Chengdu Entertainment Guide - For fun, recreation, and relaxation
The end all and be all of life in Chengdu is the teahouse so, for entertainment, you can do what the locals do and drink tea. However, should you be seeking something a little different for a change, Chengdu is happy to oblige with an amusement park, nightclubs and golf courses.
For a more traditional approach to entertainment hit any one of the thousands of teahouses. For something a little more cultural, Sichuan opera is performed in a number of different venues that also serve tea.
Traditionally, the main form of entertainment in Chengdu is opera. Chengdu benefits from being the home of Sichuan's leading and most famous opera group. Sichuan opera is similar to Beijing opera but the story themes are regional and they're performed in the Sichuan dialect. Szechuan opera is also marked by the flamboyance and expressiveness of the acting, singing, makeup and costumes. Opera can be seen at the Sichuan Opera House in Zhuangyuan Street as well as at a number of other theaters and big tea houses.
Living Water Garden
On the eastern bank of Fu River, across from Chengdu Amusement Park, sits Living Water Garden, the world's first water-themed inner-city ecological park. The six-acre park, developed as part of plans for sustainable ways to support Chengdu's ever-expanding population, contains a natural water treatment system that handles more than 60,000 gallons of polluted water per day. The site also offers an environmental education center, green space, and recreation facilities including an outdoor amphitheater. Living Water Garden is a celebration of Chengdu's partnership with water and a key development for the city's future.
Chengdu Amusement Park
Chengdu Amusement Park opened in the 1980s and offers all the usual rides from bumper cars to bouncing castles and a shooting hall. Reachable by public bus or taxi, the park is a good choice for those traveling with kids. Visit during the week for fewer crowds.
Golf is increasingly popular in China and Chengdu hosts a number of courses. Sichuan International Golf Club is an internationally-designed 18-hole course just 10 minutes' drive from Chengdu Airport. LuxeHills Golf & Country Club hosts a championship course that features Chinese golfers as well as international players from the PGA.
It may lack the rather self-assured verve and funk of the trendier Shanghai and Hong Kong but still, Chengdu packs in a huge number of bars and a vibrant disco scene. Most of the clubs are in the south of Chengdu, and the selection changes so regularly that it can be hard to keep tabs on what is open and hip. The big clubs are MGM, Babi I and Babi II. For something a bit more laid back, there's the Shamrock Pub or ‘historic' Janli Street, which offers a strip of bars, teahouses and restaurants. Alternatively, you can go a little more ‘local' and hit a karaoke bar or a bowling alley.
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