Certain areas of Chengdu bleep loud on the tourist radar: Jinli Street, Wuhou Temple, People's Park, Tianfu Square and Wenshu Temple are just some of the many well-known destinations. However, there's a new area in northwestern Chengdu called Jinniu (金牛区)—yes, the "Golden Cow" district—which is becoming quite popular with locals, while still remaining relatively unknown to tourists and local expats. A decade ago, this area, located outside the 2ndRing Road was sparsely populated with little attractions. But with Chengdu's growing outward expansion and the newly opened Metro Line 2 (which runs right through the heart of Jinniu), the area is shooting up like bamboo after a spring rain. Listed below are a few of the district's best attractions.
Yipin Tianxia. Photo: xz5u.cn
1) Yipin TianxiaView In Map
Simply put, Yipin Tianxia (一品天下) is the best bar/restaurant/party street in Jinniu District. Every night of the week, the atmosphere is filled with nose tingling spices, thumping bass and thousands of people out for an evening stroll. This pulsating boulevard tries to keep a Qing Dynasty image with traditional architecture, red lanterns and cobble stone streets, although the neon lights, flashy advertisements and European sport cars clout it a bit. Nonetheless, Yipin Tianxia is stacked with modern facilities and establishments, providing high quality goods and services to customers. So if you're looking to escape the expat scene of Renmin Nan Lu and take in a more local experience—whether it be drinking the night away in a lively bar, gorging yourself with a glutinous hot pot or clinking mahjong chips at a Sichuan tea house—Yipin Tianxia is definitely worth checking out.
Getting there: take metro Line 2 to Yipin Tianxia Station (一品天下站), exit C. Or take bus 25, 43, 63, 84, 88 to Yipin Tianxia Street Station (一品天下路站)
For a superb dining experience check out Morals Village (德庄). It's hands down the best place to eat traditional Sichuan hot pot in the area, and it's renowned for its green hot pot. However, be sure to stop by an ATM before hand, as prices are quite steep. If you're in the mood for something just as good, but cheaper and a little more laid back, try Shuangliu Laoma Tutou(双流老妈兔头). Located next door to Morals Village, they specialize in regional Chinese cuisine from all over the country. Be sure to try the traditional rabbit head dish the restaurant is famous for.
Add: 22-24 Yipin Tianxia Dajie (Section 131 A), Jinniu District, Chengdu
地址：成都市金牛区一品天下大街A区 131号附 22-24号
Price: 100 RMB and up (Morals Village); 60 RMB (Shuangliu Laoma Tutou)
Opening hours: 17:00-00:00.
For drinking, try the local bar strip. Though small compared to Chengdu's other hot bar streets, the three medium-sized bars here will certainly get the job done. Jinzhu Meiduo Bar (金株美朵酒吧), is the best of the three, as it has spacious outdoor seating, free KTV (complete with English songs) and friendly staff. You can't miss it—mini kegs of Paulaner beer are stacked in a pyramid shape in the courtyard.
Add: Yipin Tianxia Dajie and Yingkang Xi Lu (north of Mingjiang Charen Tea House).
Price: Beers from 15 RMB and up
Opening hours: 19:00-02:00
2) Tomb of Wang JianView In Map
Jinniu District is also home to a historic exhibition that's, well, just a bit creepy: China's only above-ground mausoleum, the tomb of Wang Jian (王健墓). Wang Jian (847-918) was a general who rose up from a peasant background to become the founding emperor of the "Former Shu" state during the "Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms" period. The statue of him is also said to be the only remaining lifelike figurine of any Chinese emperor in the entire Middle Kingdom. After you're done scoping out the mausoleum, the surrounding Yongling Park (永陵公园) is a pleasant place for a relaxing stroll. Throughout the park you'll find 24 statues playing classical instruments from the Tang Dynasty, as well as a renovated Han Dynasty Wall, the Yongling Museum and the Underground Palace.
Add: Yongling Museum, 10 Yongling Lu, Jinniu District, Chengdu
Opening hours: 8:00-18:00
Price: Free entrance to Yongling Park; 20 RMB for the Tomb of Wang Jian
Getting there: Take bus 30, 48, 54 or 341 to Yongling Dong Lu (永陵东路站)
3) Chengdu City Youth and Children's CenterView In Map
If you need a change from Jinniu's other attractions, check out the Chengdu City Youth and Children's Center (成都市青少年活动中心). At first glance, it may look like an old communist relic from the Cold War days with national flags, loudspeakers blasting health propaganda and powerful concrete block-structures. But if you walk past the entrance through the elaborate gate for about 50 m, you'll find an athletic recreational center with state of the art facilities: a jogging path around the river, a fitness park, numerous regulation sized basketball courts and football pitches, ping pong tables, an Olympic sized pool, a children's playground, a stadium for indoor sports and even bumper cars! It's a great place to go to get the blood flowing and there always seems to be a game going on during the warmer months.
Add: 66 Xingke Bei Jie, Qingshaonian Huodong Zhongxin, Jinniu District, Chengdu
Opening hours: 06:00-21:00 (summer). 06:30-20:00 (winter)
Price: Swimming for 30 RMB during summer months. Large-scale games can be negotiated at the center while pickup games are free and frequent.
Getting there: Take bus 129 or 340 to Jiulidi Bei Lu Bei Station (九里堤北路北站)
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Keywords: Chengdu Jinniu district Chengdu Golden Cow district Chengdu attractions
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