Research base of giant panda breeding
As others have said here already, you can't skip this centre. I'm sure that everyone who goes here comes out with a big smile on his face. We didn't go to the museum and we didn't watch the movie, but we just watched the panda's for hours. The big ones are really nice to look at, because they make everyone jealous with their easygoing lifestyle, and the little ones are really funny. When we were there 8 little ones were playing outside, and we laughed our asses off. They were falling the whole time, but they didn't get hurt. One of them fell twice in 1 minute time from about a meter high, another one fell into the water and was all dirty, yet another one fell from a toy horse, etc... . The red panda's are also nice to look at, but less cute of course.
The parc itself is nice to walk around in, so definitely you will have a relaxing day when you come here.
Du Fu's Thatched Cottage - Part I
Du Fu is one of China's best loved poets, and his simple, elegant prose has charmed the Chinese people down the ages. Perhaps his most famous period was when he lived, for a brief time, in a thatched cottage near Chengdu. His poems of that time are full of the ordinary life of Chinese farmers and rural people. The cottage figures in a number of his works, meaning it has become probably the most famous commoner's house in the entire country.
In 2001, archaeologists - and archaeology is particularly strong in Sichuan - discovered the remains of what is extremely likely to have been the original cottage. After excavation, it was protected from the elements by an elegant post-modern museum hall. The design and Tang era collection along the gallery of this hall are particularly well designed and lit - Sichuan is also strong on museum design!
We also found that the staff - far from the usual flippant, bored and uninterested flunkies staffing many Chinese museums - were an absolute pleasure to meet; all were keen to talk about Du Fu and were the epitome of what a curator should be: bright, happy and extremely passionate about "their place".
The Du Fu Thatched Cottage Museum as the entire park is now billed is one of the highlights of Chengdu, even if museums, history and culture are not your thing; the thick woods and stands of bamboo, the random paths and the dark pools make this one of the best parks in the whole of China if not the world. If it's peace, calm and reflection that you seek, this park could hold your inattention all day long.
"Wonder of Jinding"
Visit to Mount E-mei is usually part of the itinerary for a tour in Chengdu. The main attraction of Mt E-mei is the temple at the peak, also known as "Jinding" - meaning golden peak.
It's a venue where two meterological wonder occur.
In the right conditions, a halo may be observed when the bright rays of the sun hits the water droplets in the atmosphere. You can then see your reflection in the halo. This is called "fo-guang" or "Buddha's light" in Chinese
The second is where thick cumulus clouds are observed below the peak. It creates an impression of a sea of cloud, wave-like ripples and all. This is called "yunhai".
We didn't manage to see both wonders on our visit - which is actuaaly the norm. Miraculously, we experienced both on our flight back home. No exaggeration, but we could actually see the plane encased within the halo.
"Foot of Mt Emei"
At the foot of Mt Emei stands the temple "Bao-guo-shi". It's a Taoist temple and you can offer joss sticks and donations if you wish.
"Bao guo" roughly means serving the country.
There's a hiking trail in Emei which is recommended for monkey lovers.
Enroute to the end of the trail where you'll see a group of large,fat and wellfed monkeys, you may wish to look out for a wall of calligraphies.
Also, there is a well-known sight known as "yi xian tian"-meaning, "a strip of sky". As the name suggests, you can only see a tiny strip of the sky between two mountains facing each otehr.