Young Pioneer Tours

Sichuan: Where flavours ignite and nature delights

by Andy Khong

Sichuan Province, located in south-western China, is a vibrant and populous region with a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and renowned cuisine.

[Sichuan is the Pinyin Romanization; it used to be spelled Szechuan with Wade-Giles Romanization. Wade-Giles is the system of Romanization for Mandarin developed from 1867 named after Thomas WADE, Herbert GILES, & Lionel GILES. Pinyin meaning ‘spelled sounds’ was developed by ZHOU Youguang during the 1950ies. Pinyin was adopted as the international standard for Romanization of Mandarin by the International Organization for Standardization (IOS) in 1982, and the United Nations in 1986]. 

Geography: Sichuan is known for its diverse geography. It is situated on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau and is characterized by its mountainous terrain, including parts of the Hengduan Mountains and the Qionglai Mountains. The province is intersected by several major rivers, including the Yangtze, Min, and Jialing Rivers. Sichuan is also home to picturesque valleys, deep gorges, and fertile plains.

Cultural Heritage: Sichuan has a long and storied history dating back thousands of years. It has been inhabited by various ethnic groups, including the Han Chinese, Tibetans, Yi, Qiang, and others. The province is renowned for its unique and vibrant culture, including traditional arts, music, opera (such as Sichuan Opera and Shu Opera), and distinct folk traditions.

Chengdu: Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, is a thriving metropolis known for its laid-back atmosphere, delicious cuisine, and adorable giant pandas. It offers a blend of modernity and history, with highlights such as the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe and learn about these beloved creatures. Chengdu is also famous for its historic sites like the Wenshu Monastery, Jinli Ancient Street, and the iconic Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Wenshu Monastery.

Jinli Ancient Street.

Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Mount Emei: Located in the south-western part of Sichuan, Mount Emei is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is renowned for its natural beauty, ancient temples, and hiking trails. The Golden Summit, the highest peak of Mount Emei, offers breathtaking views and is a popular destination for pilgrims and nature enthusiasts. Leshan Giant Buddha is a stone sculpture which faces Mount Emei, and is the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world.

Golden Summit, Mount Emei.

Leshan Giant Buddha.

Jiuzhaigou Valley: Jiuzhaigou Valley, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a stunning natural reserve in northern Sichuan. It is known for its multi-coloured lakes, cascading waterfalls, snow-capped peaks, and dense forests. Visitors can explore the park on foot or by shuttle bus, marvelling at the mesmerizing landscapes and enjoying the tranquillity of nature.

Jiuzhaigou Valley.

Culinary Delights: Sichuan cuisine, renowned throughout China and the world, is famous for its bold and spicy flavours. The province’s cuisine is characterized by the liberal use of chili peppers, Sichuan peppercorns, and a variety of seasonings. Popular Sichuan dishes include Mapo Tofu, Kung Pao Chicken, Sichuan Hot Pot, and Dan Noodles, which showcase the region’s unique culinary traditions.

Sichuan Hot Pot – notice the chilli peppers, chilli peppercorn, and chilli oil in the soup base! 🔥🌶🌶🌶

Dan Dan Noodles.

Cultural Festivals: Sichuan hosts a range of cultural festivals throughout the year. The most famous is the Chengdu Panda Base’s International Panda Awareness Week, where visitors can participate in activities related to panda conservation. Other notable festivals include the Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, and various temple fairs.

View of Chengdu at night.

Lantern Festival.

Sichuan’s blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, mouth-watering cuisine, and warm hospitality make it a captivating destination for travellers seeking a diverse and immersive experience in China.

{Language Trivia – Hammer & Watermelon: In both Sichuan and Chongqing Provinces, being called a “hammer” [锤子 (chuízi)] is an idiom used to describe someone as being foolish, silly, or stupid. The phrase has a colloquial and informal nature and is often used in a light-hearted or teasing manner among friends or acquaintances. It’s important to note that language, slang, idioms, informal expressions can vary across regions, example in most parts of China, being called “watermelon” [西瓜(xīguā)] is an informal idiom to describe someone as being foolish, silly, or stupid}.

The following articles may also interest you:

a. Zhineng Qi Gong (Medicineless Hospital) 
b. Guo Lin Qi Gong (Anti-Cancer Walk) 
c. Iron Shirt Qi Gong 

Some interesting provinces in China are
1. Yunnan 
2. Xinjiang  
3. Guangxi 
4. Shandong 

Qufu, hometown of Confucius: 

Did you know that Shangri-La is located in China:  

China could be a Christian country today if God’s Chinese son had succeeded:  

A woman’s Martial Art was founded by a Nun from Shaolin Temple:  

Astonishing Explorer from China:  

Stay tuned for YPT tours to China:  YPT China Tours.

About Post Author