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Chengdu is pretty much the antithesis of a frenzied Chinese metropolis. The mild-mannered city is nowhere close to being as flashy as Shanghai, neither is it as culturally iconic as Beijing. Chengdu simply carries on with its slow, daily trudge and still manages to attract an outstanding number of tourists each year.

The city’s most famous inhabitants are the giant pandas. Housing the highest concentration of giant pandas in the world, tons of tourists flock here to catch a glimpse of these gentle giants in their native land. Travellers looking to get into Tibet often enter the country via Chengdu, as it offers some of the smoothest pathways into the obscure region.

Getting Around

Chengdu offers a myriad of ways to get around the city. The ever-growing metro system has been piling on additional lines to keep up with the growing demand of mobility. The bus system is extensive but tricky for visitors to decipher, as only Chinese characters are used in the system. Taxis are fairly affordable if the meter is used, but drivers may try to wrangle an exorbitant fare out of you.

Other possible modes of transport include the motorised pedi-cab (a version of the trishaw) and bicycles.

By Metro Train

The metro currently consists of two lines. Line 1 links Chengdu North to the South Train Stations, running the length of Renmin Lu and beyond. Line 2 links Chengdu East Train Station to the city centre, intersecting Line 1 at Tianfu Square, before travelling on west to Chadianzi bus station.

2017 will see the completion of Lines 3 and 4. Line 3 will run to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base and Xinnanmen bus station, while Line 4, to the new Chengdu West Train Station.

Metro fares cost approximately ¥2 to ¥6 depending on the distance covered. You can purchase a local public transit pass at most metro stations prior to boarding.

By Buses

Bus routes are different to decipher, especially if Mandarin is not part of your vernacular. A popular mode of transport among the locals, it takes a longer time for visitors to warm up to it. It’s an affordable way to travel though - Bus fares within the city usually cost a mere ¥2 per ride.

By Car Rental:

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For more information on car rentals, visit the AVIS or BUDGET website.​


By Bicycle:

Given Chengdu’s pancake-like terrain, coupled with a number of designated bicycle lanes, cycling is a good way to get around the city. If you’re planning on hitting the roads, be very careful, especially when there are jams. You can rent a bicycle at a youth hostel for about ¥20 per day.​

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