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Get to know Chengdu

 

Overview

Chengdu, provincial capital of Sichuan province, is located in the Chengdu Plain of southwest China. It covers a land area of 12,100 sq. km. Chengdu has jurisdiction over nine districts, four cities and six counties, with 11.5 million registered as permanent residents. The city stands about 500 meters above the sea level.

Geographically Chengdu is situated at the western edge of the Sichuan Basin. It is therefore sheltered from northwest winds from Siberia in winter by the Qinling Mountains to the north and Tibetan Plateau to the west. It has a subtropical moist monsoon climate, averaging 17.5 Celsius in its annual temperature. More information about Chengdu weather: Chengdu weather today

The short winter is milder than in the Lower Yangtze because of the sheltering effect of the Qinling and Tibetan Plateau. Snow is rare but there are a few periods of frost each winter. The summer is longer, but not as hot as in the "Three Furnaces" cities of Wuhan, Nanjing, and Chongqing in the Lower Yangtze. Average daytime highs reach up to 29°C in July and August and the average low gets down to 3°C in January. Rainfall is common year-round but peaks in the summer months. The city is covered by forest, which accounts for 36.15 percent of the local area.

The city has transformed into a hub for logistics, trade, finance, technology, transportation, communications in west China, as well as a leading base in manufacturing, services, and agriculture. Forbes magazine published a report in 2010 indicating that Chengdu could become the fastest growing city in the world in the upcoming decade. The 12th Fortune Global Forum will take place 6-8 June 2013 in Chengdu,  an energetic growing city in southwestern China that is both a symbol and the reality of the 21st century global economy.

Chengdu boasts of diverse culture including Sichuan-flavor food, recreation, drinking tea, Taoism etc. The inhabitants have a reputation both within Sichuan and in China  for having a laid back attitude and for knowing how to enjoy life. The carefree lifestyle of Chengdu greatly benefits its local people.

Panda in Chengdu

Historical Chengdu

Chengdu, or Perfect Metropolis, has a long history with a profound cultural heritage and natural environment. it has seen the rise and fall of nearly a dozen independent kingdoms or dynasties since its founding in 316 BC. 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.  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 "becoming a capital".

After the conquest of Shu by the State of Qin in 316 BC, a new city was founded by the Qin general Zhang Yi. This can be seen as the beginning of the Chinese Chengdu. It was renamed Yìzhou during the Han Dynasty. During the partition following the fall of the Eastern Han Dynasty, i.e. the era of the Three Kingdoms, Liu Bei founded the southwest kingdom of Shu Han (221-263) with Chengdu as its capital.

During the Tang Dynasty, both the "Poet God" Li Bаí and the "Poet Sage" Dù Fǔ spent some part of their lives in Chengdu. Du Fu constructed the celebrated "Caotáng" (thatched cottage or grass-hut) in the second year of his four-year stay (759-762). But today's Caotang, a rather sumptuous house in the traditional style, was only constructed in 1078 in memory of Du Fu. During Tang, Chengdu was the best commercial city second to only Yangzhou. Chengdu was also the birthplace of the first widely used paper money in the world (Northern Song Dynasty, around A.D. 960). 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.

On May 12, 2008, a deadly 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck causing damage to the area, While 75 kilometers (48 miles) away from the epicenter, Chengdu urban area did not suffer any discernible damage.

Chengdu nicknames

The Brocade City: Jinchéng

 In the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-23 AD), brocade produced in Chengdu enjoyed great popularity among the royal and elite class in China. Emperor installed Jin Guan (an official in charge of brocade production) to oversee brocade production in Chengdu. Since then, Chengdu has been called "Jin Guan Cheng" (Brocade Official's City), or in its short form, "Jin Cheng" (Brocade city).

The City of Hibiscus: Róngchéng

 In the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907-960), Mengchang, the king of the Later Shu Kingdom, ordered the planting of hibiscus on the fortress wall surrounding the city. After this, Chengdu started being referred as the City of Hibiscus. Nowadays, the hibiscus is still the city flower of Chengdu. But the last city wall was torn down in the 1960s along with the Royal Palace situated in the middle of the city. The aforementioned "previous names" are not formal names, however, but are more accurately thought of as nicknames. The name "Chengdu" has never changed during thousands years since the city was founded, and the city has always been in the same location.


Anshun Bridge in Chengdu

Foreigne
rs' Chengdu Story

Ear-Cleaning in Chengdu (By Ed Thomas)

 

Out of the corner of a lethargic eye, I saw a small man approach me with a set of very weird instruments clutched in his hand.”

 Who would have thought that mid-afternoon activities in Chinese parks consisted of what I am about to describe? On the recommendation of a fellow traveller, my girlfriend and I were keen to visit the tea-parks of Chengdu. The provincial capital of Sichuan, Chengdu is most famous for its Panda Research Base, as well as for its bustling and slightly wild city and spicy food, certainly not for its tea-parks.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary as we reclined in wicker armchairs along the banks of a small boating pond, no different from those found in Hyde Park in London or the Bois de Bologne in Paris. The usual afternoon activities were taking place around us: the same-old tranquil duel of a game of badminton, the steady synchronisation of 20 or so women performing therapeutic Tai Chi and the ‘old-boys’ playing checkers. Sipping the freshly made herbal tea much like a Chinese emperor would have done in the hey-day of the Ming dynasty, I felt on top of the world.

With my head in the metaphorical clouds, I thought nothing could disturb this inner peace I was finally experiencing. How wrong I was. Out of the corner of a lethargic eye, I saw a small man approach me with a set of very weird instruments clutched in his hand. I couldn’t help but think that they closely resembled the tools used by Egyptians to remove the pharaoh’s brain through his nose once he had died. The funny thing is, I wasn’t far off.

What happened next can only be described as a blur. He first removed what looked like a chimney sweep's brush designed for a mouse to use on his own little mouse house. All was well until he proceeded to poke the device in my ear and caught off-guard, I had no choice but to accept that he was going to do so. In the manner I’m sure a chimney-sweeping mouse would sweep his mouse chimney, this Chinese man calmly and cautiously began cleaning my ears. Whilst still in shock, I was encouraged to sip my tea, as he spluttered out the words, “Chengdu Experience”. So, as instructed, I sipped my tea, with my girlfriend looking on in hysterics, fighting back genuine panic. Instrument after instrument was produced and then used with military precision, the most bizarre being the “Tuning Fork”. He struck a C# on a neighbouring table and prodded the vibrating musical instrument into my ear, which according to him, was the final stage. Before I had truly registered what had happened, he departed. With clean ears and quivering knees, I demanded we left before someone else attempted to clean any of my other orifices.

I can safely say that this is one of the weirdest things to have happened to me and it was the numerous occasions not unlike this one that characterised my travels around China. However, I loved the country, despite it being, frankly, pretty weird. Go, you must, and if you get the chance, get your ears cleaned with your tea in Chengdu; it was actually quite nice.

Know more about Chengdu...

Chengdu International flights:

Chengdu & Amsterdam: 3 direct flights a week

Chengdu & Paris: 3 flights a week – via Beijing or Shanghai

Chengdu & Rome: 3 flights a week – via Beijing or Shanghai

Chengdu & Frankfurt: 3 flights a week – via Beijing or Shanghai

Chengdu & London: 2 flights a week – via Beijing or Shanghai

Chengdu & San Francisco, Los angels: 2 flights a week – via Beijing or Shanghai

Chengdu & New York: 2 flights a week – via Beijing or Shanghai

Chengdu & Vancouver: 2 flights a week – via Beijing or Shanghai

Chengdu & Toronto: 2 flights a week – via Beijing or Shanghai

Chengdu & Auckland: 2 flights a week – via Beijing or Shanghai

Chengdu & Sydney: 2 flights a week – via Beijing or Shanghai

Chengdu & Katmandu: 3 flights a week – via Lhasa

Chengdu & Osaka: 2 direct flights a week

Chengdu & Fukuoka: 2 direct flights a week

Chengdu & Macau: 3 direct flights a week

Chengdu & Hongkong: Daily direct flights

Chengdu & Seoul: Daily direct flight

Chengdu & Singapore: 3 direct flights a week 

Chengdu & Bangkok: Daily direct flights
More infomation, please visit: Chengdu Shuangliu Airpot http://www.cdairport.com/front_en/index.jsp

 

Consulates in Chengdu:

United States Consualte General: Add: No.4 Lingshiguan Lu, Chengdu; Tel: +86 28 8558 3992.

Royal Thai Consulate: Add: 12th Floor, Fengde International Plaza, Building C, Hang Kong Road, Chengdu. Tel: +86 28 66897861; Fax: +86 28 66897863

German Consulate General: 25th Floor of Western Tower located at No. 19, 4th Section Renmin Nan Road, Chengdu 610041,Tel: +86 28 8528 0800 Fax: +86 28 8526 8308

Consulate General of Singapore: 31th Floor, East Guan Cheng Square, No.308, Shun Cheng Main Street, Chengdu. Phone +86 28 8652 7222

Consulate General of the Republic of Korea: No. 6, Tianfu Oasis Hotel, Xianan Main Street of Chengdu. Tel: +86 28 8616 5800 Fax: +86 28 86165789

Consulate General of France: 30/F Shidai Square, No.2, Zongfu Road, Chengdu Tel+86 28 66 66 60 60 FAX: +86 28 66 66 61 03

Consulate General of Pakistan: 2306# One Aroe Space Centre,No.7 Xinguanghua Road, Chengdu; Tel: +86 28 85268316

 

 Jinli Street, Chengdu

 

Things to do in Chengdu

Giant Panda Breeding Research Base

One of the Chengdu's most popular tourist attractions is the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base, about 10km north of the city center. Home to nearly 100 giant and red pandas, the base focuses on getting these sexually reluctant creatures to breed; March to May is the 'falling in love period', wink wink. If you visit the in autumn, you may see tiny newborns in the nursery.

It's worth watch the 20-minute movie about panda after walk around the base, and a museum has detailed exhibits on panda evolution, habits, habitats and conservation efforts.Try to visit the base in the morning, when the pandas are most active. Feeding takes place around 9:30 am and soon after the pandas return to their favourite pastime-sleeping. More infomation about the giant panda, please visit the special topic: Life & Surviaval for the Giant Panda.

Wenshu Temple

A Tang-dynasty monastery, Wenshu Temple is Chengdu's largest and best preserved Buddhist temple. The air is redolent with incense, there is a low murmur of chanting, and despite frequent crowds of worshippers, there's still a sense of serenity and solitude. A vegetarian restaurant and a atmospheric traditional teahouse are on the grounds. Outside the temple is a rebuilt 'old' neighbourhood where the narrow streets are lined with teahouses, snack stalls and colorful art and crafts shops.

Green Ram Temple

The Greem Ram Temple next to Culture Park is Chengdu oldest and most extensive Daoist temple. According to the legend, stroking the bronze goat here can vanquish life's trouble. The legend goat combine features of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals sitting in front of the main hall of Green Ram Temple. You also can see an eight-sided pagoda named Eight Diagram Pagoda built without bolts or pegs in the central of the temple.

Dufu Thatched Cottage

Next to the scenic Huanhuaxi Park in west Chengdu, Dufu's Cottage is the former humble house for the revered Dang dynasty poet, Dufu (AD712-770), Born in Henan, central China, he lived in Chengdu about 4 years, penning more than 200 poems about the lives of people and the social struggles who lived and worked at that time.
Chengdu Downtown Map

Wuhou Temple

Next to the rebuilt 'old' Jinli Street in southwest of Chengdu is Wuhou Temple, surrounded by beautiful gardens with mossy cypresses draped over walkways. The temple honours the main figures from the Three Kingdom period(AD 220-280), including the emperor Liu Bei and legendary prime minister Zhuge Liang, who was immortalized in one of the classics of Chinsese literature Romance of Three Kingdom (San Guo Yan Yi).

River Viewing Pavilion Park & Sichuan University Museu

The park near Sichuan University where there is a small but strong collection of artefacts in the fields and traditional arts is dedicated to celebrated Tang-dynasty female poet Xue Tao. The park is also known for its bamboo and features over 150 varieties, from bonsai-sized potted plants to towering giants.

Jinsha Site Musem

In 2001, archaeologists made a historic discovery in Chengdu western suburbs- they unearthed a major site containing ruins of the 3000-year-old Shu Kingdom. The site is now home to the well-designed Jinsha Site Musem (www.jinshasitemuseum.com). This expansive musem complex includes one building showing the excavation site itself and another display objects that were excavated from the area. Like the earlier discoveries at Sanxingdui, the 6000-plus relics found here, which date from 1200-600 BC, include both functional and decorative items, from pottery and tools to jade artefacts, stone carvings and ornate gold masks.

People's Park covered by lush trees, is an important entertainment place for Chengdu people. You can see the real leisure life of Chengdu elder people every day.  They are chatting, singing and dancing in separate groups. It’s a great place to explore the traditional tea houses and try to enjoy the Ear-Cleaning in a tea house.

Jinli Ancient Street, Wenshufang Street & Kuanzhai Alley Theses “new and old” walking streets feature restaurants and small stores in old-fashioned style. Antiques, arts and crafts are sold in a variety of different stores. It is very popular among tourists and locals, especially at night, with many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs.

EYT TOURS offer diverse private tours around Chengdu, please feel free contact us if you need further information when you are planning your upcoming Chengdu tour.

 

Spitting fire in Sichuan Opera

 

  
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