Your Chengdu walking tour starts at the Mao Zedong statue in the center of Tianfu Square, where you'll meet your guide.
Walk to see three modern buildings that are becoming new landmarks in the city: Sichuan Art Gallery, Sichuan Library and the New Chengdu Museum (not to be confused with the Sichuan Museum near Dufu Thatched Cottage). If Sichuan Art Gallery is open for an exhibition, you can go inside to check out the art (admission is free); the museum and library are still being finished, so simply admire the architecture from the outside.
Next, head over to the Kuan-Zhai Lane area, one of Chengdu’s three historic conservation districts. Constructed in 1718 during the early years of the Qing dynasty, this pleasant pedestrian thoroughfare is home to a fascinating mix of classic Sichuan architecture and modern cafes and boutiques. While you walk, listen to commentary from your guide about the district's history and design, and witness how some of the city's old establishments — local restaurants, traditional teahouses, Chinese calligraphy demonstrations — sit alongside the new.
Continue to the tree-lined paths of People’s Park and take a seat at Heming Teahouse, where you'll sip a cup of tea and relax in a bamboo chair as your guide explains Chinese tea traditions. An optional massage and ear cleaning can be purchased from independent practitioners on-site. Then stroll around the nearby lake and watch local people practicing tai chi, square dancing, singing karaoke and playing musical instruments.
Enjoy a snack from one of the many food vendors in the park, who serve items like noodles, wontons, dumplings, steamed buns and pancakes, and then make your way to the neighboring Children's Palace, where local teenagers, often accompanied by anxious parents, take extra courses in order to improve their studies and chances of getting into a good university.
Your tour ends here, where your guide can help you find a taxi or give other advice on how to get to your next destination (any transport at own expense).