Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, is one of my favourite places in China.
It wasn't the first time I saw it!
It looked flat and bland compared to mountainous Chongqing on the Yangzte River.
However, after several visits I got to know and like it.
I found areas that were maintained specifically for tourists. They were clean, well kept and a pleasure to visit.
The Sichuanese people were friendly and helpful.
In 2007, it was named one of the best three tourist cities in China to visit by the National Tourism Administration and the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
The Year of the Dragon in 2012 is a great time to visit Chengdu as the Chinese believe it is a lucky year. They will make you feel at home - that is for sure!
I plan on coming back to this part of China again and again. Read my story to see how I will do that
Look at the Jinjiang River in the picture.
It is neat and clean - pleasant to wander along!
Many Chinese sit at tables along the way and play mahjong.
However the river does not compare to the Yangtze in Chongqing.
But dig below the surface and you will have a wonderful time in Chengdu.
This ancient capital of Sichuan is more than two thousand years old.
But now it is a modern bustling city of over 10 million people. Motorists and cyclists co-exist on modern roads as they go to and from the commercial areas of the city.
A feature of Chengdu are the cyclists - millions of them!
Bicycles are a very common means of transport in this flat city.
Be careful when walking on the footpath. Cyclists tend to share it with pedestrians!
However, the culture has been preserved in temples, museums, parks and reserves, Sichuan opera and teahouses.
Some buildings are replica buildings in the old style. They look authentic and convey a sense of history.
You will find tea houses, restaurants and shops that have been restored.
Restoration and presentation of buildings is one reason why this city is a highly regarded tourist destination.
See both modern and ancient China in the same place.
Most people go to the Sichuan capital to see the Panda Bears.
However, there are several other wonderful sites - both modern and historical within the city itself.
Jinli Street, Wenshu Temple and Du Fu’s Thatched Cottage are just some of the popular attractions.
But best of all, the Sichuan capital is a great place to explore Western China from.
There are lots of good hotels in Chengdu to stay at.
And there are a number of one, two or three day trips to magnificent nearby places.
An hours flight away in neighbouring Yunnan Province is one of the great places in Western China, Lijiang.
It is listed on the United Nations World Heritage list.
And an hours flight in the opposite direction is Xian, the home of the wonderful Terracotta Warriors.
There is so much to see and do in this great city of Sichuan.
I was never bored. You shouldn't be either!
I found a great personal Chinese Tour Guide on my last visit to Sichuan.
Julie showed me things I have not seen before as well as revisiting old favourites.
I definately recommend Julie as a personal tour guide for the Sichuan capital and surrounding areas.
Synotrip is another organisation that provides travel guides for all over China.
Shopping.....Enjoy fantastic shopping in Chengdu. There is great shopping from modern Western to traditional Chinese shops. Shopping in China has never been better. Find out about the best shopping in China you can do.
Panda Bears.....The Panda Research Station has many cuddly Panda Bears. See the Giant Panda Bears playing and the cute baby Pandas sleeping in their nursery! Find out how to see the Pandas at the Panda Research Station.
Wenshu Buddhist Temple.....See the magnificent Buddhist Temple that is located within the Wenshu Monastery. Splendid gardens, marvelous buildings and a superb vegetarian restaurant make it an interesting place to visit. Find out where to visit the Buddhist Temple.
Chinese poetry.....Sichuan has a close affiliation with Chinese poetry. See it on display with the poems of Du Fu and others at Du Fu's Cottage. Learn about Chinese poetry.
Chinese holidays.....Wonderful Chinese holidays can be launched from Chengdu Sichuan. So much to see and do in and around this capital city of Sichuan. Find out about great Chinese holidays.
Chinese Guide.....Julie is a local Sichuan person who is a great Chinese travel guide. Her English is excellent and she certainly knows Chengdu and surrounds very well. Find out about this great Chinese guide.
China Tours China tour operator offers private group China tours to Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, Guilin, Yangtze with 24/7 best services.