Huang Long
Juizhaigou Valley
FIAP 2006


Sam's Exotic Travel Photos of Chengdu - Gateway to China's Western Frontier

Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province and the gateway to China's western frontier: Tibet and the Silk Road, is the fourth largest city in China, with a population of 11 million.  With a history encompassing four millennia, Chungdu was one of the first centers of printing in China and has been famous for its luxurious satins, brocades, and lacquer ware since the 13th century.  Unlike Shanghai, Dalian and Shenzhen whose new construction have replaced most of the cities historical buildings, Chengdu offers a pleasant mixture of old and new - a city proud of its heritage but one slowly embracing the new.

 Man with cigarette - Sam's Exotic Travel Photo Chengdu China  Piggy-bag ride - Sam's Exotic Travel Photo Chengdu China  Weighing the purchase - Sam's Exotic Travel Photo Chengdu China

With its older industrial base, Chengdu's main drawback its its air quality.  While we were there, we only saw the glimpse of the sun behind the gray haze of the city one day, rain the other. 

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  •  JinJiang River Front - I walked around while everyone else was eating lunch at a restaurant on the Anshun Bridge.  It was a charming area and well worth skipping the meal.

  •  QingYan Gong Temple - also known as the 'Grey Sheep' temple.  It is an important Taoist temple, whose origin dates from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD).  This large complex is a popular place of worship.  Locals come to burn incense, light candles, make prayers, take part in ceremonies and visit psychics.  The tea shop inside the Tao Temple is a popular place to catch up with friends.  It is considered the birth place of the founder of Taoism, LaoTzu.

  •  Street Market - which I visited while other members of the tour were learning about Chinese herbs and medicines.  I bet I had more fun, plus I met some neat people.

  •  Wenshu Monastery - formerly called Xinxiang Temple,  the best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu.  Initially built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the monastery houses several important cultural relics.

  •  Zoo - a small zoo located in northeast Chengdu.  It houses three Giant Pandas, but these were all behind glass.  Most animals, including apes and monkeys, are confined to cages.  Bears, leopards and a few other animals have open areas.  It is a shame we didn't get to see the Giant Panda Breeding Centre located outside the city.

  •  Other Sights - of the city, additional places and people of interest.

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