19 photos from my stay at the hottest new hotel in China’s tech capital

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Forget coffeemakers — rooms at Chengdu’s Temple House hotel feature beautiful tea sets.
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Kathy YL Chan

Known for its giant pandas and spicy Sichuan cuisine, China’s western city of Chengdu is also a major tech hub. People like to call it the San Francisco of China.

Earlier this year it was revealed that a whopping 265 of the world’s Fortune 500 companies have offices in the city. And in the Milken Institute’s 2015 report on China’s best-performing cities, Chengdu’s economy ranked No. 1 over Shanghai and Beijing.

Ride-hailing juggernaut Uber is one of those companies with a branch in Chengdu; its service in China was launched here.

Another of the city’s tourism and transportation coups is a near-$11 billion airport that will enter construction in late 2015, further connecting the Sichuan province’s capital to Europe.

With all that activity (and the traffic to match), it’s hard to believe that the Chengdu is defined by its languid pace and pleasant work-life balance. On the weekends, locals like to sip away entire days at their favorite teahouse.

Travel writer and tea expert Kathy YL Chan recently checked into Chengdu’s newest luxury hotel, The Temple House, which takes root near a 1,000-year-old temple and caters to the traveling business elite with amenities like email checkout and a zen courtyard that dates back to the Quing Dynasty.


Welcome to The Temple House, the hottest new hotel in China’s tech capital.

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Kathy YL Chan

Chengdu is famous for, among many things, producing the majority of the world’s iPads, amazing Sichuan cuisine, and of course…

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The best way to travel to Chengdu is via Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific. During your layover in Hong Kong, you can check out the airline’s stunning new First Class lounge, The Pier. There’s dim sum made to order, killer massage treatments, and generous pours of Champagne.


…the world-famous Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

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The city seamlessly blends the old and new. It is at once bustling and easygoing.

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It also happens to have more teahouses than any other city in China.

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The Temple House is set within a new development called Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li, which is built around the famous Daci Temple. One of the perks of staying here is this serene underground pool.

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Kathy YL Chan

The large rooms are appointed with beautiful tea sets, complimentary food and beverage amenities, and toiletries from the Australian beauty brand APPELLES.

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Kathy YL Chan

Chengdu is full of teahouses, but many are very traditional, making them hard for non-Chinese speakers to access. Others skew more modern, with little respect for quality and tradition. Temple House’s Mi Xun Teahouse is traditional with a modern outlook. The fully Chinese tea menu has an emphasis on local teas from the Sichuan province.

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Kathy YL Chan

This papaya-coconut panna cotta is on Mi Xun’s dessert menu. Chefs halve ripe papayas, pour in the subtly sweet filling, and then steam, chill, and slice the whole thing.

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Kathy YL Chan

This is Sichuan ice jelly (also called “bingfener”), a cooling dessert that’s traditionally served after a spicy meal. The barely sweet jelly is topped with brown sugar syrup and goji berries.

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Kathy YL Chan

If you have a hard time picking just one dessert, order the tower. Here we have papaya-coconut panna cotta, tea cakes in flavors like yam and mulberry leaf, and flaky sun cakes made with figs and red beans.

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Kathy YL Chan

Mi Xun is also know for vegetarian temple cuisine, with a menu full of mini savory dishes. Order a dozen and share with friends.

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Kathy YL Chan

Sichuan cold noodles are a perennial favorite. The house-made noodles are tossed with a spicy, heady pepper sauce.

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Kathy YL Chan

Follow the noodles with a savory bowl of kaufu. This traditional wheat gluten dish is marinated with mushrooms and nuts.

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Kathy YL Chan

Don’t forget about the delicate yet crisp white fungus and chestnut salad.

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Kathy YL Chan

These iced sweet tomatoes are made from juicy baby tomatoes that have been steamed, peeled, and chilled.

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Kathy YL Chan

Click here to see more photos of Temple House’s cuisine >>


We could go on and on about the food at Mi Xun, but then we’d miss the traditional afternoon tea served at The Temple Café.

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Kathy YL Chan

Click here to see more photos of afternoon tea service at Temple House >>


After tea it’s back up to the room for an afternoon nap…

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Kathy YL Chan

…before heading back out to explore the city.

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Kathy YL Chan

Click here to see more from Chan’s stay in Chengdu >>