Chengdu, Sichuan: Capital of the Heavenly State

Bronze animal sculpture from the ancient Shu culture at the Sanxingdui Relic Museum, Chengdu, Sichuan

Bronze animal sculpture from the ancient Shu culture at the Sanxingdui Relic Museum, Chengdu, Sichuan

Chengdu (成都) is the capital of Sichuan province (四川省). It is the 11th largest city in China. Known as the “Heavenly State” (Tian Fu Zhi Guo), Sichuan is richly endowed with natural resources and Chengdu is an example of high production. In ancient times, the Shu culture proliferated here and the city was well-known for its Shu embroideries and brocades. The city was also the beginning of the Southern Silk Road and origin of Chinese bronze culture.

Attraction List:

  • Sanxingdui Relic Museum (August 5)
  • Chengdu Panda Research Base (August 6)

August 5, 2012

In the wee hours of an early morning, we were sent on our way to the airport in Beijing with a pre-packaged hotel breakfast of croissants, salami, cold cuts, and a yogurt drink. Despite the well-planned arrangement by our tour group, the flight was delayed by 1 hour but the airline service still served the promised breakfast.

Lunch at the Golden Hawaii in Chengdu

Lunch at the Golden Hawaii in Chengdu

We finally arrived in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, at 11:40 AM and met our lovely tour guide, Cathy, who will guide us during our stay in Sichuan province. We had lunch at the Golden Hawaii, a formerly prestigious restaurant by the décor but now only caters to tour groups. The service was slow but we tried to be accommodating. For our first taste of spicy Sichuan cuisine, we tried fried pork with beansprouts, kungpao chicken, corn nibblets, Chinese long beans with peppers and eggplant. Although spicy (even though we asked for very mild spicy), the sauce used was very flavorful and had a distinct taste of Allspice. Continue reading