Chengdu is the vibrant and beautiful capital of Sichuan, and is known for its relaxed vibe and amazing food. It’s also home to the only research center in the world that focuses on the endangered giant panda. Giant Pandas call the mountain ranges surrounding Chengdu home, and the city is known as the panda capital of China. We decided to spend 3 days in Chengdu to explore the city, and here are our favorite things to do.
1. Visit Chengdu Panda Research Base
This facility is the only research center that focuses entirely on the critically endangered giant panda.
We arrived early in the morning around 8:30 am, to catch the pandas eating their breakfast as we learned they sleep most of the day.
The center is well organized and there are many pandas to see from babies to adults. It helps that description of the pandas is in Chinese and English.
Watching the pandas playing and munching bamboo has never been more fun, and the maternity wards with the babies were so fun to visit. We saw these pandas who were just 3 days old!
There are also red pandas in the sanctuary which are quite different and entertaining, and do not seem bothered by people at all.
There is a huge area where the red pandas can roam free, and they ended up running across the walkways ahead of us and hanging out really close to the paths.
In the capital city of Sichuan its notable cuisine is everywhere… in restaurants and small hot pot shops, and market stalls scattered all around the town.
Since it’s located in Sichuan Province, Chengdu’s local specialties are famous for their delicious spiciness and our favorites were the dumplings and the spicy noodle dishes!
3. Visit People’s Park
People’s Park is a beautiful Chinese park in the center of Chengdu where there are people of all ages enjoying the space. We entered from a busy road and immediately felt relaxed and calm in these tranquil settings. We spent a couple of hours wandering through the pathways, and exploring the traditional Chinese culture.
We found the bonsai section, the amusement park for kids, buildings with Chinese architecture and also a group of people practicing Tai Chi. The boys had a great time trying to perfect this.
In China, ear cleaning is not just a part of daily grooming, the process is considered by many as an enjoyment – thanks to the country’s professional ear cleaners. Having your ears cleaned in the park is a popular pastime… these guys will walk around and clean the wax out of ears all day for $2 a person…. Julian was the only taker, and said it ‘felt good!’
There are lots of places to stop, sit and enjoy the views and local delights.
4. Wenzhou Temple and Teahouse
The Wenzhou Monastery is a quiet refuge within the bustling city of Chengdu. The monastery is free to enter, and a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a traditional monastery.
It’s a popular place for locals to pray and is quiet and calm. The scent of burning incense fills the air and you can’t help but feel a sense of peace just by being on the grounds.
The entire place is beautiful. The buildings, shrines and temples are obviously very old but very well cared for. The grounds are wonderfully landscaped and manicured to perfection.
Did we miss anything in Chengdu that we need to catch the next time?