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Chengdu Travel Guide

Visit Chengdu

Chengdu, (Jin or Rong for short), is the capital of southwestern China"s SichuanProvince. It is located between the plateau and mountainous region in the northwest and the hilly land in the middle part of Sichuan province. Chengdu enjoys a mild climate, with an annual average temperature of 60.8 F, and an abundant annual rainfall of about 1000 millimeters. The annual sunshine time is1,239 hours and the frost-free period is 300 days.

Chengdu is an old city with a history of over 2,000 years.  In contrast to most of China"s other urban landscape, and despite the fast redevelopment, Chengdu has seccessfully  preserved  the atmosphere how one might imagine China have once been sometime in the past. Chengdu was already the political, economic, and cultural center of the Sichuan region  by 400 B.C. During the Five Dynasties Period (907-960), Meng Chang, a ruler of later Shu, had numerous hibiscus trees planted on the city wall, so the town eventually became known as the City of Hibiscus. Chengdu has long been a center of business and industry in west China, prosperous in silk production.

During the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220), Chengdu was regarded as one of the five "major cities" of the nation according its thriving business activities. Development on silk industry had resulted in  brocade weaving. Brocade made in Chengdu and around is called Shu brocade, which now is a big brand among the silk products in China.

Developing side by side with its silk industry are some other handicraft industry. A good example is the lacquer wares found in the excavated Han Dynasty graves in Chengdu. Lei Qin, a kind of musical instrument produced in Chengdu during the Tang Dynasty was famous in China, and was treasured by the vocal musical circles. The printing industry of Chengdu in Song Dynasty (960-1279) developed greatly, and Chengdu was one of the three bases of printing industry at that time. The Dunhuang (Dunhuang is a place in Gansu Province, China. It is famous for the frescos and the Grottoes) amanuensis collected by London Museum included some Chengdu woodcut almanacs made in the Five Dynasties period (those almanacs were also the earliest printed copies of woodcut almanacs in the world). Chengdu was also known for its papermaking industry. In Tang Dynasty, the Yizhou jute paper was used for the imperial edicts. In Chengdu, the industries of purls making, bamboo weaving, and grass weaving also have had a history of more than hundreds of years.

Chengdu has also been the center of education and culture in Sichuan. As early as 140 BC, an state-run school was opened in Chengdu.  Many famous Chinese poets, scholars were from Chengdu. For example, Simaxiangru (179 BC-117BC) and Yangxiong (58BC-18) were known for their wonderfully written prose poems (the prose poem was an intricate literary genre combining elements of poetry and prose) in Han Dynasty. Many other famous Chinese poets, musicians, artists, and writers were from Chengdu. Bajin (1904-2005), the famous writer, was born and lived for a long time in Chengdu. Chegndu is also a place that has attracted many celebrities in China. The famous poets Li Bai (701-762), Du Fu (712-770), and Su Si (1037-1101), who lived in Chengdu, wrote a lot of great works of literary and art. 

Nowadays, Chengdu is a peaceful and prosperous city.  It is the center of science and technology, business and trade, and finance and communication  in southwestern China.  The area is famous for its wonderful spicy cuisine, breath-taking scenery, unique wildlife, and remarkable local culture. Chengdu provides access to some superlative local attractions: areas of glorious natural beauty such as Jiuzhaijou and Huanglong, the Panda Reserve and Breeding Institute (ah, those cute baby pandas!), the sacred mountain of Emei, and Giant Buddha at Leshan. Other sights in and around the city include the thatched Cottage of Dufu, the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project of China, Mount Chengqing.  

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