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Chengdu

Situated on the fertile Chengdu Plain, the city of Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan, the second-largest province in China. Throughout its 2,500-year history, Chengdu has been noted for its rich tradition in arts and crafts and ethnic folklore. In ancient times, especially during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25–220), it was the site of a silk brocade industry. Today, the city serves as the administrative, cultural, and educational centre of the province and is the home of the Sichuan Opera, a major university, and an annual two-month-long flower festival. Known for its prosperity, liberalism, and avant-garde lifestyle, Chengdu boasts the latest in consumer goods and fashion. Sites of special interest include the Thatched Cottage where the famous Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu wrote his 240 poems, Wuhou Shrine, Tomb of Wang Jian, Wangjiang Tower and the Panda City, home to 20 panda bears.