Chengdu Old and New

Chengdu Lane
Chengdu Lane

Chengdu is large, with a population of 20 million people including the surrounding suburbs.

It follows other Chinese cities in attempting to balance the old and new in a world of rapid industralisation, population growth, and modernisation.

Just around the corner from this lane, the Narrow Lane in Central Chengdu, stands a brick wall from the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Nearby is a memorial to the Tang Dynasty poet, Du Fu (712-770), one of China and Japan’s most revered poets. He is honoured by the preservation of his cottage and its surrounds. There are numerous other historic sites around the city including Buddhist and Taoist temples, and traditional gardens. They are refuges from modernity.

Chengdu is many things, like all cities.  As the capital of Sichuan Province, it’s the home of Sichuanese cuisine, claims to have the best tea houses in China, is best place to see pandas, and has an unexpectedly relaxed outlook on life.

A Quatrain by Du Fu

Against blue water birds appear more white;

On green mountains red flowers seem to burn.

Alas! I see another spring in flight.

O when will come the day of my return?

This is my contribution to Fiona’s A-Z Guidebook, this month starting with the letter ‘C’.

A-Z Guidebook Badge

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Published by

retrostuart

I like to travel while having a base from which to roam. Home is a small farm on the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia, where I grow organic vegetables and fruit, keep a few chooks (chickens) and Dexter cattle. The place offers some country peace and quiet, and wildlife, as well as quick access to the inner suburbs of the city for my regular contrasting visits. I enjoy walking, camping, swimming and snorkelling, photography, reading, listening to and playing music, and good food and wine. A major flaw in my character is being susceptible to sales of air flights.

9 thoughts on “Chengdu Old and New”

    1. Thanks for the comment. My friends from Chengdu took me to a tea house where a couple of tables of locals were enjoying playing mahjong. Noisy, but fun. I was impressed to hear that once you buy a tea, you are able to have an indefinite number of additional pots of hot water during the day.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment, Joanne. The countryside and smaller towns and villages not far from Chengdu can be really nice, and surprisingly for me, the tree cover in much of Sichuan province is really dense.

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    1. I like small old places too. They have character. Not far from Chengdu, there are some really interesting smaller heritage towns. I plan to write about a couple of them later, like Langzhong.

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    1. I try to follow the principle that to be unaware of something is not an embarassment, but rather, is a pleasure to discover. I’ve seen a few pandas in different zoos, always sleeping during my visits. In Chengdu, there are pandas of varying ages, and on my visit at least, they were very active. Perhaps it’s the fact that they’re eating the bamboo from their local habitat that makes a difference.

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