In the year 2011, I was in China for the first time. I remember that I was traveling with my best friend, and as he was passionate about coffee, he couldn’t hold out and ended up paying more than 40 Yuan for a black coffee at a Chinese hotel.
One year later, in 2012, I went back to China to learn the language. I arrived in Yantai (in the Shandong Province), a small coastal city with a large amount of South Korean and Japanese influence (if you ever go to Yantai, you will most likely try Korean and Japanese food). In Yantai, I saw how people were starting to open up small specialty coffee shops, some of which had coffee from many different places of origin, and how Chinese customers were slowly starting to try the drink.
Since 2013, coffee shops of this type have slowly started to increase in the city and the offering is getting broader, following the Chinese precept of the art of war… Or maybe the art of imitation.
Photos by Kristen Ng
Chéngdū (成都), the provincial capital of Sichuan, where the clattering of mahjong blocks fills the air from morning till night. and the evening hours see a ritual emergence of clothed dogs, twist dancers, tai chi troupes, spinning top whippers and China’s ubiquitous herds of dancing ayis.
Chengdu is a proud and fiery city, where “better put your toilet paper in the freezer” is a fond joke for tourists and visitors. The pungent aroma of chilli-filled hot pot, eau de Chengdu, lingers in virtually every street, while the distinct local dialect Chengduhua is their lingua franca. In my opinion, the people of Chengdu have more pride and identification with their city than the nomadic metropolises of Beijing and Shanghai.
Dubbed as an up-and-coming city with the government’s ‘facing west’ policy, Chengdu has undertaken a dramatic facelift in recent years with the construction of several enormous overpasses, countless high rises, shopping malls and a city-wide subway system. However amidst all the heavy machinery and upheaval, Chengdu still has pockets of traditional architecture, local food and culture which retain the relaxed, grassroots atmosphere the city is known for. [Read more…]
Choosing a good hotel in Chengdu, the capital Sichuan Province, can be a difficult task due to the large number of hotels that exist, many of which are of doubtful quality. In this article, you will find a review of some of the best hotels in Chengdu, whatever your budget may be.
If you are interested in the general idea of how to book hotels in China, you can read our recommendations here.
Reviews of Luxury Hotels (5 Star) in Chengdu
Diaoyutai Boutique Hotel Chengdu
The Diaoyutai Boutique Hotel Chengdu in the historic Qing Dynasty quarter – Kuan Zhai Alley, is just 5 minutes’ walk from the local bus station and conveniently situated for the international airport. Every room has free Wi-Fi, flat screen TV, mini bar, fridge and iPod docking station. There is a bathtub in the en suite bathroom, safe and ironing facilities. Internal entertainment includes 2 restaurants, karaoke rooms and a relaxing Garden Lounge. There is a fitness center and businessmen have suitable services for their needs. English is spoken and staff is happy to help with tours, transfers and other arrangements. The Hotel is very popular with locals and international travelers alike.
Giant pandas can only be found in Sichuan, Shanxi and Gansu Province, in western China. Scientists estimate that there are less than 2,000 giant pandas left, whom 80% live in Sichuan. Luckily they were included on the international endangered species of wild flora and fauna list and, in the last years, important steps were taken to preserve them.
In order to protect the giant pandas in 1987 Chengdu’s government opened the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, which imitates the natural habit of the animals. Visiting the center is also the easiest way to see the pandas. [Read more…]