10 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Sichuan

10 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Sichuan

These are my 10 interesting facts you should know about Sichuan, a place I lived in for 2 years. Do you want to see pandas? Well then Sichuan should be on your radar if you visit China. Sichuan is an incredible place for a start of a China holiday. To the west Sichuan there is natural beauty and wonderfully tall mountains, and the lowlands are steeped in history. One of the more interesting facts about Chengdu is that the city is famous for producing the most beautiful girls! This big province is brimming with history, culture, and astounding natural beauty.

10 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Sichuan

Here are 10 interesting facts about Sichuan you should know before you visit.

  • Sichuan and Germany are almost identical in 2 ways.

Sichuan is slightly larger than Germany with a similar population. The size of Sichuan Province is 485,000 km², or 187,000 mi², a little larger than Germany. More than 84,500,000 (2020) people live there.

Chengdu, is the biggest city in Sichuan with almost 16.5 million people, and is ranked 7th in size in China. Many Chinese people think Chengdu is the most laid back of the larger cities in China.

10 Amazing Facts You Should Know About Sichuan

  • Chengdu has several ancient historical highlights.

When I first arrived in Sichuan in 2004, Sanxingdui fascinated me. The astonishing amount and quality of the Sanxingdui bronze art masterpieces was amazing. Sichuan has more than 3000 years of history starting with the impressive Sanxingdui period. Sichuan is a place history buffs will love.

Three Thousand Year Old Large Bronze Mask Statue – Sanxingdui

A visit to Sichuan wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a Sanxingdui Museum. This 3,000 year old bronze age civilization was only discovered by archaeologists in Sichuan by accident in 1986. A farmer discovered a hole in his field and the rest is history. It is located about 40 kilometers north east of Chengdu. It has the world’s oldest life size human statue among other amazing bronze treasures. A smaller museum dedicated to Sanxingdui called the Jinsha Museum is located in Chengdu. If you don’t want to travel out of the city.

Chengdu is Full of History

Another fascinating thing to see near Chengdu is the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project. This is one of the greatest irrigation projects of ancient China. It was built in 256 B.C. to prevent flooding from the Min River a tributary of the Yangtze river and for irrigation. The Yangtze is one of the longest rivers in the world. It is still in use today. Along with seeing this outstanding ancient engineering achievement, the natural beauty of the area is worth the trip alone!

  • Western and Northern Sichuan’s mountain natural parks.

One of the highest mountains in the world is Gongga Shan (Shan means mountain). It’s the highest peak in Sichuan at 7,556 meters. Sichuan has a mountainous plateau in the west and mountains in the north and south east. The northern mountains are the tallest and for me the most beautiful. They are located on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau.

The most famous national parks in the area of northern Sichuan are Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong. Most of Jiuzhaigou is well above 2,000 meters, and Huanglong is even higher at over 3,200 meters. I suffered a little from altitude sickness when I visited. So it’s best to acclimatize yourself in a one of the high valley towns for a couple of days before venturing higher in to the mountains.

10 Fascinating Facts You Should Know About Sichuan

  • In the western mountains regions of Sichuan you will experience distinct weather variations, but the lowland has milder weather. The eastern lowlands have a subtropical monsoon climate and are often cloudy or foggy. Chengdu lies in a basin area, it is common to hear people comment that they think Chengdu’s weather is even cloudier and foggier than London’s.

Chengdu temperatures vary from 22 °C (70 °F) and 30 °C (85 °F) in July and August. However the temperatures in January, drop to an average of around 10 °C (50 °F), and at night it drops even lower to as low as 3 °C (37 °F).

  • Experience the Tibetan culture in Sichuan without going to Tibet.

You can see the Tibetan yaks and herders at Xinduqiao near Kangding. The Tibetan people are native to the north western mountain areas. They were once part of the large Tibetan Empire that had their capital in Lhasa. Unlike their Tibetan cousins, most have lost much of their distinctive culture.

However, the Tibetans around Kangding have retained more than most of their traditional culture. If you have no chance to visit Tibet, you could visit this ancient Tibetan market town on the old Tea Horse Road bordering Tibet. There are Tibetan Buddhist temples such as the Dege Lamasery, and you can see Tibetan people dressed in traditional clothes and experience the Tibetan lifestyle.

  • Sichuan Opera is an important part of Sichuan culture.

An important part of Sichuan culture is Sichuan and you can watch it while you are there, the most popular and comedic performances feature masterful actors who can rapidly change their masks.

10 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Sichuan

  • Probably the most famous meal in Sichuan is Sichuan Hotpot.

Sichuan hotpot (火锅 huǒguō), also known as Chinese fondue outside of China, is the most popular food in Sichuan and every street will have many restaurants for you to choose from. It consists of a simmering metal pot filled with broth placed at the center of your table and the raw ingredients, placed beside the metal pot so that people can add and cook whatever they like in the broth.

Sichuan Hotpot

Of all the regional styles of Chinese cuisine, Sichuan cuisine is probably one of the most famous worldwide, though if probably won’t be served with so much chili and numbing peppercorns outside of China.

  • Sichuan is convenient for transportation.

Sichuan currently has over 22 airports, and more are under construction. These will land you safely in top destinations all over the province including Jiuzhai Huanglong Airport which is one of the world’s highest airports at an altitude of around 3,500 meters.

Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is considered an air travel hub in the region and is China’s fourth busiest airport. Though Sichuan is in south west China, far from the major cities in the east, it is still easily accessible by air.

High speed trains are now a very common and convenient method of travel in China. Now there are inter-province high speed train lines from Chengdu to Xi’an taking about about 1.5 hours, Shanghai 13 to 16 hours,it’s very far away! Chongqing is about 2 hours and intercity lines to Leshan, Mount Emei, Dujiangyan and to other nearby cities makes travel faster, safer, and with lots of sightseeing along the way.

10 Facts You Should Know About Sichuan

  • The Ya’an region was an important part of a centuries-old trade route.

If you know your Chinese tea history then you will know that one of the first tea-producing regions in Sichuan was the Ya’an region. Sichuan was an important part of the trading network of the Ancient Tea Horse Road, most often called the Southern Silk Road. It became the most important tea growing area for Tibet during and after the Song era (960–1279).

The Sichuan part of the Tea Horse Road starts from Ya’an, and goes up through Luding, Kangding, and Batang on its way west to Lhasa. Nowadays, touring the Tea Horse Road is growing in popularity.

  • Chengdu has four popular panda centres.
10 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Sichuan
Amazing Pandas in Sichuan

Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Centre is located in Chengdu with others including Dujiangyan, which is about an hour and a half drive from Chengdu, Wolong Panda centre, and Bifengxia Giant Panda centres both about two hours away. I was lucky and got to interact with the pandas when I visited a panda centre and got involved in caring for them. Now I live in Baoding, Hebei and I still get to see pandas every week as we have our very own panda centre here with 4 adult pandas. Gabriel and Aurora love seeing them.

So you like facts! Check out the link below for more amazing facts about China:

What are some cool facts about China?

10 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Sichuan
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10 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Sichuan
These are my 10 most interesting facts about Sichuan, a place I lived in for 2 years. Do you want to see pandas? Well then Sichuan should be on your radar if you visit China. Sichuan is an incredible place for a start of a China holiday.
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