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Sichuan Cooking Course (3 hrs)
A wonderful introduction to the Sichuan cuisine is a cooking class at Holly's Hostel, which is centrally located nearby the Wuhou Temple (famous Chinese three kingdom era) and the Tibetan town. The address is No.246, Wuhouci Street.
You will cook several courses yourself with the help of a local chef. After you finish a course you can eat it in the small restaurant while the staff is preparing the kitchen for the next course. Don’t expect you can really cook Sichuan food after this course, it is just a lovely night out (preferably with friends or relatives).
You can make an appointment for the cooking class by telephone: (028) 85548131. The class normally starts at 5 pm and costs 150 yuan per person. There is also a fridge in the restaurant where you can get your drinks. A large bottle of beer for example costs only 10 yuan.
Lan Kwai Fong Chengdu (1 night)
A great area to hang out at night is Lang Kwai Fong. With stylish restaurants, bars, private clubs and exciting annual events such as the LKF Chengdu Carnival, Beerfest and Halloween, party-lovers can enjoy the fun and excitement at any time, seven days a week.
This street should be a copy of the popular entertainment street in Hong Kong. But it doesn’t really look the same. In Hong Kong it is an old street with tiny bars and restaurants, in Chengdu everything is brand new. The only comparison is that there are a lot of entertainment venues.
If you can read Chinese, you can find some more information at their website.
Golden Lotus market (1-3 hrs)
The Golden Lotus market is a huge half open-air market. The market is open during daytime. Preferably go there in the morning as it can be quite busy at the end of the day. You can buy your stuff from one piece up to a few thousand, as it is a wholesale market. And don’t forget to bargain.
You will find about anything here, paintings, decorations, clothes, shoes, jewellery, household stuff and a lot more. The area of Chengdu is known for its production of shoes, but beware. The best quality shoes are exported. So you can find cheap shoes, but not the best quality.
It is located in the north part of the city between the first and the second Ring Road, nearby North train station.
Cafe Z (2 hrs)
One of our favourite restaurants in Chengdu is Café Z, which is located just around the corner of Lan Kwai Fong at level 1 of the Shangri-La Hotel.
You can order from the a la carte menu, but we strongly recommend the buffet. From this buffet you can try delicacies from several parts of the world; including Middle Eastern, South American, Indian, Asian, local and international cuisines. The buffet is absolutely massive so you must first determine your strategy before you start eating.
The restaurant is open from 5 pm to 10 pm for a la carte and the buffet closes at 9 pm. The address is 9 Binjiang Dong Road. A reservation can be made by phone: (86 28) 8888 9999 ext.6459.
Tibetan Market (2 hrs)
If you’re not going to Tibet (which borders the Sichuan province) but still like the Tibetan arts and souvenirs, head for the Tibetan Market in Chengdu. All kinds of Tibetan trinkets are sold at this market in front of the Wuhou Temple in the southwestern part of the city.
It is the neighborhood really opposite Wuhou Temple. In this area are many shops and restaurants where you can try a little bit of Tibet. You will see people in traditional clothes and see loads of Tibetan stuff. But it’s only a preview of course. If you like the real thing, go to Tibet!
Famous old Chinese street Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi (2 hrs)
Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi Alley also called ‘China Lane’ is a characteristic old Chinese commercial street that was restored and now is a trendy pedestrian alley.
There are many nice boutiques, bars and restaurants, where you can spend your time during the day or at nighttime. It is a very relaxing area because it's one of the few places in Chengdu where cars and motorbikes are not allowed.
Best way to go there is by taxi. Have someone written it on a note and show it to the driver. They will all know where to go. It is also in walking distance of People’s Park (the area is between Jin He Lu and Changshun Middle Street).
Jin Li Street (2 hrs)
Another great old Chinese Street to visit is Jin Li Street. It has also a lot of old houses, bars, restaurants, shops and food stalls, but it is all a bit less posh then Kuan Zhai Xiang Zi.
It is located in the south of the centre, next to the famous Wuhou temple at Wuhouci Street and opposite the Tibetan Market. It’s also possible to visit Wuhou temple, but that one is less impressive as Wenshu Temple and the entrance fee is 60 Yuan.
Anshun Bridge terraces (1 hr)
The Anshun Bridge crosses the Jin River. The veranda bridge contains a relatively large restaurant and is a popular eating location in the city. But if you are inside this wonderful building you can’t admire its beauty.
In summer it is great to settle down at a lovely terrace along the river while enjoying this amazing view. Especially at night you will get one of the best views in downtown Chengdu.
You will find the bridge nearby the famous Lan Kwai Fong area, opposite Shangri-La Hotel.
Computer City (2 hrs)
If you like to buy anything electronic, you have to go to Computer City, which extends the entire way between Kehua Beilu and Renmin Nanlu on the south 1st ring road.
At either end of the street there are large electronics department stores selling absolutely anything having to do with computers, cameras, and cell phones. All along the street in between the large department stores are smaller shops, which specialize in different aspects of electronics.
Shu Ma department store is six floors jampacked with electronics. Intense competition makes it a good place to shop around for good deals on all kinds of electronics. For sure you have to bargain a lot.
The first two floors have computers, laptops, hard drives, and cell phones. The 3rd floor features cameras, while the 4th floor is the best place in town to shop for cheap DVDs.
Shu Ma Guang Chang is located at the junction of the south 1st ring road and Renmin Nanlu. It is on the southeast corner and it is impossible to miss the throngs of people constantly streaming in and out. The opening hours are daily from 9 am to 6 pm.
Common travel tip:
It's easy to walk around in Chengdu. Public transportation is a bit hard to use if you can’t read Chinese. Only busses for long distance are useful.
In Chengdu it's cheap to take a taxi, but make sure you have a map or note with your destination written in Chinese to show to the driver. Otherwise you might not arrive at your destination.
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Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Chengdu.