Chengdu's flat terrain and many bike lanes make walking and biking easy, but blocks are long, and crossing the river can require a trek before reaching a bridge. Renmin Lu bisects the city on the north-south axis. Its east-west counterpart is less straightforward: At the heart of the city (Tianfu Sq.), Renmin Xi Lu runs west from the square and Renmin Dong Lu runs east; after a block in either direction, the names change every block or so. Unfortunately, most of Chengdu's avenues have a multitude of names, making a street map essential.

Traffic Hotel (Jiaotong Binguan) at Linjiang Zhong Lu 77 rents bicycles for ¥15 per day with a ¥300 deposit. Take bus no. 6, 49, 50, or 55 and get off at the Xin Nan Men stop. City buses (¥1; air-conditioned ¥2) serve all parts of the city. Some buses charge ¥1 extra at night. Routes are on city maps. Both bus no. 16 and minibus no. 5 (not the full-size no. 5) running the length of Renmin Lu from the North Railway Station to the South Railway Station are useful lines. The most common taxi is the midrange Jetta. Taxi rates are ¥5 for the first kilometer, then ¥1.40 per kilometer thereafter; the rate increases to ¥2.10 per kilometer above 7km (4 1/3 miles). From 10pm to 6am the first kilometer costs ¥6; after that the fare is ¥1.70 per kilometer for the first 7km (4 1/3 miles) and ¥2.55 after that. You pay a ¥1 fuel surcharge for every ride.

The first line of the city's underground railway, Chengdu Metro, running along the Remin Lu, should have started operating by the time you read this. Another line is to be completed by 2012. At press time, some roads were blocked because of the construction work, and traffic was unpleasantly chaotic most of the time. The opening of the underground should help ease the bad traffic.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.