Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > China
Reload this Page >

Chengdu Travel Advice-Summer

Chengdu Travel Advice-Summer

Old Jun 7, 18, 2:16 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: ICN / 평택
Programs: AA, DL Silver, UA Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 8,559
Chengdu Travel Advice-Summer

I'm going to Chengdu this July, and would love to pick your brains about what to expect, places I should go to, and other tips. As of now, I'm going to be there for 3 full days (4 nights), staying at the Sofitel. I'm coming from Korea, transiting through Beijing (PEK). This is my first trip to mainland China.

Some of my interests/hobbies are UNESCO sites, trail walking in forests or parks, craft beer, and people watching. I like to avoid taxis and use public transportation whenever possible or feasible.

So my questions:
1. I arrive in Chengdu at about 8 PM. What will be my best options for getting to my hotel? I can probably arrange a pickup through my hotel, but I'm sure it would be pricier than taking a cab from the airport. Are there any convenient subway or bus options?
2. I'm planning on going to LeShan on a Thursday to hopefully avoid crowds. I also wanted to get out and maybe do some easy hiking. Is it likely that Emei shan would be crowded on a Friday in July? For one of the 3 days, I wanted to do a city tour of Chengdu in conjunction with the panda sanctuary. Is that better planned for a weekday or Saturday, or doesn't it matter?
3. Can anyone suggest any good craft beer places to try, preferably where they either brew their own or serve local brands? Walk distance to the Sofitel would be ideal, but not required.
4. Is the Sofitel pretty central for restaurants, walking, etc? It looked like it on the map, but you never know.
5. My international to domestic connection at PEK is 2 1/2 hours. I assume that is plenty of time? It would be on a Wednesday afternoon. I don't see any Chinese holidays on either of my flight days.

Thanks for any advice you can give me. I'm looking forward to the trip and burning my tongue off eating Sichuan food.
etch5895 is offline  
Old Jun 8, 18, 11:24 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SFOSJCOAK
Programs: AA-EXP & 1MM, AS MVPG 75K, MR-LT Titanium, HH Gold
Posts: 5,779
Sofitel – there are 2 Sofitels in Chengdu (AFAIK), Sofitel Taihe and Sofitel Wanda.. Which one did you book?

I presumed you are at the Sofitel Taihe, then you are in the center of the city where you will find plenty of restaurants. Shopping malls are also close by (plenty of good “huo guo”, or hot pot restaurants). One has food court underground in the square (where you see the giant Moa’s statue). Please report back your evaluation of the HEAT in Changdu hot pot vs Korean food. There is also a Metro station here.

I did not visit the Panda Reserves.

For people watch, you can do so in any large square in Changdu or any city in China. But no place in Chengdu to practice this art form better than Old Town (JinLi Lou Xia). Be forewarned, it is very touristy and crowded, but different from the night markets found in Seoul.

1. Best to take the taxi to your hotel. I know they have shuttle buses serving airport and downtown. I have not taken them.
2. Day trip by train to Leshan and Emeishan are easy if you have done minimal homework. One day per destination. Should you wish to hike the upper part of Emeishan, note of it’s high altitude and come prepared. Both palces are worth visiting.
3. About craft beer, I can’t offer anything useful since I am not a beer drinker. I am sure others would chime in.
4. 4. Partial answered in above. But if you booked at the Wanda, then I am not too sure. You might try to check it out online for restaurants near your hotel.
5. You will be fine with your connections.

I happen to have a few useful links for your reference (from my travel photography work):

https://stefanofoto.smugmug.com/Trav.../Chengdu-China
https://stefanofoto.smugmug.com/Trav...engdu-EmeiShan
https://stefanofoto.smugmug.com/Trav...engdu-EmeiShan
https://stefanofoto.smugmug.com/Asia...ngdu/i-kTztgzG

Hope you enjoy Chengdu, and safe travel.
allset2travel is offline  
Old Jun 9, 18, 7:21 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: ICN / 평택
Programs: AA, DL Silver, UA Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 8,559
Thank you for responding. Yes, it is the Sofitel Taihe. I booked a refundable rate; would you recommend a better located place (Hilton, Marriot, or Accor preferred) or is this pretty good and central?

Anyone else have any suggestions for me?
etch5895 is offline  
Old Jun 9, 18, 7:56 pm
  #4  
889
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,869
Getting to both Leshan and Emeishan on such a short trip does not sound realistic. I'm guessing you're doing this on a visa-free stopover, and you certainly do not want to take any risk of missing that flight out. You'll be in the soup if you do.

If you really want some hiking, maybe Qingcheng Shan near Dujiangyan. It offers some nice very typical Chinese "mountain hiking," but isn't Emeishan by any means. And you'd probably have to sacrifice your trip to Leshan to do it.
889 is offline  
Old Jun 9, 18, 9:20 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SFOSJCOAK
Programs: AA-EXP & 1MM, AS MVPG 75K, MR-LT Titanium, HH Gold
Posts: 5,779
Originally Posted by etch5895 View Post
Thank you for responding. Yes, it is the Sofitel Taihe. I booked a refundable rate; would you recommend a better located place (Hilton, Marriot, or Accor preferred) or is this pretty good and central?

Anyone else have any suggestions for me?
Your current hotel is fine as it is centrally located.
889 has a good point. If you are on visa-free stopover, you need to manage you time conservatively. Like, use first 2 full days for day trips outside of Chengdu, and the last day doing things within Chengdu or nearby. It is your call.
Day to to Emeishan takes longer than Leshan due to longer distance of travel plus much higher mountain to hike. But either is doable as a day trip. I did both in 2 separate day trips by train. Trains are quite reliable these days.
allset2travel is offline  
Old Jun 10, 18, 12:29 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: ICN / 평택
Programs: AA, DL Silver, UA Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 8,559
No, I'll have a visa (pick it up tomorrow), so that isn't an issue. I'll look into Qingcheng Shan as well, and see which one looks better for me.
etch5895 is offline  
Old Jul 10, 18, 6:38 am
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: ICN / 평택
Programs: AA, DL Silver, UA Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 8,559
So, a few observations....

1st-PEK airport was unbelievably hot. It felt like there was no A/C at all. The jetway was the worst. Oh well.
2nd-I was pleasantly surprised to see the steps China is taking to combat vehicle pollution. I don't think any of the scooters I saw zooming around on the streets and sidewalks had gas motors, and there were very few older cars on the road. Baby steps to be sure, but good to see.
3rd-The drivers are actually better and more disciplined than Korean drivers.
4th-Spitting of phlegm onto the sidewalks. Lots of spitting...(of course, Korea is almost as bad).
5th-Taxi driver on the way back to the airport on the final day didn't try to rip me off. Always a nice touch.
6th-Lots and lots and lots of old people, and relatively few kids (much like Korea). I fear what the economy will look like in a few years.
etch5895 is offline  
Old Jul 11, 18, 6:13 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: PEK and BOS
Programs: BA - Blue
Posts: 3,680
Originally Posted by etch5895 View Post
So, a few observations....

1st-PEK airport was unbelievably hot. It felt like there was no A/C at all. The jetway was the worst. Oh well.
2nd-I was pleasantly surprised to see the steps China is taking to combat vehicle pollution. I don't think any of the scooters I saw zooming around on the streets and sidewalks had gas motors, and there were very few older cars on the road. Baby steps to be sure, but good to see.
3rd-The drivers are actually better and more disciplined than Korean drivers.
4th-Spitting of phlegm onto the sidewalks. Lots of spitting...(of course, Korea is almost as bad).
5th-Taxi driver on the way back to the airport on the final day didn't try to rip me off. Always a nice touch.
6th-Lots and lots and lots of old people, and relatively few kids (much like Korea). I fear what the economy will look like in a few years.
This made me gasp..I've only ever been to Jeju (on a work trip), so my experience of Korean driving is limited...but I'm rather surprised...

PEK (T3) was the largest building in the world when it was constructed..that whole environmental angle you had would be entirely offset by trying to put full A/C into it!

But your observations regarding vehicles and environmental concerns is misplaced. People ride electric "scooters" because they are classified as bicycles in China: i.e. no driving license required...which shows in the abysmal driving abilities. And most cars are new because Chinese people who can afford to buy cars loathe buying second hand...we drive a third hand, 13 year old Honda, whereas our neighbours drive Porsche SUVs...But at least in Beijing, because of license plate restrictions, I've seen a massive expansion in (mostly Chinese) electric vehicles in the last couple of years.

tb
trueblu is offline  
Old Jul 11, 18, 5:26 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Chengdu,China
Programs: http://www.chengdutravelagency.com
Posts: 46
Recently,It's the rainy season in Chengdu .Mount Emei and Jiuzhaigou have been closed.Leshan Giant Buddha, the river water is full.
So I suggest you visit places around Chengdu.
the Sofitel hotle,The river in front of the hotel,yesterday The flood was flooded and the streets were flooded.
sichuanguide is offline  
Old Jul 12, 18, 2:30 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: ICN / 평택
Programs: AA, DL Silver, UA Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 8,559
Originally Posted by sichuanguide View Post
Recently,It's the rainy season in Chengdu .Mount Emei and Jiuzhaigou have been closed.Leshan Giant Buddha, the river water is full.
So I suggest you visit places around Chengdu.
the Sofitel hotle,The river in front of the hotel,yesterday The flood was flooded and the streets were flooded.
I visited last week, and got out to the Panda Sanctuary and around Qingyang, along with some museums and spent some time in People's Park. Wow, I can only imagine the river flooding in front of the hotel. Did it affect the metros?
etch5895 is offline  
Old Jul 12, 18, 2:34 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: ICN / 평택
Programs: AA, DL Silver, UA Gold, HHonors Gold
Posts: 8,559
Originally Posted by trueblu View Post
This made me gasp..I've only ever been to Jeju (on a work trip), so my experience of Korean driving is limited...but I'm rather surprised...
tb
Maybe Chengdu is a lot calmer than Beijing for drivers. I was also in Changsha for a day, and the drivers there didn't seem too bad either.

Jeju is pretty bad traffic-wise only in and around Jeju City, but once you get out of the city traffic is pretty tame. Plenty of wide open roads and not as many cars. Now, Seoul or Gyeonggi province are a whole different story. The taxi drivers are the worst offenders.
etch5895 is offline  
Old Jul 16, 18, 9:36 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Programs: United Premier 1K
Posts: 1,204
This doesn't really jive with your interests, but we found the New Century Global Center fascinating. Inside the shops are nothing special, but just standing in the parking lot taking in the scope/size of the building was quite unreal. It's a bit outside of the downtown core but is on the metro.
Toronto1970 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread