When it comes to China, we’ve all heard of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, thought about walking across the Great Wall of China and maybe even visited the Forbidden City.
But not many have ventured into the southwestern part of the country to discover the major city and capital of the Sichuan province, Chengdu and the many Chengdu attractions.
The ancient city boasts a great deal of Chinese culture, dating back 4,000 years as a meeting place for many people of the Shu culture. It is now the fourth most populous city in China and referred to as “The Land of Abundance” because of the fertile Chengdu Plain in which Chengdu is located. It is an important base for manufacturing and agriculture.
Aside from it’s cultural and logistical aspect, Chengdu is knows for its relaxed atmosphere, laid-back local attitude and distinct Sichuan (Szechuan) cuisine. It is not only a less-crowded and popular destination to travel to in China, Chengdu is a gateway to some of the most picturesque, natural scenery in the west.
When planning a trip to China, here are four reasons to include Chengdu in your itinerary:
This is possibly the most popular Chengdu attractions. Chengdu is home to these giant bears who have roamed the area for some two million years. The Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuarties stretches over 12 counties and 4 cities and is home to more than 80 percent of the world’s giant pandas. Don’t leave Chengdu without visiting the Chengdu Research Base located about 30 minutes outside the city—you might even get to hold a baby panda.
The cuisine is known for its bold flavors, well-developed tastes and superb quality. It is also know for its use of the Sichuan pepper in just about everything. Try a fresh noodle dish with hot peppers floating in the broth or a Hotpot make with your favorite meats and vegetable. And grabbing any Sichuan street food is simply the best. Stop by the entrance of the Sichian University for an array of vendors with appetizing bites to eat.
Another one of the main Chengdu attractions is the teahouses. Relax with a cup of tea in one of Chengdu’s many teahouses. Featuring bamboo chairs, wooden table and a variety of jasmine and green teas, teahouses are where the locals go. So unwind and relax among the Chinese at a teahouse and maybe even jump into a game of majiang.
Surrounding Natural Scenery
Chengdu is the gateway to the most breathtaking mountains and spiritual retreats in the western part of the country. West Sichuan is a popular photographer’s route with visits to Jiuzhaigou National Park and Huanglong National Park. It is also where Buddhist temples reside along Mt. Emei with spectacular views and where The Giant Buddha sits in Leshan. All destinations are within a couple hours of Chengdu with bus tour running daily.
Chengdu’s geographical location makes it easy to travel to and from many other parts of the world. So no matter where you are coming from or then going to, Chengdu is the perfect pit spot to relax for a couple days and take in the scenic and cultural beauty of Sichuan, China.