Chengdu Cultural Snapshot

Population 3.9 million
Cuisine Sichuan
Signature dishes mapo tofu   (tofu and ground pork cooked in chilli paste, chilli oil and chilli flakes), kungpao chicken (chicken pieces, peanuts and leeks cooked in dried chilli), Sichuan hotpot
Wine Culture Late development compared to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou but with steady continuous market growth, currently 80% wines purchased domestic and 20% foreign
Wine Duty Approximately 48%

Chengdu is well known for its beautiful landscape, with the lofty Emei Mountains as backdrop and situated in the middle of reaches of the Minjiang River on a fertile plain known as “Kingdom of Heaven.” The city is often referred to as the “Paris of the Orient, ” proclaimed as one of the 24 cultural and historical cities by the People’s Republic of China’s State Council. With a dense network of rivers running through it, the city is dotted with many picturesque bridges. This ancient capital of the Sichuan province is famous for the “Four Treasures” of traditional crafts—embroidery, brocade, lacquer and gold and silver ware.

With a rich history of over 2,300 years, Chengdu offers many ancient cultural attractions. Wuhou Memorial Hall entombs the legendary King Liu Bei of Shu and his trusted minister Zhuge Liang from the period of the Three Kingdoms. The “Golden Summit,” a temple built by Prince Zhu Mo during the Ming dynasty using 150kg of gold, is considered one of the most important pilgrimage destination for Chinese Buddhists around the world.

Chengdu is also a centre for Sichuan food, famous for its strong seasoning and infamous for its spicy locals peppers. The unique Sichuan flavour comes from of two kinds of peppers— spicy la jiao and fragrant hua jiao —which is known to create a potent tongue-numbing ma la effect and aused in many of the 5,000 Sichuan dishes.

A city of historical and modern day importance, Chengdu continues to serves as one of China’s main centres for industry specialising in food, medicine, machinery, and information technology. It has maintained a sustainable level of development earning it the reputation of one of the most liveable cities in China according to a recent survey.