A major airport for the Sichuan region of China, and the key hub for Chengdu city, the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) is one of the busiest airports in the country. Amenities include a good duty free shop, a couple of lounges, a number of first aid centres, ATMs, currency exchange counters, information desks, luggage lockers, charging points, and access to free WiFi.
There are buses, trains and taxis into the centre of the city, which is only 16km away from the airport, with taxis offering a cheap and cheerful fare of about 50CNY ($10).
Carriers that fly to Chengdu include Air China, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Sichuan Airlines, Silkair, Xiamen Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, and Qantas.
Why visit Chengdu?
The Hibiscus City of Chengdu is one of China’s most visited cities, and it is easy to see why. The streets are green, and surrounded by the bamboo forests that shelter the lovable panda bears. The cuisine is celebrated as the best, and spiciest, in the country, where the mettle of your stomach will be tested against Sichuan spices. Then there are the cultural attractions; the teahouses, the shrines, the monasteries, parks, towers and temples. Discover this dynamic Chinese city, and see for yourself why it draws so many tourists to its streets.
Things to do in Chengdu
One of China’s greenest cities, there’s tons of outdoor activities to do in Chengdu, and you’ll discover that many of the most important monuments and attractions are set in beautiful gardens such as the Du Fu Thatched Cottage. Du Fu was a poet that wrote in the 8th century, and this site is a replication of his home. Wander through the gardens, pass over bridges, and under the pavilions of these gardens, and you may just be inspired to write yourself!
Visit the Cultural Park, where you can see a Taoist Temple from the Tang Dynasty, and catch a show at the Shufend Sichuan Opera House. Or visit the Manjushri Temple complex instead, built in the 17th century, and home to over 100 bronze sculptures that depict Buddha, and other important figures.
If you’re feeling fit, then why not go on the Jiamen Pass Scenic Route. A bit of a drive, but along the old Sichuan Road, you will be able to see the incredible Huangze Temple and the Thousand-Buddha Cliff.
However, you cannot come to Chengdu without doing two things in particular; the first is trying the spicy Sichuan cuisine, best done in the Wuhu District, where there are plenty of restaurants that will cater to your gastronomic needs. The second is to stop by the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, and see these beautiful animals up close.
Best time to visit Chengdu
· The best months in this part of the country are the months of March, May and June in the springtime season, and September and November in autumn. The average highs of this season are between 17 and 25°C.
· Avoid if possible July and August when the weather is very wet, and very humid.
Arriving in Chengdu by plane
· Nonstop journeys to this city can be undertaken from Sydney (SYD), and Melbourne (MEL).
· Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY).
· Australians are required to apply for a visa for travel to China. The best way to go about this is to visit the Chinese Embassy website or the Smart Traveller portal to ensure you apply for the correct type of visa, and are aware of all the documents you will need to submit.
Please note that information is correct as of December 2016
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