Jul 10th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Seniors Stroll Over to Chengdu

In my recent Time Magazine one article focused on Chengdu, China where Apple has a strong foothold. Chengdu is a vibrant city, rich in historical charm, cultural gems, and natural beauty, a strong draw for senior travelers. Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan Province, which is known as the “Heavenly State” (Tian Fu Zhi Guo).

The capital of Sichuan, China’s largest province, Chengdu’s history stretches back several thousand years. Historic places of interest include  the Thatched Cottage of Du Fu, Wuhou Memorial Temple and Wenshu Monastery. Chengdu is also home to the giant pandas. You can visit the lovely pandas at the Giant Panda Breeding Center and Research Base.

Chengdu ranks fourth out of all Chinese cities in terms of permanent resident population, after Chongqing (28.8462 million), Shanghai (23.0191 million) and Beijing (19.6120 million). It was the largest among all sub-provincial cities.

Seniors Go Exploring in Chengdu

Chengdu is enlivened by its rich ethnic diversity and cultural fusion that lies at the heart of the city. With a total area of 12,121 square kilometers, Chengdu is one of the oldest cities in Southwest China. Possessing a subtropical monsoon climate with four distinct seasons, senior visitors and locals can enjoy warm weather all year-round. Visa, yes, and while most tourist hotels employ staff who are fluent in foreign languages, senior visitors may find it difficult to make themselves understood by local people on the street. It is always advisable to have addresses or instructions written down in Chinese.

Rich in its natural resources and ecological diversity, Chengdu acts as the connection point between Sichuan Province and other various national tourist locations including Jiuzhaigou, Emei Mountain, and the Three Gorges Dam. With its multiple and diverse climates, Sichuan is a haven of biodiversity and ecological beauty, and much of it is reachable just a few short hours outside of Chengdu.

Yes, World Heritage is here as well

Jiuzhaigou is a national park in a mountain-embraced valley that contains 118 alpine lakes. Its name means the valley of nine villages, for the nine Tibetan villages for which this is home. It is the only attraction in China listed in both “The World Natural Heritage” and “The World Network of Biosphere Reserves” directories. So let’s check out some tours in the area that seniors would enjoy. TripAdvisor beat us there and has many hotels lined up as well as some great B&Bs.  Their Top-Rated Things to Do will keep seniors busy as well.

The city is celebrated around the world for its eclectic foods and its tea culture. The Kuai and Zhai Alleys is a great representation of Chengdu’s local essence.  With tea houses and Sichuan-style restaurants as facets of its traditional charms, these unique characteristics are reflected in the city’s daily life. It is a magnificent and modern provincial capital. Chengdu, also known as the hibiscus city or the brocade city, has been a famous cultural center with age-old colorful traditions of both religious and civil significance for the past 2,500 years in Chinese history. I think that you will just love Chengdu. jeb

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