Chengdu is is the capital city of Sichuan and the economic center of southwest China. It's one of the largest cities in China.
The center is Tianfu Square with the Mao statue. At night, moving fontains 'dance' to the music with coloured lights. In the middle of the Tianfu Square is the central metro station (open in 2010). The main shopping street is Chunxi Road Another main shopping street (crossing Chunxi Rd) is Qingnian Road. Both streets are pedestrian zones.
Tianfu Square, downtown Chengdu
In Chengdu there are numerous restaurants and stalls on the street serving cheap local food. The food in Chengdu is spicey and hot. Good Western and Asian restaurants are located in international hotels such as the Shangri-La, Sheraton and Crowne Plaza Hotel. Western fastfood can be found in Chunxi Road, the Tianfu Square area and near the Garden City Hotel.
Chunxi Road (South section)
Downtown Chengdu is full with department stores and small shops selling clothes, shoes, cheap jewelry items and food. The large French Carrefour supermarket with 2 ATM's is next to the Garden City Hotel.
Giant Panda Bears
The province Sichuan is well-known for the giant panda bears. The Panda Breeding and Research Center is 10 km from downtown Chengdu. The best time to come is around openings time (8.00) because the panda's will get their food between 8.00 and 9.00. The panda cubs are in that time very lively and play with each other in the playground. After 10.00 more tour groups will arrive at the park and most panda's are also sleeping then. A taxi to the Panda Center is about 35 Yuan. You can make pictures and video of a panda cub sitting on your legs. The price for these pictures is outrougeous: 1000 Yuan for about 1-2 minutes. I didn't count the people but i estimate that at least 30 people made a picture of themselves with the panda cub between 9.30 and 10.30 including our daughter.