Kuan Zhai Alley (“wide and narrow alleys”) was first built in the Qing Dynasty. The lanes remained primarily residential until 2003 when the local government decided to take steps to preserve the historic architecture, turning the lanes into a mixed-use area of restaurants, teahouses, bars and galleries, utilizing and refurbishing the ancient structures.
Kuan Alley originally named Zingren Hutong during the Qing Dynasty, has the greatest number of complete ancient structures. Through painstaking restorations, more than 20 characteristic compounds maintain their original facades.
Zhai Alley originally named Taipin (Peace) Hutong in the Qing dynasty played host to Qing troops. Troops were stationed here in order to end local warfare, and brought the promise of peace to the people of Chengdu. Zhai Alley is home to both architecture from the late Qing dynasty and the early Republic of China period as well as some Western architecture. Today Zhai Alley functions as a home to numerous restaurants, cafes, clubs and shops.
Jing Alley previously known as either Ruyi Hutong or Mingde Hutong during the Qing Dynasty, focuses on the folk culture of Chengdu. One side of Jing Alley maintains its original facades, while the other side features influences from several different dynasties and provides a snapshot of China’s rich diversity of folk customs. Stalls selling unforgettable local delicacies abound, and the shops provide an abundance and range of local handicrafts.
Wuhou Temple (4.6 Kilometers/20 minutes)
Wuhou Temple contains an influential collection of relics from the Three Kingdom Era in China. Built during the Western Jin period (265-316) in honor of Zhuge Liang, the famous military and political strategist, Wuhou Temple is located next to Jinli Ancient Street.
Wenshu Temple (2.7 Kilometers/ 10 minutes)
Wenshu Temple, dating back to the Tang Dynasty, is the most visited temple in Chengdu. Dedicated to the Buddhist representation of wisdom, it contains more than 450 Buddha statues and other precious relics. In addition to the halls and gardens, the Temple has a delightful vegetarian restaurant, where you can sample Buddhist delicacies.
Panda Research Base (17 Kilometers/ 30 minutes)
Located just thirty minutes from Diaoyutai Boutique Hotel Chengdu, the Panda Research Base is the largest panda research center in the world. Over sixty pandas call the Panda Research Base home. Morning is the best time to visit, as the pandas are most active in the morning. You can even have your picture taken with one of the young pandas!
Dujiangyan (60 kilometers/80 minutes)
Built in 256 BC during the Warring States period by engineer Li Bing, Dujiangyan is the oldest existing irrigation project in the world. Constructed by hand in a beautiful wooded valley, Dujiangyan has successfully diverted the Min River to irrigate over 5,300 square kilometers of land for the last 2,300 years. Dujiangyan allowed Chengdu to become the most fertile and productive place in southwest China, making it the home of local culture and civilization.
Leshan Giant Buddha (160 kilometers/120 minutes)
Leshan Giant Buddha is carved on Lingyun Hill and is the largest stone-carved Buddha in the world. According to ancient legend, it was built to protect locals from flooding. The Leshan Buddha was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996 as part of the Mount Emei Scenic Area. Just thirty minutes from Leshan, is the summit of Mount Emei, one of the four sacred Buddhist mountain of China.
Jini Prmenade(3.5 Kilometers/ 15 Minutes)
Jinli Promenade is a rebuilt trading and folk art street imitating the ancient-style building of West Sichuan province. Jinli is the name of an old street in Han-dynasty Chengdu, meaning “make perfection still more perfect and hide the universe in the universe.” The ancient Jinli was one of the most commercialized streets in the history of the West Shu and was well-known throughout China during the Qin, Han and Three Kingdoms Periods. With bits and pieces from the Qin, Han, Ming and Qing dynasties, a touch of the Three Kingdoms, and a little West Sichuan folkways and customs thrown in for good measure, the new Jinli Promenade is a microcosm of life in Chengdu: teahouses, inns, restaurants, bars, theatrical stages, handicrafts, local snacks and specialties, all on one street.
Du Fu Thatched Cottage (5.8 kilometers/20 minutes)
A lovely green oasis may be found in Huanhuaxi on the banks of the West River at the Du Fu Thatched Cottage Museum. It is the location of the former residence of the great Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu and where he spent four years writing some of his most memorable poems. The Museum is located within a quiet and tranquil park, and is well worth a visit to stroll the gardens, feel the history and discover the beauty of Du Fu’s work.
Chengdu continues to embrace Chinese tea culture like almost no other city in China. Tea houses are found all over the city, and in every park, ranging in size from just a few chairs to thousands. Most tea houses are characterized by traditional bamboo chairs and wooden tables, with Zhu Ye Qing green tea the preferred local favorite. Come, sit, sip and relax for an hour or an afternoon.
With a 1,500 year history, Sichuan cuisine is one of the four generally recognized Chinese cuisines. Spicy chilies and tongue numbing peppercorns are hallmarks of Sichuan cuisine, with local signature dishes including: Spicy Bean Curd, Kung Pao chicken, Chengdu Hot Pat and a wide variety of local snacks.
Chunxi Road (4.2 Kilometers/ 20 minutes)
New York has Times Square, but Chengdu has Chunxi Road. If you are looking for a shopping paradise, just head a few blocks east of Tianfu Square to Chunxi Road. Hundreds of smaller stores are surrounded by several large shopping malls, supplying everything from basic necessities to high-end luxury goods. Chunxi is most entertaining in the evening, when the lights are bright and locals and tourists alike come out in droves to shop, eat, see and be seen. Stores not to miss on Chunxi include: Wangfujing Department Store, Ito, Yokado, Isetan, Chicony and the Chengdu International Finance Center.
Sichuan Opera originated around 1700 probably derived from its cousin, Peking Opera. However, unlike its northern cousin, Sichuan Opera utilizes face-changing masks, allowing performers to change their expressions on stage, informing the audience instantly of a character’s change in emotion. Please contact our staff to discover a performance during your stay.
Developed in the Chengdu region, Shu (or Chuan) embroidery enjoys a prominent place in Chinese textile art. Shu embroidery soared in popularity during the Han Dynasty, with the central government designating an office just for administration of Shu embroidery. During the Five Dynasties and Ten States period (906-960), a time of relative peace, demand soared, advancing the rapid development of the Shu embroidery industry. Peaking in the Song Dynasty ((960-1279) Shu embroidery remains popular today. Visit the Shu Brocade Museum and see artisans create Shu embroidery in the traditional way, by hand.