Chengdu is a famous tourist city.
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Chengdu (the brocade city “锦官城”简称“锦城” or the hibiscus city 芙蓉城) has a long history. As early of 2,500 years ago, the Shu Kingdom in the Spring and Autumn period (770-476 BC) made Chengdu its capital. (the excavations of both Shaxingdui and Jinsha Ruins prove that rulers of the ancient Shu Kingdom established its political and cultural center in Chengdu more than 3,000 years ago) Since then, Chengdu has been the capital of six kingdoms and has been the political, economic and cultural center in Sichuan Province.
In 256 BC, Sichuan Governor Li Bing built Dujiangyan Irrigation Project. Thanks to the project, the Chengdu Plain bid farewell to droughts and floods and became one of China’s most fertile agricultural bases. It has been known as the “land of abundance” for more than 2 millenniums now because of its rich supply of farm produce.
The city is located in 30.05 to 31.26 degrees latitude north and 102.54 to 104.53 degrees longitude east. It is typical of a sub-tropical humid monsoon climate. The annual average temperature in Chengdu is 15.5℃ and the average precipitation is 997 millimeters. Its terrain slopes from northwest to southeast. Plains, hills and mountains account for 40.30 and 30 per cent of the total area respectively. Its average elevation is 500 meters. The highest point is 5,364 meters and the lowest being 387 meters. More than 40 rivers including the Minjiang River 岷江 and the Tuojiang River run across the city with a water volume of 26.4 billion cubic meters.
Chengdu was one of the first 24 famous historical and cultural cities of China in 1982. The city has 7 districts, 4 county-level cities and eight counties in its jurisdiction, encompassing 11,936 square kilometers with a population of 10.04 million, of whom 3.3 million living in the city. The eastern part of the city is the industrial quarter, home to the city’s major large enterprises. The southern part is the research and education quarter, home to key higher education institutes, scientific research institutions and the Chengdu High-tech Development Zone. The western part is the trading and entertainment quarter, the northern part is the processing quarter, and the downtown area is the center of politics, culture and finance.
Chengdu has developed industries and is an important industrial base in southwest China. Its major industries include electronics, machinery, foods, metallurgy, chemicals, textiles and construction. The city is also southwest China’s powerhouse in terms of high-tech industries such as electronic information, biological pharmaceuticals, neo materials, integration of photo-mechanic-electronic technologies, and environmental protection technologies.
Shu (Sichuan) embroidery蜀绣 together with Xiang (Hunan) embroidery 湘绣, Yue (Guangdong) embroidery 粤绣 and Su (Suzhou) embroidery 苏绣 are reputed as the four most famous embroideries in China.
Shuangliu International Airport in Chengdu is one of the six biggest airports in Chinaand a transport hub in the country’s western areas. There are over 260 international and domestic routes. The city is one of the seven largest telecommunications switching centers in China.
During the past few decades, the city has formed a transportation network consisting of good roads, railways and airplanes. The Chengdu-Kunming, Baoji-Chengdu, Chengdu-Chongqing and Chengdu-Daxian railways converge in the city. The completion of the Nanning-Kunming Railway has made Chengdu accessible to the seaports in South China.
There are 22 colleges and universities, and more than 540,000technicians available in the city.
Information technologies, engineering, medicine and food have become pillar industries in Chengdu.
Chengdu is also a famous tourist city. It has two State-level, seven provincial and two city-level scenic spots, three State-level and two provincial-level forest parks, one state-level and two provincial-level natural reserves.
The Temple of Zhuge Liang 武侯嗣
Encompassing 37,000 square meters, the Temple of Zhuge Liang is located in the southern suburbs of Chengdu, enclosed by red walls where there are spacious buildings shaded by towering old cypresses. Typical of ancient Chinese architecture, these from the Temple dedicated to the memory of Zhuge Liang (181-234), the Chinese famous statesman and strategist of the 3rd century who personified wisdom in Chinese legends. By helping to establish the State of Shu (221-263) and serving as its Prime Minister, he contributed to the unification of southwest China and so to its economic and cultural development. It contains also the tomb of Liu Bei (161-223, reigned 221-223), the first ruler of the State of Shu. Tourists will find statues of Liu Bei and Zhge Liang as well as a multitude of steles, wooden inscriptions placed on lintels, charcoal braziers, bronze tripod vessels, bells, and a drum used by Zhuge Liang in battle. These articles are important in studying the history of the State of Shu.
TV Tower in Chengdu 成都电视塔
A 339-meter-tall Television Tower was completed on March 23, 2004 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. It is the tallest Tower in western China, the fourth highest in China (the other three being Shanghai East Pearl TV Tower—468 meters in height, the third highest in the world; Tianjin TV Tower, 415.2 meters in height, the fourth highest in the world, No 2 in Asia and in China; China Central Television (CCTV) Tower, 405 meters in height, the fifth highest in the world and No 3 in Asia and in China) and seventh highest (the other six being the 553.33-meter-high Toronto Tower, Canada, the 533-meter-high Moscow TV Tower, Russia, the 468-meter-high Shanghai East Pearl TV Tower, the 415.2-meter-high Tianjin TV Tower, the 405-meter-high CCTV Tower, Beijing, the 368-meter-high Berlin TV Tower, Germany) in the world. Construction started in 1992, but had to stop due to lack of funds. Work resumed in 1998. It opened to the public in early 2005. The view from the top of the TV Tower sweeps over the whole city and down the Chengdu Plain.
Wangjiang (Overlooking the River) Tower Park 望江楼公园
The 12-hectare (29.6-acre) park lies east of the Zhuge Liang Memorial Temple and beyond the campuses of Southwest China Institute for Nationalities, Sichuan University and other institutions of higher learning. The Tang-dynasty poetess Xue Tao薛涛 (?-c.834) lived here and is said to have used water from a well that has remained to this day for making the dark-red paper she wrote her poetry on. Thins paper, called “Xue Tao Paper,” became very popular.
A path lined with green bamboo leads to the ancient overlooking tower. Both the flowers and bamboo in the park flourish in great variety. The bamboo includes every valuable species native to Sichuan Province and more than 30 kinds from South China and Japan. Some species have thick foliage, others have nodes at the roots, while one species has straight slender leaves, resembling the tail of the legendary phoenix. Every path here is shaded with bamboo, and every pavilion surrounded by groves of it. The very rays of sunlight that filter through the bamboo seem to be tinted green.
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