Chengdu

Spicy food and top universities in this former kingdom capital.

Capital of Sichuan known for spicy food, old culture, tea spots, and panda protection.

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out of 5

Chengdu, the capital of China's Sichuan province, is a city that's known for its relaxed atmosphere, fiery cuisine, and as the home to the giant panda. With a history of over 3,000 years, Chengdu holds a UNESCO City of Gastronomy title and offers a thorough look into the region’s culture.

The city's culinary reputation is one of its main attractions. Sichuan cuisine, famous for its bold flavors, especially the heat and spiciness from liberal use of garlic and chili peppers, is best enjoyed in a local hotpot restaurant. Chengdu's hotpot, a simmering pot of broth filled with spices and various ingredients, is not just a meal but also a social occasion.

Chengdu's history includes many ancient sites and relics. The Jinsha Site Museum and the Wuhou Shrine remember the city's past, while Qingyang Palace shows Daoist architecture and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding presents the efforts to protect China’s most recognized animal.

Teahouses are essential to Chengdu's culture, acting as places for rest and socializing. Visitors can have a cup of tea while playing a game of mahjong, an activity deeply rooted in the local lifestyle.

Visitors often go to Jinli Ancient Street to buy handicrafts, try street food, or just enjoy the traditional-style buildings. Kuanzhai Alley, another well-known spot, offers a look into the city’s history with its preserved Qing Dynasty structures.

For a peaceful getaway, the city's many parks, such as the People’s Park, provide lush areas and peaceful lakes. Here one can see locals taking part in tai chi, calligraphy, and energetic games of badminton.

Transportation in Chengdu is accessible with an extensive metro system and a significant international airport. When planning a trip, consider visiting during spring or fall for moderate temperatures averaging around 15-25°C (59-77°F).

While in Chengdu, respect local traditions; it's polite to refuse a gift at first before accepting, and tipping is usually not the norm. With its combination of history, culture, and nature, Chengdu is a fulfilling experience for any traveler.

Average temperatures during the day in Chengdu.

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