Located in southwest China, Sichuan is known for being a sleepy place to do some quiet tourism. Similarly, in its largest city, Chengdu, having a laid-back day is at the forefront of most visitors’ agendas. Here are a few ways to do that most effectively:
1. Get a massage – There is no better way to relax then to get a massage. However in Sichuan, it is more a part of the regular daily lives of residents than in other places, with parlors quite able to take on groups of people looking for an inexpensive way to spend an hour. All the traditional options are available, but usually, a fully-clothed massage with some delicious treats to snack on is the way to go.
2. Challenge a local in Weiqi – One of the most famous Chinese board games around, Weiqi closely resembles that of Ladders, where you earns points on the board by creating a wall around your opponents. Sichuan, known as the capital of Weiqi, presents a number of options to learn how to play the game, such as having an English speaking local to teach you.
3. Enjoy some spicy food – With tons of great places to get some tasty local cuisine, lots of meals include the use of hot Sichuan pepper. Order yourself a hotpot, a bowl of seasoned soup, where you can order from a wide-option of meats and vegetables that you boil to perfection in front of you and eat on the spot. It’s China’s version of fondue.
4. See an opera – Many of the hotels around town offer a trip to the opera as an organized activity while in Chengdu. Not quite what you’d expect from Mozart or Tchaikovsky since these shows involve magicians and fire-swallowing performers which can be quite a sight.
5. Visit the Wenshu Temple – One of the most impressive Buddhist structures around, here you can see tons of great relics, walk through its gardens and gaze at over 400 different statues.