The wonderful community of Chengdu is the capital of China’s Sichuan Province, and is known locally as Tian Fu Zhi Guo, which means the heavenly state. This area is the natural habitat of the nation’s beautiful giant pandas. The region of Chengdu sits in the heart of the Chengdu Plain in the western part of Sichuan Basin. In total, this area is 4,750 square miles in size and is home to just over 11 million residents.
Chengdu is filled with rich natural resources which make it a very productive locale. You’ll find the Tuo and Min Rivers here, which are branches of the famous Yangtze Rivera and these connect to about three dozen other rivers. The city’s history stretches back about 2,500 years when it was established by a Chinese emperor.
These are some of the most fascinating places to visit on a trip to Chengdu and its surrounding area.
1. The Wolong National Natural Reserve
This nature reserve sits about 80 miles outside of Chengdu city. This is where the cuddly giant pandas make their home. The reserve also features the beautiful Natural Zoological and Botanical Garden. Wolong is known as the most popular and oldest panda reserve in the country and back in 1980, it was named to the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Network.
2. The Sanxingdui Museum
This interesting museum is also known as the Three-Star Piles Museum and it is located in Nanxing Town, in Guanghan, which is just over 20 miles from Chengdu. It features ancient exhibits and displays from the excavations of the Shu Kingdom. It’s one of China’s most important archeological finds and helped residents properly understand the ancient culture and history of the region.
3. The Dujiangyan Irrigation Project
This amazing irrigation project was built approximately 2,000 years ago and it continues to work to the benefit of about 40 surrounding counties. It’s the only surviving and the oldest no-dam irrigation system on the globe and a remarkable display of the ingenious Chinese irrigation system.
4. The Zigong Dinosaur Museum
This fabulous cave-like dinosaur museum is located about 7 miles from Zigong and is 17 acres in size, which is the largest in southeast China. The museum was established in 1987 and tells you everything you want to know about dinosaurs. You’ll find a fossil burial site and many life-size exhibits as well as displays of the era’s plants and animals along with rare dinosaur species.
5. Baoguang Temple
The Baoguang Temple is also known as the Divine Light Temple and is about 10 miles outside of Chengdu City. The temple was named by emperor Xizong, who lived during the Tang Dynasty between the years 618 and 907. He saw a divine light emanating from the bottom of the temple one evening and named it in honor of the light. The temple has a rich history as well as beautiful architecture and sculptures, several halls and courtyards and offers visitors a very tranquil environment.
6. Jinli Street
Chengdu City is quite a leisurely location and you’ll find that Jinli Street, which sits to the east of Wuhou Memorial Temple, is a very representative of the city. It’s believed that Jinli Street was one of the busiest commercial areas in the Shu Kingdom from 221 to 263 because of a special ornate cloth that was traded here. It’s referred to as the first street of the Shu Kingdom and the current edition of it was opened in 2004 after it was restored. Many visitors come here to this ancient street to simply relax and admire the beauty of the traditional Chinese as well as dine out on the local delicacies.
(photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org)