Category Archives: Chengdu

13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 10 Chongqing Sofitel Forebase Hotel

Chengdu East to Chongqing North Station

After four wonderful nights in Chengdu, we would be heading over to Chongqing this morning. We had already packed the night before so after a quick breakfast, we were ready venture out to our next destination. Checking out at front desk was a breeze and professionally handled. We had a great three nights stay here and enjoyed comfort, luxury and great services from the staff in the hotel.

Having purchased our high speed train tickets three days ago, we took a taxi to Chengdu East Train Station. We could have taken a ride on the MRT changing train at Tianfu Square Station to Chengdu East Station. But we would have to lug our luggage to Jinjiang Station a few minutes walk away from the Sofitel Taihe Chengdu Hotel. We thought it might be a little too much hassle to travel with luggage on the MRT trains during morning rush hour as well as my wife nursing a sprained ankle. So taking a taxi would be much better.

We reached Chengdu East Train Station in good time to prepare for our 9.05 am ride. After getting through security checks, we waited in the very huge and futuristic train station. Not long after, we were called to get to the platform to wait for our train ride to Chongqing. Soon, we were comfortably seated enjoying our ride to Chongqing.

Chongqing North Station to Sofitel Forebase Chongqing

We arrived Chongqing North Station on time at 11.12 am without incident. The ride was of course very nice and comfortable, much better than taking a flight on a budget airline. Getting out of the train and heading into the train station wasn’t a problem.

However, walking to take a taxi was quite a long walk. In addition, there was quite a long queue of passengers waiting to board taxis. Nevertheless, there were plenty of taxis waiting in queue for passengers. So heading out of the train station wasn’t very difficult. Continue reading 13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 10 Chongqing Sofitel Forebase Hotel

13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 9 Chengdu City Attractions

Waking up to the Last Day in Chengdu

Today would be our last day to explore the city of Chengdu before moving on to Chongqing the next day. Having gone down to the restaurant for breakfast the previous morning, we opted to have a quieter breakfast up on the Club Floor this time. The breakfast spread was no less enticing. The breakfast was excellent, especially with the nice view from this height overlooking the river.

With breakfast done, we returned to our suite room to prepare ourselves for the the day’s adventure. After refreshing ourselves and packing essentials needed for the day, we left our suite room. Before leaving the hotel, we checked out some facilities here. The fitness centre, games room and the lounge were empty early in the morning. We then left Hotel Sofitel Chengdu Taihe to proceed with our tour of Chengdu.

Heading to Jinli Ancient Street

China has blocked Google Maps so we needed an alternative. As such, we had to download Baidu Maps on our phones and hence, getting around the city wasn’t a problem. With the help of Baidu Maps, we walked out to the bus stop on the main road. Our first destination was Jinli Ancient Street.

Getting there would be very easy taking bus number 82 just 4 stops away. Bus fare would be just CNY 2. So we waited for the bus and soon were on our way. The bus was a little packed though during the morning. Quite soon, we alighted and were outside Jinli Ancient Street. Continue reading 13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 9 Chengdu City Attractions

13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 8 Chengdu Panda Research Base

Great Breakfast at Sofitel Chengdu Taihe

Our sleep in the luxury suite in Sofitel Chengdu Taihe was indeed sweet. We hardly felt like getting up. In fact, we didn’t really feel like exploring the city after checking in the day before. It was great to be pampered here, especially upgrading to this suite with access to the club floor for afternoon tea and evening cocktail.

We had been in the land of the pandas for a week now. Today, we would get to see some real life pandas. It was about time to meet our lovely friends, the symbol of China. But before that, we had to get some breakfast. We had the option of heading up to the club floor with more privacy or the restaurant below. We decided to head down to the restaurant to join the crowd.

Over at the restaurant, we could still find a table that was unoccupied. The staff attending to us was friendly and helpful. The restaurant had a French theme deco, very pleasant and lovely. Buffet spread was great, a wide selection of western and local food dishes. It was definitely five-star standard food serving.

We went around collecting food we liked and they were good. Except the noodles I got from the noodle station was a little too spicy even though I had told the chef to serve with less chilli. This is Sichuan after all so I can understand. Unless I give local food a miss, I’ll have to get use to spicy food.

Heading to Chengdu Panda Research Base

After breakfast, we returned to our room to get ready. Soon, we left Sofitel Chengdu Taihe. We crossed the main road and walked along the park beside the river towards the left. The morning was quite cooling and the park was quiet with occasional cyclists cycling past. After crossing the bridge at the traffic junction, we entered Xinnanmen MRT Station. Continue reading 13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 8 Chengdu Panda Research Base

13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 7 Sofitel Chengdu Taihe

Great Breakfast at Dorsett Grand Chengdu Hotel

We didn’t plan a lot of activities today in Chengdu. We would be shifting over to Sofitel Chengdu Taihe later. Perhaps we might just visit attractions near Sofitel Chengdu Taihe Hotel after checking into the hotel. So it would be a relaxing day, especially needful for my wife to nurse her sprained ankle.

The first thing to do this morning would be a nice breakfast in Dorsett Grand Chengdu Hotel. So when we were ready, we went down to the restaurant for breakfast. We had a great lunch and dinner at the restaurant the previous day so we came with expectation to have a great breakfast too. We were indeed not disappointed.

The restaurant was very pleasant and wasn’t very crowded when we arrived. The buffet spread was substantial and very presentable. More importantly, the Chinese and Western food were very tasty, much better than some five-star hotels we had stayed in major cities in China.

Morning Rest in Dorsett Grand Chengdu Hotel

After breakfast, we returned to our very nice modern spacious room to rest. It was still too early to check out to head to Sofitel Chengdu Taihe Hotel. We won’t be allowed to check in if we arrived too early. Our high floor room here was simply too good to give up too early as well.

From today onward, we would have three more nights in Chengdu follow by another three more nights in Chongqing, staying in five-star Sofitel Hotels. So we needed to purchase high speed train tickets to Chongqing and return to Chengdu Airport for our flight home. Since there won’t be much to do in the morning, I went to buy train tickets while my wife rested in the room. Continue reading 13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 7 Sofitel Chengdu Taihe

13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 6 Dujiangyan to Chengdu

Ancient Town to High Speed Train Station

Buffet breakfast was still available today in Chengdu Dujiangyan Nine Point Hotel. Having seen the buffet spread the previous morning catered mainly to local tourists, we didn’t want to waste time heading to the dining hall. We had already bought food from the bakery so our breakfast was taken care of and we also preferred our own coffee and tea.

After breakfast, we went to the lobby to process check out. It was done in a breeze. We took a short walk to the main gate and waited for a taxi. It was a pleasant morning here in Dujiangyan Ancient Town. Couple of minutes later, we managed to flag down a taxi. We requested the taxi driver to send us to the high speed train station.

Along the way, the driver found out we were heading to Chengdu. He asked if he could send us all the way to our hotel in Chengdu instead. We politely declined as taking a high speed train from Dujiangyan to Chengdu cost only CNY 10. A taxi ride to Chengdu would set us back over CNY 150. Besides, we were heading to Chengdu Grand Dorset Hotel located next to Luomashi MRT Station. So there was no need to take a taxi to our hotel. We were not in a hurry anyway.

Dujiangyan High Speed Train Station to Chengdu

Not long after the taxi ride, we reached Dujiangyan High Speed Station. Taxi fare was around CNY 30. We then went into the ticketing hall to purchase our tickets to Chengdu. There was short queue and soon we got our tickets. We were not worried about the train tickets as there were many train trips heading to Chengdu everyday.

Security was tight at the high speed train station. All baggage had to go through x-ray scanner. Once we had entered the station, we waited for boarding at the gate for our train to Chengdu. Soon we were allowed to head to the platform. Not long after, we boarded our train to Chengdu. Continue reading 13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 6 Dujiangyan to Chengdu

13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 2 Bangkok to Chengdu

Good Morning Bangkok

Our flight to Chengdu was 10.05 am. Although we had already done online check in for our flight, we would want to be at the airport by 8 am. So we went up to the rooftop restaurant for breakfast slightly before 7 am.

Breakfast would start at 7 am and was getting ready by the time we arrived. We took the opportunity to look around the Bangkok scene from up here. On hindsight, we should have come up here the previous night to check out the night scene with the busy night market below. The views of the surrounding were pretty nice with the sun beginning to rise from the far end.

Next we helped ourselves to the modest breakfast spread. Breakfast was decent given the price we paid for the room. The breakfast wasn’t sumptuous but sufficient. After this quick breakfast, we returned to our room, freshened up and then checked out at front desk. We got back the same THB500 deposit we gave to the staff upon presentation of the receipt.

Patra Hotel to Ratchaprarop Station onward to Airport

According to the map provided by Patra Boutique Hotel, there is a short cut to Ratchaprarop Station. So instead of turning left out of Patra Hotel and then left and another left turn again towards Baiyoke Sky Hotel to walk back to Ratchaprarop Station, we turned right and walked across the railway tracks and then turned right to walk to Ratchaprarop Station not far ahead. It took only 5 minutes. However, you can’t drag your bags all the way as the path is uneven and having to walk along some dirt path. Continue reading 13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 2 Bangkok to Chengdu

13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 1 Bangkok

Flight from Singapore to Chengdu

We had wanted to visit Jiuzhaigou for quite some time. So when there was an offer from Singapore to Chengdu flying Thai Airways at only $272, we booked our flights for November. The catch was to transit in Bangkok. Instead to having a short transit from Bangkok to Chengdu where we had to take a very early flight from Singapore to Bangkok, we planned an overnight stay in Bangkok to have a more relaxing arrival in Chengdu on Day 2. Our flight details are as follows:

Singapore to Bangkok 12.25 pm to 1.45 pm
Bangkok to Chengdu 10.05 am to 2 pm on the following day

Chengdu to Bangkok 3.05 pm to 5.20 pm
Bangkok to Singapore 7.25 pm to 10.45 pm

Since we had quite a bit of time in November, we decided to visit Chongqing as well, a city in under 2 hours away from Chengdu by high speed train. We also took advantage of the Accor super sales and booked Sofitel Chengdu Taihe and Sofitel Forebase Chongqing at 50% discounts.

Original Itinerary for Chengdu and Chonqing

Day 1: Singapore to Bangkok

Hotel: Patra Boutique Hotel

Location of this hotel is near Platinum area, easily accessible from the airport using the airport rail link six stations away.

Day 2: Bangkok to Chengdu

Hotel: Leeden Hotel

This hotel is located near MRT Station walking distance to Chunxi Shopping Area.

Day 3: Chengdu to Juizhaigou

Hotel: Jiuxiang Hotel

This hotel is located near the main entrance into Jiuzhaigou National Park.

Will need to take a nine hours bus ride from Chengdu to Jiuzhaigou. Continue reading 13 Days Chengdu and Chongqing Tour – Day 1 Bangkok