The best visas for long term stay are either a student visa or working visa. To apply for a working visa you will have to find a job at a company that is authorised to employ foreigners. You’ll then have to return to your home country to apply for the visa. Student visas require less documentation. However you can’t legally work on them. Under the new rules I’m not if you are required to leave the country or return home to switch to a student visa. You should ask at a local uni. to find out more.
As a last resort you could get a business visa in HK. Check out Charlie’s Chengdu Living post on the subject.
Hard to give a good recommendation without knowing more about your situation, but Ben posted the essential information. Your options are student (X), resident (Z), or business (F) visa. You could get a really long duration tourist (L) visa and just live on that. You won’t be able to “officially” work or study on it, though.
I have mentioned in earlier posts that I will be arriving in Chengdu on August 2011 to study at a school…so I am currently working on getting a student visa. However, I would like to also find work as a teacher or trainer. Should I instead try to get a work visa? Which one would allow me the most flexibility?
If you’re a full time student, you should get a student visa. If you’re employed full time, your employer will probably want you on a Z (resident worker) visa. If you want to manage both at once, an F visa is the most flexible.