CHENGDU: PANDAS, POETS AND TEA HOUSES

CHENGDU

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Bamboo shop in Chendu
Chengdu (300 kilometers west-northwest of Chongqing, now only two hours by train and 850 kilometers north of Kunming) is the capital and largest city in Sichuan Province, with about 6.8 million people in the city and 18 million in the Metro area. Located in the middle of Sichuan Province in the western part of the Sichuan Basin not so far from where mountains begin rising to the Tibetan plateau, it is ranked as China's seventh largest city and for the most part is a typical dirty, crowded Chinese city. But that doesn't it doesn't have its charms. It has some of the best food in China as well as large markets, charming tea houses, pandas, Buddhist temples and some nice parks and more green spaces than Beijing or Shanghai. Chengdu lost its medieval city walls and gates only a few decades ago and once was home to the largest Mao statue in China. Mao was fond of the Tang poet Du Fu, who made his home in Chengdu for four years.

Chengdu is regarded as China’s second most important center of intellectual life in China after Beijing and is famous for its hackers and universities. Chengdu is home to 99 universities and technical colleges, and 60 percent of the graduates have science and engineering degrees. Costs at the universities here are lower than in the coastal cities. Chengdu has grown fast. In 2012 its population was estimated to be 15 million, almost double what it was five years earlier. Now it is nearing 20 million. Many residents live in apartment blocks that in some places seem to spread out as far as the eye can see. The city also boasts the world’s largest building.

Located near on the irrigation system of the Min River in very fertile area, Chengdu is said to have a 3,000 year history and has been a governmental and cultural center since at least 400 B.C. During the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) it was known as the "City of Brocade," and became so rich it was called the "Storehouse of Heaven." During the Five Dynasties (907–960) period, a local warlord planted so many hibiscus plants on the city walls that it was known as the "City of Hibiscus." One of Chengdu's "firsts" is paper money; it's here where its use first became commonplace, around AD 960. Chengdu was the site of an American air base in 1944-1945, during World War II.

The atmosphere of the city is said to be more relaxed and friendly than in Beijing or Shanghai. In some areas old-style buildings remain and many of them have small private businesses inside. It is fun to explore Chengdu's alley on foot or bicycle, going from one small shop to the next and looking for places to eat and have a cup of tea. A green belt of parks and recreational spaces have been built around the city center to control growth and provide breathing space. Lots of visitors still come to see the pandas at the Panda Breeding Research Center just outside of town, The city's official tree is the Gingko; its official flower is the Hibiscus. There are plenty of these around. The city has been known for its annual flower fair.

There is a fare share of hazy air pollution, but the climate is pleasant. Chengdu has fairly mild winters, early springs, rainy summers, and warm autumns. It is almost always overcast. This condition is attributable to Chengdu's location in the Sichuan basin, one of the world's most productive agricultural plains. Pollution, caused primarily by the burning of coal in winter, is trapped to some degree by the nearby mountains.

Tourist Office: Sichuan Provincial Tourism Administration, 65 South Renmin Rd, 610021 Chengdu Sichuan, China, tel. (0)-28-667-3693, fax: (0)- 2-667-1042. Web Sites: Travel China Guide Travel China Guide Maps of Chengdu: chinamaps.org ; Budget Accommodation: Check Lonely Planet books; Getting There: Chengdu is accessible by air and bus and is well-connected by train to the rest of China. For a long time it was the major gateway not only to Sichuan but also to Tibet and Yunnan. Travel China Guide Travel China Guide

Economy of Chengdu

Chengdu has been experiencing an economic and building boom for several decades now. It has attracted workers tired of the coastal areas, wanting to work closer to home, and investors and companies in search of cheap labor, low start up costs, skilled college graduates that cost 30 percent less than they do in Shanghai, and local government tax breaks and perks. In the 2000s, many shoe factories opened in the area. The extra money spent on transportation of shoes was made by labor costs significantly lower than those in coastal China.

Investments spurred on in part by the “Go West” drive has brought industries to the city Over US$1.9 billion in foreign investment poured into Chengdu between 2001 and 2005, GDP growth in the same period was 13.3 percent. Income rose 70 percent to US$2,700 between 2000 and 2005. Among the blue chip foreign companies that have set shop in Chengdu are IBM, Coca Cola, Shell, Bosch, Foxconn, Toyota, Ikea and SAP. Motorola, Alacatel, Ericsson and Nokia have research and development centers there. Intel has spent US$525 million on assembly and packaging plants and employed 600 people in the late 2000s and had plans to expand the site.

The growth is visible in new restaurants, luxury and retail boutiques and five-star hotels Chengdu ranks third China in privately-owned cars. Chengdu's position as a regional administrative and culture center and transportation hub and its growing information technology industry has attracted a fair numbers of foreign business people as well as expatriates that work as English teachers. Business cards with your name in English on one side and your Chinese name on the other are useful in both business and social interactions.

Chengdu Hackers

Chengdu is famous for its hackers. In the early 2000s a number of hacks on national security, military and intelligence targets in the U.S. was traced to hackers in Chengdu, which is also the location of one of the PLA's technical reconnaissance bureaus charged with signals intelligence collection. Researchers said one hacker, who used the cyber name “lost33', had attended the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, which publishes manuals on hacking and offers courses on network attack and defense security. [Source: Paul Mooeney, South China Morning Post, September 26, 2010]

Time magazine's Simon Elegant interviewed a group of hackers in Chengdu, Sichuan believed to be behind some of attacks. The group, known as NCPH (Network Crack Program Hacker), is made up of members who don't reveal their real names and instead go by online names like Firestarter, Floorsweeper and Plumber. Elegant met them in a Chengdu hotpot restaurant, where they downed large amounts of beer, and described them as “in their early 20s, rail thin with the prison pallor acquired from long nights spent hunched over monitors."

NCPH was discovered at a military-sponsored hacking competition, with one member earning over $4,000 in prizes, and has a made a name for itself producing hacking programs that can be downloaded free on the Internet. These programs, often referred to a Trojans, allow users to take over other computers and download information on them.

The PLA periodically holds hacking competitions with large cash prizes to discover new talent. Advertisements for the contests are run in local newspapers. Winners are given a month of intense training at provincial command posts, including simulated attacks, advise on designing hacking programs and network-infiltration strategies Pentagon military analyst told the Time of London, “These guys are very good."

According to two reports by iDefense, a California-bases Internet security firm, the Chengdu group “launched a barrage of attacks against multiple U.S. government agencies...The result of all this activity is that the NCPH group siphoned thousands---if not millions---of unclassified U.S. documents back to China." The iDefense report concluded that :NCPH was almost certainly was receiving some support from the Chinese armed forces and “more likely hundreds of these groups exist in China."

Transportation in Chengdu

Chengdu has a subway with several lines and three traffic-chokes ring roads. Buses are most important and widely used mode of public transport. There are more than 400 bus lines in Chengdu with nearly 12,000 buses in total. In addition, the Chengdu BRT offers services on the Second Ring Road Elevated Road. Bus cards are available that permit free bus changes for three hours Within the core urban area of Chengdu, a bicycle is often more convenient than a car or taxi as one can skirt traffic jams. Chinese-made bicycles and mountain bikes can be rented at some places such as guest houses that cater to backpackers.

Chengdu Metro opened on 2010 and has seven lines with 302.6 kilometers (188 miles) of track and 222 stations as of 2019. The Metro lines are operated by Chengdu Rail Transit Group Company Limited. There are currently over 215 kilometers kilometers (134 miles) of subway lines under construction in Chengdu. By the end of 2020, the Chengdu Metro was slated to have 13 lines extending 521 kilometers (324 miles) and serving over 8 million trips per day. Chengdu Subway Map: Urban Rail urbanrail.net

The Chengdu Metro Lines are: Line Line 1 runs from Weijianian (Jinniu) to Science City (Shuangliu). Opened in 2010 and and expanded in 2018, it has 41 kilometers of track and 35 stations.
Line 2 runs from Xipu (Pidu) to Longquanyi (Longquanyi). Opened in 2012 and expanded in 2014, it has 42.3 kilometers of track and 32 stations.
Line 3 runs from Chengdu Medical College (Xindu) to Shuangliu West Station (Shuangliu). Opened in 2016 and expanded in 2018, it has 50 kilometers of track and 37 stations.
Line 4 runs from Wansheng (Wenjiang) to Xihe (Longquanyi). Opened in 2015 and expanded in 2017, it has 43.3 kilometers of track and 30 stations.
Line 5 runs from Huagui Road (Xindu) to Huilong (Tianfu). Opened in 2019, it has 49.02 kilometers of track and 41 stations.
Line 7 Loop Line runs from Cuijiadian (Chenghua) to Cuijiadian (Chenghua). Opened in 2017, it has 38.6 kilometers of track and 31 stations.
Line 10 runs from Taipingyuan (Wuhou) to Xinping (Xinjin). Opened in 2017 and expanded in 2019, it has 38 kilometers of track and 16 stations.

Getting to Chengdu

Chengdu is accessible by air and bus and is well-connected by train to the rest of China. For a long time it was the major gateway not only to Sichuan but also to Tibet and Yunnan. Chengdu is now connected by high speed trains to much of China. Chongqing (300 kilometers from Chengdu) is now only two hours away by train). As Chengdu serves as the air transport hub for southwest China and Tibet, it has flights to all major Chinese cities and between a two and two and half hours by air from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Lhasa. There are also daily flight to Hong Kong and a number of international destinations.

Around 40 high speed trains run each way along the Xian - Chengdu High Speed Railway line covering the 658 kilometers (409 miles) distance in three to four and half hours. Beijing- Chengdu High Speed Train run between Beijing West and Chengdu East railway stations, covering the 1,874 kilometer (1,164mile) distance in between 7 hours 45 minutes and 10 hours. There are four high speed G trains running each way, leaving between 6:53am to 3:13pm, stopping Chongqing, Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou and Xian. Shanghai-Chengdu High Speed Trains run between Shanghai Hongqiao and Chengdu East stations, covering the 2,167 kilometer (1,347 mile) distance in around 11 hours. There is one high speed G train and four D bullet trains running each way each day. The trains leave in the morning between 6:11am and 8:30am and arrive in the evening, stopping in Suzhou, Nanjing, Zhengzhou, Luoyang and Xian

Chengdu-Kunming Railway runs through very mountainous terrain and was considered impossible to build. Completed in 1970 after 12 years work, it contains bridges over deep ravines, tunnels bored through solid rock and tracks placed on cliffside supports. The railway's 427 tunnels and 653 bridges cover 40 percent of the route. There are so many tunnels in fact that some tourist claim they don't get a chance to see anything. The railway was constructed by tens of thousands of laborers, soldiers and convicts who could be shot for not working. It is not known how many or even if workers were indeed shot, but alongside the track are some small graveyards with dead railway workers, most of whom died in accidents.

There is now fast-train service between Kunming and Chengdu. At present, about five high speed trains run each day each way between Chengdu and Kunming, taking around 5.5 - 6.5 hours. The normal speed trains that made the trip in 17 - 22.5 hours are no longer running. I assume the route for the fast train and the old trains is the same and the track was modified to handle the new fast trains.

Tea Houses and Food in Chengdu

null Chengdu is regarded as the center of authentic Sichuan cuisine. Several good Sichuan restaurants and countless "xiaochi" or traditional snack restaurants exist. Sichuan hot pot is a favorite. The major hotels have Western restaurants. Chengdu has a good selection of both Chinese and Western fast-food restaurants. An impressive variety of fruits and vegetables is available year round. If you look around you can find bakeries that sell French bread, croissants, cakes, and pies.

Tea drinking is an especially important part of the culture of Sichuan Province, particularly in of Chengdu, which is famous for its tea houses. The people in central Sichuan like to drink tea with a lid-covered teacup. The lid-covered tea invented in Chengdu is unique.

Chengdu's teahouses are famous throughout China. The city has thousands of them. Formally patronized mainly by men conducting business, they now cater to everyone and serve as gathering place sort of like cafes in Paris. There is a wide variety of tea houses, ranging from small hile-in-the-wall style places to elaborate, parkside joints with Chinese opera performances. [Source: letstravelchina.com)

Sichuan Province is one of the oldest tea production spots in China, so the activities related with tea are quite rich. There were around 700 of tea houses in Chengdu before the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949. Covered bowl tea is characteristic of these tea houses. In a traditional Sichuan tea house, a tea master serves the tea in red copper teapot with a tin saucer, and a covered bowl made of Jingdezhen porcelain. The stools and bamboo chairs in the tea house enable customers to savor their tea in sitting or lying positions. After the guests come in, they can view and admire the tea making. The tea master displays the tea set on a table. Then he carries a large teapot in one hand, and turns over the cover with the other hand, making the tea and covering the teacup. The whole process is surprisingly fast and no single drop of water is spilled on the table. The covered bowl tea set not only keep the tea hot, but also allows one regulate the temperature through opening and closing the lid. One can immediately drink the tea, or savor it slowly. The strong tea fragrance warms the hearts of Chinese as much as drinking the tea itself.

Shopping in Chengdu

Chengdu has its share of malls with up scale boutiques and brand names such as and Cartier, Zegna and Hugo Boss. There are street markets between Renmin and Hongxing Streets with dumplings, lychees, blue-skinned chickens and pet crickets for sale. In the alleys of the old neighborhoods you can find fortunetellers and fireworks hawkers.

Jinli is a popular commercial and dining area resembling with traditional western Sichuan style architecture. "Jinli" is the name of an old street in Chengdu dating from the Han dynasty and means "making perfection more perfect".In the Jinli area you can find teahouses, restaurants, bars, theatres, handicraft stores, local snack vendors, and specialty shops. IFS Chengdu Mall is one of the city’s largest and glitziest shopping malls.

Chunxi Road is the most crowded shopping district in Chengdu, hosting more than a million visitors on summer weekends. The shops in the street sell brand name foreign goods and a variety of Chinese products. The road has been redeveloped around a group of plazas stretching out across three or four city blocks, which include high and low-class shopping districts, restaurants and bars and hundreds of other shops.

Songxianqiao Art Town is the largest artworks market in Southwest china. The buildings here are in the styles of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and blend tourism, shopping, art and history appreciation, relics, exhibitions of folk customs and traditional houses, and recreation and entertainment. Location: No. 22, Huanhua North Road. Getting There: Take No. 4, 5, 54, 93, or 98 bus…

Sights in Chengdu

Chengdu has good food, some interesting temples and lovely gardens particularly those associated with Du Fu, one of China's most famous poets. There are tea houses where locals while away the entire afternoon and trendy shopping areas like Chunxi Street. Sights within a several hours' drive are Emei Shan, Le Shan, Dujiangyan Irrigation Works, and the Wolong Panda Reserve.

Sights in Chengdu include the Taoist Monastery of Qingyang Gond; the Living Water garden, a natural filtration system for a local river that is now part of a sculpture garden and park; the thatched cottage of Du Fu (western Chengdu); and Wenshu Shrine (southern Chengdu), a Buddhist temple complex with several shrines, stele, statues of historical figures and ancient instruments;

In Wangjianglou Park you can see a lotus-flowered pond, afternoon ballroom dancers and morning tai chi masters. From the River Viewing Pavilion you can see the Jin River. The People's Park is a good place to people watch. The Sanxingdui museum (See Near Chengdu) outside of town has an interesting collection of ancient sculptures and masks from Sanxingdu culture. Chengdu has two Protestant churches and one Chinese Catholic cathedral. All services are conducted in Chinese. Mass is said in Latin. There are two mosques.

Sichuan University was named one the ten most beautiful universities in China. It is one of the oldest universities in China and ranked No. 8 among Chinese universities according to the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities. The 470-hectare Huaxi Campus is famous for its bell tower and the lotus blossoms that cover its lake in summer. Its buildings include grand modern teaching centers as well as older steepled buildings.The whole campus is among lawns and trees.

Du Fu's Thatched Cottage

Du Fu's Thatched Cottage is a reminder of Tang Dynasty (618-906). During that period art, literature and music flourished. Of special note were the Tang Dynasty Poets, who are still revered today. One of the most famous, Du Fu, lived in Chengdu for five years. His home, a simple thatched cottage, is a well-visited attraction in town.

According to Columbia University's Asia for Educators: “Du Fu (712-770) is among the most celebrated poets of the Tang. He served as an official (although never in the high-ranking posts that he hoped for). He also lived through the An Lushan Rebellion, being taken prisoner by the rebels in 756 and escaping to rejoin the Tang court the next year. [Source: Asia for Educators, Columbia University, Primary Sources with DBQs, afe.easia.columbia.edu <|>]

Du Fu was a heavy drinker like Li Po but otherwise he was very different. Carrie Gracie of the BBC wrote: he “aspired to a career as a civil servant, but he failed the exam and was too prickly to network his way into a good post. Then came a rebellion led by a general, An Lushan, and eight years of civil war. Du Fu fled the Tang capital, Xian, only to be captured and then to wander as a refugee and exile until the rebel general was assassinated by his own son, and everyone could go home. After this, he finally wangled a government post… but not for long, as Burton Watson explains. "He got an official position but he immediately did something to annoy the emperor or spoke out too openly on social problems, again and again writing poems that were critical of the regime. And he was shunted aside from his official position." [Source: Carrie Gracie, BBC News, October 9, 2012]

In his later years, Du Fu was so poor that one of his children died of starvation. He wrote a famous poem about a gale that blew the thatched roof off his cottage, over the river and into the tree-tops, allowing rain to fall on his children in their beds. Du Fu writes that he could not sleep, and fell to pondering life's injustices.

Du Fu was left us more left than 1,400 extant poems. He seen as a Confucian moralist with a strict sense of duty toward society. His poems inspired many Chinese painters. Dr. Robert Eno of Indiana University wrote: Du Fu “was the epitome of the Tang literatus, and perhaps the greatest poet in China's history. Despite his brilliant mastery of the Confucian classics, Du Fu did not have the type of scholastic drive to be successful in the Confucian exam system. His career failed to advance during his youth, and eventually he fell in with Li Bo, dissipating his early political promise in a dissolute, Daoist life style. Later, Du Fu returned to his Confucian family roots and for many years sought an official position by courting potential patrons with his poems. Eventually, he secured a position, but not until the eve of the great rebellion of 755, which threw his life into chaos. In the end, Du Fu's many adventures in poetry, politics, and the retirement of a hermit produced a deep and mature synthesis of Confucian, Daoist, and Buddhist perspectives in his poetry. [Source: Robert Eno, Indiana University indiana.edu /+/

New Century Global Center: World's Largest Building

New Century Global Center(Tianfu New Area, Metro Line 1) is a multipurpose building that holds the distinction of being the world's largest building in terms of floor area. The 100-meter (330 feet)-tall structure is 500 by 400 meters (1,600 by 1,300 feet) in size with 1,700,000 square meters (18,000,000 square feet) of floor space. The Boeing Everett Factory in Everett, Washington, in the United States is the largest building in terms of volume, while AvtoVAZ main assembly building has the largest footprint. New Century Global Center will eventually face the Chengdu Contemporary Arts Center, designed by famed Bagdad-born architect Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016.

New Century Global Center houses offices, conference rooms, a university complex, two commercial centers, an IMAX cinema and a pirate ship and an Olympic-size skating rink. The centerpiece of the building is the "Paradise Island Water Park" with a ), with a 5,000 square meter (54,000 square foot) artificial beach, backed by a giant 150 by 40 meter (490 by 130 foot) screen forms a horizon offering sunrises and sunsets. At night, a stage extends out over the pool for concerts. A platform overlooking the pool has a food court and entrance underneath at the floor level. The Intercontinental Hotel has 1,009 rooms spread over 6x8 story blocks around the edge of the complex.

After it opened, Associated Press reported: “Move aside Dubai. China now has what is billed as the world's largest building — a vast, wavy rectangular box of glass and steel...The mammoth New Century Global Center has 1.7 million square meters (19 million square feet) of floor space — or about 329 football fields — edging out the previous record-holder, the Dubai airport. [Source: Associated Press, July 12, 2013]

“The New Century project is a sign that China's growth has spread from the country's more prosperous eastern and southern regions to the west, where wages are lower and the central government has encouraged development with subsidies and tax breaks. With its booming economy, China has become home to some of the largest and tallest buildings in the world. Backed by local governments, the building in a planned urban district south of Chengdu aims to boost the global stature of the capital city of Sichuan province.

“The centerpiece of the building is a water park with a 400-meter coast and beaches under a gigantic glass dome. Up to 6,000 visitors at a time will be able to sunbathe, play in a wave pool, sip cocktails or feast on seafood. A 150-meter-by-40-meter LED screen will rise above a section of water with videos of an ocean horizon. The center includes two five-star hotels as well as high-end boutiques set in a replica of a Mediterranean town under faux blue skies. The shopping section has been open to the public since late June, though the building's office space has been occupied for some time. The building also has a 14-screen movie theater and an ice rink.”

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (10 kilometers from central Chengdu on Panda Road) is one of China's premier panda research center and the best place to observe the beloved animals. The animals are kept in animal-friendly enclosures that replicate their natural habitats. The best times to view the pandas is between 8:30am and 10:00am during feeding time when the pandas are most active.. Some times the best views are obscured by vegetation. Around the center are walking paths and gardens.

The Research Center pioneered many techniques that have improved the survival chances of pandas and boasts the world's most successful panda breeding program after the one in Wolong (See Below). Many of the giant pandas here were produced through artificial insemination. The Giant Panda Museum offers information on the history of pandas, their physiology, habits and behavior.

The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding has grown from 10 hectares and six pandas in the 1990s to 70 hectares and over 100 pandas today. .For the last several years, it has welcomed about half a million tourists a year. In 2005, the 37-hectare facility contained 48 pandas in a series of compounds and several dozen red pandas and other rare species such as black-necked cranes. Tour guides at the base say that more than half of the visitors are non-Chinese, many of whom are willing to fork out 1,000 yuan (US$150) to be photographed holding a giant panda cub on a wooden bench for one minute.

Shuijing Street Liquor Making Site

Shuijing Street Liquor Making Site (No. 15 to No. 23 of Shuijing Street, Jinjiang District, Chengdu) is one of the Sites for Liquor Making in China that was nominated to be a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. According to a report submitted to UNESCO: “Shuijing Street Liquor Making Site is the first site of ancient spirits brewing workshop that has been scientifically excavated in China. The total area of this site is more than 1700 square meters, with altogether 280 square meters of which has been excavated since 8998. The found relics of brewage facilities have relative complete categories (including 3 air-curing terraces, 8 bodegas, 4 cooking pits, 4 ash pits and some other relics, such as distillatory base, roadbed, wood column, etc.) and are well preserved. Besides, there has unearthed lots of shreds of white-and-blue porcelains. The ages of the air-curing terraces respectively belong to the Ming and Qing Dynasties and even modern times. The fruit of the site excavation indicates that there had appeared considerable mature distilled spirits brewing technology in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) as the latest. [Source: State Administration of Cultural Heritage, People’s Republic of China]

“Shuijing Street Distillery Site is a quite precious material evidence for the research scope of brewage craftwork. From the abundant sorts of brewage traces and numerous relics of food and beverage utensils unearthed from the site, the whole flow of the traditional spirits brewing craftwork can be reproduced. It is also one of the important fruits of Chinese city archaeology in recent years, which has greatly enriched the contents and research subjects of Chengdu's city archaeology. Especially the layout of "store in the front, distillery in the rear" has great academic values for discussing the distribution, special structure and evolving characteristics and rules of the urban handicraft industry of Chengdu in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, as well as realizing the development status of city industry and commerce and the society at that time.

“Shuijing Street Liquor Making Site was originated from the Middle Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) and continued to modern times. The superposed layers of Ming, Qing and modern times are the proof of the authenticity of its ages. The excavated air-curing terraces of Shuijing Street Liquor Making Site form a superposition of three ages of Ming, Qing and modern times, and some bodegas of the site are continuously used till today, all of these reflect the entire inheriting of special equipments and craftworks. A site protection and management office was established in 1999 and a conservation master plan of the site is being drafted.

“Among the Chinese thick-aroma liquor workshop sites, Shuijing Street Liquor Making Site is the earliest, most representative and most well preserved one. Chengdu is listed in the first batch of famous historical and cultural cities proclaimed by the State Council of China and is one of the ten ancient capitals of China. In the history of China and among the Chinese big cities, Shuijing Street Liquor Making Site is a typical representative of the traditional brewage workshops and craftworks, and it is the one that synthesizes all the strong points of the famous liquors of urban culture.

Location: from No. 15 to No. 23 of Shuijing Street, Jinjiang District, Chengdu City, Sichuan Province. It is about 150 meters away to the west of Fuhe River and about 350 meters away to the north of Jinjiang River, with the eastern boundary extending to Jinquan Street, the southwestern boundary extending to Huangshan Alley and the northern boundary extending to Shuijin Street. Coordinates: N30 42 E104 10. The location of the site was formerly the liquor workshop of Sichuan Quanxing Distillery. During March to April of 1999, Chengdu Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and Sichuan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology jointly launched an all-round archaeological excavation of this site, with an excavated area of 280 square meters, and determined the age of it was from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) to modern times.

Temple of Marquis Wu

Temple of Marquis Wu (southern suburbs of Chengdu) was built in memory of Zhuge Liang (181-234), prime minister of the State of Shu during the Three Kingdoms period (A.D. 220-280). It is the most famous temple to commemorate Zhuge Liang, Liu Bei and other heroes of the State of Shu, the only temple for the worship of both the king and his high-ranking official, and the most important museum of the historical relics related to the Three Kingdoms period.

The Temple of Marquis Wu is tucked away among beautiful cypress trees, and faces south. Along the central axial line, there are a number of architectural structures, such as the front gate, the second gate, Hall of Liu Bei, Passage Hall and Hall of Zhuge Liang. The graveyard of Liu Bei is on the western side. In the temple, tourists can find 47 clay sculptures of the historical figures of the Shu Han, more than 50 steles, over 60 plaques, and over 10 ancient cooking vessels, stoves, bells and drums.

The newly established “Three Kingdoms Culture” Exhibition Area is composed of two parts; the exhibition hall and the external environment. The external environment consists of the Sanfen Bridge, mythological animals, auspicious sculpted animals, spirit beasts, the broken pillars of the Han Palace and “Fighting for the State” and “Immortal at the River” (a stone carving on the broken wall) and a carved stone preface. The exhibition hall falls into five parts: 1) the Stormy Situation of War, 2) Farming, 3) Sericulture, 4) Lingering Customs and 5) Lifestyle of the Past. Location: 231 Wuhouci Street Wuhou, Tel: 0086-28-85552397 Getting There: Buses Nos. 1, 10, 57, 82 and 301.

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons, Nolls China Web site; CNTO; Perrochon photo site; Beifan.com; University of Washington; Ohio State University; UNESCO; Wikipedia; Julie Chao photo site

Text Sources: CNTO (China National Tourist Organization), China.org, UNESCO, reports submitted to UNESCO, Wikipedia, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, China Daily, Xinhua, Global Times, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Compton's Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Updated in July 2020


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