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Sichuan

Sichuan lies in the heart of China and its variety of nature is incomparable to any other region of the world. Huge canyons, hilly lands, rivers, glaciers, grasslands, waterfalls, hot springs, alpine lakes and basins make the province as much unique as its ethnic minorities of Tibetan, Qiang and Yi.
The sparely populated north and west are crisscrossed by 80 rivers and contain many national parks like Jiuzhaigou, with impressing alpine scenery and turquoise lakes. The holy Mount Emei and the Giant Buddha at Le Shan made Sichuan also popular for Buddhist pilgrims.
The eastern part is more populated and location of its vibrant capital Chengdu. It is one of China’s fastest growing cities and reflects the free-spirited nature of Sichuan people. The liberal way of thinking and the world-renowned spicy food make Chengdu one of the most interesting cities in China.
It is also the native home of the Chinese Giant Panda and has the only panda reserve in the world.


Jiuzhaigou

Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan, China has been voted on the internet by all Chinese tourists as the (or one of the) most beautiful and popular scenic area in China for several years, despite that Xi'an (terracotta Warriors) and Guilin and Yangshuo are more known for foreign tourists. 

Jiuzhaigou (literally Nine Stockade Gulliess) offers spectacular landscapes with alpine features: crystal clear and serenelakes,snow-capped mountains, countless waterfalls and lush forests. The natural reserve is home to more than 140 species of birds and numerous endangered animals, including the giant panda (Pandas have been moved to Wolong in 1990's). 

Its patchwork of shimmering lakes was discovered when scientist trailing some pandas, observing their habitat and migratory patterns, followed the pandas into this scenic wonderland. Scientists believe the lakes were formed because of the calcium carbonate in the following water when the earth was between ice ages. When the global climate warmed up, the calcium carbonate became active and attached itself to obstacles in the water, forming the milky white, lunar shapes in Jiuzhaigou's lake water. The scenery in the area leaves most breathless as the sheer beauty of the lakes and the vibrancy of the colors defy explanation. 


Leshan Giant Budda Statue

One of them is the Leshan Giant Buddha Statue, the largest Buddha statue carved into a mountain in the world. It is over 71m high and there is enough space for more than 100 people to sit between its feet. The Wolong Panda Natural Reserve is the only panda reserve in the world, providing the ideal natural environment for panda, mountains, rivers and bamboo forests. It is different from the Panda Breeding Center in the capital Chengdu.


Natural Panda Reserve

There are several places you can see pandas. At the Chengdu City Panda Research Institute is the nearest one.


Sanxingdui Museum

Sanxingdui is an archaeological site of an ancient Chinese city when in 1987 archaeologists excavated remarkable artifacts dated as being from the 12th-11th centuries BCE. The sacrificial pits contain thousands of gold, bronze, jade, and pottery artifacts that had been broken (perhaps ritually disfigured), burned, and carefully buried. Researchers were astonished to find an artistic style that was completely unknown in the history of Chinese art, whose baseline had been the history and artifacts of the Yellow River civilization. All the Sanxingdui discoveries aroused scholarly interest, but the bronzes were what excited the world. Task Rosen of the British Museum considered them to be more outstanding than the Terracotta Army in Xi'an.
A museum has set up for years near the city of Guanghan housing these mysterious artifacts.


Sichuan Cuisine

Sichuan Cuisine is currently most popular all over China. UNESCO has declared the city of Chengdu (capital of Sichuan) to be a city of Gastronomy in 2011, mainly because of its Sichuan style of cooking.  It is a style of Chinese cuisine originating in the Sichuan Province of southwestern China famed for bold flavors, particularly the pungency and spiciness resulting from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, as well as the unique flavour of the Sichuan peppercorn. The  representative dishes include Kung Pao chicken, Tea smoked duck, Twice cooked pork, Mapo dofu, and Sichuan hotpot.


Teahouses in Chengdu

Nobody does tea better than the Chinese. And nowhere is China’s tea culture better represented than in Sichuan province. Nowadays, Sichuan province is the only place where they still play a major role in people's daily life. As Sichuan's capital city, Chengdu naturally has its fair share of wonderful teahouses. One teahouse, in the city’s most central park,is perfect people-watching material. Many locals, particularly elderly ones, seem to spend all day everyday here, sitting by the small lake, sipping tea while they play cards, gossip, have their hair cut or even have their earwax removed! RMB 10 per ear, in case you were wondering.