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A tourist map is a prized possession and confidant for most travelers. As soon as a traveler arrives
in Chengdu, he or she should immediately purchase a map. They are
available at the airport, railway station, and souvenir shops among
A valuable piece of the wealth of knowledge contained in the tourist maps is the bus routes. There are a few different types of buses in Chengdu. The public bus and the wooden bus are the most convenient means for transport. The wooden bus routes are clearly marked on the map and can be used as an independent tour guide of the city sites and tourist attractions.
A bicycle is an equally cheap and perhaps more rapid option than the bus at times. Tourists can rent a bicycle from one of the stands in the city or nearby the railway station. They are often in quite high demand and may be difficult to locate except when a traveler is not really looking for one. In this case, seize the chance and get on that bike for an impromptu ride.
Taxi's can be obtained from the corner of Renmin Lu and Liangjian Lu for RMB25, about half of the price of a regular taxi. Alternatively, the local government run a free shuttle bus that links all parts of the city center. This leaves every 30 minutes from outside of the KFC on the North side of the downtown park. Don't get on a bus after 11 pm as they tend to stop less regularly and you may end up in the countryside needing a taxi to get back to the city.
As of October of 2010, Metro Line 1 was opened to the public. It runs along the north-south axis of the city with numerous stations, including both North and South Train Station, Wenshu Monastery, and Tianfu Square. The fares are progressive (the further you ride, the more you pay), but still extraordinarily cheap. Trains are plentiful and often, though they will be crowded during rush hours in the morning and evening. Make sure you take heed of the operational hours, since the metro does NOT run too late into the night. More lines are planned for the near future. While on any form of transportation, be aware of your surroundings and of your belongings.
When traveling to and from the airport, make sure the taxi driver will use the meter before getting in the taxi. Fare from the southern part of the city to the airport can be from 50-70RMB. Haggle at your own risk! Cheaper fares can be had, but without knowledge of Chinese, you will most likely pay more (even with some Chinese, Sichuan Hua, the local dialect spoken by nearly all taxi drivers, can be particularly difficult to understand). In addition to taxis, there is an airport shuttle that runs from the NE corner of Renmin Nan Lu (Renmin Road South) and Lingshiguan Lu (Embassy Road). The fare is very reasonable (below 50RMB), and it runs fairly regularly. If you are staying at a hotel or hostel, chances are the front desk can arrange transportation to and from the airport for you, though for a slightly higher price which is non-negotiable. In the future, the metro system will expand to include a line running to and from the airport. With the rapid construction rate seen all over China, keep your ears out for this next update, which will undoubtedly save time, money, and trouble.