Two years ago I was the producer of a film for a Singaporean real estate company about Chengdu. In total I spent about 2 weeks there (for location scouting and the actual production) and I really liked the city. It’s very relaxed, a bit laid back actually, with lots of parks and two rivers crossing the town. But it also has all the comforts of modern life such as good hotels, bars, restaurants and even two big Carrefour supermarkets stocked with foreign products.
A hidden gem, because it’s not a city where many tourists go. The only ones I met were people on their way to Tibet (flights to Lhasa leave from Chengdu) or people looking to see panda’s (there is a big panda reserve in the mountains north of the city). But that might change, because KLM is planning a bi-weekly direct flight from Amsterdam to Chengdu.
A KLM spokesman said: “KLM views China as one of its most important growth markets. With the introduction of this new service we are matching words with deeds to connect an entirely new region to Europe, and via Schiphol [airport], with the rest of the world”. Flights will start on May 28 this year, and are operated by a Boeing 777.