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Chengdu, Sichuan

Chengdu, Sichuan

Chengdu, also known as Rongcheng and jincheng, is capital of Sichuan Province. Among this famed historical and cultural city’s historical sites are Marquis of Wu’s Temple dedicated to Zhuge Liang, prime minister of Shu of Three Kingdoms Period; Thatched Cottage, where the celebrated Tang poet, Du Fu, lived during his stay in Chengdu; famous Buddhist sanctuaries, such as Baoguang, Zhaojue, manjusri, and Daci temples; Qingyanggong, the best preserved memorial temple for Lao Zi, father of Taoism; Tomb of Wang Jian; and Wangjiang Tower. The giant panda breeding center of Chengdu is a must for panda-loving visitors. Chengdu’s restaurants serving Sichuanese cuisine and refreshments, and teahouses hold forth the fascination of local mores. Sichuan brocade, embroidery and lacquer ware are famous souvenirs. with its trademark grimacing skills and uncanny sense of humour, Sichuan Opera is a major branch of the Chinese theatre.

Qingcheng Mountain-Dujiang Weir
Qingcheng, standing in the city of Dujiangyan to the northwest of Chengdu, is one of the four leading Taoist mountain sanctuaries of China. With its peaks forming a circle and covered with green vegetation all the year round, the mountain is known for its secluded repose. In 250 BC, Li Bing, garrison commander of Shujun Prefecture, and his son organized the construction of the famed Dujiang Weir. Two thousand years later today, the weir is still playing a pivotal anti-flood and irrigation role, protecting West Sichuan Plain from the menace of drought and flood, and bringing rich harvests for local farmers.
Giant Panda’s Habitats
The giant panda is an endangered species whose childlike charms have captivated so many people. Nicknamed “living fossil” and “national treasure,” it is the mascot of the World Wildlife Foundation. Sichuan is a natural habitat of the giant panda, and 85 percent of the 1,000 or so giant pandas living in this world are found in Sichuan, which is the site of all but two of China’s 18 giant panda nature reserves. A giant panda breeding and research center is in northeast Chengdu, and the World Wildlife Foundation has founded its Giant Panda Research Centre in Wolong Giant Panda Reserve, 136 km from Chengdu.

Situated more than 400 km south of Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou (Gully of Nine Villages) is a gully in Nanping County in Ngawa Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture which derived its name from the 9 Tibetan villages in the gully. Its 80-km-long ravine covers an area of 60,000 hectares and is strewn with lakes, waterfalls, snowy mountains and forests teeming with such precious animals as giant and lesser pandas and golden-haired monkeys. For its fairyland and dreamlike fascinations it is a UNESCO world natural heritage site and part of the UN Man and Biosphere program. Huanglongsi in Songpan County of Ngawa and adjacent to Jiuzhaigou is famed for its peculiar karst landscape and multihued ponds that are set off picturesquely by snow mountains, vertical ravines, and vast forests. The scenery is evocative of the Jasper Lake of the Ween Mother of the West. Jiuzhaigou-Huanglong have jointly entered the UNESCO list of world natural heritage sites.

Zigong is a famous Chinese historical and cultural city 2,000 years in the making of salt. Hence the nickname: Thousand-Year-Old Saltmaking Capital. That history is displayed in the Zigong Salt Industry Museum. Another landmark is the Zigong dinosaur Museum. The local international lantern festival is an internationally prestigious event.

Bamboo Sea of South Sichuan
The Bamboo Sea of South Sichan sprawls on the border of Changning and Jiang’an counties in Yibin and 300 km south of Chengdu. Its entire area of 110,000mu is, as its name suggests, a vast stretch of bamboo groves. The air is fresh, the place foggy, while streams run with a rich susurrus, waterfalls tumble and splash, and mirror-like pools reflect a host of imaginative silhouettes-all this qualifies the Bamboo Ocean as an ideal bio-tourist destination.

Satellite Launching Centre
Xichang in southwest Sichuan and 400 km from Chengdu is capital of Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture. Since 1984, more than 20 man-made satellites have been orbited from a local launching center that has earned Xichang the title “China’s Space City”. Today, the launching center is open to visitors from at home and abroad, who may choose to go there in time for the Yi people’s Torch Festival.

Other Attractions
State of Shu’s mountain paths in Jianmen under the jurisdiction of Guangyuan; stone carvings of Anyue, Neijiang; Sansu Temple in Meishan County; Conch Gully; Gongga Mountain; Mountain of Four Girls; Deng Xiaoping’s former residence.