Chengdu in Southwestern China has the reputation as a very “laid-back” city that emphasises culture and relaxation and is ranked one of the most liveable mega-cities in China. With a vibrant nightlife scene and best known as the “Home of the Giant Panda” Summer weather is hot and humid, as the city is surrounded by small mountains to the east and sits in the Red Basin. Furthermore, an hour to the west lie the foothills of the mighty Tibetan Plateau and the fabulously scenic mountains of west Sichuan.
Chengdu is the capital of the Sichuan Province which has a population of 80 million. It is also China’s fifth most populous city.
I got to check out Chengdu with the friendly folks from AirAsia and Dorsett Grand Chengdu.
Getting To Chengdu
AirAsia constantly expands its China network. Its latest is the new route connecting Kuala Lumpur to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport. The new service will be operated by AirAsia X, the low cost long-haul airline affiliate of AirAsia. The Chengdu route is serviced by the Airbus A330- 300, which has a capacity of 383 economy seats including 28 Premium seats, which have an impressive 60-inch seat pitch.
Fly-Thru With AirAsia via Kuala Lumpur, klia2
If you are flying from Singapore, remember to opt for the AirAsia Fly-Thru service to make connecting flights hassle free. You don’t have to clear immigration and customs to at klia2 and re check in at departures. Instead you are whisked through the transit area to your connecting AirAsia X flight.
- No transit visa nor immigration clearance in Malaysia and you enjoy exemption of airport tax at the transit hub.
- Quick transit – Check-in at the transfer hall to your connecting flight (Applicable only for international transfers).
- Free flight move if the first flight is delayed.
- Baggage check thru – Bags are tagged through to your final destination.
- For more details: http://www.airasia.com/sg/en/our-connections/connecting-flights.page
Staying In Chengdu
Where else but the Dorsett Grand Chengdu! Dorsett Grand Chengdu is located in the famous historical Luoma Market area of Chengdu and the neighboring bustling downtown Chunxi Road; and renowned Chengdu sports centre. With the Metro Line 1 and 4 directly in front of the hotel, the up-scale Dorsett Grand Chengdu offers easy accessibility for both business and leisure travellers.
The hotel offers high speed wifi for all hotel guests. That was a life saver when we had to arrange dinner with the rest of our friends.
Travelling in a larger group? You can always check into the 200 sqm Chairman Suite which is located on the highest level in the hotel. For private dining, the Chairman Suite comes complete with a dining room for up to eight persons, a luxuriously fitted living room; and a dedicated working space complete with leather sofas and large executive desk. Relaxation at night takes on a whole new dimension with the super luxurious bedroom and walk in closets; a bathroom that is fitted with a dedicated massage room, jacuzzi, steam and sauna room.
The price tag? RMB 12,000, that is just about SGD$2,400. A relatively cheap price tag for a night in the Chairman Suite that is the equivalent of a Presidential Suite!
If you do get hungry, check out the two restaurants below!
Yue Rong Café – The warm, casual ambience at Yue Rong Café is perfect for either a bite alone or with a large group. If you need to get online, sit down, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy high-speed wireless access on your laptop. We particularly loved their noodle station where you get to see the chef prepare a comforting bowl of 拉面 (Chinese ramen) on the spot. Did we mention we tried the best Dan Dan mian at this cafe? It was mind-blowingly good.
Fu Yue Xuan Chinese Restaurant – Need to entertain your business clients? Fret not, Fu Yue Xuan restaurant will impress with their traditional culinary art and also a healthy dose of flavorful dishes from a number of cities across mainland China Chef Chen at the helm, brings up a newly Tan Fu, Canton & Sichuan savor accompanied with elegant surrounding, a luxury enjoyment of dining in the restaurant
To find out more: http://www.dorsetthotels.com/chengdu/index.php
What to see?
Thanks to the amazing folks of Dorsett Grand Chengdu, they’ve put together an itinerary if you want to plan your next holiday to Chengdu! We picked our top three attractions of Chengdu that you simply CANNOT miss.
Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center
The giant pandas are not only a Chinese national treasure, but are also beloved by people the world over. They are found only in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces. In total there are fewer than 1000, of which 80% are distributed within the territory of Sichuan province. Therefore, when visitors from home and abroad come to Chengdu, Sichuan Province one of their main objectives will be to see the giant pandas for themselves.
Located just 6 miles (10 km) away from downtown Chengdu, the Panda Breeding Research Center has been created and imitated the pandas’ natural habitat in order that they might have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding. Giant pandas, lesser pandas, black-necked cranes, white storks as well as over 20 species of rare animals are fed and bred there throughout the year.
Facilities necessary for the giant pandas have been completed and include a fodder room, sleeping quarters and a medical station. Additionally, there is a Giant Panda Museum together with research laboratories and a training center.
Address: No.1375 Xiongmao Avenue the Outside Northern Third Ring Road, Chenghua District, Chengdu 610081, China
Admission fee: RMB 58/person
Opening hours: 8am – 6pm
Leshan Giant Buddha
Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area, which covers 2,500 ha, includes a number of significant cultural artifacts. These include the sitting Giant Buddha Statue, carved on the Xiluo Peak of Mount Lingyun in the early eighth century and standing 71 m high, with its back against Mount Jiuding and facing the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qinqyi rivers. In addition, there are more than 90 stone carvings, Buddhist shrines made during the Tang dynasty, the Lidui (a large rock cut in the center of the river for irrigation purposes), tombs, Buddha statues, pagodas, temples and city walls.
Several drainage passages are hidden in the Buddha’s hair, collar, chest, and holes in the back of his ears and chest, prevent the Buddha from serious erosion and weathering. He has been lovingly maintained on a regular basis throughout his 1,200-year history, however moss does grow on the statue.
One great way to see this wonder of the world is by a boat that cost RMB 70, and don’t forget to catch the Sleeping Buddha on the way back.
Address: Leshan, Sichuan, China
Mt. Emei in Sichuan Province in Southwest China is one of the most well-known summer destinations in China thanks to its pleasant weather, congenial atmosphere, and the influence of the Buddhist culture.
Mt. Emei is noted for the considerable weather difference between various spots on the mountain. The average temperature during July and August, the hottest period in China, is around 11.8 degree centigrade. Mt. Emei is a natural “Oxygen Bar”, where the average Negative Oxygen Ions in one cubic meter reach 0.1 million to 1 million, which is 500-1000 times more than that in its city cousins.
Views from the Golden Summit at an elevation of 3,077 meters above sea level is simply breathtaking. The Gold Summit is an extravagance of natural wonders and Buddhism spiritualism, which comprise of four marvelous spectacles of Sunrise, Cloud Sea, Buddhist Light and sacred lamp.
The four-side ten-direction Golden statue of Puxian on the Golden Summit of the Mt. Emei is the highest golden Buddha in the world and also the first artistic design of ten-direction statue of Puxian. The golden Buddha is a Buddhist statue built by employing the craftwork of copper casting and gold-plating. It has a total height of 48 meters and a total weight of 660 tons. The golden Buddha’s total height of 48 meters stands for 48 wishes of Amitable Buddha.
Check out the other photos from my trip below:
So if you are planning your next holiday, remember this simple formula.
AirAsiaX -> Dorsett Grand Chengdu -> Chengdu