Sichuan, known in ancient times as Bashu for the two states of Ba and Shu, is a large province in southwestern China, occupying an area of 485,000 square kilometers and providing a home to a population of 83 million.
Bashu, with the subtle spirit of its mountains and rivers converging to nurture generations of outstanding personages, enjoyed the reputation through the ages that "the natural beauty of the world can be found in Shu." The lofty and precipitous peaks of northwestern Sichuan are home to 8590 of China's rare giant pandas, which are famed as a national treasure. Four of Sichuan's most famous places - Jiuzhai Gully, the Yellow Dragon Scenic Resort, the Leshan Grand Buddha, and the Sleeping Dragon Hills - have been listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization as World Natural and Cultural Heritage and among the Man and Biosphere Network. The province also has 9 key national scenic resorts, including Dujiang Weir, Mount Qingcheng, Jianmen Shudao (Sichuan Roads), Mount Gonga, the Sea of Bamboo of Southern Sichuan, Siguniang Mountains (the Four Maidens Mountains), the Xiling Snow-capped Mountains, I I national forests parks, 50 nature reserves, and more than 50 provincial scenic resorts. Sichuan boasts a varied topography, from plateaus, mountain ranges, and canyons to basins, hills, and plains; from rivers and lakes to hot springs and waterfalls; and from volcanic landforms to rosy cloud-shaped hills. It has always enjoyed the reputation of "landscape province". This is particularly true of western Sichuan, where you will find three of China's large forest regions and one of five large pastures. Upright snow-capped peaks tower over immense forest stretches.The Jinsha, Yalong, Dadu, and Minjiang rivers surge through winding canyons, forming many unusual, mysterious, and unique sights.
Known as a land of plenty, Sichuan has a long history and brilliant culture. The province includes 7 cities recognized by the central government as Statelevel historical and cultural cities. These are Chengdu, Zigong, Leshan, Yibin, Luzhou, Langzhong, and Dujiangyan. In addition, there are 40 key State-level reserves of cultural relics and 24 provincial-level historical and cultural cities or towns. Travellers can visit ancient irrigation works and towns. the former residences of famous Sichuan natives, Buddhist temples and Daoist shrines, forests of stone carvings, and prehistoric ruins, as well as modem art collections and state-of-the-art tourism facilities. Sichuan is home to 15 ethnic minorities, including the Tibetan, Yi, Qiang, and Naxi. Their traditional festivals offer another window on Chinese culture, including the lantern festival, the flower festival, horse racing, the torch festival, mountain pilgrimages, and others. The hospitality is legendary, and the native wines and cuisine are famous throughout the country and around the world.
Sichuan has vigorously developed tourism, transportation, and telecommunications. Comprehensive improvements in infrastructure have allowed the province to open its arms wider to visitors and to guarantee a visit full of mystery and wonder.
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