Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?

You can travel around easily by public buses and Chengdu Metro, it is not necessary to drive a personal vehicle to get around Chengdu.

Personal cars are not necessary (unless you live outside the third ring road) and you can function with relative ease relying on the taxis and public transportation. Finding a taxi in Chengdu can take a long time depending on the time of day and location. However, most expats in Chengdu are able to function with relative ease without.
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How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?

You can apply for a local driver’s license with your license from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). You are required to submit your work visa copy, your license copy with a translated document, passport photos, health check report and a completed application form to local vehicle administrative office. For your reference, drivers are required to carry third party insurance.
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What side of the road do people drive on?

People drive on the right side of the road, but it is not uncommon for the center lanes to be used by both directions of traffic. It is strongly advised that you spend a couple months in Chengdu familiarizing yourself with the driving culture before you get behind the wheel.
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Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.

Expats generally rely on taxis to move around Chengdu. With a starting rate of 5.00 RMB (some taxis also charge 1 RMB as a fuel charge, look for a sign on the passenger side’s dashboard) taxis are an inexpensive method to get around town. As previously mentioned there are areas and times where flagging a taxi is challenging.
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Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.

It really depends on where you want to go and how much time you have. If you are travelling to the major tourist destinations (for example: Leshan, Emei Shan or the Pandas) China’s long distance bus system is relatively easy to navigate. But if you are trying to attend an event outside the city limits you may have to rely on taxis which may or may not be available.
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In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?

If you rely on taxis to move around Chengdu there are few concerns. The driving will seem frighteningly erratic with taxis cutting off buses and buses cutting off cars, but the system is generally safe. There is also a lack of seat belts in taxis.

If you decide to cycle while you are here, be aware that you may not have right of way, even in the bike lane. Cars also honk at one another to notify other cars and bikers of their presence which is not seen as rude.
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Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?

You can purchase your TianFu Tong at Metro station or bus service centers, with a deposit of 20 RMB. Remember to keep the receipt to get back your deposit when you return the TianFu Tong.

You can buy tickets for long distance transportation at the stations or from ticket vendors. For air travel you can buy your tickets online from ticket websites like C trip or Elong.
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