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The Chengdu Shuangliu Airport (CTU) lies 20 km southwest of the city and offers flights to 90 different cities. About 3/4 of the flights are domestic. 6 airlines offer service directly to Los Angeles, London, and other international gateways. The expansive domestic service practically guarantees that Chengdu can be reached with a connection to any major city around the globe. Best website for good airfare within China is www.elong.com, in the top right corner is a drop-down menu in Mandarin, English option is there to translate website.
A taxi cab is recommended as a transfer point for first-time visitors. Buses are better for travelers who are more knowledgeable in the area and language. Most chain hotels are approximately less than 10 minutes from the airport since the majority are located in the city center.
The Chengdu Railway station (in North Chengdu) is another popular mode of tourist traffic into Chengdu. The railway hub connects to Chongqing, Xian, Lhasa, and Kunming among other major Chinese cities. The railway requires a substantial itenirary from Beijing or Shanghai. In most cases, it calls for a 6-8 hour train ride that spans the greater part of the day and sometimes overnight.
Bullet trains (D-Train service) to Chongqingbei (in Chongqing's northern Yubei District) are now available, with travel times just above 2 hours (slated to be less than 1.5 hours once the dual track is complete in the Chongqing rural areas). D-Trains are very affordable, first class, quite reliable, and frequent. Speeds are known to be above 200 km/hr (in 2010).
Pack and prepare accordingly. Eat in the dining car or take snack prior to the departure. As of late, the number 64 bus line provides service to the railway station for travelers who are planning a round trip. Passengers can buy the tickets right outside the station or nearby shops with online computers.