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Known as the home of the Giant Panda and China's most laidback and charming city, Chengdu as capital of Sichuan province is the gateway to China's west. Made rich from the production of silk brocade that was exported as far as Rome, and then as a printing centre where the world’s first paper money was produced, Chengdu has always been a prosperous place. Today, a thoroughly modern city and a centre for business, industry and education, Chengdu has kept its cheerful and mellow atmosphere thanks to its plentiful parks and laidback, teahouse culture.
There are many reasons to visit Chengdu, the sights of Sichuan province, such as Mt Emei and the Grand Buddha, are many of them, but the big ones are the iconic giant panda and food. The famous Chengdu Panda Base provides the perfect opportunity to observe these adorable bears eating, playing and relaxing in surroundings that are very similar to their natural habitat in the bamboo forests of Sichuan. To the people of Sichuan as a whole, food is one of life's most important things - that's why Chengdu has one of the highest densities of restaurants in the world, and was designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, Asia's first, in 2010. From street snacks to hot pots, the fiery flavours of Chengdu's food are unsurpassed.
We all enjoy a good fact or two - here are a few useful ones about Chengdu:
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