Destination Guide – Chengdu
Chengdu is the capital of the Sichuan province in Southwest China, and home to more than 14 million residents. Chengdu sits in the fertile plains and is sometimes referred to as the “Land of Milk and Honey” or “Land of Abundance” due to it’s scenic landscapes and agricultural output. Chengdu also has many urban districts, and is known as a “laid-back” place to live in comparison to many other Chinese cities. It’s scenic landscapes combined with it’s urban areas and nightlife make it one of China’s most livable cities.
Chengdu is a very old city, and recent archaeological discoveries have proven that Chengdu has been inhabitied for over four thousand years, and has been an important city in China for quite a long time. During the Shang and Zhou dynasties, Chengdu was the center of Shu culture. In fact, Chengdu was the first city in the world to widely use paper money. Many important writers, scholars, and artists in Chinese culture called Chengdu home. Chengdu is the only major city in all of China to exist in the same place and be called by the same name for over 2000 years.
In more recent times, Chengdu has been referred to as China’s “party city” due to it’s abundance of tea houses and bars and laid back atmosphere. In fact, despite having less than half the population of Shanghai, Chengdu has more tea houses and bars. Residents are known for having a care-free attitude and knowing how to enjoy life, which has made Chengdu into a bit of a hotspot in China for nightlife and good times. Chengdu is also known for it’s Sichuanese cuisine, which is generally spicy and very tasty. Local snacks are known for their variety, creative ingredients, and inexpensive prices.
Chengdu is also home to China’s National Treasure – the giant panda. Of the ~1500 remaining pandas in the world, over 80% reside in the Sichuan Province in and around Chengdu. The Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve is the biggest nature reserve of its kind on the world. Chengdu’s giant panda breeding and research centers attract almost 100,000 visitors every year. Other popular tourist attractions in Chengdu are Tianfu Square, People’s Park, Sichuan Science and Technology Museum, Sanxingdui Museum, Chengdu Zoo, and many monasteries and temples.