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Chengdu

Giant panda, Chengdu

Practical Info about Chengdu

Time

GMT +8

Electricity

Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Plug types vary but the two-pin flat blade and oblique three-pin flat blade plugs are common. Adapters are generally required.

Currency

China currency is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY), which is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can only be exchanged within China's borders. Foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. The larger hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners will accept most Western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards are accepted in the main cities, but acceptance may be limited in more rural areas. ATMs are scarce outside the main cities.

Communication

The international dialling code for China is +86. Phone cards are widely available and calls can be made from post offices and hotels; phone booths on the streets are usually for local calls only. In hotels, local calls are generally free or will be charged only a nominal fee. Mobile phone networks are very advanced and Chinese networks have roaming agreements with most non-North American international operators. Internet cafes are available in most main towns.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 110 (Police); 120 (Ambulance - Beijing)

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan - 3 Jan
Spring Festival 31 Jan - 6 Feb 19 Feb - 25 Feb
May Day 1 May - 3 May 1 May - 3 May
Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day) 5 Apr - 7 Apr 4 Apr - 6 Apr
Dragon Boat Festival 31 May - 2 Jun 20 Jun - 22 Jun
Mid-Autumn Festival 6 Sep - 8 Sep 26 Sep - 28 Sep
Peoples Republic of China birthday 1 Oct - 3 Oct 1 Oct - 3 Oct

Climate

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The weather in Chengdu is mild and humid all year long; however, the four seasons are quite distinct: spring is long and warm, summer is short and steamy, autumn is cool and rainy, and winter is cold and foggy. Temperatures range from 21°F (-6°C) in the winter (December to February) up to 99°F (37°C) at the peak of summer (June to August). Chengdu is humid and foggy for most of the year, which reduces sunlight hours and can exaggerate the feel of the temperature. The rainy season is in July and August, when occasional storms are experienced. The best time to visit Chengdu is in the spring and autumn, including April to June and September to November.

Getting around the city

Hiring a car in Chengdu is not advised due to heavy and chaotic traffic, especially at rush hour times. Metered taxis are available, though difficult to find in some areas. Note that it is necessary to have your destination written in Chinese as most drivers don't speak English. There are plenty of public transport options, however, most of which are marked on tourist maps available from the airport, railway station, and souvenir shops. Public transport in Chengdu is mostly comprised of an extensive bus network, which charges ¥2 per ride (paid to the driver). It is worthwhile to buy a transit card, which offers discounts and eliminates the need to carry exact change. The other half of Chengdu's public transport is the metro, which connects the North and South Railway Stations. Fares are ¥2-4 depending on distance. A second line, running northwest and southeast, has recently been completed.

Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport

www.cdairport.com

Getting to the city

There are shuttle buses running to downtown Chengdu, as well as long-distance coaches to other cities in Sichuan Province.

Car rental

There are no car hire facilities at the airport, however rental cars are available in downtown Chengdu.

Airport taxi's

Taxis are available outside of Gate 1 of Terminal 1, and Gates 4 and 5 of Terminal 2.

Transfer between terminals

The terminals are within walking distance, however shuttles are available to transfer passengers.

Facilities

Airport services include an information centre, baggage trolleys, a smoking room, ATMs, phone chargers, vending machines, luggage storage and packaging, a lost and found, medical services, a baby-care station, VIP and first class lounges, restaurants and shops, and business services that include fax, photocopying, printing, and Internet.

Parking

Parking is located in front of Terminal 1. The first hour is ¥4, and every 30 minutes thereafter is an additional ¥2.

Internet

China Telecom provides five hours of free wifi with registration via mobile phone.