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Chengdu Travel Guide

As the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu is a center for science, medicine, the food industry, technology, trade, commerce and finance, as well as the hub for transportation and telecommunications in southwest China. Tourism has become a new growth point of the city.

Chengdu City, Chengdu Travel GuideChengdu Geographic Features

Chengdu is located in the middle of Sichuan Province in the west part of the Sichuan Basin. The city covers a total area of 12,390 square km. The average altitude is 500 meters. Because it sits against the Qinling Mountains in the north and faces the Yungui Plateau in the south, Chengdu enjoys a humid, subtropical monsoon climate. It is mostly cloudy and damp. Winters are not cold and summers are not hot. The average temperature is 16C, with annual rainfall of 900-1,000 mm.

Chengdu People

Chengdu has a population of nine million residents. There are 15 ethnic groups living in the area, and it is common to see Tibetans, Uygurs, Miao and Yao people. The main religions here are Buddhism and Taoism. The natives speak Sichuan dialect.

Chengdu History

Some 23,000 years ago, a Shu Emperor named Kaiming moved his capital to the Sichuan Basin and named the new town Chengdu (meaning, "Becoming a city"). Chengdu has been Sichuan's capital since that time. The emperor had thick city walls built around Chengdu in 311 BC and divided the city into two parts: the larger for officials and the army and the smaller for merchants and peasants, who mostly lived outside the walls. During the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 35-330), the imperial court appointed an official to supervise the fast-growing brocade industry in the town. It was then known as Jincheng, or Brocade Town. When it was discovered that the brocade turned brighter and fresher after being washed in a nearby river, the river was given the name Jin Jiang, or Brocade River.

The Chengdu plain's rich soil and flourishing economy made it an important strategic post and for 2,000 years warlords and statesmen prized it. Possibly the most famous of Chengdu's overlords was Liu Bei, who ruled the Shu Han Kingdom from Chengdu during the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-263). In the 1940s, Chengdu and neighboring Chongqing were bases for the "Flying Tigers," a renowned group of American and Chinese fighter pilots who fought against the Japanese invaders during World War II. The cities were later the final strongholds of the Chinese Nationalist Party. The Nationalists fled to Taiwan in 1949, and the Red Army liberated Chengdu in 1950.

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