Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province in south-west China. Chengdu was already the political, economic, and cultural center of western Sichuan by 400 B.C. During the Five Dynasties Period (907-960), Meng Chang, a ruler of later Shu, had numerous hibiscus trees planted on the city wall, so the town eventually became known as the City of Hibiscu.Chengdu is also a city with many faces. On the one hand this is an incredibly modern and vibrant place. Beijing has a relatively relaxed attitude towards this city and as such, Chengdu has blossomed in terms of affluence and investment.
In addition to its profound historical and cultural background featuring historic places of interest such as
Wuhou Temple, Dufu Thatched Cottage, The Royal Tomb of Wang Jian, Dujiangyan ancient water conservancy project, Erwang Temple, natural beauty abounds in surrounding areas such as the Qingcheng Scenic Area and Huang Long Valley (Yellow Dragon Valley) .
There are 19 historical sites under national and provincial protection and the only Base of Giant Panda Breeding in the world. Chengdu resides at the converging point of country tourist routes circle and Sichuan tourist routes circle on which the ancient Shu Road of Jianmen gate, Jiuzhaigou Scenic and Historic Area, Mt Emei and Three Gorges are the tourist destinations, it is also the main way to go to Tibet on land, so Chengdu enjoys obvious advantage for tourist development.
Panda Breeding and Research Centre
Located some 10km away from downtown Chengdu, the Panda Breeding and Research Centre has been created and imitates the pandas' natural habitat so that they have the best possible environment for rearing and breeding.
The Research Centre covers an area of 92 acres and in addition to the Pandas, the Centre also cares for other rare and endangered wild animals. Giant pandas, lesser pandas, black-necked cranes, white storks as well as over 20 species of rare animals are fed and bred there throughout the year.
Bifengxia Panda Reserve
Located 150 kilometres from Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, Bifengxia Panda reserve offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of China and the worlds cuddliest icons. The Panda reserve is an eco friendly environment designed to most accurately resemble the natural environment of the Giant Panda.
Pandas are native to Sichuan Province, and visitors come from far and wide to enjoy this unique and illusive creature. The Panda base has been open since 1999, and is home to many of the Pandas previously housed at Wolong, the Panda reserve badly damaged due to the devastating earthquake which hit Sichuan Province in may 2008.
Wolong National Natural Reserve
130 kilometers from Chengdu, Wolong Natural Reserve is renowned as the hometown of giant pandas and the Natural Zoological and Botanical Garden. It's the earliest, largest and best-known panda reserve in China. It was placed on UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Network in 1980. After the earthquake on May 12, 2008, the pandas were moved to Bifeng Gorge Panda Base.
The Jinsha Site Museum
The Jinsha Site Museum was built over a three-square kilometre excavation site which was discovered some six years ago in the western suburbs of the city. Built at a cost of 400 million yuan, the museum showcases a trove of ancient Chinese treasure of gold human figurines, fish shape belts, copper hoes, jade axes, jewellery and other relicts from the prosperous Shang and Zhou dynasties. The site is one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 21st century in China. Thousands of gold plates, jade articles, stoneware, bronze ware and ivory from the Kingdom of Shu (221-263) were discovered from the site. Among them the Holy Bird is the most famous one that has become the sign of China's Cultural Heritage.
Sanxingdui(Three-Star Piles) Museum
The Sanxingdui Museum in Nanxing Town, Guanghan, about 40 kilometers from Chengdu, exhibits the excavations of the ancient Shu Kingdom. It is an important archeological discovery which changed people's understanding of ancient history and culture.
Dujiangyan Irrigation Project
This irrigation project is one of the world's cultural heritages constructed 2,000 years ago, and amazingly continues to benefit more than 40 neighboring counties. It's the oldest and only surviving no-dam irrigation system in the world and a wonder in the development of Chinese irrigation works.
Mt. Qingcheng is a Taoist mountain located about 20 kilometers southwest of Dujiangyan City. It is also a very attractive and intriguing scenic spot that is covered by luxuriant and verdant trees.
Wenshu Temple was originally built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and is the best preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu. Wenshu Temple offers peace and quiet from the thriving metropolis that is Chengdu. The temple includes more than 500 works of art dating back over 1000 years including the Jade Buddha brought from Burma to China in 1922 by Xing Lin, a Buddhist monk who walked the entire distance.
Du Fu Cottage
Du Fu was a famous Chinese poet who inhabited this residence over 1000 years ago during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The Cottage was abandoned for hundreds of years and was restored primarily during the Qing Dynasty (1644 ĘC 1911) and the detailing on the inside of the thatched cottage is largely of this period. The area in which the cottage sits is over 50 acres in size.
Peoples Park/Square (Renmin Square)
By day or night, Renmin Square is a hub of activity. Early morning, join in and practice your Tai Chi. By day people gather to talk or play cards, or by night to sing and dance. The evening is a wonderful time to visit the Square and join in with the locals as loud music plays and people of all ages enjoy themselves. You will be made welcome!
A real highlight for anyone who enjoys regional gastronomy. A steaming metal bowl of stock (often infused with hot chili ĘC a specialty of the area), your favourite foods are added to the mix including meat and local vegetables and cooked to your liking. Enjoy this treat in a local restaurant and soak up the local culture
Opera in the western world is often denotes tuxedos and ball gowns ĘC this is not the case in Sichuan. A performance of Sichuan Opera is more likely to offer an insight into Sichuan culture including the impressive face changing dance, hand puppetry and physical comedy. Well worth spending a couple hours of your evening.