Chengdu

A crucial commercial and economic hub for many centuries, Chengdu is an ancient city that dates back to Neolithic times. Throughout the centuries, Chengdu has weathered foreign invasions and natural disasters alike, including the Mongol invasions, World War II, and of course, the recent 2008 earthquake.

Today, Chengdu is a pleasant, sprawling city, voted one of the most livable in all of China as well as one of the best places to invest in. Chengdu is a university town and is home to a large, thriving community of students and intellectuals. Perhaps its most famous residents are the adorable giant pandas, who live in various preserves just outside the city.

A crucial commercial and economic hub for many centuries, Chengdu is an ancient city that dates back to Neolithic times. Throughout the centuries, Chengdu has weathered foreign invasions and natural disasters alike, including the Mongol invasions, World War II, and of course, the recent 2008 earthquake.

Today, Chengdu is a pleasant, sprawling city, voted one of the most livable in all of China as well as one of the best places to invest in. Chengdu is a university town and is home to a large, thriving community of students and intellectuals. Perhaps its most famous residents are the adorable giant pandas, who live in various preserves just outside the city.

Experiences

Chun Xi Lu Boulevard

Stroll along the tree-lined Chun Xi Lu Boulevard, whose tea cafés, boutiques and restaurants are popular with students of nearby universities.

Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center

Visit the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center and meet privately with the scientists responsible for developing the center’s advanced panda reproduction program, which has produced more than 46 cubs in 11 litters over the past ten years. Explore the grounds and have your photo taken with baby and adult pandas.

Jiuzhaigou National Park

Jiuzhaigou, or the Valley of the Nine Villages, is a land of expansive, polychrome lakes, thickly forested hills, and gentle valleys. Named for the nine Tibetan villages within the area, Jiuzhaigou’s signature feature may well be its lakes, tinted a surreal shade of aquamarine. In recent years, Jiuzhaigou was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Leshan Buddha

A little over two hours away from Chengdu is the Leshan Giant Buddha. Carved out of a stone cliff face, the Buddha is situated in Leshan at the juncture of three rivers: the Min, Qingyi, and Dadu Rivers. Carving began in the Tang Dynasty in 713 and ended in 803 AD, a monumental 90-year effort that resulted in a 233-foot (71 meter) high Buddha. His hair is comprised of 1,021 separate buns that form an elegant coif.

Qingyang Taoist Temple

The Qingyang Taoist Temple is considered the birthplace of Lao Zi, the founder of Taoism. As the day winds down, relax in the tea pavilion’s bamboo chairs, sip fragrant jasmine pearl tea, and observe a fast-paced game of mah jong.

Shu Xiu Fang Embroidery Workshop

Visit the Shu Xiu Fang embroidery workshop where you learn from artisans who craft Sichuan’s legendary textiles, renowned for fine needlework, elegant colors, graceful lines, and their design in the style of traditional Chinese paintings.

Sichuan Cooking Class

Enjoy a private culinary lesson from a master chef in how to cook and prepare local Sichuanese delicacies.

Sichuan Opera

See an abridged Sichuan Opera at the Wuhou Temple, where performances are held in the traditional courtyard setting with tea service. Different from Western (or even Peking) Opera, this local style is distinguished by elaborate acrobatic stunts, sharp wit, lively characters, and audience participation. Afterwards, meet with the performers and catch a glimpse of the usually off-limits backstage area and dressing rooms.

Wenshu Monastery

Visit Wenshu Monastery, an exquisite architectural site. Dating back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), it is one of the most active Buddhist centers in China; its sculptured roofs, colonnades, reflecting ponds and ornate, crimson buildings are a fine and increasingly rare example of classical Chinese architecture.

Afterwards, enjoy a Sichuan style lunch at the temple’s vegetarian restaurant.

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