|Chengdu Travel Information|
Chengdu is the provincial capital of southwest China's Sichuan province, the largest of all provinces in China with a population of more than 100 million and a territory the size of Brazil. Locate in the central part of Sichuan province, to the west of the Sichuan Basin, Chengdu city extends 192 km east-west and 166 km south-north, occupying an total area of 12,390 square kilometers. It has distinctly marked four seasons with a yearly average temperature of around 16.4 degree centigrade.
Historically the jurisdiction of Chengdu has undergone repeated re-adjustments and expansions, and today Chengdu has under its jurisdiction seven districts, namely Jinjiang, Qingyang, Chenghua, Jinniu, Wuhou, Qingbaijiang, Longquanyi; four sub-cities (Dujiangyan, Pengzhou, Qonglai an Chongzhou) and eight counties. In 1983, the local legislative body designated the ginkgo as the municipal tree and the hibiscus as the municipal flower.
Chengdu, known as the "Heavenly State" is the capital of Sichuan province. It is one of the most important economic centers and transportation and communication hubs in Southwestern China.
Chengdu, located in the western Sichuan Plain, is the capital of Sichuan Province. It covers an area of approximately 3 million acres, and it comprises 5 districts, 12 counties with a total population of 9.6 million. It is a well-known city with a longstanding history and civilization. Among other interesting facts about the city, Chengdu is also known as the City of Brocade and the City of Hibiscus. Chengdu, as early as 500,000 years, was a major transportation hub for telecommunications in southwestern China.
Some 23,000 years ago, a Shu Emperor named Kaiming moved his capital to the Sichuan Basin and named the new town Chengdu (meaning, "Becoming a city"). Chengdu has been Sichuan's capital since that time. The emperor had thick city walls built around Chengdu in 311 BC and divided the city into two parts: the larger for officials and the army and the smaller for merchants and peasants, who mostly lived outside the walls. During the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 35-330), the imperial court appointed an official to supervise the fast-growing brocade industry in the town. It was then known as Jincheng, or Brocade Town. When it was discovered that the brocade turned brighter and fresher after being washed in a nearby river, the river was given the name Jin Jiang, or Brocade River.
The Chengdu plain's rich soil and flourishing economy made it an important strategic post and for 2,000 years warlords and statesmen prized it. Possibly the most famous of Chengdu's overlords was Liu Bei, who ruled the Shu Han Kingdom from Chengdu during the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-263). In the 1940s, Chengdu and neighboring Chongqing were bases for the "Flying Tigers," a renowned group of American and Chinese fighter pilots who fought against the Japanese invaders during World War II. The cities were later the final strongholds of the Chinese Nationalist Party. The Nationalists fled to Taiwan in 1949, and the Red Army liberated Chengdu in 1950.
In the early 4th century BC, the 9th Kaiming king of the ancient Shu moved his capital to the city's current location from today's nearby Pixian. He was said to have been inspired by the ancient story of King Tai of Zhou, Grandfather of King Wu of Zhou, moving his capital. History recorded King Tai of Zhou's move as "it took a year to become a town; it took three years to become a capital". Following this, king of Shu named the new city as "Cheng Du", which means "become a capital". Chengdu was also the birthplace of the first widely used paper money in the world. Two rebel leaders, one around the end of Song Dynasty, the other near the end of Ming Dynasty, set up the capitals of their short-lived kingdoms here, called Dàshu and Dàxi respectively. During WW-II In order to escape the hands of Japanese invasion, the Chinese Nationalist government fled to Sichuan Province. This created an influx of academics, businessmen, traders and workers to the city of Chengdu. This eventually resulted in setting up of cultural institutions and important industries in the region. At present, Chengdu is a premier industrial base in China and is a strong contributor in country's economy.
Chengdu was also the birthplace of the first widely used paper money in the world. Two rebel leaders, one around the end of Song Dynasty, the other near the end of Ming Dynasty, set up the capitals of their short-lived kingdoms here, called Dàshu and Dàxi respectively. During WW-II In order to escape the hands of Japanese invasion, the Chinese Nationalist government fled to Sichuan Province. This created an influx of academics, businessmen, traders and workers to the city of Chengdu. This eventually resulted in setting up of cultural institutions and important industries in the region. At present, Chengdu is a premier industrial base in China and is a strong contributor in country's economy.
Location: located between 10254' - 10453' east longitude and 3005' - 3126' north latitude, and in the hinterland of China's Sichuan province.
Chengdu is located in the middle of Sichuan Province in the west part of the Sichuan Basin. The city covers a total area of 12,390 square km. The average altitude is 500 meters. Because it sits against the Qinling Mountains in the north and faces the Yungui Plateau in the south, Chengdu enjoys a humid, subtropical monsoon climate. It is mostly cloudy and damp. Winters are not cold and summers are not hot. The average temperature is 16C, with annual rainfall of 900-1,000 mm.
Chengdu enjoys a subtropical monsoon climate characterized by an early spring , hot summer, cool autumn and warm winter. The average annual temperature for the year is 60°F. The best time to visit is between April and May or between September and November.
The subtropical monsoon climate influenced by Sichuan Basin brings the annual average temperature in Chengdu to about 16 C (61 F). Another distinctive feature is humidity with clouds and mist and little sunlight.
Chengdu's summer is sultry with low temperature morning and evening, but high after noon. To avoid strong ultraviolet radiation and to stay dry, take a raincoat.
The average temperature in winter is about 5 degrees Centigrade. However, due to the clouds and moist weather, it feels very cold.
Detailed information about the Average, Maximun and Minimum Temperatures and the rainfall in Chengdu.
Chengdu is a central city in the southwestern part of China, in which the economy is prosperous, and the science and culture are well developed.
Agriculture and industry both play significant parts in Chengdu's economy. Sichuan's farms produce rice, wheat, vegetables, beef, pork, tea, medicinal herbs, tobacco and silk. Chengdu's busy factories produce tools, trucks, agricultural machinery, paper, cement, ball bearings and electronic goods.
Chengdu has formed an industrial system majored in machine, electron, metallurgic industry, food and light textile industry. It has also formed a farm sideline production system majored in grain crops and oil-bearing crops. Chengdu is the famous granary and the base of farm sideline production in China.
The magic of Chengdu financial center has eradiated the whole Sichuan Province and China's west regions.
Many of Chengdu's specialties originated as Xiao Ci, which means little eats or snack food. Snack bars used to be very popular in Chengdu. Those on the walk-side are great fun and will cost you next to nothing. Many snack places are falling due to the massive reconstruction work that is tearing down the neighborhood. There are two restaurants that you can't miss. The famous Pock-marked Grandma Chen's Bean Curd serves mapo Tofu. Soft bean curd is served up with a fiery meat sauce (laced with garlic, minced beef, salted soybean, chili oil and little peppercorns). Another place that is still doing strong is Long Chao Shou Special Restaurant. The beauty of this little restaurant is that it has sampler courses that allow you to dip into the whole gamut of the Chengdu snack experience. The 5 yuan course gives you a range of sweet and savory items, while the 10 yuan and 15 yuan courses are basically the same deal on a grander and more filling scale. In the recently years, there are always snack food fairs in the winter. If you line up several food stands on the fair, you will get yourself a banquet in stages.
Chengdu food culture is very famous at home and abroad. There is a statement that “All good foods are found in Chengdu ”. In recent years, Sichuan dishes have developed extermely fast. In addition to the Mapo Toufu, Long Dumpling, Han Steamed Bun, Dragon Dumpling with Meat Stuffing and other famous snacks, more popular dishes are being derived from the hot pot such as boiled kebabs, hot boiled dishes, and lengdanbei. Sichuan cuisine is one of the four famous local cuisines in China ; the other 3 being Guangdong cuisine, Shandong cuisine, and Jiangshu cuisine. Tourists from any place can choose whatever they like from Sichuan dish menus. In preparing ingredients, Sichuan food cooks will try to balance strong spicy flavour with light flavour to suit accordingly.
Hotpot itself is not to be missed. Although it is said to have originated in Chongqing, hotpot is very popular in Chengdu now. You'll see a lot of sidewalk hotpot operations in the older section of town near the Chunxi Lu market, as well as along the river. Big wok full of hot, spiced oil invites passers-by to sit down, pick out skewers of raw ingredients and make a do-it-yourself fondue. You pay by the skewer. During the winter months the skewered items on offer tend to be meat or 'heavy' vegetables like potatoes. In the summer months lighter, mostly vegetarian fare is the norm. This stuff is very hot, many outsiders can't take it, but they still love to have it a try.
There are also a lot of weird local snack type of food, such as spicy dragon prawns (look like very small crayfish), spicy snails, Chongqing duck neck, Bangbang chicken, spicy rabbit meat.These ones are so delicious and you must try them. But you need to ask a local to take you to the right place. Quite often you will find that the small restaurants and shops offer the most delicious and cheapest food.
Like other big cities in China, KFC and McDonald's restaurants are easily found in Chengdu. Since McDonald's opened its first restaurant in Chengdu, and although it's been five years late, local people are still showing great interest in it.
As the other local craft from silkworm breeding and mulberry growing, Shu Embroidery has enjoyed a reputation for superb craftsmanship. With a unique technique and elegant colors, the products look like Chinese ink and wash paintings embroidered on satins. One masterpiece in the Great Hall of the People is called the Cottonrose Hibiscus and the Carp. Functional as well as artistic, Shu embroidery appears on quilts covers, pillow cases, clothes, shoes etc.
Silver Inlaid Products and Bamboo Products
Bamboo can actually be woven around porcelain roughcast. This amazing technique can be seen in Chengdu; in various bamboo products, such as bamboo sticks, baskets and fans. With the warm climate and fertile lands stimulating the growth of bamboo, Chengdu bamboo products are not only household necessities but also decorations.
If you are a fan of Chinese dishes, do not forget the soul of Sichuan Cuisine- thick broad-bean sauce from Pixian County.
Chunxi Road (春熙路). Take an afternoon or evening to walk down this shopping street, located in the center of the city. Makes for a good change of pace. Various clothing stores, bookstores, restaurants, arcades, and cinemas. Good place to find something to eat; including a hotpot buffet, Japanese restaurants, western food, and much more. However, the major disadvantage with this area is that each brand has many stores in this location. For instance, Nike, Adidas, and Li-Ning, each have about 4-5 stores in Chunxi Road alone which reduces the variety of things to buy. If you are looking for stores in the same vein as Louis Vuitton and Ermenegildo Zegna, these stores are located outside of the Chunxi Road area and near the Tianfu Square district.
Play Weiqi(the game of go) A weiqi tutor lives in Chengdu(KGS 8d),who can teach weiqi in english.
Chengdu has many places of interest and is famous for its traditional arts and crafts, ethnic folklore, and beautiful landscapes.
Chengdu sports an advantageous geographical location, as well as the Shuangliu International Airport, one of the six largest airports in China. The Chengdu Railway Station is also the largest transportation center in southwestern China and is the meeting point of the Baoji-Chengdu, Chengdu-Chongqing, and Chengdu-Kunming railway lines.
It has easy access to the Three Gorges on the Yangtze River; to Tibet, Jiuzhaigou, and Huanglong Temple, to the Terra-cotta Warriors of Xi'an, and to Mt. Emei and the Giant Buddha of Leshan.
Qing Yang Palace
The Qingyang Palace is a famous Taoist temple. It is one of the oldest and most extensive Taoist temples in Chengdu area. First built during the Zhou Dynasty, the Qing Yang Palace served as a place of worship for Taoists through the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, making it one of China's most famous and ancient Taoist temples.
The story goes that Lao Tzu, the high priest of Taoism, asked a friend to meet him there. When the friend arrived he saw only a boy leading two goats on a leash. In a fabulous move of lateral thinking he realized the boy was Lao Tzu. According to this story, a Taoist palace was built there with the two symbolic bronze goats. The present palace was built in the Qing Dynasty. Its major structures include Lingzu Hall, Hunyuan Building, Wuji Hall and Bagua Pavilion. In the compound, stand two eye-catching bronze goats. Although called a goat, one of them is actually a strange creature with mouse ears, an ox nose, tiger paws, rabbit back, snake tail, dragon horns, horse mouth, goat beard, monkey neck, chicken eyes, dog belly and pig thighs. It was said that this goat has some supernatural powers and anyone who touch it could survive from illness and mischance.
As the saying describes "when coming back from the Huangshan Mountains one does not want to see a mountain; when coming back from Jiuzhaigou one does not want to see water." Jiuzhaigou is located in the South section of Min Shan mountain Range and there is great tributary in the Gully which is the water source of Jailing River of the Changjiang river system, the Gully is formed into a "Y" type embraced by free mountains. The Mountain peaks are towering around and the snow summits are rising in the sky. The essence of Jiuzhaigou, known as "king of Chinese water scenes", lies in its waters: lakes, spring waters, streams, waterfalls, rivers and shoals. Jiuzhaigou got its name from the nine Tibetan Villages in the area.
Wuhou temple is located in the outskirts of Chengdu. It was built in memory of the Prime Minister Zhuge Liang of the Shu State during the Three Kingdoms Period (AD220-280). It was originally built in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (AD420-589). Today, the temple here contains a statue of Zhu Ge and an impressive Three Wonders Tablet (it contains exquisite examples of calligraphy, carving and poetry). The tomb of the founder of the Shu kingdom, Liu Bei, is also here. This is an interesting place for those interested in Chinese history and legend. Inside the temple there is a small but good museum about the Three Kingdoms Period, a comfortable teahouse, a vegetarian restaurant, and an art gallery showing the work of Sichuanese artists.
GREAT BUDDHA STATUE AT LESHAN
On Lingyun Hill, an enormous Buddha, 331 ft. tall, sits erect with an armed guard standing at either side, a path with nine bends winds down the cliff from the top of the Buddha's head, at the crest of the hill, to the statue's feet. Legend has it the Monk Hai Tong of Lingyun Monastery, disturbed at seeing many boats capsized in the turbulent waters nearby, initiated the carving of this Buddha to subdue the waters and ensure the safety of the river folks. It was completed in 803, in the Tang Dynasty, after 90 years of work. The figure, not only a great work of art, incorporates the sophisticated technical features of hidden drains, which were skillfully cut through the body to prevent the surface from weathering.
THOUSAND BUDDHA CLIFFS AT GUANGYUAN
THE GUANXIAN DAM
Over the centuries, a series of water systems have been developed at Guanxian, the first as far back as 350 BC The water has been diverted from Minjiang River to the nearby plains, creating one of the most productive agricultural areas in China.
There are models at the dam site that illustrate the water systems, as well as inscriptions commemorating the scholar, Li Bing and his son, who began the task of diverting the waters more than 33 centuries ago.
Nearby is a Taoist temple, the Fulongguan, commanding a superb view of the river valley. A short drive away stands the Two Kings' Temple, built in honor of Li Bing and his son, who were both awarded the title of “King” after their deaths.
|Map of Chengdu|