●Tibet Hotel – North Renmin Road 10; 011-86-28-8318-3388; excellent all round hotel; great staff and fantastic large rooms; more like an appartments decorated in art deco and Tibetan decor mixture; very comfortable.
●Dong Hu Shou Xi – Guoxin Road 8, East 5 Section; 011-86-28-8453-8888; set in old, labyrinthine house with curved roof; tables downstairs and private rooms upstairs; ask for room overlooking pond; try steamed pork leg with bok choy and, also, try wood-ear mushrooms.
●Gingko Fusion Sichuan Cuisine – Linjiang Middle Road 12; 011-86-28-8555-5588; nouveau Sichuanese, made tourist friendly; above Nanhe River and fussy in Chinese, not Western, way; food is good but, ironically, in Western, not Chinese, way.
●Lao Ma Tou Hot Pot – 27 Yulin Zhong Lu (Yulin); 011-86-28-8666-6920; laomatou.com; chili-infused broth-based dishes.
●Yang Yang – Jin Yuan Xiang 32, Wu Hou Qu; 011-86-28-8523-1394; Chinese soul food; must try potatoes and eggplant.
●Yu Jia Chu Fang – Zhai Xiangzi 43; 011-86-28-8669-1975; great Sichuan food.
●Zi Fi – Kuanxiangzi 27; 011-86-28-8663-3737; zificlub.com; reservations must be made 2 days ahead; private dining room starts around $60 per person; designed to make successful businessmen feel at home; you don’t order; you sit in private room and food delivered; in nondescript building with dark courtyard; aura of secrecy pervades; food is exemplary; make sure to ask for venison.
SIGHTS & SITES
●Chengdu Panda Base – 26 Panda Road (Northern Suburb); 011-86-28-8351-0033; panda.org.cn/English.
●Jinli Ancient Street – east of Wuhou Memorial Temple; modern commercial pedestrian streets embedded in Chengdu ancient buildings originally built during Qing Dynasty (1644-1911); 383 yards long; bars and cafes and bars – including Starbucks; at night, whole street decorated with beautiful red lanterns on ancient buildings’ eaves; restaurants are Sichuan.
●Sichuan Opera House – Dongfeng Road North, 1st Alley (Chenghua); 011-86-28-8444-4756; chuanju.com.cn.
●Tibetan Quarter – near 1st Ring Road (southwest Chengdu); Tibetan art, clothing, and souvenir shops, as well as restaurants; home to 10Ks Tibetans.
●Wenshu Temple – Renmin Zhonglu (Wenshu Temple area); includes temple teahouse open to public.