Chengdu China

I came to Chengdu to meet some friends and explore a city that could become the launching pad for a new business venture. I left feeling underwhelmed and only moderately interested. While it doesn’t have the awe factor of Shanghai, or the culture of Beijing, or the cool factor of Hong Kong, it does have a relaxing, comfortable, homey city feel to it that you don’t expect from China. It feels less frantic than the larger cities in China. I think I like it, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be back. Perhaps it’s the perfect place for expats. It’s cheap as hell, and rather built up.

The biggest problem may be with how cheap it is. While a small portion of the Chinese here have money, the vast majority of this city of 12 million seem to have nothing, and they generally eat meals that cost about a buck…no kidding. How the hell could I compete with that, and why would I ever want to.

In any case…

Chunxi Road is a pretty sweet pedestrian road. Huge, but maybe too retail heavy and not enough restaurant heavy and bar heavy and especially patio heavy. Fun, but they could do much much better. Every store had someone cat calling passers by too which is weird for many of the style of retail stores they had.

Jinli Street is possibly the radist place in Chengdu. Old as all hell and just one of those awesome narrow, shop lined street. Love.

Lan Kwai Fong is a pretty cool club area but the way it’s built makes it seem a bit barren even when it’s busy. Too many twists and turns. The river walk right next to it can be relaxing and fun.

The Global Center Mall is gigantic, like for real…but so empty! The food court was particularly lame and that’s what we went to see. Other than that it’s same ol same ol.

Taikoo Li mall is open air (mixed use) and is way better. But still kind of dead honestly.

The highlight was most definitely Jiuyanqiao Bar Street. It’s along the river right across from the Shangri-La hotel. It’s a raucous, loud, lively street that Asia can do very very well sometimes. We had a blast.

Notes to self:

-Tangba street where Good Good was pretty sweet. Good place to grab a drink or some food.
-Red beard burger street was pretty cool (where cheers wine was…Kate’s store).
-Don’t forget the 4K RMB a month salary (6.5 to 1 while I was there).


JW Marriott Chengdu (Sep 2017)