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Chengdu travel guide

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Overview

Located in the fertile plains of the Sichuan Province's Red Basin, Chengdu seems like such a small town that it can be easy to forget it is one of China's largest cities. With nicknames like 'Heavenly State', 'City of Hibiscus' and 'Land of Milk and Honey', it is no wonder that Chengdu is also ranked as one of China's most liveable places.

Still a hidden gem for many tourists in China, Chengdu lacks the famous historical sites that draw crowds to tourist magnets Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an. This doesn't mean that the city lacks historical importance though, as it was the site of origin for the Bronze culture, the Southern Silk Road, and printed the first paper currency. Chengdu is full of history, and travellers can visit attractions like the Wenshu Monastery, Wuhou Memorial Temple, Tomb of Wang Jian, Green Ram Temple and the Thatched Cottage of the ancient poet Du Fu.

Chengdu is an important culinary destination in China, and visitors can attend traditional Chinese tea ceremonies at many teahouses, including Wenshu Monastery and Guanghe Chalou. The food in Chengdu is some of the best in the region, offering fiery Sichuan dishes like hotpots, Chongqing duck neck, and spicy dragon prawns from roadside carts or stylish restaurants.

The top attraction in Chengdu, however, is located in the lush valleys surrounding the town. The Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center is the world's only centre of its kind, and offers one-of-a-kind opportunities to see pandas and their cubs.

Chengdu makes a great base for exploring the Sichuan Province, and is within easy distance of the Giant Buddha of Leshan, Mount Qingcheng, and the Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area. It is also a convenient stopover on travels to Tibet, as there are almost daily flights to Lhasa.

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