Chengdu is a large city that boasts a lot of amazing places of historical and natural significance. However, as it covers over 12 thousand square kilometers of territory, some of those places might not be so conveniently reached. For example, if you want to go to the famous Dujiangyan Dam, you either need to drive 65km, or take a train-bus combo trip. However, there are also many beautiful places you can reach just by Chengdu’s municipal public transportation system – also known as the Chengdu Rail Transit.
Chengdu Rail Transit is the system for Chengdu Metro, a subway network of 6 lines (Line 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 10). You can travel to almost every direction from the city by metro. All you need is buying tickets from convenient vending machines, or buy a Tianfutong traffic card that provide not only ultra-convenient access to the metro, but also a 10% off discount from toll fees. With the Chengdu Metro, you can reach many amazing places like the Dufu Thatched Cottage. We will introduce 10 amazing places that you can visit by metro with ease.
Right at Exit B or D in Kuaizhai Xiangzi Station, Metro Line 4
Kuaizhai Alleys are one of the things Chengdu is known for. Consisting of three adjacent alleys: Kuan Alley, Jing Alley and Zhai Alley (Wide, Well and Narrow), Kuaizhai Alleys are a must-go for tourists home and abroad. You can expect everything you want from a leisure city: good bars and clubs, well-maintained historical buildings like Kailu and the Horse Tying Stone, theaters for traditional Sichuan Opera, and even the most well-located and featured Starbucks. Walking on the stone pavements and cross among alleys, you will find this place a perfect conjunction where the east embraces the west.
Right at Exit C or D in Chunxi Road Station, Metro Line 2 and 3
Many business districts were built upon the establishment of metro stations, but Chunxi Road is an exception. Established in 1925, Chunxi Road is one of the oldest modern commercial pedestrian streets in Chengdu. Its major branches reach out at four directions, with minor lanes and alleys in-between. The biggest shopping malls are gathering here: Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li, Chengdu IFS, Wangfujing Department Store, Isetan, Ito Yokado, Pacific Department Store, Chicony and Parkson, among many others.
At night, you can roam around this street, without fear of losing your way or not finding interesting places. for it is ignited by neon everywhere. Walk around and find out the Daci Temple with 1000 years’ history just at a corner, greeting you with ancient trees and solemn architecture. On the roof of the IFS building is giant giant panda sculpture that tourist love and take photos with.
Right at Exit A or B in People’s Park Station, Metro Line 2
From the name of the park and the station, you can see the station was actually named after this park. Built in 1911, the People’s Park has been not only in the naming system of Chengdu Metro, but also in the blood of the local Chengdu people.
You could hardly image there is a place in the center of a megapolis where people could sit and do nothing for a whole day on a single cup of tea. This is true in the People’s Park: treat yourself with a delicate cup of tea, be it flower or herbal, and take an ideal seat anywhere. You can enjoy your smart phone, of course; but people prefer a more idle life: just stare at nothing, listen to nothing and think about nothing. You will usually be served a large bottle of hot water, so that you can make your tea repeatedly. Lost in infinite tea loop, or ask a friend to join you in random chats. No one will ever notice you. Just take a tea-break, and let the world carry on without you. You are also welcome to watch group dances, play cards, and listen to opera singing. Don’t miss the ear-cleaning service. Unlike those you will meet in Jinli, the People’s Park has better ear-cleaning specialists at more reasonable prices. It doesn’t just clean your ears; it also eases your nerve from mortal life pressure.
Right at Tianfu Square Station, Metro Line 1 and 2
Normally any place in Chengdu with a “square” in its name is worth a see, but Tianfu Square is special. It is in the very center of the Chengdu Megapolis. From Google Maps you can see Chengdu’s highway rings all radiate with Tianfu Square in the center. Apart from its geographic advantage, Tianfu Square is also surrounded by Sichuan Science and Technology Museum, Chengdu Museum, and Sichuan Art Gallery. To its south and east you can also find a very lively business zone. With significance in arts, science, culture and business, Tianfu Park is essentially the heart of Chengdu.
Right at Exit A in Chengdu Zoo Station, Metro Line 3
If you want to see giant pandas, you should probably go to Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, but it is way out of town. Chengdu Zoo is a good alternative in that you can not only see giant pandas, but also other 300 kinds of animals in the biggest zoo in Southwestern China. Just step out of the Station and you will find this zoo standing in front of you. Another reason we recommend Chengdu Zoo is that you can also find Zhaojue Temple next to it, accessible through the zoo’s south end. Zhaojue Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple built in the 7th Century. This Tang-Dynasty style temple is known by its architectural beauty: Octagonal Pavilion, Four Heavenly Kings Hall, Hall of Ksitigarbha, Hall of Guanyin, Buddhist Texts Library, and Five Contemplations Dining Hall, to name a few. Don’t forget to try its vegetarian dinner at the temple.
There are actually more places to explore by metro. Visit Chengdu’s official tourist guide site gochengdu.cn and find out more fun in this city.