Chengdu is the capital city of Sichuan province in Southwest China. Its name literally means “becoming a city”, and dates back to the city’s founding over 2,300 years ago. For Chengdu, it is perhaps best known outside of China for lovely Giant Pandas and spicy Sichuan cuisine. Actually, it is a tourism paradise for travelers, with enchanting natural scenery, amazing historical sites, unique cultural ambience, and leisurely lifestyle. It is also called ‘a city where one would not think of leaving once there’.
Like many major cities in China, Chengdu is a place of contrasts – modern and ancient. Traditional wooden architecture and tree-lined streets are giving way to flashy malls and glassy high-rises. New western style buildings can be found everywhere in the downtown. However, the city still boasts a long glorious history and rich culture that can’be rivaled. Among many historical sites in and around Chengdu are Wuhou Memorial Temple, Du Fu Thatched Cottage, Sanxingdui Ruins, Leshan Giant Buddha, Emei Buddhist Mountain, Qingcheng Taoist Mountain, and… Whatever one’s interests, there is always plenty to do.
Impressively, Chengdu has the reputation as a very “laid-back” city for its carefee lifestyle. Something is still present in the city’s teahouse where locals will spend the day relaxing, drinking tea and playing mah-jong. Traditional teahouses in Chengdu feature bamboo chairs and wooden tables, and jasmine tea is served as the local staple. They can be spotted on almost every city corner, and are a focal point of Sichuan culture. Besides, Chengdu people clearly know how to enjoy their colorful nightlife, from dinner party at hotpot restaurants, tasting snacks at night markets, singing KTV, to dancing at night clubs.
And of course, no visit to Chengdu is complete without going to see the pandas. As China’s national treasure, the giant panda is one of the rarest animals in the world. For protection, a breeding center for giant pandas was founded in the north suburbs of Chengdu. It offers a good chance to go eye to eye with cute pandas.