GoChengdoo's 10 most-read travel articles and guides about the Sichuan and Chongqing region.
Our favorite quick and easy day-long and weekend escapes from Chengdu, including nearby old towns, scenic sites, museums, and, of course, pandas.
This comprehensive article on Chongqing is a must-read for the first time visitor and can be more than a starting point for your Yangtze river tour. (Update: Chongqing old town Ciqikou is overrun by tourists, so one may consider Zhongshan for a quiet getaway.
By some accounts the largest man-made cave, the 816 military plant — an underground nuclear shelter in the mountains surrounding Chongqing that was worked on from the 1950s to the 1980s — has been opened to domestic tourists for a few years, but old-school personnel might be reluctant to let foreigners in. About 100km south of 816 lies the impressive show cave of Furong, displaying Wolong's spectacular carst landscape.
Thanks to the quick and inexpensive high-speed train ride, this might be the most comfortable retreat for the weekend. The hiking is quick and easy even for untrained couch potatoes; for more physical challenges try the "sacred" Qingcheng Mountain at the next train station.
Ever-popular among tourists and exploited as a backdrop in many Chinese B-list movies, Huanglongxi is attracts mobs of visitors every weekend, probably because it's an easy 30-minute bus ride away from Chengdu. But it's worth the wait to sit one the bus two hours longer for the much prettier Shangli.
The world's lowest glacier is a rather recent addition to China's national parks. The cold escape can take you up to 4800m by cable car.
The well-restored mansions of Anren display fine samples of late Qing dynasty architecture, but a visit wouldn't be complete without a stroll around the Jianchuan Museum Cluster, a huge collection of galleries on various topics (foot-binding, Cultural Revolution, Wenchuan earthquake) filled by the private collections of real-estate tycoon Fan Jianchuan.
Bamboo forests, ancient temples, valleys, and waterfalls make Yibin perfect for hikes in the green.
Of all old towns around Sichuan this is probably the longest bus ride from Chengdu, but by many accounts also the most praiseworthy.