Known over several centuries as the ‘City of Hibiscus', the ‘City of Brocade' and the ‘Gateway to Western China', the capital of Sichuan Province is fast becoming known as an affluent and industrious but fun and laid-back regional hub of travel, commerce and industry.
Chengdu is a burgeoning hub of activity and connections in so many ways and on so many levels. The city is fast turning into a showcase for some of the finest aspects of China's thousands of years of history as well as a timely redeployment of cultural, geographical and technical strengths that have long made this crossroads metropolis a commercial, cultural and culinary magnet.
The end all and be all of life in Chengdu is the teahouse so, for entertainment, you can do what the locals do and drink tea. However, should you be seeking something a little different for a change, Chengdu is happy to oblige with an amusement park, nightclubs and golf courses.
Being the capital city of Szechuan province, of course the main cuisine in Chengdu is Sichuan. Sichuan dishes are famous for being hot and spicy but they also offer sophisticated, many-layered tastes. Famous dishes include ma po tofu (bean curd with minced pork and chilli oil) and gong bao ji ding (a spicy chicken dish with peanuts).
Seemingly overshadowed for years by bigger, brasher economic centers like Beijing and Shanghai, Chengdu seems to have shrugged its shoulders like a wise old master who has seen so many young pretenders come and go, and just gotten on with the job of building an oasis in the west.
For thousands of years Chengdu was the famous home of skilled artisans producing exotic and luxurious wares for sale in China and export around the world. Chengdu is now more famous for high-tech and agricultural industry as well as mass-produced textiles.
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