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gloriajames Chengdu - A travel report by Gloria
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Chengdu,  China - flag China -  Sichuan
10375 readers

gloriajames's travel reports

China's Hidden Paradise - Sichuan Province

  33 votes
Page: 1 2
I visited the Sichuan Province during autumn and I encountered the Giant Pandas, a fairyland paradise, snow capped mountains, Tibetan culture and the famous Sichuan Hot and Sour Soup!! report of the month contest
Jan 2006

Five Coloured Lake @ Jiuzhaigou Valley
Five Coloured Lake @ Jiuzhaigou Valley
Chengdu meaning "perfect metropolis" in Chinese, is the capital of the Sichuan Province, and has a history spanning over 3,000 yrs. Despite being a city in the midst of modernization, there are many places of scenic and historcial interests and UNESCO heritage sites to captivate any visitors.

The most famous of all is the 50km long Juizhaigou Valley. Located about 460km from the city, it is accessible by coach and plane. I took the option of travelliing one way by coach and return by flight. That way you get to see and admire the scenic surroundings.

The scenery is varied during the four seasons. In the middle of Spring, the green and the flowers are beautiful. In Summer, the lakes are tranquil and mountains are azure. In Autumn, the trees are full of red and gold leaves. In Winter, time stands still in this snowy wonderland landscape.

So how did Jiuzhaigou earned the name - "Fairyland Paradise"? Legend has it that long long ago, a beautiful Goddess received a mirror from her lover. The goddess was so excited that she dropped the mirror, smashing it into 108 small pieces. Over the centuries those pieces gave birth to 108 wonderful lakes.

When at Jiuzhaigou, do the 4hr hike from the park gates to Nuorilang Falls taking in the sight of the startling blue streams, split-level waterfalls, rainbow-hued leafy stands of maple and lush pine groves. Go in the morning (as the waters are re-directed in the afternoon) and the sight of long stretch of cascading curtains of water is indeed a visual magnet. Also marvel at the Five Coloured Lake, which is simply breathtaking thanks to the spectrum of colours bouncing off the lake's crystalline surface. And if you can, dip in one of the lakes!

Other places of interest are the Huanglongxi Old Town Scenic Zone, Mount Qingcheng, Qingyang Palace, Sichuan Museum and Xiling Snow-Covered Mountains.

Favourite spots:
Huanglong -
Huanglong - "Celestial Garden on Earth".
340km from Chengdu is another paradise and a UNESCO heritage site - Huanglong. Hailed as a "Celestial Garden on Earth", this is a sight not to be missed.

The fame of Huanglong stems to a large extent from its unique travertine and limestone landform. At the foot of the snow-clad Xuebaoding Mountain lies a gully 400m deep that was brought into being by ancient glaciers. Large quantities of calcium carbonate was dissolved by melting snow water and seeped through the earth's surface to form a huge travertine deposit 3.6 kilometres long and 30-170 metres wide. The deposit is studded with 3,400 or so pools and many caves, and streaked by many waterfalls and a 2.5 km long stream looking like a yellow dragon all ready and poised for take off.

What's really great:
Adorable Giant Panda!
Adorable Giant Panda!
Wolong Panda Reserve - is the largest reserve in China and is a 3hrs drive from Chengdu. Over 200,000 hectares is home to China's national treasure - the Giant Pandas. For a fee, you can cuddle a baby panda. And why not?? And if you fall in love with one, just remember that you cant take it home with you and please settle for the soft cuddy toy instead (";)

Alternatively, you can adopt a panda by making a donation.

Other animals that you can also see are the red pandas, golden monkeys, and white-lipped deers.

Giant Buddha
Giant Buddha
1. Mt Emei - lies 140km SW from Chengdu and is famous for its 4 mountain peak that stand opposite each other and look like a pair of delicate eyebrows of a woman! [No kidding!]

2. Leshan Giant Buddha - a stone statue of 71m, is 160 km from Chengdu and is carved out of solid rock around 713AD. This is the largest Buddha statue in the world.

3. Mt Four Maiden (Si Gu Niang Shan) is crowned with snow all year round and resembles that of a youthful maiden.

4. Head to the Shunan Bamboo Sea about 400km north of Chengdu to see the hanging coffins, truly a unique sight.

5. Goddess Lake - lies 49km from the entrance of Jiuzhaiguo National Park. Legend has it that it used to be a bath site for the fairies! The scenery here is charming with the colourful ponds and misty woods. Only a max of 2,000 visitors are allowed in.

3* Hotel
3* Hotel
The recommended hotels are the following:-

3* New Jiuzhaiguo Hotel
tel : 86-837-773-4859

3* Swan Hotel
tel : 86-837-773-4011

5* Jiuzhai Paradise International Resort
tel : 86-837-778-8190.

Tibetan Cultural Show
Tibetan Cultural Show
Tibetan culture is heavily entwined with chinese culture. So please do make an effort to attend to a Tibetan and Chinese cultural show and enjoy the song and dance staged!

Dinner anyone??
Dinner anyone??
Chengdu and the outskirts offer great Sichuan cuisine. Instead of recommending any specific restaurants, cafes, pubs, or clubs, I thought that I should try something different and spice up the report. Let's go cooking! Here's the recipe for the famous Sichuan Hot and Sour Soup.

6 ounces pork tenderloin, julienned and marinate with
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp seasame oil
- 1 tsp cornstarch

then prepare the following too,
- half cup bamboo shoots
- 2 Tbsp black fungus (wood ear) or 3 -4 pcs of dried black mushrooms
- small handful of dry lily buds (abt 20)
- 6 cups of water
- 1.5 cup of chicken stock
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of granulated sugar
- 2 TBsp soy sauce
- 2 TBsp red rice vinegar or white rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 1 TBsp cornstarch dissolved in quarter cup of water
- 1 egg beaten
- 3 fresh beancurd cut in cubes
- less than 1 TBsp of white and black pepper powder
- 1 tsp sesame oil

Mirror Lake @ Jiuzhaiguo Valley
Mirror Lake @ Jiuzhaiguo Valley

Cut the pork into thin strips. Mix marinade ingredients and pork for 20 mins. Cut bamboo shoots to strips. Soak black fungus for 20 mins.

Rinse and cut thin strips. Bring water to boil. When it is boiling add pork and the vegetables. Stir in the salt, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce. Test the broth and adjust taste by adding chicken stock. Mix the cornstarch and pour it slowly into the soup stirring while adding. Let the broth come to boil. As soon as it is boiling, remove the broth from stove. Slowly drop in the beaten egg, stirring in one direction. Add the pepper to taste. Add seasame oil too. Then add in the beancurb cubes. Serve hot in small chinese bowls. If you want it spicy, drizzle chilli oil.

And now you are ready to please your guests!

Go ahead and try! Btw.. Chinese New Year is just around the corner and this will bring out the festive mood in you!

Other recommendations:
Mt Gongga & Glacier of Conch Valley
Mt Gongga & Glacier of Conch Valley
Trips made out to glaciers ie to the Glacier Forest Park of Conch Valley which is situated 380 km east of Chengdu. The glacier tongue is about 6km long. Standing prominently is also Mt Gongga known as the "king of Sichuan mountains", at a height of 7556m.

Published on Tuesday January 17th, 2006

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Sat, Jun 02 2007 - 10:19 AM rating by kwongmei

an excellent piece. So well-written that makes me want to travel there immediately!

Fri, Mar 02 2007 - 11:36 PM rating by trekkerman

i like your style of reporting, i also thought this report gave a lot of excellent info too. i spent about 4 days in chengdu, and didnt have time to go to these places. maybe a trip back there is in order. thx gloria.

Tue, Feb 13 2007 - 08:00 PM rating by travler

I can see why this report was a report of the month. You now can work in a zoo that has pandas because you know how to feed them.

Sun, Mar 12 2006 - 01:59 PM rating by marianne

I must have somehow skipped this report. Well written, very informative and great pictures

Mon, Mar 06 2006 - 04:57 PM rating by isaacmolina

best of the best

Thu, Feb 23 2006 - 04:22 AM rating by bigquig

Gloria, I spent three weeks on a scientific exchange at the Chengdu Institute of Physical Education in 1993 and was treated superbly by my hosts. I visited Leshan and Mt Emei, which was completely fogged in and am fascinated to see the other sights you reported. Altogether a fascinating experience in what seemed like a big country town of 10 million people! Loved your report!

Sat, Feb 18 2006 - 07:59 PM rating by ehs1193

Recipies in a travel report? Who knew

Wed, Feb 01 2006 - 12:45 PM rating by kandath

Well done Gloria, great report and a desrving accolade ! U better get here and do some about God's Own Country withouy much dealy.

Wed, Feb 01 2006 - 07:00 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Congratulations for the RoM!!! Hen hao!

Wed, Feb 01 2006 - 06:23 AM rating by mamielle

Congratulations for this marvellous report, very interresting and wonderful pics

Mon, Jan 23 2006 - 06:09 AM rating by downundergal

Really enjoyed this report, the superb pictures and the commentary make it special. Have you actually cooked the recipe as yet?
Well done,
Just loved the panda!

Sat, Jan 21 2006 - 01:52 PM rating by britman

Brilliant report - another winner

Sat, Jan 21 2006 - 12:05 AM rating by brucemoon

Magical report. Lucky you. Great recipe too (tho I'd add both chilli & Sechuan pepper).

Thu, Jan 19 2006 - 05:26 AM rating by ardelia

Something different from you this time Gloria. With a bonus additional recipe to compliment this. Very nice & interesting..Pictures are all gorgeous!!


Thu, Jan 19 2006 - 01:56 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

hi gloria ,what a nice report from you
keep it up

Thu, Jan 19 2006 - 12:09 AM rating by eirekay

Gloria - Great recipe! Wonderful report with some of my favorite pictures!

Wed, Jan 18 2006 - 01:25 PM rating by davidx

I don't mind the idea of a place being used as a peg for an excellent report and I think the distances away from Chengdu are hardly massive by China's standards - besides the Title is a fair indication. I really enjoyed this.

Wed, Jan 18 2006 - 01:21 PM rating by bear495


This is a descriptive report with beautiful photos. I hope that it will be considered for ROM. Great job!


Wed, Jan 18 2006 - 05:24 AM rating by rangutan

Vely many wonderful "hot" tips. The recipe works well, I wish more members would use the last few paragraphs inuatively like you do!

Wed, Jan 18 2006 - 04:42 AM rating by mortimer

A great bunch of information but sadly not a word about chengdu itself ;-( I'm a bit disapointed by the title...

Wed, Jan 18 2006 - 03:09 AM rating by frenchfrog

Very informative, lots of info. I am looking forward to try the receipt!
Very well written.

Tue, Jan 17 2006 - 10:41 PM rating by mistybleu

Gloria, I really enjoyed this report, it's a great insight to the region. I also liked the idea of the recipe it brings a fresh aspect to reports.

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