This summer I’ve been in Chengdu (成都市 Chéngdū Shì) to learn some Chinese. It was definitely a nice stay, and the city is leaping forward in large steps. A major part of the ongoing efforts is to build a subway system. Currently it is under construction, in 2010 the first line will open. There are plans to finish a total of 7 lines before 2030. These subway lines will make Chengdu way more attractive for living. Speaking of attractiveness for living. Chengdu has lots of parks and shopping opportunities, a vibrant nightlife and is a laid back city. The local dialect Sichuan hua is quite nice.
Here is a picture from the inner part of Chengdu. You can see a boat which is used as a restaurant today. I haven’t been there, but a friend told me the food there is very delicious, but also expensive. Speaking about food. Chengdu, like Chongqing, is home of many hotpot restaurants. You can find small restaurants in Chengdu all over the place. The food is cheap and delicious.
This picture is from inside Wen Shu Temple (文 殊 院 – wén shū yuàn). It’s a well-kept Buddhist temple, quite a nice place to relax. There is a small forest and some small buildings. A few of them You can even enter. Entrance fee is just 5 yuan. You can buy the tickets a few meters besides the entrance. There is a tiny hole in the wall, which You could miss, however it’s written in large letters on the wall that there is the ticket office.
Shopping is one of the main attractions of Chengdu. 春熙路 – chūn xī lù is the main shopping area and it is quite huge and there are many shops from cheap local ones up to expensive Gucci stores. You will have lots of opportunities to waste Your hard earned bucks. There’s also an underground fake market below 盐市口 – yán shì kǒu. 盐市口 very loosely translated means Salt Market Entrance. It’s not far from Tianfu Square (府广场 – tiān fǔ guǎngchǎng). Not far from 盐市口 You can find the 美高美 club which is one of the oldest clubs in CHengdu. It features great techno and house music and is a neat nightlife hangout spot in Chengdu. South of 春熙路 the more modern part of Chengdu starts. You can find Western restaurants and lots of bars for evening entertainment there. Also check out Ba Bi Yi club or Ba Bi Er club (sorry don’t have the characters and tones on these) if You want to dance to some house music.
If You want to make business in Chengdu, there are some opportunities. The south of the city is booming and many international electronics and IT companies have set up some large outposts. Well know names like SAP and Microsoft are on this list. The climate is hot in the summer and okay in the winter. If You want to visit a big modern Chinese city, Chengdu might be Your place.