Though pandas have been declassified as endangered, they are still vulnerable and conservation work is vital in helping the species survive. The Great Projects run a panda conservation centre in the heart of the beautiful Bifengxia mountain range. Volunteers help in the care of these magnificent animals and educating people on why pandas still need help.
Watch a Sichuanese opera
Being the capital of Sichuan province, it’s unsurprisingly, Chengdu is the home of Sichuanese opera. Though the art form is well known for its singing, it’s also famous for the highly-guarded secret of face changing, where the artists change their masks in an instant to express a different mood. Other stunts including fire-spitting and sword-hiding.
A couple of hours drive south of Chengdu is the 71 metre-high Buddha in Leshan, one of the tallest pre-modern sculptures in the world. Craved into the cliff face between 713 A.D. and 813 A.D., the gargantuan Buddha was built to help calm the turmoil caused by the confluence of the rivers Dadu, Minjiang and Qingyi that runs below it.
Hike Mount Qingcheng
Located outside of Chendgu, the mountain of Qingcheng is one of the most important Taoist centres in China and is made up of 36 peaks. Hike along the wooden boardwalks through beautiful evergreen forests punctuated with temples including Jianfu Palace, Shangqing Palace and the Laojun Pavilion.
Gorge on the food
Sichuanese cuisine is arguably some of the finest in China, underpinned with the strong flavours of garlic, Sichuan peppercorns, vinegar, and chilies. Lots of chilies. The region’s most famous dish is the hotpot, but look out tea smoked duck, double cooked pork, Kung Pao chicken, dan dan noodles and spicy deep-fried chicken. In 2011, UNESCO declared Chengdu to be the city of gastronomy in recognition of the region’s cuisine.
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Amble along Jinli Old Street
Talking about food, but sure to walk down Jinli Old Street in search of some of Chengdu’s best food joints. The ancient street dates back over 2,000 years to the Qin-Han dynasty. Lanterns swing from the wooden facades of old houses. At night, the street comes alive with tourists and locals who come to eat the excellent street food. The photogenic street is a fantastic place to capture shots of old China.
Explore modern China
From the ancient to the super modern, China is evolving faster than any other country on earth. Nowhere is this more evident than Tianfu Square, home to towering glass skyscrapers. It’s well worth spending a day here exploring the attractions including the Sichuan Science and Technology Museum, the Imperial Mosque and Chengdu Museum.
Get inspired at Du Fu Thatched Cottage
This 24-acre park located on the western outskirts of Chengdu was home to the famous Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu. His original home was built here in 760 A.D. and during the four years he lived there he wrote over 240 poems. Over the Millennia since, the house was damaged and is now museum to Chinese literature celebrating the poet’s life and writing.
Proudly sponsored by The Great Projects.