Soaring ahead | Monocle

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Chengdu reached a significant milestone this year with the opening of a new airport in June. The Chengdu Tianfu International Airport makes the southwestern city only the third on the Chinese mainland to be served by two international airports. It’s an indication of Chengdu’s position as a major transportation nexus and further confirmation of its rising status as a global city.

As planes come into land at this impressive aviation hub, passengers peering out of the window might be able to catch a glimpse of the snowcapped mountains that surround Chengdu and the city’s vast green spaces. They might even spot the investment that is pouring into sports pitches and stadiums as Chengdu shapes up to host a number of international sporting events. But what they won’t appreciate until they reach the ground is the way in which Chengdu’s forest walks, picnics and morning runs are woven into everyday life. And as the city expands, new public spaces are added, turning Chengdu into a model for aspiring park cities.

Chengdu’s mix of wealth and wellbeing, tradition and modernity contribute to it being a very liveable city. Chinese head to here for its gentle pace, while international visitors are adding it to their itineraries for when overseas travel returns. In Issue 144, Monocle provided a six-day itinerary for visitors making use of Chengdu’s 144-hour visa-free policy. Here we ask carefully selected guides to take us past Chengdu’s hospitality to provide an insider’s perspective on what makes the city an open and friendly place to visit. Ready when you are.

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