When you book a China Flight for your China Tours, here are the tips and travel information you may need. Chengdu is your choice.

Chengdu, located in southwest People’s Republic of China, is the capital of Sichuan provinceand a sub-provincial city. Chengdu is also one of the most important economic centers, transportation and communication hubs in Western China. According to the 2007 Public Appraisal for Best Chinese Cities for Investment, Chengdu was chosen as one of the top ten cities to invest in out of a total of 280 urban centers in China.

More than four thousand years ago, the prehistorical Bronze Age culture of Jinsha established itself in this region. The fertile Chengdu Plain, on which Chengdu is located, is calledTianfuzhi guo  in Chinese, which literally means “the country of heaven”, or more often seen translated as “the Land of Abundance”. It was recently named China’s 4th-most livable city by China Daily.

Chengdu has a humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cwa) and is largely mild and humid. Chengdu is situated at the western edge of the Sichuan Basinand is therefore sheltered from northwest winds from Siberia in winter by the Qinling Mountains to the north; the short winter is milder than in the Lower Yangtze because of the sheltering effect of the Qinling. Snow is rare but there are a few periods of frost each winter. The summer is hot and humid, but not to the extent of the “Three Furnaces” cities of Wuhan, Nanjing, and Chongqing in the Yangtze basin. July and August average around 25 °C (77 °F), with afternoon highs sometimes reaching 33 °C (91 °F). January averages 5.6 °C (42.1 °F). Rainfall is common year-round but peaks in July and August. Chengdu also has one of the lowest sunshine totals in China (less sunshine annually than London), and most days are cloudy and overcast even if without rain. This is especially so in the winter months, when it is typically interminably grey and dreary, compounding the poor air quality. Spring (March-April) tends to be sunnier and warmer than autumn (October-November).

Mapo doufu, or mapo tofu, is a popular Chinese dish from the Sichuan (Szechuan) province. It is a combination of tofu (bean curd) set in a spicy chili- and bean-based sauce, typically a thin, oily, and bright red suspension, and often topped with minced meat, usually pork or beef. Variations exist with other ingredients such as water chestnuts, onions, other vegetables, or wood ear fungus, but these are rarely considered authentic Sichuanese.

One of the most famous variations is the Sichuan or Szechuan hot pot, to which a special spice known as huā jiāo is added. It creates a sensation on the tongue that is both spicy and burns and numbs slightly, almost like carbonated beverages. It was usual to use a variety of different meats as well as sliced mutton fillet. A Sichuan hotpot is markedly different from the types eaten in other parts of China. Quite often the differences lie in the meats used, the type of soup base, and the sauces and condiments used to flavor the meat. The cities of Chengdu and Chongqing are also famous for their different kinds of huǒ guō. “Sì Chuān huǒ guō” could be used to distinguish from simply “huǒ guō” in cases when people refer to the “Northern Style Hot Pot” in China. “Shuàn yáng ròu”, could be viewed as representative of this kind of food, which does not focus on the soup base.

Click on chinatraveldepot.com for more information about your China Tours.

Jack Li
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