Chengdu Travel Guide
Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China. The urban area houses 14,047,625 inhabitants. The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which Chengdu is located, is also known as the "Country of Heaven" a phrase also often translated as "The Land of Abundance". Chengdu is the original city name that dates back to its founding over 2000 years ago. Chengdu is the only major city in China that has never changed its location or name for more than 2000 years.
Established during the late Warring States Period, Chengdu boasts a 2300 year history. As early as the 4century BC, the Shu State moved its capital to where Chengdu city is presently located. In 311BC, the Qin people built a city wall of 6 km in circumference and about 25m in height, which marked the formal establishment of Chengdu city.
Over thousands of years Chengdu has been known for its history of silk brocade manufacturing. During the Wudai Dynasty (907-960 AD), the top of the city wall was extensively planted with hibiscus flowers resulting in Chengdu being referred to as Hibiscus City, a name by which it is still called today. The city saw brisk night fairs at the time and today people can still see such names as Business Street and Button Fair Street, a reflection of the city's historical commerce. Chengdu was the first city in the world to use paper money (Northern Song Dynasty, 420-479 AD) and the first to extract and use natural gas (Western Han Dynasty 206BC-24AD). Chengdu is also renowned for its history in lacquer ware making, woodblock printing, irrigation techniques and tea drinking culture. Today Chengdu, is a centre of science and technology, commerce and finance as well as leading hub of transportation and communications in Southwest China.
Chengdu has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate and is largely mild and humid. It has four distinct seasons, blessed with abundant rainfall, and relieved from both sweltering summers and freezing winters. Its favorable climate contributes to the development of agriculture and animal husbandry, making Chengdu a comfortable place for sustained human habitat.