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Sunday, May 22, 2016
Chengdu, One of World's Top Tourist Destinations, City of Panda and Food
--Chengdu, a metropolis in southwestChinaas a world tourist destination and shopping center, is expected to have more global visitors.
New York Times recommended in January 52 places to go in 2015, with Chengdu one of the must-gos.
New York Times called Chengdu the "panda and food capital".
More than a hundred giant pandas reside in Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, a center took its start in 1987 when six wild pandas were rescued. Now it is a non-profit organization specializing in panda protection, research and breeding.
Since the 1990s when the base was open for public, it has attracted millions of visitors from all around the world. Many pandas born and grown up here have been presented as national gifts to other countries to promote friendly relations.
Chengdu's food is known for its fire, spiciness and diversity.
The spicy red pepper, hot wild pepper and strong chili sauce combine to bring the unique cuisine. The dishes are famous for its freshness and intensity.
Seventy-year-old chef Peng Ziyu, who prepared dishes for Jacques Chirac, former French president, said, "Many people think our dishes are spicy. Actually, 70 percent of them are not."
Each dish has its own characteristic and all eaters can be satisfied, he said. "You might not like all dishes, but at least one of them."
Chengdu has been listed by UNESCO as "City of Gastronomy".
Justin Bergman, who wrote comment for Chengdu in New York Times, said, Chengdu is one of the most vibrant cities in China, combining rich cultural relics with rapid economic development.
Jinsha Museum in the western suburb is one of the city's cultural relics. It is built on one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the 21st century, Jinsha Relic. Gold and jade articles unearthed there can be traced back to 3000 years ago. The golden mask and the Sun Bird are typical ones.
Wuhou Shrine, or Temple of Marquis, founded in 223 A.C. to commemorate the intelligent prime minister Zhuge Liang (181-234), is a must-go place for history lovers.
Qingcheng Mountain, 70 kilometers from the city proper, is home to Taoists. Dujiangyan irrigation system nearby that was built 2,200 years ago has been used till now.
Chengdu is one of the fastest growing cities. A majority of Top 500 companies and many fashion brands run business here.
The latest one is a shopping mall covering an area of 100,000 square meters. The Taiguli mall in the downtown is home to Gucci, Cartier, Ralph Lauren, Moleskine among other famous brands.
Chengdu Int'l Finance Center opened last January accommodates more than 300 jewels and fashion brands.
By the end of 2014, Chengdu ranked four in China in terms of luxury brands.
Chengdu's tourist authorities said the city will improve the tourist facility and services to meet the growing global demand. He added Chengdu would be built into the top tourist destination in western China and internationally influential shopping center.Now, Chengdu has 63 A-level scenic spots, 140 star hotels and 364 travel agencies. In 2014, it saw 186.2 million domestic and overseas visitors. 1.97 million of them came from abroad, an 11.55 percent increase.
A survey shows among 60 China cities, Chengdu is among the best ones in terms of tourist satisfactions.
As more international flights fly, it's much easier to go to Chengdu. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is the largest airport in central and western China. It has 80 international airlines including direct flights to Moscow,London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, San Francisco and Melbourne. The second airport has been approved to be built, making the city the third Chinese city that has second one after Beijing and Shanghai.
Chengdu is the first city in western China to apply the 72-hours Transit without Visa policy. With valid third country visa and interchange tickets, visitors from 51 countries can stay in the city for three days.