12 4 1 1

Chengdu is located on the edge of the fertile plains of the Red Basin in China's Sichuan Province. Due to its agricultural wealth, Chengdu is sometimes called the "Land of Milk and Honey". The Funan river bisects the city, although boat traffic, common until the 1960's, has all but vanished.

The greater city area is divided into five districts and 12 counties, altogether home to more than 9.2 million people. Chengdu has the reputation as a very "laid-back" city that emphasizes culture and relaxation and as a result of this and much green space is ranked one of the most livable mega-cities in China. It is credited with a good nightlife scene and contains many new western style buildings in the large city center.

Summer weather is hot and humid, as the city is surrounded by small mountains to the east and sits in the Red Basin. Furthermore, to the west lie the foothills of the mighty Tibetan Plateau and the fabulously scenic mountains of west Sichuan.

The city's most touted sites are the many temples and historical sites, however most are modern re-constructions of moderate interest and with extremely high entrance fees. Though Sichuan's other sites may be of greater interest, Chengdu is a nice city to fly into and stay a few days before exploring further into Sichuan.

Get in

By air

The airport is located 20 km outside of Chengdu center. Chengdu airport is one of the main air hubs in China, ranked 5th in passenger volume. It has flights to most major cities in China and some international destinations including Amsterdam, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Osaka, Phnom Penh, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. It serves flights to smaller cities within Sichuan Province, including the popular tourist destination of Jiuzhaigou.

Taxi fare from the airport to the city center averages ¥45. There is no extra charge for luggage or additional passengers. Going from the city to the airport, add an additional ¥10 to cover the toll on the Airport Expressway. There is also bus 303, which will take you to the Air China airline office on Renmin Nanlu (2. Section) next to the entrance of the Minshan Hotel (there is no bus stop! just look for a bunch of taxis/pedicabs, since they are also waiting for the bus. You are right in the center of the city and it costs ¥10. The last bus leaves the airport around 1AM.

If you intend to take a taxi, be sure to turn LEFT when you exit the domestic arrival area toward the taxi stand and get in a marked, green-and-yellow or blue-and-yellow taxi. Turning right may lead you towards no-goods who are waiting to prey on foreign tourists with unmarked vehicles. Beware as these people sometimes sport official-looking ID, but is in reality fake. The fare offered will often exceed ¥100, and if you bargain with them, you may find yourself sitting in the cab for a while until agreeing to raise the price back up.

By train

Frequent buses also leave for Chongqing, which is the beginning of many cruises down the Yangtze. These tours are available around town in Chengdu, and include transport to Chongqing, about three or four hours away. Train connections are available to Kunming in Yunnan, Chongqing and Xi'an..

By bus

There are three bus stations in Chengdu, and they serve different destinations.

Chádiànzi (茶店子汽车站), +86 28 8750 6610.  edit

Destination Price (¥) Departures (HH:MM) Duration (HH:MM) Lunch-Stop Last Update (YYYY/MM)
Hongyuan 108 06:30 10:00 Yes 2009/06
Jiǔzhàigōu (九寨沟) 121 08:00 10:00 yes 2009/02
Rìlóng (日隆镇) 69 06:40 9-12:00 yes 2009/02
Ruo Ergai 88 07:00 07:20 10:00  ? 2005/06
Sōngpān (松潘县) 74 06:30 07:00 07:30 8:00 - 11:00 (due to Wenchuan's earthquake repair) Yes 2009/11
Wòlóng (卧龙) 23 11:40 4:00  ? 2005/06
Langzhong (阆中) 46 7-18:30 (Hourly) 4:00 No 2009/10

Xīnnánmén (新南门汽车站), +86 28 8543 3609.  edit

Destination Price (¥) Departures (HH:MM) Duration (HH:MM) Lunch-Stop Last Update (YYYY/MM)
Daocheng 217.00 10:00 2 days  ? 2005/06
Éméi Shān (峨嵋山) 35 07:00-19:00 (every 20 mins) 2:00-3:00 No 2006/11
Jiǔzhàigōu (九寨沟) 140 08:00 11:00 yes 2009/02
Kāngdìng (康定) 103/115/125 08:00-14:00 (hourly) 7:00 Yes 2009/10
Ganzi (甘孜) 172 7:00 2 days Yes 2009/10
Ya'an (雅安) 37/42 07:20-19:00 (every 35mins) 2:00 No 2009/10
Lèshān (乐山) 42 07:20-19:35 (every 20 mins) 2:00 No 2009/10


Destination Price (¥) Departures (HH:MM) Duration (HH:MM) Lunch-Stop Last Update
Chongqing 130 trips all day, every hour 04:00 yes 2009/10

Get around

Chengdu does not have a raised highway system or a subway system, and consequently rush hour traffic can be hellish. Plan your itinerary around not having to be on the road during these hours.

  • Chengdu has an extensive system of city buses plying the streets. At each bus stop, there is a list of the bus lines coming through on this road, and on some city maps the whole network is displayed. However, the bus lines and maps only use Chinese characters, and even if the bus announces the station, it will usually only be in Chinese. Tickets are ¥1 for common and ¥2 for air-conditioned buses. After 10PM, tickets are ¥2 for common and ¥3 for air-conditioned buses.
  • Taxis are equipped with meters, which should be used, although they can be difficult to find. A free taxi will display an illuminated sign with Chinese characters in its dashboard. Taxi fare is ¥5 on flagfall for the older taxis ¥7 for the new ones, and and increase at ¥1.4 per km (for the first 7 kilometres - after that, it's ¥2.1 per km). At night, the fare is ¥7 on flag fall and increase at ¥1.6 per km. The meter records fares in increments of ¥1. Try to have small change on hand for taxi rides. Taxis can be extremely difficult to find, particularly during rush hour or when it is raining.
  • There are still some motorized bicycle-propelled pedicabs called san lun che (三轮车) which can take you moderate distances. Fix a price (¥4-10) in advance. The passengers ride behind the driver. The ride is fun, but san lun che are being phased out and are forbidden cross or ride on certain streets, and may be gone altogether soon. Originally, all of these pedicabs were powered by a 2-stroke engine; lately, most have been replaced by electric ones.
  • Most guest houses have bicycles for hire. Check for technical problems before starting out unless you want to be held responsible for it later. If you leave your bicycle, do so in one of the designated "bicycle parks", where it will be guarded over for a small fee. If you can not find such a place, be sure to lock it securely against some structure.
  • A subway system [2] is under construction. The first line is slated to open in 2010. It will start at Tianfu Square and extend southward down Renmin South Road. The second line is also under construction and will travel to the East (roughly along Jing Dong Road). It is hoped to be complete in 2015.
A statue of Mao in Tianfu Square
A statue of Mao in Tianfu Square
  • Tianfu Square. This square, overlooked by an enormous Chairman Mao statue in the center of the city, has been spruced up. Every evening at dusk, as well as at noontime, an elaborate water show, synchronized to music, bursts out from the square's fountains. Below the square will be shopping and the future hub of Chengdu's subway system.  edit
  • Sichuan Science and Technology Museum (四川科技馆), (Take a taxi or bus to Tianfu Square and walk to the large building directly behind the Chairman Mao statue), [3]. This huge four-storey museum is filled with interactive exhibits about science, aerodynamics, space, mathematics, robotics and physics. Children will love the interactive displays and indoor playground on the 4th floor. Adults will appreciate the descriptions in both English and Chinese. Everyone will love the crowd-pleasers like the robotic orchestra and walk-through maps of Sichuan's waterways. During weekdays this museum can either be overrun by local school groups or be so deserted it's almost creepy. Closed on Mondays. Overall, quite good value for money, especially on a rainy day. ¥30 per adult, free for children.  edit
  • Chengdu Zoo, (In the north of the city near the Panda Research Base). Offers all the typical animals that one might expect in a zoo (elephant, tigers, giraffes, monkeys, as well as panda bears). While the zoo itself is large and spread out, some of the cages are woefully small and the facility seems understaffed. Might be good for a family to visit. The zoo has vendors selling Chinese snacks as well as some carnival type rides. ¥12 per adult.  edit
  • Sichuan University Museum (四川大学博物馆; Sichuan Daxue Bowuguan), Wangjiang Road (望江路) (About a 15 minute ride from Xinnanmen bus station or a 40 minute walk), +86 028 85412313, [4]. 9AM-5PM. Excellent display of local artifacts and is worth while way of spending an hour or two. The museum is one of the better in China and there are four floors of well lite, air conditioned displays with decent English translations. Starting in the basement, enter the first room where dozens of stone carvings dating from the Han dynasty to the Tang are on display. The room next door has a moderately interesting display on the museum's history and numerous examples of ancient bronzes and stone age artifacts. The first floor is mostly artifacts from the Ming and Qing dynasty, including furniture, silk clothing, and an interesting display of leather puppets. The second floor has the perhaps the most engaging display: artifacts and daily use items from ethnic minority groups in China's southwest, including Tibetans, Miao, Yi, Qiang, Jianpo and Naxi. The third floor has a decent display of calligraphy scrolls, paintings, and ceramics. The museum is currently closed after the city changed the location of several universities. Plans are pending for a new museum to be built. ¥30 (students ¥10).  edit
  • Sichuan Opera. Most guest houses and travel agencies offer to arrange visits to these traditional shows. It is more like a burlesque cabaret than an actual opera, sometimes including magicians, traditional musicians, shadow plays, comedy (spoken in Chinese though), and dancers besides the traditional pieces. Of course the most famous is never omitted: quick face-changing and fire spitting performed by dancers clad in colourful traditional costumes. You will follow the story sitting at your table, sipping on your constantly refilled tea cup and nibbling some salted snacks. Note that there are many teahouses in the city that offer the show every night. Try the local favorite at Shu Feng Ya Yun (蜀风雅韵) teahouse located in Chengdu Culture Park (文化公园) on Qintai Road (it is beside Qingyang Temple). You will be seated on a covered open ground (cooled by fan; no A/C), which is actually the center of the traditional teahouse building. You might have to book in advance or just ask the concierge of your hotel to book it for you. ¥150 for back rows; ¥220 for front rows.  edit
  • Jinli Ancient Street (锦里古街). This neighborhood is part of the old city of Chengdu; it features hotels and small stores in old-fashioned style. Antiques are sold in a variety of different stores. It is very popular among both tourists and locals, especially at night, with many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. You will find a lot of famous local snack food over there, prices ¥1-10. Restaurants and bars in Jin Li are more expensive than outside. There are also antique hotels in there. Some consider Jin Li is to be tourist trap, which is partly true. However, this 'new old street' offers regional and fairly affordable street food specialties as well and can be combined with a visit to the Wuhouci Temple (entry fee 60 yuan, unless you are the holder of a Panda Card). Don't forget to take your camera.  edit
  • Jinsha Excavation Site. Recently discovered site featuring various tools and art pieces from around 3,000 years ago. The amount of unearthed items is just massive. They include pottery, blades, jade items, building foundations and various golden art pieces. There are two main buildings: the hall constructed over the centre of the excavation site and the modern exhibition hall with various artifacts on display. Entry: a rather steep 80 yuan (adults).  edit
  • Wenshu Temple (文殊院), 15 Wenshuyuan Street, (成都文殊院街15号) (Off Renmin Zhong Road). This Tang Dynasty Buddhist temple is the most impressive, and perhaps also the most used, temple in Chengdu. It is dedicated to the Buddhist representation of Wisdom, Wenshu Pusa (Manjusri Bodhisatva), and contains more than 450 Buddha statues and other precious relics. In addition to the halls and gardens, the temple also has a charming tea house that offers an insightful window of Chengdu life as it is frequented by locals who engage in games of chess, reading, knitting and just chatting with family and friends. The temple also has a delightful vegetarian restaurant with seats offering views over the gardens. Entry fee is a steal at only 5 yuan.  edit
  • Qingyang Temple (青羊宫; Qingyanggong; lit. Palace of the Green Ram), 9 Xierduan, Ring Road One (一环路西二段9号). This Taoist temple is the oldest and biggest of its kind in the area, located in the west of downtown. A large and still-active temple that takes into consideration Taoist philosophy in its construction, and with both a park next door and a number of relaxed courtyards inside. While it has a long history, the buildings are modern, cheaply-made concrete constructions, and it quite frequently shows. The statues inside are also cheap modern constructions of no real interest. A teahouse and a vegetarian restaurant can be found within the temple complex. ¥10.  edit
  • Happy Valley (欢乐谷; Huanlegu). Great amusement park with roller coasters and water park.  edit
  • Floraland (国色天乡), (Expect an expensive taxi ride out to the suburbs, or take one of the buses that will guide you to the park). The park includes a moderate selection of rides (water, relaxing and thrill), and various recreation activities. Weekends can get packed, so try to go during a weekday. ¥60.  edit
Chengdu's Panda Base, located just outside the city, is a favorite of visitors
Chengdu's Panda Base, located just outside the city, is a favorite of visitors
  • Panda Research Base, (By taxi it is about ¥30 from downtown Chengdu. By bus you catch a northbound bus 1 (¥1 or ¥2 depending on type of bus) and stay with it until the local bus-terminal (Zhaojuesi), leave the local bus-terminal through the exit leading to the long distance-terminal (LDT) but do not enter the latter, instead wait for the suburban public bus 532 or 107 to come by and stop at the left corner of the LDT. Alternatively, you can go in the local bus-terminal and take bus 198, which begins inside the local bus-terminal, for another ¥1 it will take you to the center within 20 minutes, get off when you see a big white panda statue in the middle of the street), +86 28 83510033, [5]. This is the biggest facility of this kind in the world. Due to habitat destruction and other reasons, the giant panda is maybe the most famous endangered animal. It is home to some 60 giant pandas, but also has some red pandas and a colony of black-necked cranes. Views of the pandas from much closer than is possible at many Western zoos. Also a small museum and a cinema screening related documentaries. A restaurant and souvenir-stalls top off the tourist installations. The best time to visit is in the morning, when pandas are most active. It is possible to take your picture while holding a red panda for ¥50; occasionally during the morning you can take a pictures alongside a giant panda for a fee of ¥1100. Knowledgeable English-speaking tour guides can be hired at the office by the base entrance. The cost for a guide for a small group is ¥100. Entrance is ¥60, or if you get the panda card (shengmao card), which was designed to restore tourism in ''Sichuan'' after the earthquake, for ¥1 you get in for free here and a number of other sites until 31 December 2009. However, this promotion officially ended on the 15th October, so you may have to search around town to find a place with cards left.  edit


For up-to-date information on activities, places and attractions you should check out the CHENGDOO citylife magazine's listings. You will find copies in most bars, restaurants, cafes, hostels and hotels.

  • Chunxi Road (春熙路). Take an afternoon or evening to walk down this shopping street, located in the center of the city. Makes for a good change of pace. Various clothing stores, bookstores, restaurants, arcades, and cinemas. Good place to find something to eat; including a hotpot buffet, Japanese restaurants, Western food, and much more. However, the major disadvantage with this area is that each brand has many stores in this location (similar to other parts of China). For instance, Nike, Adidas, and Li-Ning, each have about 4-5 stores in Chunxi Road alone which reduces the variety of things to buy. If you are looking for stores in the same vein as Louis Vuitton and Ermenegildo Zegna, these stores are located outside of the Chunxi Road area and near the Tianfu Square district.  edit
  • KTV, various locations. Spend an evening singing with friends, enjoy popcorn, beer and other refreshments. Songs available in English, Chinese, and more.  edit
  • Foot and body Massage. Chengdu is famous for its relaxed and laid back lifestyle. Foot and body massage is very popular in Chengdu with a lot of varieties. Generally, these places cater to groups of people who come in together, relax in a private room, perhaps eating fruit, pig ear, or sipping tea, while receiving a fully-clothed massage or foot washing. Prices are very reasonable, often well under ¥80 per person. Some places offer ¥25 per hour for a very nice foot massage, including washing, soaking and massaging feet, free hot/cold drink (tea, coke or juice), fresh fruit. A great way to relax with friends.  edit
  • Read a Book. The Chengdu Bookworm (see listing in the Eat Section) has a membership-based lending library of English language books, as well as travel guides for sale. Peter's Tex Mex, as well as some of the other restaurants that cater to foreigners, have book exchanges.  edit
  • Play Weiqi (the game of Go), [6]. As a symbol of Chinese culture from ancient China ,Weiqi is One of the world’s great strategy games ,A few simple rules lead to limitless possibilities .With a huge popularity in the city,Weiqi City is one of Chengdu 's nicknames.Chengdu Weiqi Classroom is the only place where foreigners can study this game with english speaking help.  edit
  • Cosmetics and Hair. Local woman love to get their nails and hair done at the mall. You can get your nails done beautifully (filed, buffered, polished and hand painted with beautiful patent) between ¥10-20 at most shopping centre. There are quite a few very popular ones located on the ground floor of Beijing Hualian (北京华联)in Yanshikou. You can also get your hair temporarily straighten or curled at ¥10-15. They do very nice style and it will last until you wash your hair.  edit


The following universities accept foreign students with the proper visa:

  • Sichuan University
  • Southwestern University of Finance and Economics
  • Sichuan Normal University
  • Southwest University for Nationalities
  • Those interested in ongoing, private classes in the Chinese language can hire a experienced teacher for ¥40-¥85 per hour. Ask for a referral at one of the universities, or from another student. Textbooks for learning Chinese are available at many local bookshops.
  • Job postings for English teachers are located in many guest houses, at Western bars and restaurants, anywhere foreigners congregate.
  • The Peace Corps [7] has its China headquarters in Chengdu and places highly selected and qualified US Citizen volunteers in 2 year assignments throughout West China, (Sichuan, Chongqing, Gansu, and Guizhou)
  • Antiquities Market, (Close to the Green Ram Taoist Temple in the western city, from the temple walk straight west, it is on your right hand side after you crossed the bridge over the channel). Big market with communist relics, old porcelain dishes, jewellery, calligraphy equipment and also some Tibetan stuff. Great bargains can be found here if you are into antiques, jewellery, and gifts.  edit
  • Pandas. All sorts of plush pandas, and other panda trinkets, are sold at the gate of the panda base, as well as ones of a slightly higher quality at the shop inside the panda base itself.  edit

Supermarkets are located throughout the city, although the selection of imported foods is limited.

  • Sabrina's Country Store, 54 Kehua North Road (Across from the western gate of Sichuan University and near Linshiguan Road), 8524 2987. If you must buy American food, and do not mind a 50% premium over US prices, this has friendly service and all imported products.  edit


Sichuan being the most known Chinese food style within China, you will find no shortage of delicious Sichuan food in Chengdu. Most of the food is quite spicy, be sure to order non spicy (不要辣; búyàolà), little spicy (微辣; wēilà) food or very spicy (老辣; laola). If you are not accustomed to it yet, a bottle of soy milk or milk will work much better than water to quell the fire. If you are used to authentic Indian or Thai food, the level of spiciness in Sichuan food should be no problem at all. However, Sichuan food also makes heavy use of Sichuan pepper (花椒; huajiao), which looks like but is not a true peppercorn, and causes your mouth to become somewhat numb. Sichuan pepper is added in most spicy dishes. If you can eat spicy food but do not like Sichuan pepper, you need to order so (不要花椒; bu yao huajiao). However, Sichuan pepper (in addition to causing numbing) has an important citrusy taste that it adds to foods and authentic Sichuan tastes bank on the play between the flavours of both Sichuan pepper and chili peppers, and it is strongly recommend you at least try the authentic versions with the Sichuan pepper before deciding for yourself.

The spiciest food in Chengdu is hotpot (also called steampot), although the tradition originated in Chongqing, so it is not really Chengdu food. Sichuan hotpots are basically a big pot of soup and spices simmering in a hole in the middle of your table. Patrons choose from a large selection of meats, vegetables and other add-ins. Most popular include: lamb, mushrooms, beef, tofu, quail eggs, potatoes, kuail eggs and many many others (pork, green vegetables, fish balls, carrots, and even pig's brain!) You can choose spicy pot or non spicy pot. With spicy hot pots, unlike eastern hot pots, the soup is NOT for drinking; instead, fish out your cooked items with chopsticks (do not fish the liquid out with a spoon, it is too spicy even for locals to drink; the fished out vegetables will be spicy enough), dip them in the small bowl of oil provided to each person, and enjoy.

There are also a lot of weird local snack type of food, such as spicy dragon prawns (look like very small crayfish; 麻辣龙虾), spicy snails (香辣田螺), Chongqing duck neck (九九鸭脖子), Bangbang chicken (棒棒鸡), spicy rabbit meat (二姐兔丁). These ones are so delicious and you must try them. But you need to ask a local to take you to the right place. Quite often you will find that the small restaurants and shops offer the most delicious and cheapest food. If you want to find even cheaper food options, street venders are the way to go. Serving everything from barbeque (烧烤) to steamed breadrolls(馒头), they are a cheap and offer a great option for a quick bite to eat.


There are a number of stalls and hole in the wall type places all over town. Food here is dirt cheap, expect to pay no more than ¥8 for a meal, and the quality is good. Things to be on the lookout for are spicy bowls of breakfast noodles, (担担面; dandanmian), double cooked pork, and dozens of dishes coated in "mala" the Sichuan chili spice famous the world over.

  • Yulinchuanchuanxiang (玉林串串香), Various locations throughout the city. Cheap and fast hotpot variety. This is a help-yourself style meal, go to a backroom and choose your own kabobs. Stick the kabobs into a hotpot soup, and have them boil. Pull them out and enjoy. Large kabobs are ¥1, and small ones are ¥0.1 each. Expect to be full for less than ¥25. There are both spicy and non-spicy variations. There is a large selection of meats, vegetables, and other add-ins. Beer is available in large bottles and sweet soymilk (Dounai) is also served.  edit
  • Lanzhou Lamian (兰州拉面), Located everywhere. A bowl of noodles starts for about ¥4, and reach a maximum of ¥7. Varieties include egg, lamb and beef. Other dishes are reasonable in price as well. Breads for 1 kuai a piece, and Mutton Kabobs (羊肉串) go for 1 kuai per stick. Da Pan Ji (大盘鸡) is a great choice if eating with a group. Usually offered in small or large sizes, a small size will cost about ¥40 and feed 3 or 4 people. A large order might cost about ¥60. This dish includes chicken, potatoes, onions and other vegetables in a moderately spicy sauce. Can eat with bread or noodles to make a great meal.  edit
  • Steamed buns (包子; baozi). Sold for breakfast or lunch from street vendors throughout the city. Yacai bao (芽菜包) is a local Sichuan special variety you are unlikely to find elsewhere and typically contains some mixture of Yacai (芽菜), a type of preserved vegetable, and potentially some meat. Other typical fillings include beef, red bean paste, mushrooms, green vegetables or pork. Three buns cost around ¥1 or larger buns cost ¥1 each as well. A container of soy milk (豆漿 dou jiang) is about the same price.  edit
  • Wenshu Temple Vegetarian Restaurant (文殊院素餐馆), 15 Wenshu Street (文殊院街15号), ''+8 28'' 693-870. In the grounds of a monastery and run by monks. Offers a huge selection of traditional vegetarian dishes, including some containing imitated meat.  edit
  • Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant ((北海道日本料理)), Various locations throughout the city (Locations include Chunxi Road (春熙路), Yulin South Road (玉林南路), outside of Sichuan University (Near Cafe Paname), and more). Authentic Japanese food. Serves curry, tonkatsu, unagi-don, fried rices, sushi, ramen noodles, and various other selections. Serves Chinese and Japanese beers, as well as a selection of plum wine and sake. Meals range from ¥20 upwards, expect a plate of sushi to be quite a bit more expensive, but sides are generally decent priced.  edit
  • Chen Mapo (陈麻婆), 208 Shuanglin Road (成都市双林路208号新华公园正门对面), [8]. Supposedly opened by the Mapo herself in 1862. The place to eat Mapo Doufu, it does not get any more authentic than this. Spicy food eaters will love this, those who do not like spicy food should probably skip it altogether.  edit



  • Veranda Bridge Restaurant. This restaurant is actually a historic bridge over Fulan River. Sichuan food. Very good reputation within Chengdu. Expect to pay at least US$10 per person for food, drinks additional.  edit
  • Huang Cheng Lao Ma, (On 3rd section of south part of the 2nd Ring Road), +86 28 85139999, [9]. Elaborate restaurant featuring hot pot followed by live entertainment, including Sichuan face-changing. Don't miss the diorama scene of ancient Chengdu built into the restaurant lobby's floor. A separate section on the ground floor of the restaurant also features a pan-Asian buffet with contemporary entertainment. Child care is available on premises. Prices are in the range of RMB100 per person for dinner and one drink.  edit


Chengdu has a few local Western restaurants. Service is always friendly, although you should expect occasional mistakes, such as appetizers served at the same time as your meal. Chengdu is just starting to get accustomed to Western tastes.

  • Chengdu Bookworm, 28 Renmin South Road, [10]. Has something for everyone. It is an English language lending library, a Western restaurant, a bar, as well as an occasional venue for local singing and musical talent. Expats might want to join the membership library or take kids to the children's morning story hours. Evenings, you might find a travel author reading from and signing books, poetry reading, or singing. Great place for to connect with others, catch up on some reading, or just relax.  edit
  • Grandma's Kitchen. Western restaurant with four locations around Chengdu, including one next door to Peter's on Zhong Hua Yuan.  edit
  • Peter's Tex-Mex, +86 28 85180903. Actually an American restaurant with some Mexican dishes. Peter's has good food. The Zhong Hua Yuan location also has homemade ice cream, the best ice cream you will find in Chengdu. If you are coming from out of town, the Zhong Hua Yuan location is right in a major expat area with lots of other restaurants and shopping surrounding it. Prices range from ¥12 to more than ¥150 for a meal.  edit
  • Zoe's Barbeque & Restaurant, 30 Section 4 Renmin South Road (人民南路四段30号), +86 28 85593345, [11]. Western BBQ and more, the best pork ribs in Chengdu. Good food with friendly service, plus wireless access.  edit
  • Paul and Dave's Oasis, (Directly opposite the Travel Hotel and main bus station (other side of river)). A place for volunteers, ex-pats, and all manner of foreigners, a place where you can go and just chill. Though he does serve Chinese food, you're better off going elsewhere for this, it is however a place where you can sit and lose yourself for a day or so. Usually ocupied by the local foreigners, usually playing Western music.  edit
  • All of the hotels in the "Splurge" category have Western restaurants or buffets. Call ahead for more information.
  • Club 88 (88号酒吧), 99 Shaoling Road, Wuhou District (武侯区少陵路88号). Currently Chengdu's hottest club. Awesome lighting and music, dancing in the walkways and people just trying to get seen. Expect crowds of people, packed tables, and action going on through the night well past the other clubs closing times. Get there early to get a table or come (very) late to wind down the night when everything else dies.  edit
  • Babi II, (Walking distance from Shangri-la Hotel). Club.  edit
  • Babi, Shaolin Road (Right next to Club 88). Club.  edit
  • Cafe Paname, 143 Kehua North Road (科华北路143号) (Nearby Sichuan University). A bar with a younger crowd and laidback environment Expect an occasional DJ event which will make the bar a little more lively on Fridays and Holidays. ¥10 Suntory beer on tap is a perk.  edit
  • Highfly Cafe, 18 Linjiang Road, +86 28 85442820. Relaxed place with a tiny outside sitting area. They serve beers and Western food including pizza and breakfast. There is one computer for free Internet access and a small book exchange (2 for 1).  edit
  • Feeling4Seasons Cafe, Orient Times Mall 2F, Xiadongda Street (Near Dongmen Bridge), +86 28 66208848, [12]. Good Italian coffee: espresso, cappuccino, especially latte. Also pasta and pizza. They also provide Internet service: wireless access for your laptop, loan of a wireless card if you don't have one, use of a PC if required. You can also burn CDs. It is also one famous China blog freelancer's cafe bar; he published a book named "Ten Years, Flying with one Dream".  edit
  • Shamrock Pub (三叶草酒吧), 15, 4th Section, Renmin South Road (Located near Linshiguan Road and the US Consulate), +86 28 85236158, [13]. This Irish pub in is currently the hub of Chengdu's small expatriate community (of approximately 3,000). Friendly pub atmosphere and live music some evenings. In addition to drinks the pub serves dishes including pizza, meat pies, sausage rolls, steaks, burgers, currys and a range of other snacks. The pub is also an active sponsor of several nonprofit organizations, including holding events for moon bear rescue and for the disabled. Copies of the informative Chengdoo book are available at the Shamrock.  edit
  • High Connections Coffee House, Fu A-20 6 Shuangqing South Road, Qingyang District (On the west side of Chengdu near Metro and the Southwest Financial University), +86 28 87325855, [14]. Provides a relaxing, comfortable, environment with soft lighting and easy-listening music. They have non-smoking and smoking sections. Bring your computer and hook up to the wireless Internet. Their coffee (both Espresso and good old fashioned drip American style) and muffins are an excellent way to begin a day. They also have large conference rooms available for meetings.  edit

Also, on the southern bank of Jinjiang there is a row of bars between Renmin South Road and Xin South Road. Beers will cost ¥10-¥20 per bottle, but buying bulk cans will save you a good bit of money with special deals. There will also be street vendors selling various snacks. This makes for a good night with the clubs Babi II, Ta & Ta, and Soho just around the bend.

  • 8trees Wine Bar & Restaurant, 9 Pingan Alley, +86 28 86699060, [15]. Located in a century old Roman Catholic church, and offers the most unique romantic dinning experience. Recommended signature dishes are the tantalizing mouthwatering North American beef, marinated with fresh herbs and spices; the lamb main simmered with exotic spices. On the lighter side, there is the conscious side dish which is very popular with weight-watching regulars who complement their meals with the rich creamy soups offered in the menu. A must see for the church underground wine cellar.  edit
  • Little Bar (New) (小酒馆 (芳沁店)), 87 Fangqin Street, Yulin Shangwugang, 1F (成都市芳沁街87号附5号丰尚玉林商务港1楼, +86 28 85568552, [16]. Rock bar. The bigger shows are on Friday and Saturday and the bands start playing at 8PM and finish at 10PM. ¥25 entrance fee. A bit hard to find so best to get a cab to take you if you are not familiar with the area. Not to be confused with Little Bar (Old), the sister bar on Yulin West Road.  edit
  • Sim's Cozy Garden Hostel 成都老沈青年旅舍
    Sim's Cozy Garden Hostel 成都老沈青年旅舍
    Sim's Cozy Garden Hostel (成都老沈青年旅舍), 211 North Section 4, First Ring Road (一环路北四段211号) (Look out for two red lanterns with a traditional chinese door at the entrance of the hostel), +86 28 81979337, [17]. Managed by an experienced travelers couple (Singaporean husband and Japanese wife). Has a small garden and great atmosphere and look. Toilets are equipped with paper, there is a lockable security box at your bed, mosquito-coils adorn the rooms and corridors, the bar-restaurant provides guitars and cold beers, Western and Chinese food and so on. Staff is friendly, helpful, speaks English and are able to arrange tours. Free quality Chengdu map available. There is internet access for ¥5 per hour at the bar. Free WiFi access which works in all bedroom. If you do not want to stay in the dorm, is advisable to make a reservation some days in advance. Transport can be arranged to pick up from the airport. Dorms ¥20-40, private rooms ¥80-240. (30.680754,104.087359) edit
  • Chengdu Dreams Travel International Youth Hostel (梦之旅国际青年旅舍), 242 Wuhouci Road (成都市武侯祠大街242号) (Opposite Wuhou Temple, reachable by bus 57 from near the train station to Wuhouci Station (武侯祠站), cross the street and walk slightly further), +86 28 85570315, 85570322 (), [18]. Dorm beds and private rooms of various sorts available. Travel office and English help, 24 hour large volume hot shower, a roof-top bar, garden tea house, kitchen for self cooking. Tends to be frequented by Chinese tourists more than foreigners, but the hostel staff have at least 2-3 people that speak perfect English. Dorms ¥30, ¥25 with HI card.   edit
  • Chengdu Jason's Nest Guest House (成都旅行天下青年旅舍), 26 west way of south railway station, +86 28 85125498. Fully-equipped hostel with spacious bright rooms, clean bunks, the Tibetan-style dining room and bar. Located in the leisure, entertainment, dining center of Chengdu, with most attractions within a ¥10 taxi ride. It is a ¥30 taxi ride from the airport or north rail station, a 10-minute walk from the south station, or call for a free pick-up. Helpful, very knowledgeable staff.  edit
  • Traffic Hotel (交通饭店), 6 Linjian Street (成都市临江路6号) (Near Renmin South Street, directly bordering Xinnanmen Bus Station), +86 28 85451017, [19]. One hundred percent geared towards foreign backpackers and is a good place to organize a tour or buy tickets. The adjacent Traffic Inn Hostel has a nice common area with a large collection of DVD's and western food. The rooms and shared bathrooms are very clean and come with a reliable air conditioner. The matrasses in the hotel are harder and in the hostel are softer. Washing machines are available for ¥10 per load, bring your own detergent.Free wifi on the whole premises with good reception and good English speaking staff at the hostel. Four-bed dorms rooms ¥30 per bed, three-bed dorms ¥40, singles and doubles ¥200-500 The singles in the hostelbuilding are 60 and doubles 80.  edit
  • Chengdu Mix Hostel (成都驴友记青年旅舍), 23 Xinghui West Road, Renjiawan, Wanfu Bridge (In downtown near Wenshu Temple), (), [20]. With cheap beds, and lots of people. Wi-fi for laptops, free Internet. Atmospheric building with a lot of Tibetan knick-knacks. The staff all seem somewhere around twenty. If you call ahead and book they will pick you up from the train or bus station.  edit
  • Dragon Town Youth Hostel, 27 Kuanxiangzi Street (成都市宽巷子27号) (A five minute walk north of Renmin Park), +86 28 86648408 (, fax: +86 28 86245901), [21]. Serving younger people and families, catering mostly for young western budget tourists. Many traveling services available from within the hostel, such as tours to nearby attractions, Tibet travel tours. Facilities include Internet access, restaurant and camp grounds. Cheapest accommodation is ¥15/bed with rooms starting from ¥100.  edit
  • Sam's Guest house, 130 Shanxi Street (10 minutes walk from the Chairman Mao Statue at Renmin South Street, look for Rongcheng Hotel, Sam's Guest house office is next to the entrance to Rongcheng Hotel), +86 28 86118322 (). Rooms start from ¥80, doubles are ¥120.  edit
  • The Loft, (Three blocks north of Dragon Town Hostel). Very modern hostel. Use to be a printing factory but now converted to a contemporary style hostel. Has free pool table, free Internet access, TV and DVD. Rooms are clean. Twins and doubles cost ¥120.  edit
  • Holly's Hostel, 246 Wuhouci Street, +86 28 85548131, [22]. checkin: noon. Though not as trendy or cool as other hostels in Chengdu, Holly's has a better location than most other hostels in the city. Situated across the Jinli Street, a good starting point for traveling through Chengdu, Wuhouci Dajie also has lots of tibetan restaurants, hot pot restaurants, noodle joints, massage parlors, and camping/climbing stores. Staff speaks excellent english and will help you with your traveling needs. Dorm rooms are nothing fancy but are clean and serve their purpose. Western cafe on the roof, internet access, dvd, etc. Social atmosphere. Perfect for those who want a good hostel and do not care about being hip. ¥35 for 8-bed dorm.  edit

Mid range

The vast majority of Chengdu's mid-range hotels are not affiliated with a national or international brand and generally charge ¥300-700. The hotels in this category can generally put up the facade of the more luxurious hotels, but often suffer noticeably from deferred maintenance or haphazard customer service. Many are geared mostly towards Chinese and Asian tour groups. The hotels listed below are the best of the bunch with lobby staff who speak at least a basic level of English and usually offer a free Chinese breakfast.

  • Barsby Hotel, 208 Fuqin West Road, +86 28 6615.7979 (, fax: +86 28 66106999), [23]. checkin: 16:00; checkout: 13:00. In addition to being happily underpriced for the value provided, fans of Fawlty Towers will find themselves confronted by Basil Fawlty's good twin in the person of Mr. Robert Barsby, a true John Cleese lookalike, this hotel's proprietor and veteran of the administrations at a number of the city's finer hotels. Over a free breakfast which can include western style eggs and toast, he will be happy to share with you his experiences and his reason for having created one of the better "boutique" hotels in China. Rooms are spacious, scrupulously clean and well heated, although you need to be careful when showering that the drain is functioning properly, otherwise you're likely to flood the toilet enclosure. The annexed restaurant is a moderately priced decent traditional Chinese establishment, but will not accept the credit card you may have used at the hotel. Certainly one of the best values in any market. ¥180.  edit
  • Chengdu Wenjun Mansion Hotel, 180 Qintai Street, +86 28 86138785, 86138884, [24]. The hotel offers a wide range of rooms from single to family. This attractive courtyard-style hotel is situated on one of the more tourist-friendly streets in the city, surrounded by buildings in a similar Han and Tang Dynasty style. The courtyard is a perfect place for tired travelers to relax with a drink and play a borrowed game of mahjong or just chat. ¥180-260.  edit
  • Jin Jiang Inn, [25]. Part of a China-wide hotel chain; 3 locations in Chengdu; the South Chengdu Yulin location is near Ren Min Nan Road and the US Consulate. Good value for money. Rooms are small but clean and well apportioned. Breakfast and free internet provided. Secure lobby area and friendly staff. ¥129-179.  edit
  • The Pleasure Hotel, 130 Babao Street, Qingyang District, +86 28 86250888, [26]. Offers 97 air-conditioned guestrooms with a satellite TV, IDD telephone, private toilet and bath, and mini-bar. ¥237.80.  edit
  • Super 8 Hotel, SOHO Building, 60 Kehua North Road (Above an enclosed shopping arcade, near the western gate of Sichuan University), +86 28 85250058, [27]. Free internet. No breakfast. Rooms are small and poorly designed. ¥139-188.  edit
  • New Times Maruika Hotel Chengdu, Block B, Wen Wu Road, New Times Square, Qingyang District (Within 2 km from the Chengdu Railway Station, Pacific Department, and city center), +86 28 86530188 (fax: +86 28 86617982), [28]. Three-star hotel featuring air-conditioned guestrooms that has cable TV, a private toilet and bath, safe, hair dryer, and a free broadband Internet connection. ¥197.79.  edit
  • Nanfu Bund Hotel, 117 Shunjiang Road, Jinjiang District, +86 28 84553939, [29]. Nanfu Bund Hotel is a five star hotel located in Jinjiang District. While staying at this hotel, you might want to visit some of their tourist spots which includes Jinjiang River and Wangjiang Park. They have air-conditioned rooms that has a cable TV, private toilet and bath, hair dryer, and a free high-speed Internet access. From ¥322.25+.  edit
  • Haoge Business Hotel, 1 West 3rd Section of 1st Circle Road, Jinniu District (Next to the Thatched Cottage of Dufu), +86 28 87777988, [30]. Rooms all boast individually controlled air-conditioning, free Internet connectivity, satellite TV, mini-bar, and IDD phone. Rates start at ¥640.  edit


Chengdu's luxury hotels provide world class service at very reasonable prices. Business and leisure travelers can expect, at a minimum, to find fluent English speaking staff, Western and Chinese restaurants, full conference facilities, business center, sauna and concierge service at all of these hotels. Room rates are US$115-200 per night for a standard or deluxe room. The Kempinski and the Jin Jiang Hotel are generally the lowest price within this category.

  • Chengdu Lido Sheraton, [31]. Modern, American managed hotel conveniently located in in the center of Chengdu near Tian Fu Square and the sports stadium, but a few blocks away from shopping districts. This hotel can accommodate the most discriminating of guests in luxury and world class service.  edit
  • Sofitel Chengdu, [32]. French managed, overlooks Fulan River, similar to but more expensive than the Sheraton.  edit
  • Jin Jiang Hotel, [33]. Chengdu's first international luxury hotel, the Jin Jiang still offers good service. While it has been eclipsed in luxury by the newer hotels listed in this section, it offers reasonable room rates and great service, with good facilities for conferences of all sizes.  edit
  • Kempinski Hotel, [34]. German managed hotel offers hospitality and luxury. Great German events, including Ocktoberfest, Christmas and New Year's parties. Excellent gym, pool and workout facilities. Close to the United States Consulate.  edit
  • Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Hotel, [35]. The Holiday Inn goes all out to indulge its guests with the finest of service. Great service, very responsive management.  edit
  • Shangri La Hotel, [36]. Chengdu's newest luxury hotel, opened 2007. Very creative buffet restaurant.  edit
  • Forstar Hotel, [37]. Business hotel offering upscale meeting room facilities, convention center, and business center. It is also a four-star quality accommodation in Chengdu that offers luxurious amenities to vacationing tourists. It has elegant guestrooms, posh restaurant, full service spa, and recreational rooms. Online reservations are now available.  edit
  • Jinyu Sunshine Hotel, [38]. Four-star hotel offering over 150 guestrooms, all elegantly furnished. Other hotel facilities include banquet halls, restaurants, gift shop, spa, and KTV. Online reservations are now available.  edit
  • United States Consulate General[39] (美国驻成都总领事馆) #4 Linshiguan Lu, Chengdu. Phone 8558-3992. American Citizen Services hours Monday-Thursday 1:30pm-5:00pm, Fridays 9:00-4:00pm.
  • Royal Thai Consulate[40] (泰国驻昆明总领事馆驻成都办事处) Located in the Kempinski Hotel: 42 Renmin Nan Rd. 4th Section C210-212, Sichuan 610041
  • German Consulate General (德意志联邦共和国驻成都总领事馆) 25th Floor of Western Tower located at No. 19, 4th Section Renmin Nan Road, Chengdu 610041, Tel: (0086-28)8528 0800 Fax: (0086-28) 8526 8308
  • Consulate General of Singapore (新加坡驻成都总领事馆) 31/F East Guan Cheng Square, No.308, Shun Cheng Main Street, Chengdu. Phone 86 28 8652 7222
  • Consulate General of the Republic of Korea (韩国驻成都总领事馆) No. 2, Wangfu Oasis Hotel, Xianan Main Street of Chengdu. Phone 86 28 8616 5800


China's country code is 86. Chengdu's area code is 28. Coin-operated pay phones are located throughout Chengdu, and calling cards can be purchased from many vendors. Local landline phone numbers are eight digits long; cellular phone numbers in Sichuan are eleven digits long and start with 13 or 15.


Internet access can be found in most guesthouses and through cheap internet cafes all over town. Look out for the Pacman-character 吧 in the Chinese name for internet bar: 网吧.

  • A large Internet cafe is located on the second floor of the Xinnianmen bus station, just 100 meters from the Jiaotong Fandian hotel. The connection is fast and access is ¥2/hour.

Stay safe

Thieves are prevalent around certain areas of Chengdu. Be careful around the Yanshikou markets and especially around the North train station. There are also many thieves on crowded buses who use razors to cut open pockets and bags. Also watch your bag at all times when riding bicycles around the city, thieves like to run alongside bicycles at traffic lights and reach into bags.

Traffic can be hectic and motorists as well as cyclists have a complete disregard of pedestrians. Beware when crossing streets; even when the WALK sign is green, traffic taking a free right turn might try to run you over.


For such a big city, there's surprisingly little Western influence in Chengdu but certainly more than regional "rival" Chongqing. It's definitely not Beijing or Shanghai but this is changing fast with the arrival of more and more foreign students, teachers, and business people. This may be trying initially, as the level of English spoken is noticeably lower than other places, but it's also a blessing; carry a phrasebook and enjoy the authentic Chinese urban experience.

Around Chengdu

Chengdu is the gateway to Sichuan. Daytrips and trek can be organized to any major attraction is the province. The Giant Budda, Mount Qincheng, Stone Elephant Lake and Jian Chuan Museum can all be reached by regular bus or tour bus (ask your hotel for guidance). Families and those short of time might consider hiring a car with driver (¥300-900 per day, depending upon type of car and experience of driver, with cars booked at the luxury hotels the most expensive and highest quality).

  • The ancient town of Anren, about 45 km to the south.
  • The Giant Buddha in Leshan is probably the most popular nearby destination. A day trip to this ancient man-made wonder should be about ¥100-150. Two day tours are available which combine the Buddha with a visit to the nearby Buddhist holy mountain Emei Shan.
  • Mount Qingcheng (青城山) and the Dujiangyan irrigation system (都江堰, built 250 BC) Dujiangyan_Irrigation_System are easy day trips about 40km from Chengdu and make for a fascinating visit. You can do both sites in one long day, or better yet, plan to spend a day at each. Qingcheng is a beautiful mountain with an extensive and well kept network of steps and pathways; it includes many pagodas, a small lake, and a chair-lift for those who don't want to walk. Qingcheng is an important site in the Taoist religion. Dujiangyan has a fascinating history and a marvelous swinging pedestrian bridge. Both trips involve lots of walking. The entrance fees for both sites are not cheap. The mountain is ¥90. The cable car up is ¥35 one way or ¥60 round trip. There is a boat one needs to take to cross a natural pond for ¥5. The irrigation system costs an additional ¥90 to enter.
Stone Elephant Lake
Stone Elephant Lake
  • Stone Elephant Lake Ecological Resort(石象湖) [41] is a fantastic park with acres upon acres of live tulips and tiger lily flowers as well as nature walks and boat rides, and stone carved animals. The best time to go is during the Tulip Festival in early Spring and when the Tiger Lillies bloom in late summer, however, various flowers are usually in bloom from March through August and the nature walks are open year round. Bring your camera. Also bring a picnic lunch or eat in one of the several Chinese restaurants and noodle shops there. The park is about an hour and 15 minutes drive of pure highway driving south of Chengdu. Arrange a car to take you there or ask about bus service. Admission is ¥50.
  • Jian Chuan Museum Cluster Industrialist Fan Jian Chuan built this campus of museums to explain the history of 20th Century China. This is the first privately owned museum in Sichuan (privately operated museums in China have only been permitted since the year 2001). The Museum campus contains four buildings about World War II in China - one explaining the Communist Party role, one the Kuomington, one about the American volunteer group "Flying Tigers", and one about Sichuan volunteers. There is also a the modestly named "New China Porcelian Museum", which actually tells the story of the Cultural Revolution through porcelians of that era. A museum that more directly addresses that era is under construction. You will also see buildings explaining the practice of foot-binding and one about prisoners of war. Nearby, you can also walk through a landlord's manor. Make a day trip out of it; the Museum is in the nearby county of Dayi about an hour's drive from Chengdu. Admission is ¥60. Get around the museum cluster by walking or rent a bicycle built for two; a tea-house is located on site.
  • Bi Feng Xia[42] Bi Feng Xia is a large ecological park in the mountains about a two and a half hour drive from Chengdu. It centers around a huge gorge with waterfalls. One can hike down into the gorge on well marked paths and take an elevator back up. The park also has special panda habitats, as well as a more traditional "zoo". The main reason to go here is for the walks and hikes into the gorge. The zoo, although filled with animals such as tigers, lions, bears, monkeys, and even a drive-through section, has woefully inadequate and sometimes smelly enclosures. (The enormous bird aviary is one exception). Admission is about ¥80, with additional charges for bus rides between different sections of the park. There is an expensive hotel and basic restaurants on site. Direct buses to the park (via Ya'an) leave from Xinnanmen station every 30mins.
  • Huang Long Xi (黄龙溪) is worth a day trip. Buses start from Xinnanmen station (新南门车站) and take two hours. The little town features a lot of original dwellings and old temples.
  • Luodai (洛带) is an ancient village inhabited by the Hakkas minority. Buses start form (新南门车站) and take about an hour.
  • Sanxingdui (三星堆 sanxingdui) - This is an ancient Chinese city where archaeologists discovered remarkable artifacts that radiocarbon dated circa 12th-11th centuries BCE, and Sanxingdui (Three star mound) is the name given to this previously unknown Bronze Age culture. The Sanxingdui archaeological museum is located about 40 kilometers northeast of Chengdu in Sichuan Province and 10 kilometers east of the city of Guanghan. From Zhaojue Temple Bus Station catch a bus to Guanghan (¥14) and from there use public bus No. 6 to reach the museum (¥2). Entrance is ¥82 (¥42 for students). 0838-5651550.
  • Further afield, you can also trek out to the Tibetan areas of Sichuan. Buses leave everyday for Moxi and other towns. These long bus trips from Xinnanmen-bus station (it's about seven hours to Moxi, and the heating systems on buses in the winter are painfully inadequate) pass through incredibly steep mountain valleys wandering through the Gongga Mountain range. This all terminates at the Hailuogo Glacier, a massive park nearly nine hours from Chengdu. A good two or three day trip.
  • The Jiuzhaigou (九寨沟) Valley to the north of Chengdu is famous for its stunning nature and the cyan water terasses.
  • Siguniang Scenic Park (四姑娘). Located to the northwest of Chengdu, these mountains are sometimes called "China Alps" but are also known as the "four girls" or "four maidens". Prior to the May 12 2008 earthquake, buses could be caught between 6:30AM and 12:00 from Chadianzi (茶店子) tourism bus station (6-9 hours). As a result of the quake there is now a single bus at 6:40AM that takes up to 12 hours. Catch the bus to Xiaojin (小金) and let the driver know your destination is Rilong village (日隆镇).
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun




  1. A sub-provincial city in southwest China; capital of Sichuan Province.




Proper noun

Chengdu (Pinyin Chéngdū)

  1. Chengdu city of China
    Chengdu shi Zhongguo xinan de da chengshi.Chengdu is a big city of the southwest China.
    (Chéngdū shì Zhōngguó xīnán de dà Chéngshì. — 成都是中国西南的大城市.)

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