10 things to see and do in Chengdu, China - United Hub

10 things to see and do in Chengdu, China

By The Hub team

When travelers think of China, they often think of Beijing, the capital, and Shanghai, the country's largest city and financial hub. They may also think of Sichuan Province, known for its spicy food. But inside of Sichuan Province is the city of Chengdu, the birthplace of the Southern Silk Road, Taoism and famous brocades and embroideries. It has been transformed into one of western China's global hubs, making it one of the country's cities to watch.

For those planning a trip to China — for business or pleasure — try and squeeze in a few days in Chengdu. You can get there on our Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights out of San Francisco International Airport.

Below are 10 reasons why this up-and-coming city should be on your travel list.

Panda at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

1. Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Six miles outside of Chengdu, the research base for Giant Pandas was created to replicate the natural environment of China's world-famous giant pandas. It offers the endangered species a safe place for breeding and raising cubs.

2. Wenshu Monastery

This Buddhist monastery in the northern part of Chengdu was built during the Sui Dynasty (605 BC–617 BC) and rebuilt in 1697 after being burned down in a war during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). It is well-known for a restaurant that serves different varieties of green tea and what has been called the best vegetarian food in the city.

3. New Century Global Center

This 18-million square foot facility has been named the largest building in the world, ranked by floor space. It has a massive mall with retail stores, restaurants, a skating rink, a water park with a beach, an IMAX theater, a replica of a Mediterranean village and the luxurious Intercontinental Hotel.

Popular street food in Chengdu

4. Jinli Ancient Street

The opposite of the New Century Global Center, Jinli Ancient Street is the place to go for traditional Sichuan foods such as Zhong dumplings, sweet dried persimmon, bobo chicken and the city's legendary spicy dan dan noodles. The street also features shadow puppet performances and is a great place to shop for locally produced gifts.

5. Wuhou Temple

After walking through Jinli Ancient Street, go to Wuhou Temple, built in 223 AD. It houses the mausoleum of King Liu Bei, a leader during China's Three Kingdoms period (220 AD–280 AD). The temple also features cultural relics from that period, and it became an official state museum in 1984.

6. Sichuan Opera House

Visiting the opera in Chengdu is considered a must-do activity. The opera house offers performances that are colorful, musical, comedic and acrobatic. Ticket prices start at 150 yuan, depending on the performance, the time of year and available seats.

7. A Thousand Plateaus Art Space

Get a feel for Chengdu's art scene at A Thousand Plateaus Art Space, a gallery that represents visual artists. Among them are Xiong Yu, who teaches in the arts department at Sichuan University and specializes in oil paintings, and Shi Jindian, whose works are based on the destruction and reconstruction of real objects.

Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System

8. Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System

Mount Qingcheng is considered the birthplace of Taoism, and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to the Tang Dynasty's Jianfu Palace, the Shangqing Palace, built to worship the three supreme deities in Taoism, and the Tianshi Cave, a major temple built during the Sui Dynasty. The site also includes the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, built in 256 BC and still used today on 668,700 hectares of farmland.

9. Wide and Narrow Alley (Kuanzhai Xiangzi)

Considered one of Chengdu's historical and cultural landmarks, the alleys date back to the Qing Dynasty and represent phases of city life. The wide alley, known as "leisurely life," features Chengdu folk culture; the narrow alley, known as "slow life," is dedicated to showing the life of Chengdu natives; and the well alley, known as "modern life," features restaurants, nightclubs, retail shops and a wedding site.

10. Sichuan Museum

The nearly 500,000 square-foot Sichuan Museum boats more than 160,000 cultural relics native to the province. Among its exhibits are the skull of Ziyang Man, dating from 30,000 BC, and artwork by renowned artists from China's Tang (618-907) and Song Dynasties (960-1279).

Now that you know about all the great things to see and do while in Chengdu, visit united.com or use the United app to plan your adventure.

United flights to China

Chengdu is not our only destination in China. We started offering nonstop flights to China in 1986 and currently serve Chengdu with nonstop flights from San Francisco; Beijing with nonstop flights from Chicago, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington/Dulles; Shanghai with nonstop flights from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York/Newark and San Francisco; and Hong Kong with nonstop flights from Chicago, Guam, Ho Chi Minh City, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Singapore.

Making our app more accessible for people with disabilities

By The Hub team, October 28, 2020

We're proud to launch a redesigned version of our United app to make it easier for customers with visual disabilities to manage all aspects of day-of travel, including check-in, viewing reservation details and flight status, bag tracking and more.

This latest version of our app is now available to both Android and iOS users, and it offers increased color contrast and more space between graphics. Furthermore, we have reorganized how information is displayed and announced to better integrate with screen reader technologies like VoiceOver and TalkBack, which are built into most handheld devices. By restructuring the way the information is organized on the app, screen readers are better able to convert text to audio in the proper, logical sequence, allowing customers to better understand and navigate the app.

United Zoom backgrounds for AvGeeks

By The Hub team, October 27, 2020

Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Take your next video call from a United Polaris® seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude with United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Newly added to our collection is a background encouraging our employees and customers to vote. Our mission is to connect people and unite the world — and one of the most important ways to do that is to engage in the democratic process. No matter which party you support, we know our democracy will be stronger if you make your voice heard and vote.

So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started.

Looking back at a landmark year with Special Olympics

By Ryan Wilks, October 19, 2020

Earlier this summer, we shone a light on our flagship partnership with Special Olympics and our commitment to the Inclusion Revolution. In that same story, we introduced you to our four Special Olympics Service Ambassadors, Daniel, Kyle, Lauren and Zinyra (Z), who, this month, celebrate one year working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport as part of the United family.

This groundbreaking, inclusive employment program took off as a part of our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics, a community relationship that employees across the company hold close to heart. The original 'UA4' (as they call themselves) have become an integral part of the United team serving customers at O'Hare Airport. Even from behind their masks, their wide smiles and effervescent spirit exude and bring life to the service culture of excellence we strive towards every day.

"The UA4 are more than just customer service ambassadors. They are shining examples of how inclusion, accessibility and equity can have monumental impacts on the culture and service of a business and community," said Customer Service Managing Director Jonna McGrath. "They have forever changed who we are as a company. While they often talk about how United and this opportunity has changed their lives, they have changed ours in more ways than we can count."

In the two years of partnership with Special Olympics, United employees have volunteered over 10,500 hours of service at events around the world and donated over $1.2 million worth of travel to the organization.

"This inclusive employment program is what community partnerships, like ours with Special Olympics, are all about: collaborating to identify areas where the needs of the community intersect with the cultural and business opportunity, then creating the infrastructure and programming to bring the two together," said Global Community Engagement Managing Director Suzi Cabo. "Through this program, our goal is to show other companies that when you put a committed effort and focus towards inclusion and breaking down barriers, you transform lives. I challenge other business around the world to follow our lead in joining the Inclusion Revolution."

Check out the video below to hear from our Special Olympics Service Ambassadors firsthand.

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