Chengdu is situated in the middle of Sichuan Province, the West Sichuan Plain.Covering an area of 12390 sq km, it is 192 KM long from east to west and 166 KM wide from south to north. Up to the year 2000, the city zone of Chengdu is 208 sq km. Chengdu is adjacent to Deyang City in the northwest, Ziyang District in the southeast, Meishan District in the south, Ya'an District in southwest and Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in the northwest. Chengdu belongs to inland zone. It is 1,600 km away from the East China Sea and 1,090 km from the South China Sea.
The geology of Chengdu has a long history and the stratigraphic exposure is relatively complete. The hypsography of Chengdu slants gradually from northwest to southeast. Characterized by hills and gullies is the western peripheral area of Sichuan Basin, which is 1,000 -3,000 above the sea level. The highest part is Shuanghe (Twin rivers) located in Dayi county with an altitude of 5,364 meters and a relative altitude of 1000 meters. At the bottom of Sichuan basin is the eastern part of Chengdu, forming the heartland of Chengdu plain. It is mainly composed of alluvion plains, mesas and part of low hills, where there the land is profound and fertile. The lowest part of the basin is only 387 meters, which located in Yutai, Jintang County. Due to the great difference of 4,977 meters on altitude between the east and the west of Chengdu, the moisture and heat distribution varies quite remarkably. As a result, in the mountainous areas of the west areas, the temperatures of air, water and land are much lower than that of the eastern plain. Moreover, even in the same mountain, the vertical distributions of different climatic zones occur. As a result, large varieties of vegetations grow in profusion, which provides favorable conditions for the development of agriculture and tourism for Chengdu.
Climate: Located in the bordering areas of the Sichuan northwest highland and Sichuan basin, Chengdu has its own climatic features. First, the eastern part of the city is different from western part in climatic zone, due to the abrupt change of the height from the east to the west. In Chengdu, generally speaking, the west is cool while the east is warm at the same time. Even in the same mountain, the foot of hill is several degrees higher in temperature than that on the top of the hill. This dramatic change in temperature is favorable for the agricultural development. Second, the winter in Chengdu is short, with a long frost-free period of over 337 days each year. The annual average temperature is around 16.4 degree. Even in the cold January, the average temperature is some 5.degrees. It rarely snows. Compared with other areas of the Changjiang River, it is 2-3 degrees higher. Third, there is not much precipitation in winter and spring while it is affluent in summer and autumn with the total precipitation volume of 1,124 centimeters. And this figure is comparatively stable, the ratio of the year with most rainfall and the year with least precipitation being 2:1. Fourth, the climatic elements of light, water and heat almost occur in the same season, which is a very favorable combination to the growth and propagation of the vegetation. Fifth, the wind speed is low. On the plain and in the mountainous areas, the normal speed of wind is around 1 to 1.5 meters per minute. The total sunshine hours average 1,042 to 1412 each year.
Natural Ecological Environment
The rate of vegetation coverage in Chengdu reaches 30.1 percent, and garbage treatment 100 percent, noise in tourist attractions averages below 60bd, and noise in urban area 54.9bd. The air pollution index indicates 78, and average drinking water quality in the city amounts to 99.1 percent. In 1997, in the comprehensive environment examination of 46 major Chinese cities, Chengdu won the fourth place in comprehensive score, the second place in environmental quality, and ranked the first among inland citi
In 1992, Chengdu ranked the 12th among the top 50 cities in terms of comprehensive strength in China, and its infrastructure for investment was among the top 40 cities. During the eighth Five-Year-Plan, Chengdu's average gross output value saw a year-on-year increase of 16 percent. In 1997, its gross output value stood at 101 billion yuan, rising 11.5 percent over the previous year, with the growth rate higher than the average level in the country and other provinces, with an average per capita production value of 10,254 yuan per year. In 1998, its GDP reached 110.3 billion yuan, with the GDP proportion of the first, second and tertiary industries occupying 11.2, 45.1 and 43.7 percent respectively. The growth speed of electronic and information, machinery (including automobile), medicine, and food industries quickened, the "Chengdu-made" products increased, economic returns rose. The total demand grew significantly, and a balance between demand and supply was maintained. In 1998, fixed assets investment recorded 37.21 billion yuan, increasing 20 percent over the previous year. Its financial income grew steadily, and financial operation has been satisfactory.
Early in the Han Dynasty (206BC-220), China's first official-run school, Wenweng Shi House was established in Chengdu. It was also home to men of letters and well-known people from various dynasties, including the founder of Han prose Sima Xiangru, poet and prose writer, philosopher and linguist Yang Xiong, knowledgeable lady Zhuo Wenjun of the Han Dynasty; woman poet Xue Tao of Tang Dynasty (618-907); master painter Huang Quan of the Five Dynasties (907-960); historian Fan Zuyu of the Song Dynasty (960-1279); and scholar Yang Shen of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Well-known poets Li Bai, Du Fu and Lu You had once settled in Chengdu. It is also the birthplace of the Chinese block printing technique, and Sichuan silk. During the Tang and Song dynasties, Chengdu was famous for its music, songs and dancing and operas. Since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Chengdu's tea culture became known throughout the country and grew popular. Now, Chengdu has more teahouses than and other place in the world. In 1993 and 1997, International Panda Festival was held here. In 1997, the fifth Chinese Art Festival and the folk art fair of international friendship cities were held here. The city now has 16 art performance troupes, 16 public libraries, 4 public art galleries, 14 cultural centers and 8 museums.
A Survey of Tourist Industry
Tourism began in Chengdu in the early 1980s. During the period of the eighth Five-Year-Plan, the city committee and municipal government have listed tourism as one of the development strategies of the city. In 1998, they promulgated the "decision on accelerating the development of tourism," and devised the "plan of developing tourism in Chengdu", which put tourism as a pillar industry of governmental support. Up to now, the development of tourism has been coordinated, integrating food, accommodation, sightseeing, shopping and entertainment, and service functions are comprehensive and facilities complete. The city now has 57 tourist hotels, of which 53 are star rated hotels with a total of 20,000 beds, 5 designated restaurants; 142 travel agencies including 23 international ones; 11 tourist bus companies and designated bus companies, 108 taxi companies, 3 tourist airlines which offer charter services, 3 special tourist trains and one tourist shipping company. There are five shopping streets, 12 designated commercial centers for tourist shopping, 18 designated tourist restaurants, more than 10 tourist recreational centers, 14 tourist safety and relief centers and 8 tourist consultation and supervision institutions. During the seventh and eighth Five-year-plan period (1980-1990), Chengdu received a total of 1.28 million overseas tourists, earning $259 million and 103 million domestic tourists, with an income of 4.669 billion yuan. In the first three years of the ninth Five-year-plan, it received 491,100 overseas tourists, creating $185 million in profits and 60.5 million domestic tourists, earning 17.854 billion yuan. Before the eighth Five-year-plan, tourism accounted for no more than 3 percent of the city's GDP but it rose to 6 percent in 1996, 6.5 percent in 1997 and 6.88 percent in 1998. Tourism has become a new economic growth point of the city. In 1998, Chengdu and Dujiang Dam city under its jurisdiction have been listed among the first group of "Top Tourist Cities of China."
On May 26, 1983, the ninth NPC standing committee of Chengdu decided to choose the hibiscus as the city flower. The hibiscus has a long history in Chengdu. According to historical records, during the Five Dynasties, Emperor Meng Chang of the Shu State had hibiscus planted along the city walls of Chengdu, When autumn arrives, hibiscus blossom stretches for 40 miles, and therefore, Chengdu is also known as the "Hibiscus City." The hibiscuses are large, brightly colored, elegant and have several well-known varieties. An example is the "drunken hibiscus" which changes color three times a day, it turns white in the early morning, light red at noon and bright red in the evening. In poems, hibiscuses are praised as equal to chrysanthemums, or the best of autumn flowers.
On May 26,1983, the standing committee of the ninth NPC of Chengdu decided to choose the ginkgo as its city tree. The ginkgo tree is a precious ancient tree of Chengdu. According to a survey, the city now has over 600 ginkgo trees, the largest one is inside the courtyard of the Chengdu Real Estate Co. located on Tidu Street. It is 157 centimeters in diameter, with a history of over 500 years. There are also some ancient ginkgo trees in the forest gardens in the suburbs. On the Qingcheng Mountain of the Dujiang Dam City, there stands a large ginkgo tree, which could only be encircled by five people hand in hand. It is said to be planted by Master Zhang of a Taoist sect, and has a history of over 2,000 years. Ginkgo trees grow strong, with thick trunks and beautifully-shaped cap; its leaves are in the shape of butterfly, and turn yellow in the autumn. Its fruits are also a good tonic.
Improved land and airlines extending nationwide provide greater convenience. Chengdu is also the main inland access city to Tibet.
It is one of the most exciting new museums in China.It is built on the 3,000-year-old site of the Shu civilization.the museum houses interesting relics unique to the Chengdu area.the museum is located 38 km from downtown Chengdu. the beautifully designed museum is worth a visit. Some world travelers have commented that this site reminds them of the South American Ancient Mayan Culture. A few of the famous cultural relics are listed here below:
Profound culture of 3000 years, lovely giant panda, world-shaking Jinsha Site, the city of history and modernity--Chengdu attracts more and more guests from all over China and the world