Get to Know this Sichuan City in 2020
Chengdu is the beating heart of much of the Sichuan Province’s commerce, transportation and agriculture, with its position on two main arteries of the Yangtze River. It’s a thriving capital of the “Heavenly State” with more than 2,000 years of history and a wealth of modern delights for visitors. And it’s a fascinating place to extend your Crystal voyage to or from Hong Kong in 2020, as several pre- and post-cruise Extended Land Programs spend five days exploring the expanse of the city.
And you’ll be grateful for all five days, as many travelers to Chengdu find themselves pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of truly remarkable sites and experiences that cannot be missed. Of course, the Crystal Adventures team has anticipated all of them and seen to every detail, from the luxury accommodations in the heart of the city to the best places to taste the famous flavors of Chengdu. And we must not forget the pandas… Here are 10 of the top highlights featured on Crystal’s curated program in Chengdu for 2020:
1) Striking boat views and climbing exploration of the Leshan Giant Buddha, standing 233 feet tall and carved into the cliffs overlooking the confluence of the Min, Qingyi and Dadu rivers in the 8th century AD.
2) Visit to the ancient town of Huanglongxi, which dates back 1,700 years to the Three Kingdoms Period and was the capital of the Kingdom of Shu. Explore the buildings and style that remains from the Ming and Qing dynasties as you wander the winding cobblestone avenues.
3) Strolls along Jinli Street (pictured in lead image), Chengdu’s main promenade of leisure and local flavor of all kinds. It pays homage to the Qin Dynasty that originated the bustling hub, while also sporting a modern vibe. You’ll find plenty of traditional and ornamental architecture, works by local artisans and bites of the famous Chengdu cuisine.
4) The Wuhou Temple, located west of Jinli Street is also worth a visit. Its sacred mausoleums, gardens and corridors are wonderful representations of the Three Kingdoms Period and its thought leaders.
5) The famous Chengdu cuisine, from elegant restaurants to local street food, all serving to illustrate the most delicious cultural highlights of this first-ever UNESCO City of Gastronomy.
TIP: Chengdu cuisine is known for its heat and spice.
6) Traditional Hotpot dinner followed by a Chengdu cultural show. Underscoring the heat element of Chengdu’s traditional fare, the hotpot dinner is exactly as it sounds: a simmering pot of stock for you to add ingredients to and create your own traditional soup.
7) A visit to the Chengdu Panda Research Centre, one of the city’s most famous sites, where you’ll learn about the species preservation efforts and observe these gentle giants of various ages as they live and play in the center’s habitats.
8) Stylish accommodations at the Hotel Shangri-La in both Chengdu, where the hotel rises from the city center and offers views of the Jin River and Chengdu’s impressive bridges and gardens; and Hong Kong, where its position in the heart of the city also affords views of Victoria Harbour and the iconic skyline.
9) Renowned shopping and dining along Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong during your one-night stay at the beginning and/or end of your Chengdu exploration. Explore the shops, museums and restaurants of Tsim Sha Tsui and wander the Central Waterfront Promenade.
10) Your Crystal voyage through Asia’s most fascinating destinations, whether before or following your Chengdu experience, Crystal Symphony’s 2020 voyages to the most storied locales in China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and beyond will illuminate these incredible regions even further.
Reserve your suite aboard winter voyages to Asia aboard Crystal Symphony and expand the journey to Chengdu, where your perspective of China and its history will deepen, and your bucket list will shorten.