Welcome to Chengdu (成都), also known as the Brocade City, the Lotus City, the Panda City, and the City of Hibiscus. The face of Chengdu has been constantly changing during its history of more than 2300 years. Classic Chinese architecture is hard to find downtown as the new, affluent class of southwest China prefers modern skyscrapers. Still, Chengdu is an excellent urban locale to take a break during a likely tiresome, yet awe-inspiring travel through Sichuan province and neighboring Yunnan and Tibet. Foreigners truly love living in Chengdu, a fully modernized city with a fraction the cost of living of eastern giants like Beijing or Shanghai. The most beautiful parts of China await you outside Chengdu, but Synotrip urges you to smile at a panda or two, sweat out some spicy food, and bask in the leisurely lifestyle of the local Chengdu residents before you go.
Chairman Mao is never forgotten as he overlooks Tianfu Square, the heart of Chengdu. Local citizens flock to the square to relax amidst the crowds on weekends.
Throughout China Sichuan province is extremely well-known for its cuisine. Chengdu has plenty of Western restaurants as well, but these locales are better suited to foreigners living in Chengdu who need the occasional break from the Sichuan diet. Travelers with only a few days to spend in Chengdu should try as many of the local dishes as possible. Use the "Guide to Chengdu Eats" to help you get started. And by the way, I hope you’ve got at least some tolerance for spicy food...