The capital of Sichuan province, Chengdu serves as a gateway to Tibet and is the epicenter of spicy Sichuan cuisine. The city was founded by the Qin in 221BC before China was completely unified. Under the Tang dynasty, Chengdu flourished as a commercial center. In the tenth century, the city introduced paper money to the world. The city was also known for its brocades and satins, earning the name Jincheng, or "Brocade City."
The city has managed to retain its history amid the industrialization of recent times. The Qinyang Temple, or "Green Goat Temple," is an important Taoist temple in the city, along with Wenshu Temple, an important Buddhist complex. Chengdu is a starting point for many Buddhist pilgrims continuing to Leshan and Emeishan. Du Fu's Thatched Cottage is an essential stop for Chinese as Du Fu was a Tang Confucianist poet who is considered to be one of China's greatest. A very popular sight is The Giant Panda Breeding Research Base where pandas roam among the grounds. You might be able to catch a glimpse of one along the many pathways through the park.