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- Chengdu Travel Guide
U China Travel specializes in tailor-made travel. We strive to always create a comfortable and relaxing private travel experience for you. We are very experienced in working with family and business travelers. We also avoid the typical tourist restaurants, places targeting travelers. At U China Travel, Quality, Authenticity, and Flexibility are our top priorities.
As a boutique travel group we hope not to be the biggest, but strive to be the best travel company with the highest quality service in China.
Chengdu: Land of Milk and Honey
Chengdu, capital city of the prosperous western region of Sichuan Provence. Known historically as a commercial, political, and military center within Sichuan, the city continues to thrive centuries later amidst a picturesque landscape abundant with natural wildlife. The agricultural wealth of the region has earned it a reputation as the "Land of Milk and Honey." The fertile nature of Chengdu is largely due to its geographical location atop the planes that stand at the convergence of the Min and Tuo River, two branches of the Yangtze River.
Although the city is home to more than 9 million residents (not even small by Chinese standards), it differs from China's other major cities in that its people place significant emphasis on culture and relaxation, creating a welcomed change of pace compared to other fast-paced, crowded urban centers. The laid-back lifestyle popular among Chengdu's residents has earned the city recognition amongst the country's most desirable urban areas to live.
With the overwhelming wave of development that has swept through China's cities, travelers can sometimes have difficulty differentiating one commercial center from the next. Looking beyond the rapid growth of Chengdu as one of the nation's economic centers, visitors are welcomed by a whole host of activities relating to the area's rich culture and appreciation for nature. This month we would like to reveal some of the beautifully fascinating aspects of Chengdu that make it an ideal destination when visiting China.
WHAT TO SEE:
SICHUAN OPERA: Falling in line with the city's enjoyable approach towards daily life, the Sichuan Opera is a popular nightlife activity for Chengdu residents. Originating during the Qing Dynasty, the operatic style combines influences from five different regions. Performed in the traditional Sichuan dialect, this rich form of cultural entertainment is characterized by light hearted, witty story lines. The most popular forms of Sichuan Opera include Gundeng, Tuhou, and Bianlian. World-renound for its mysterious technique of changing faces throughout the performance, Bianlian provides fascinating insight into the local culture.
JINLI ANCIENT STREET: Situated just east of Wuhou Memorial Temple, the history of Jinli Street has been recorded as far back as 221 BC during the Qin Dynasty, when it was considered one of the region’s busiest commercial streets. During the Shu Kingdom Jinli Street thrived as a center of prosperity. Fully restored.
WHAT TO DO:
PANDA BREEDING AND RESEARCH CENTER: Famous for its endeavoring work in protection of endangered species such as giant pandas, small pandas and black-necked cranes, the Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center The Panda Breeding and Research Center is surrounded by verdant hills, green forests and clear lakes with many species of birds. It was awarded "The Global Top 500 in Environmental Protection" by the United Nations, and Chinese Green Science Prize by the state government. The center houses a delivery room, fodder rooms, sleeping quarters, a sport ground and a medical station for panda growth and development.
LESHAN GIANT BUDDHA: A visit to the Leshan Giant Buddha highlights the natural beauty surrounding Chengdu. Located about 160km from the city, the statue of Maitreya Budhisattva stands 71m high, carved out of a vertical rock face. The project that began in 713 during the Tang Dynasty took 90 years to complete. In 1996 it was added to UNESCO’s elite list of World Heritage sites.
WUHOU MEMORIAL TEMPLE: Situated just south of the city center, the Wuhou Memorial Temple sprawls across 37,000 sqm of landscape. Built for Zhuge Liang, the Martial Marquis of Shu during the Three Kingdoms Period, the exact date of the temple’s establishment remains unknown. The temple is home to a collection of cultural relics, works of calligraphy, and clay sculptures.
WHAT TO EAT:
Gaining its international reputation from its liberal use of chili peppers and various types of peppercorns, Sichuan cuisine is one of the most commonly recognized styles of Chinese cooking. Known widely in the west as Szechuan cuisine, this style is characterized by pungent flavors that often have a tingling, numbing affect on the mouth.
MA PO TOFU: This popular dish that originates from the Sichuan region is characterized by its texture and appearance. Flavorful chili oils dominate the dish, which consists of bean curd marinated in chili and soybean oils and often topped with chopped onions and minced pork or beef.
KUNG PAO CHICKEN: Popular throughout China and the West, this Sichuan favorite is prepared with diced chicken wok seared with Sichuan peppers, chili oils, vegetables, and boiled peanuts.
CHUAN CHUAN XIANG (MA LA TANG): Considered a Chengdu specialty, Chuan Chuan Xiang consists of vegetables and meats threaded on skewers and cooked in boiling water and chili oils. The skewers are removed from the flavorful oils and left to cool before they are served.
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