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When in Chengdu | Culture, people, things to do and memorable brands
When in Chengdu
Cultural Currents

While Chengdu, capital of the western province of Sichuan, is one of China’s larger cities, it has a unique low-key atmosphere and way of life that sets it apart from other major cities. Although Chengdu has developed rapidly in the past five years, locals eschew the fast-pace of many modern city dwellers, instead displaying a love of life, taking time to enjoy food, parties, tea, mahjong … and shopping, which highlights their growing purchasing power.

This doesn’t mean that Chengdu isn’t a vibrant city – the many colleges and universities attract a large number of young adults who pursue fashion, music and art, and are highly receptive and inclusive to new concepts and ideas. Like most Chinese youth, the younger generation in Chengdu is focusing on personality and self-worth – but due to the more affordable consumption levels and lower house prices, they are bolder and more adventurous than their contemporaries in Beijing or Shanghai.

Chengdu has now become the first choice for many international brands to enter China’s western market. There is less emphasis on high-end luxury brands, with locals often paying more attention to brand culture and brand identity. While they are not necessarily the shrewdest consumers, Chengdu locals are definitely the most willing to please themselves.

 
 
 
 

While Chengdu, capital of the western province of Sichuan, is one of China’s larger cities, it has a unique low-key atmosphere and way of life that sets it apart from other major cities. Although Chengdu has developed rapidly in the past five years, locals eschew the fast-pace of many modern city dwellers, instead displaying a love of life, taking time to enjoy food, parties, tea, mahjong … and shopping, which highlights their growing purchasing power.

This doesn’t mean that Chengdu isn’t a vibrant city – the many colleges and universities attract a large number of young adults who pursue fashion, music and art, and are highly receptive and inclusive to new concepts and ideas. Like most Chinese youth, the younger generation in Chengdu is focusing on personality and self-worth – but due to the more affordable consumption levels and lower house prices, they are bolder and more adventurous than their contemporaries in Beijing or Shanghai.

Chengdu has now become the first choice for many international brands to enter China’s western market. There is less emphasis on high-end luxury brands, with locals often paying more attention to brand culture and brand identity. While they are not necessarily the shrewdest consumers, Chengdu locals are definitely the most willing to please themselves.

an interesting thing to do

As urbanisation in China continues at an unrelenting speed, more and more young people are diverting their attention to the protection of the environment and its endangered animals. This is particularly prevalent in Chengdu, a city surrounded by spectacular natural scenery known as the ‘Country of Heaven’. Sichuan province is home to 70% of China’s 2,000 giant pandas and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is one of China’s top destinations for animal lovers. And everyone loves these beautiful, peaceful animals – they are not only the national treasure of China but the giant panda logo of the World Wildlife Fund makes them synonymous with conservation. Chengdu Panda Base has attracted high-profile celebrities such as Jackie Chan, Lee Pace and Song Kye-kyo to serve as Panda Ambassadors, helping improve public awareness of the protection of these wild creatures and their environment. While the Panda Base is responsible for the research and breeding of the giant panda alongside ecological protection education, many of the global tourists who visit this attraction are there to see the panda babies – definitely not something to be missed when you visit Chengdu.


As urbanisation in China continues at an unrelenting speed, more and more young people are diverting their attention to the protection of the environment and its endangered animals. This is particularly prevalent in Chengdu, a city surrounded by spectacular natural scenery known as the ‘Country of Heaven’. Sichuan province is home to 70% of China’s 2,000 giant pandas and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding is one of China’s top destinations for animal lovers. And everyone loves these beautiful, peaceful animals – they are not only the national treasure of China but the giant panda logo of the World Wildlife Fund makes them synonymous with conservation. Chengdu Panda Base has attracted high-profile celebrities such as Jackie Chan, Lee Pace and Song Kye-kyo to serve as Panda Ambassadors, helping improve public awareness of the protection of these wild creatures and their environment. While the Panda Base is responsible for the research and breeding of the giant panda alongside ecological protection education, many of the global tourists who visit this attraction are there to see the panda babies – definitely not something to be missed when you visit Chengdu.

One local brand

Haidilao is a hot pot restaurant brand established in 1994 and headquartered in Chengdu – the name originates from a mahjong term in Sichuan which literally translates as "fortune". Spicy hot pot is the most famous food in Sichuan cuisine and the top choice for gatherings of friends and family dinners. Haidilao combines the characteristics of various hotpots, providing more than ten types of soup base – such as butter base, double flavour base, tomato base, mushroom base and so on. The brand wins particularly high praise from its customers as every branch provides extra, special services such as free manicures, shoe polishing or hand care as well as free drinks, snacks and fruits for waiting customers. Haidilao now has more than one hundred direct chains in China, and has even launched in South Korea, Japan, Singapore and the United States. The delicious hot pot can now be enjoyed the world over.

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⭐🇪🇸

With thanks to Katie Buckley for her unique, cultural insights.