The opening of Metro Line 2 probably won't be met with as much hurrah and fanfare as Line 1. And while initially many of the 20 total stations spread over the 20 kilometers of northwest-southeast track seem to lead to the middle of nowhere, the future will see plenty of development around all of the stations.
The official opening date was originally the October National Holiday Golden Week, but after successful public trial moved to September16. Currently only the stations listed below will be open, but the line is planned to be extended by six stations to Longquan in the southeast and another six in the west, ending near Pixian.
Chadianzi Bus Station
Chadianzi Bus Station is a major hub for Chengdu with buses heading to a number of western Sichuan destinations including Jiuzhaigou, Dujiangyan, Qingchengshan, Wenchuan, Baima, Siguniangshan/Heishui, Songpan, Aba and Ganzi, Danba, Emeishan, Leshan. Happy Valley Amusement Park is also 3 kilometers northeast of the station.
Line 2 starts a ways inside the Third Ring Road, so this station isn't really all that close to the flyover itself, but nonetheless, from this station passengers can access the Shuhan Lu Carrefour supermarket and one of several branches of the upscale Gingko restaurant.
This station's namesake is the Yipintianxia restaurant street, chock full of hotpot restaurants that mainly cater to busloads of tourists groups, but there's also one other place of potential interest nearby, the Sichuan Higher People's Court.
From here, the Jinsha Ruins Site Museum and the Jinsha Bus Station are fairly short trips south. Finally, Line 7, which is scheduled for a 2016 opening and circles around the city along the "2.5 ring road," will intersect this station.
East Shuhan Road
The city's first Auchan supermarket is here, if you can make it out of what appears to be Chengdu's slimmest subway exit, right on the Second Ring Road. The Sichuan Women's and Children's Hospital is also here.
This station lets out in one of Chengdu's nondescript neighborhoods—old residential blocks in the process of making way for new high rises. The most notable structure in this area is a bar named Touch Pub.
Provincial People's Hospital
From here, passengers can access the No. 2 Sichuan Provincial People's Hospital on the First Ring Road, and, just cattycorner to that, the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. To the north are also Yongling Park and Wang's Tomb, and to the south are the Songxian Qiao Books and Antiques Market, the fantastic Sichuan Provincial Museum and the Shu Brocade Institute, preserving the historical craft of Sichuan-style silk weaving and embroidery.
Eventually the station will serve as a multi-transfer point to Lines 4 and 5.
This station is a good entrance point for the new-old alleys of Kuanzhai Xiangzi as well as the old-style restaurant and shopping street Qintai Lu, the Wenhua and Baihuatan Parks, and the Qingyang Temple.
Obviously, this station is near People's Park and its historical teahouses. It's also a good point from which to enter Kuanzhai Xiangzi from the west (to get to the Dragontown Hostel or the charming café streets where No. 4 Loft Hostel and the new Wraps Deli restaurant are located, as well as a slew of other hip cafés and the hangout spot for a bunch of young fixed-gear bicycle enthusiasts and their neon-colored bicycles).
Apart from being the central transfer station for line 1 and the entire Metro network, Tianfu Square is home to one most relevant destination for foreign residents and visitors (and we're not talking about the statue of Chairman Mao): the new PSB Entry/Exit Division, which is located just behind the aforementioned statue and to the left. (Foreign visas are handled on the third floor.) Apart from that all-important stop there are, in the immediate vicinity, the Science & Technology Museum, the Jincheng Art Palace, and one exit of the No. 1 Tunnel underground shopping center. A short walk away are the Qingshiqiao Fish Market, Yanshikou shopping area, and the Fortune City (with yet another Carrefour and a Starbucks). To the south are the Celebrity Hotel, the newly renovated Minshan Hotel and the historic Jinjiang Hotel, as well as the Korean Consulate, the City Library, and Shanxi Jie, where costume shops abound. To the north are the Chengdu Stadium, the mammoth Uno Mall, 8Trees Wine Bar and Restaurant, the Catholic Church, and the Sheraton Hotel. Finally, the future will see a new city art museum and new city library open in the area.
Your one-stop shopping paradise, with the shopping street that is Chunxi Lu as well as Ito Yokado, Isetan, the Champagne Plaza, Wangfujing Department Store, and a whopping four Starbucks within 500 meters of one another. Once you've shopped 'til you've dropped, you can soak in some culture by visiting the Daci Temple or the Sichuan Opera Art Museum. Laowai standby dive bar Dave's Oasis is also within walking distance of the station. Getting down to business, there is the French Consulate, the Crowne Plaza, the Hyatt Hotel, and the Times Plaza. Finally, this is the nearest subway station to the Xinnanmen Tourist Distribution Center to catch buses bound for Xiling, Hailougu, Jiuzhaigou, Le Shan, Emei Shan, Huanglongxi, Longquan, Luodai, Suining, and buses to other provinces. The stop is also slated to become a transfer point for Metro Line 3 (Hongpailou to Xindu, southwest to northeast) by 2015.
This station provides access to what will be Chengdu's new financial district, a fair mix of places to bring you money: the recently finished Rhombus Hotel, a new Holiday Inn in yet another Times Plaza, the Times Residence, and the new 200-meter-tall Minyu Tower. Oldies but goodies include Hemp House, Le Sud, entertainment complex Lan Kwai Fong (home to Lei Garden), the Shangri-la Hotel & Business Tower (home to Café Z, Mooneys and The Boutique), and EtonHouse school's second location. The exits are actually just south of the bridge, making for easy access to the midscale-with-a-view Veranda Bridge Restaurant as well.
Niuwangmiao is the last Line 2 station before it crosses the First Ring Road, and a short walk from this station are both the Jiaozi Concert Hall and the Taiping Nan Jie Nightclub District near Jiuyanqiao, home of BABI II, Muse, Seven, Lan Town, Kaminarimon and Underground. Slightly farther away are the boutique H Hotel, the East Gate of Sichuan University's Wangjiang Campus (home to the popular Overseas Student Department) and The Museum of Sichuan University.
In the far future, this station will also be the transfer station to Line 6 (Huayang to Pixian, home of the FoxConn factories).
Niushikou | 牛市口站
Like the Yangxi Flyover in the northwest, Niushikou's main attraction for now is a Carrefour. Apart from that, there's a lotus-shaped women and children's center, and lots of new real-estate projects under construction around this Second-Ring-Road-adjacent station.
The International Commercial Complex is scheduled to open in 2014, bringing yet another more-than-1-million-square-meter mixed commercial and residential complex. Adjacent towers will stand 280 meters tall, juxtaposed against the serene river and green surroundings. In another decade or so, this station will also be a transfer point to Line 8, running from Shuangliu County in the south to Longtan in the east.
The Tazishan stop will be the place to get off the train for passengers wishing to visit Tazishan Park to see the pagoda or the lantern festival during Spring Festival or the Wuguiqiao Bus Station to southward and eastward destinations including Chongqing, Yibin, Langzhong, Zigong, and Bazhong.
East Railway Station
The opening of Line 2 will ease the difficulties many passengers face when arriving in Chengdu via the East Railway Station. The number of bus lines that run to and from the station is limited, and a taxi ride is fairly expensive, but with the subway, passengers will be able to travel from the East Railway Station to the south of the city entirely underground. For now, the East Railway Station is the starting point for most of the high-speed trains to Chongqing, the sleeper train to Kunming, and many other destinations including cities as far away as Haikou. Eventually the bulk of trains running to and from the East Railway Station will be east-bound. The city's largest long-distance bus station is also here, with buses that serve nearby destinations such as Longquan, Jintang, Dujiangyan, Wenjiang, Dayi, and Shuangliu. Eventually this station will also be a transfer station to Metro Line 7.
Straddling the Third Ring Road, this station will eventually lead to a sprawling commercial center known as Longzhimen scheduled to be completed in 2015. The 1.5-million-square-meter space will house a shopping center with an amusement park on top of it as well as two 300-meter-tall business towers. But at the moment there's probably not a lot of reason to go there (unless you're transferring).
Just outside the Third Ring Road, this rather poor suburban area is home to Chengdu's biggest freshwater fish market, but that's about it. At the moment there's not much to do here unless you're in the recycling business.
Right now, there's not much to attract passengers to Honghe, but once the subway system is complete in the 2020s, it will serve as a transfer station to a line that lies between the Third Ring Road and the High-speed Ring Road.
In addition to the Chengdu Administration School, this (for-now) final station will take passengers to the Sanshengxiang Flower Market and Hongshacun, where a number of laid-back bars (Orange and Cowshed) are located, as are second locations of city bars, including Hemp House, Machu Picchu, Morning Bar, and Dodo's Café. Lastly, of note in the area is the small XLY Design Museum.