Chengdu – the Hub of traveling onto Tibetan Plateau, and also where Tibetan Trekking Travel Co. Ltd is based,

Why Chengdu – “Pandas, greenery and spicy Sichuanese cuisine”

By Rebecca Hoyle

A trip to Chengdu takes you to one of the most intriguing and attractive cities in China.

Restaurants renowned throughout the city dish up traditional spicy Sichuanese cuisine, and it is here you will encounter Giant Pandas, hectic market places, quaint teahouses, and thriving parks and gardens. A wide variety of festivals and events are on offer here to natives and guests alike, so whilst planning your trip to this impressively green city, choose a flight ticket to Chengdu to coincide with one of the many exciting festivals.

The Chengdu Lantern Festival is held every year on the 15th day the first lunar month to celebrate the appearance of the first full moon of the year, therefore marking the beginning of the Chinese New Year. Be sure to venture to the Qingyang Palace and Cultural Park where festival celebrations include a fair with thousands of glowing lanterns as its main attraction and of course the local spectacle of the Dragon Pole lantern: A lantern in the shape of a golden dragon winding up a 27 metre high pole with colourful fireworks exploding from its mouth! On top of all of this you will encounter folk music performances – singing and dancing – and entertainers such as acrobats and jugglers. Don’t forget to try the traditional festival snacks known as yuanxiao (glutinous rice flour dumplings) offered plain or with a variety of tasty filings.

For a day of excitement and thrills Chengdu style, get along to the Dragon Boat Festival held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. The races now held in and along the Nanhe River in Xinjin County boast colourful elaborately carved dragon boats propelled upstream through the water by competing teams to the rhythm of beating drums. This part of the festival represents the way in which the villagers flocked to their boats and swarmed the river to try and rescue Chu Yuan. Legend has it Chu Yuan was a scholarly person, favourable in the eyes of the locals, however whilst attempting to mend widespread corruption he fell into disfavour in the emperors court. Saddened by the loss of respect from the emperor here threw himself into the Mi Lo River.

Also central to the festivals celebrations are the symbolic tzung tzu -rice snacks which represent the rice the villagers threw into the river to ward off the dragons from eating Chu Yuan’s body. The vibrant Dragon Boat festival annually hosts many visitors and locals who come to bask in the excitement of this time honoured tradition.

The Chengdu Flower Festival, now celebrated for over a thousand years, commemorates the supposed birthday of all flowers and marks the beginning of spring. In the Qingyanggong Park you will encounter colourful flower displays as well as traditional actobatic performances and food stalls selling spicy Sichuan cuisine. People have been coming here throughout the years not only to appreciate the beauty of the floral displays, witness lively performances and indulge in local snacks, but the festival also coincides with the birthday of Lao Zi – the founder of the Taoist movement in China – and many come to pay their respects to him.