Sichuan Travel guide
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Sichuan Travel Guide

Sichuan Province is one of the largest provinces in China.Located in southwest part of the country, Sichuan has been the gateway to Tibet. In fact, the western part of the province is one of the Tibetan-inhabited areas and visitors can experience customs and living habits of the Tibetan nationality here too.Its terrain slopes from west to east on the whole and the main landforms include plains, hills, mountains and plateaus.Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province,is the cultural and industrial center for the agricultural Chengdu Plain and one of the first centers of printing in the country. As the hometown of SichuanPanda,Sichuan is one of the popular deastinations in China. Welcome to Sichuan!

Facts of Sichuan Province

English Name: Sichuan
Chinese Name: 四川 ( Sì Chuān )
Abbreviation: Chuan
Administration Type: Province
Capital: Chengdu
Location: 26°03' to 34°19' N, 97°21' to 108°31' E
Area: 485,000 km² (187,260 mi²)
Population (2010): 80,418,200

Tourism Cities in Sichuan

Sichuan History & Culture
Sichuan is one of the birthplaces of the Chinese nation and plays an important role in China's history. As early as two million years ago, human beings had already begun activities in this area; about 25,000 years ago, civilizations appeared here and formed the highly developed ancient Shu civilization, represented by Three-Star Piles site (Sanxingdui). With the unification of China by Emperor Qin Shi Huang in 221 BC, the region gradually blended the Central Plain culture. 

Meanwhile, the local culture continued to develop. Up to now, the province could be divided into four culture zones: Ba Culture Zone, Shu Culture Zone, Panzhihua-Xichang Culture Zone and West Sichuan Plateau Culture Zone. During the Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280), Chengdu had been the capital of the Kingdom of Shu. 

The long history of early-developed civilization has left this area abundant historical heritages, such as Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, Leshan Giant Buddha and Mt. Emei as well as distinctive local highlights like Sichuan Opera and the delicious local food. Sichuan Opera is one of the most famous operas in the country. Changing faces and spitting fire are the most attractive and mysterious skills of it. Sichuan food is also well-known all over the country and even in foreign countries. It is characterized by spicy and pungent flavors. Typical menu items are: Hot Pot, Smoked Duck, Kung Pao Chicken, Twice-Cooked Pork and Ma Po Tofu.

What to see in Sichuan ?

Sichuan is full of ancient and natural places to visit, and has noted wildlife preservation areas. The government has attempted to preserve historical and cultural sites. You can see the remains of ancient civilizations which existed 5000 years ago, and buildings and temples built in the last millennia. Seven cities in the province are recognized as national historical and cultural cities: Chengdu, Zigong, Leshan, Yibin, Luzhou, Langzhong and Dujiangyan. There are 40 key national cultural reserves and 24 cities and towns that are designated as historical reserves by the provincial government. You may visit ancient feats of engineering, natural wonders and wildlife refuges, Daoist and Buddhist temples, watch Sichuan opera, eat Sichuan cuisine, and visit modern cities and the sites of ancient civilizations.

The top attractions in Sichuan includes:

Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area and nearby Jiuzhaigou Valley are particularly famous for the beautiful mountain scenery and the colorful hot spring pools.

The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base is located on Futoushan Mountain in the northern suburbs of the city of Chengdu. It is only about 10 km away from the city center of Chengdu. Travel time from the city center to the research center is about 35 minutes by taxi. You can get up close with these interesting and quiet creatures.

Dufu’s Thatched Cottage is in the western suburb of Chengdu. You can stroll in the park and learn about one of China’s most famous poets, as well as learn about life in the Tang Dynasty.

The famous 2,300 year old irrigation project that was mentioned several times in this article is called Dujiangyan.

And the newly discovered (in 2001) ancient civilization site and new museum in Chengdu’s western suburb is called Jinsha. The main archeological site of this civilization is called Sanxingdui. The Sanxingdui site and museum is about an hour away from Chengdu by bus.

When to visit Sichuan ?

The weather in Sichuan varies greatly from place to place. It is a big province. But the province is divided into three major geographical regions. There is a region of high mountains in the southwest, a high plateau in the northwest, and a lowland region in the eastern part of the province. The whole province is impacted by the Southeast Pacific Ocean Monsoon and the Southwest Indian Ocean Monsoon. Here is a description of the weather in the three regions.

  • Eastern Lowlands and Chengdu It is often cloudy or foggy, and there is a subtropical monsoon climate. The high mountains southwest of Chengdu are good places to go in the summer.

  • Northwestern High Plateau There is a long winter, a cold summer, but lots of sunshine. The temperature drops at night.

  • Mountainous Southwest The climate in the southwest region varies from alpine and even arctic in the highest peaks to the tropical climate in the Jinshajiang River valley.

Recommended Sichuan Tour

Chengdu to Shangri-La Driving Group Tour: You will see giant pandas in Chengdu, enjoy breathtaking scenery and experience local Tibetan culture in the western part of Sichuan Province, and explore the lost horizon in Shangri-La.Or see more Sichuan tours. If your goal is to reach Sichuan, we at China Highlights are here to help you get over all the difficulties.You can also tailor-make your own unique tour by telling us your interests and requirements. We will help you design a perfect trip.

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