Sichuan (Four rivers) Province is an important and interesting Province. It is surrounded by mountain ranges that form a natural basin. It is a large province, about the size of France and with a much higher population. Known as the ‘rice bowl’ of China it very heavily farmed with every precious parcel of land under cultivation. The warm climate and access to water from its many rivers make irrigation easy. The Sichuan (Szechwan in Wade Giles) cuisine is widely praised for its use of chilli and spices. It is famous as the birthplace of Deng Xiaoping and the home to some of the few remaining Giant Pandas.
Popular Cities: Chengdu, Yibin, Mianyang, Nanchong, Leshan, Luzhou
Average temperature: in January, 3ºC to 8ºC (37.4°F to 46.4°F) in the lowlands, -9ºC to 3ºC (15.8°F to 37.4°F) on the plateau, and 8ºC to 13ºC (46.4°F to 55.4°F) in the south; in July, 25ºC to 29ºC (77°F to 84.2°F) in the lowlands, 11ºC to 17ºC (51.8°F to 62.6°F) on the plateau, and 22ºC to 26ºC (71.6°F to 78.8°F) in the south.
Places to visit
1. As the capital city, Chengdu is located in the hinterland of Chengdu Plain, which is the largest plain in South Western China. It is praised as the Land of Abundance. Chengdu is also one of the first groups of leading historical and cultural cities with national renown and a key tourist city. Renmin Park is famous for its tea house while Wangjiang Park has an impressive collection of different kinds of bamboo. Memorial Temple of Zhuge Liang (Wuhou Temple) is surrounded by a park and cypresses.
2. Emei Shan Mountain, one of the most sacred Buddhist mountains in China with a steady stream of Chinese pilgrims; Described by poets as ‘Beauty under Heaven’ the mountain has captured the imagination for centuries. Mount Emei rises to an impressive 10,167 feet [3,099 meters] high; Baoguo Buddhist Temple is at the foot of the long 39 miles [63 kms] hike to the summit. It has 4,700 figures and a complete Huayan sutra. Some way up is the Qingyin Pavilion and at the summit the mist often gives an iridescent halo. On the way down Wannian Temple is another viewing point where there is a 62 tons [56,245 kgs] bronze Buddha from the Song dynasty.
3. Further south Leshan is a busy agricultural city with historic sites nearby – chiefly it is famous for its Giant Buddha ‘Dafo’ (233 feet [71 meters]) carved into a cliff. Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area, has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
4. Jiuzhaigou is famous for natural view in Jiuzhaigou Valley and Huanglong Scenic Area. Besides, Jiuzhaigou is a national geopark because of the geological relics, calcified pools, flows and waterfall as well as forests resource. Nowadays, more and more foreign visitors are attracted to visit by the fairland-like view in Jiuzhaigou. Huanglong was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1992 and listed in the World Human and Biosphere Reserve by the UN in 2000.
5. Wanglang Nature Reserve 25 miles [40 kms] northwest of Chengdu is home to the captive breeding program for Giant Pandas; there are a number of other animals that can be seen there too.
6. An Ancient Plank Road at Guangyuan guards the strategic mountain pass through to Shaanxi. Further west Kangding lies close to the impressive mountain of Gongga Shan the highest peak in Sichuan 24,790 feet [7,556 meters]. Dege has a Tibetan Lamasery and library.
7. Qingchengshan, Dujiangyan National Park has ancient Daoist relics. In 2000, UNESCO included Mount Qingcheng, together with the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, on its World Heritage List.
8. Yading is a nation-level reserve in Daocheng County, it boasts a beautiful alpine valley scenery. The reserve covers an area of 1,344 square kilometers (134,400 hectares), with Chenrezig being its highest peak at 6,032 meters above sea level. The reserve’s particular geographical environment, in addition to its alpine springs, carries with it a rather humid climate with rich vegetation covering the land, creating unique scenic sights. Yading’s amazing scenery has won itself the titles of “the last Shangri-La” and “the last pure land on the blue planet.”