Entertainment in Chengdu

Chengdu is the home of Sichuan opera, which has a 200 years tradition and features slapstick, eyeglass-shattering songs, men dressed as women and occasional gymnastics. Several opera houses are scattered throughout the older sections of town.

Mike (Tel: 8226 6510) if you are interested in seeing a local Sichuan opera, your best bet may be to contact Mike, a friendly, English-speaking local, after 8:30 pm. He'll take you to a small, local opera house hidden in the depths of a market. The cast, costume and make-up are all very professional. You will also get a backstage tour, tea and a taxi to and from the opera for around 100 Yuan per person. The price is a little steep but all in all it is an entertaining and worthwhile experience. Try to go on the weekend when the performance id a combination of the highlights from a number of operas. Any of the guesthouses will be able to organize backstage tours for a similar price.

Jinjiang Theatre (jinjiang Juyuan; Huaxingzheng Jir) If you'd rather go on your own, one of the easier opera venues to find is the Jinjiang Theatre, which is a combination teahouse, opera, theatre and cinema. High-standard Sichuan opera performances are given here every Sunday afternoon.