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Sichuan Province - China

Sichuan Province, China.Sichuan (四川) Province, situated in southwestern China, spans approximately 485,000 square kilometers (187,000 sq mi) with a population of 80,418,200 million (2010).  Sichuan borders Qinghai, Gansu, and Ningxia to the north, Yunnan and Guizhou to the south, Tibet to the west, and Hubei to the east with Chengdu as its capital city.

The region, once a stronghold of the Kuomintang during 1938-45, was the cradle of unique local civilizations which can be dated back to at least the 15th century BC.  Sichuan’s rich and diverse cultural history are the birthplaces of the Chinese nation.  According to ancient Chinese sources, Sichuan was referred to as Ba-Shu (巴蜀) which was a combination of two independent states (the kingdoms of Ba and Shu) within the Sichuan Basin.  Ba included Chongqing and eastern Sichuan along the Yangtze along with some tributary streams, while Shu included today's Chengdu and its surrounding plain and adjacent territories in western Sichuan.

Sichuan, home to the giant pandas and over one fifth of China’s rare plant species, is a very geological diverse region.  The Hengduan Mountains to the west are home to rare plant species, including the sequoia and silver fir, also host more than 50 kinds of rare animals.  Actually, 85% of China's wild giant pandas are living in the Hengduan mountains.

Sichuan cuisine, characterized by spicy and pungent flavors, is also well-known all over the world.  Typical menu items include: Hot Pot, Smoked Duck, Kung Pao Chicken, Twice-Cooked Pork and Ma Po Tofu.

Major Cities:
Chengdu (成都) — the capital of Sichuan.
Dege (德格) — home to an amazing Tibetan library.
Ganzi (甘孜) — rough Tibetan town and launching point for exploring local monasteries.
Kangding (康定) — gateway to western Sichuan's Tibetan region.
Langmusi (郎木寺) — beautiful Tibetan border town sitting in both Gansu and Sichuan, with two monasteries, horse trekking opportunities and a sky burial site.
Leshan (乐山) — home of the largest stone carved Buddha in the world.
Songpan (松潘) — base camp for exploring Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve and the Amdo Tibetan culture.
Xiangcheng (乡城) — on the high-road to Yunnan.
Xichang (西昌) — National Satellite Launch Center.

Popular Destinations:
Chengdu Panda Breeding and Research Center
Emeishan National Park
Hailougou Glacier Park
Huanglongsi-Jiuzhaigou National Park
Jianmen Shudao National Park — Jianmen Pass and Ancient Plankway of Shudao
Kanggar Mountains National Park
Qingchengshan-Dujiangyan National Park — one of the ancient cradles of Daoism
Shunan Zhuhai National Park
Siguniangshan National Parks
**Chongqing Municipality is administratively separate, but culturally and historically still Sichuanese.

Transportation:
Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (成都双流国际机场) (IATA: CTU, ICAO: ZUUU) is located about 16 kilometres (10 mi) southwest of downtown Chengdu.  Trains run from most major cities.  For more information on train schedules please refer to China’s National Railway Website: http://www.12306.cn.