An imposing skyline of modern high-rise buildings runs through the capital of the southern province of Sichuan. In the middle of it, temples with the typical curved roofs and red lanterns are hidden. Chengdu was already a cultural centre in ancient China and the old Shu Empire.
Whether ancient theatre plays with fire-eaters and mask artists, traditional tea houses or the cuisine influenced by spicy Sichuan pepper - you can still discover the original China in this megacity. The best time for your visit is from March to June and from October to November with mild temperatures, lots of sunshine and little precipitation. Less
An excellently preserved and important temple complex
Pandas in their natural habitat
In the heart of the city stands this excellently preserved and important temple complex of Buddhism. When you enter the grounds, the impressive pagoda with its eleven floors will immediately catch your eye. In addition to valuable works of art, Wenshu Monastery houses a skull fragment of monk Xuanzang and a jade Buddha statue. Stroll through the lush monastery gardens on your Chengdu journey, watch croaking frogs in the pond and let the tranquillity wash over you.
The most popular sight in Chengdu - not only for animal lovers - is this non-profit panda reserve. Here the black and white teddy bears live together with the cute red pandas in a natural habitat, reproduce successfully and are being researched to better understand and protect their species. Come in spring or autumn, when the clumsy little animals are at their friskiest.
What does not sound particularly exciting at first sight is in reality an impressive UNESCO world heritage site. For over 2,300 years, the huge dam system has been taming the water masses of the mighty Min River and supplying the Chengdu Plain with the precious water. The canals are lined with idyllic footpaths, picturesque cafés and houses built in the style of the Qing Dynasty. Climb up to Fulong Temple, from where you have a breathtaking view over the fertile forest and hilly landscape.
Du Fu was a penniless poet in his lifetime who spent a few years in a straw hut in Chengdu. Only long after his death did his reputation grow and today he is considered a literary master in China. Therefore, his dwelling was reconstructed in his honour and a museum was built where you can admire his works and his poetic talent. On your Chengdu journey, explore the extensive park with koi ponds, bamboo groves and bonsai gardens. Less