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CHENGDU

Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, is well-known for its longstanding history and civilization, also named City of Brocade and Hibiscus, it comprises 5 districts, 12 counties with a total population of 8,873,000. Through the city flows the Jinjiang River. In downtown area, long and wide avenues flanked by high-rise buildings and large shops and stores, are dotted with green trees, and well-trimmed flowers. Indeed, it is a beautiful city full of vigor and vitality. Besides the local teahouses, snack bars and food markets are still the popular places for tourists to wander around.One can either taste the typicalSichuan cuisine,

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local wine and tea or sort out his shopping of local special products like silk and embroideries, bamboo-woven furniture, porcelain wares or familiarize oneself with local folklores and customs. Chengdu is also the important cultural and economic center in southwest of China.

Thatched Cottage of Du Fu

Thatched Cottage of Du Fu, the former residence of the celebrated Tang dynasty poet, is located at the side of the flower washing brook in the western suburbs of Chengdu. Du Fu (712-770AD) was born in Henan province. When he was 20 years old, he left his home to travel around China. He used to be an official for 10 years in Chang'an, today's Xi'an, the capital of the Tang dynasty, and was later captured by rebels after an uprising and fled to Chengdu where he built a humble cottage and stayed for about four years. During these four years, Du Fu composed more than 240 poems reflecting upon the misery of the people, in which most of them are very familiar to Chinese people through all the ancient years.

After the death of Du Fu, people built a new cottage on the ruins of the original site to keep the memory of Du Fu. The present one was the restoration from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Covering 20 hectares of leafy bamboo and luxuriant vegetation, the Thatched Cottage has become a commemorative museum in a traditional garden. The area contains several interesting structures, including the grand lobby, the Shrine of Gong Bu (Du's official title) and the Memorial Hall. Each year, on January 7th of lunar calendar, local scholars and poets get together in the cottage to honor Du Fu. They celebrate his works by chanting his poems combined with dances and music.

Wuhou Memorial Temple

Temple of Marquis Wu, located in the south of Chengdu, is a famous historical site dedicated to the memory of both Liu Bei (161-223), Emperor of the Kingdom of Shu in the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), and Zhuge Liang (181-234), Prime Minister of the kingdom.

The temple was originally built by Li Xiong of the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316AD), 400 years after Zhuge Liang's death, and rebuilt in the Qing Dynasty with a total area of 37000 square meters. The whole complex faces south direction with the first gate, second gate, hall of Liu Bei and hall of Zhuge Liang on the central axis, in which hall of Liu Bei is the highest and greatest one. The temple is commonly known as Wuhou Memorial Temple (Zhuge Liang was conferred on the title of Wu Xianghou after his death). The temple, dignified and simple in style, houses 47 statues of Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang and other civil officials and senior generals of the kingdom. The temple is furnished with many inscribed stone tablets, the most famous being the Tablet of Triple Success of the Tang dynasty (618-907) with its text by Prime Minister Pei Du, calligraphy by Liu Gongchuo and carvings by Lu Jian. Today, the temple of marquis Wu is not only a museum for people to know the history of three kingdoms, but also a good place for resting and visiting.

The Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base

The Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base was built to imitate the wild ecological environment of pandas. It covers a space of 140 acres, with a green coverage of 96 percent. The base created a perfect ecological environment for the living and breeding of pandas and other precious and rare wild animals. It breeds over 20 pandas and lesser pandas, black-necked cranes, white cranes and others.

It is a panda breeding scientific research institute built in accordance with international standards for the purpose of rescuing the endangered wild animal. The center includes a scientific research building, an open research laboratory, ananimal hospital, an animal house, a panda playground, a swan lake, a panda museum, and a comprehensive service department. Here, green bamboo and trees, birds, and flowers combined with man-made sights constitute the living and breeding place for pandas and other rare animals. Till 1998, the base had bred 32 pandas, giving birth to 48 baby pandas, of which 28 lived, and accomplished scientific research in over 50 related subjects, winning more than 30 awards.

The base has won the UN Environmental Program's award of the "global 500 best", and the gold award of green science and technology of China, an excellent national project of environment control, 100 advanced units of green plantation of Sichuan Province, and the title of model base of popular science education of Sichuan Province. To achieve the aim of protecting and expanding the wild species of panda and finally returning them to their natural habitat, the base imitated the wild ecological environment of pandas in its second and third stages of construction.

Dujiang Dam

During the Warring States Period in 256BC, the governor of the Shu Prefecture Li Bing and his son led the people to build the large water conservancy works to control flooding on the Chengdu plains. Up to now, 2,250 years have passed, and the works still play a significant role in agriculture irrigation on the Chengdu plains. It is a historical wonder of science and technology.


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