China

Chengdu

Sichuan Province's capital, Chengdu is in south-western China, about 2050 km from Beijing. An important educational and industrial centre, it has many Chinese history highlights, such as the UNESCO World Heritage site, the 3rd-century BC Dujiangyan irrigation project, and the bronze masks in the Sanxingdui Museum. Chengdu is also home to the Giant Panda Breeding Research Base where visitors can see and learn about pandas and China’s conservation efforts.

 

The success of the breeding programs, and the future they bring to China’s endangered giant panda, ensures this centrally located city remains a hot spot for animal lovers who adore (and seek a close glimpse of) China’s loveable national symbol.


But while the panda provides a prime reason to visit, it isn’t Chengdu’s only attribute as there are many sights and experiences of intrigue to fulfil a traveller’s dreams.


This bustling capital of Sichuan province has a long chequered past – it dates back 2000 years - with so much unearthed over the centuries.


It is in this agricultural heartland that a host of historic sites and relics have been uncovered, a visit to Sanxingdui Museum providing an impressive showcase and insight into ancient Chinese cultures, traditions and handicraft.


Equally intriguing is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Dujiangyan Irrigation Project which dates back to the 3rd Century BC and highlights how advanced local ingenuity was at the time.


Rising with the development of a more contemporary central Chengdu has been the opening of a contrasting range of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, some found in the Jinniu district, a transformed and revitalised former industrial area of the city.


One Chengdu restaurant is of such magnitude that the waiters move along the corridors on roller blades to ensure the food and drinks arrive in swift time.


No-one should visit without seeing the amazing local act “Changing Face”, the quick removal of colourful masks – far too swift for the human eye.