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Chengdu History and Culture

Being built by Qin State in 316 BC, Chengdu is a cultural city with a recorded history of over 2300 years. However, according to the archaeological discoveries at Sanxingdui and Jinsha sites, it is one of the earliest cities in the world which boasts a history of over 4,000 years and is the cradle land of Ba Shu culture. The following timeline of Chengdu will offer you a chance to further touch its ancient past.

Chengdu Sanxingdui Archaeological Site
Chengdu Sanxingdui Archaeological Site
Before 221BC (Pre-Qin Period)
  • More than three to four thousand years ago, Old Shu State set capital here, and formed a highly developed civilization according to archaeological discoveries at Sanxingdui Ruin Site.
  • During Warring States Period (475BC – 221BC), Qin State conquered Shu and Ba States and set Shu Shire in 316BC. In 311BC, Qin ordered a large-scale building of Chengdu.
  • In 256BC, began the building of Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, drought and flood disasters were reduced, and agriculture productivity was greatly improved since then.
221 BC – 220 AD (Qin to Han Dynasties)
  • 221BC – 206 BC (Qin Dynasty): Still charged by Shu Shire; had established the center for crafts trade.
  • 202BC – 220AD (Han Dynasty): Dujiangyan Irrigation Project brought agricultural wealth, hence Chengdu the name "Tianfu" (land of abundance); thriving technology of Shu Brocade earned Chengdu the reputation of "Brocade City".
Three Kingdoms Period and Succeeding History
  • 220AD – 280AD (Three Kingdoms Period): Liu Bei established Shu Han (221AD-263AD) and set Chengdu as the capital.
  • 618AD – 907AD (Tang Dynasty): Engraving typography was invented here; economy, agriculture, handicraft, silk, Buddhism etc. achieved great development; became one of the few largest cities of China.
  • 960AD – 1279AD (Song Dynasty): The first paper money (called Jiao Zi) in the world was issued in Chengdu due to its commercial development. Shu Brocade and silk gave birth to more variety in pattern and style.
  • In 1644 (end of Ming Dynasty), renamed as Xijing, and suffered massacres from Zhang Xianzhong's reactionary Daxi Kingdom.
  • 1662 – 1722 (Emperor Kangxi period of Qing Dynasty): Gradually recovered after the resettlement of millions of people from other provinces.
  • Modern Times: Suffered decline during wars (Opium War, Anti-Japan War, Chinese Civil War).
  • In recent decades, it was once again singled out as China's Southwestern center of commerce, finance, since, technology, transportation, as well as culture thanks to the favorable geography position, natural resource, and human capital.
Chengdu Weather

Chengdu has a sub-tropical monsoon climate with annual average temperature being around 16-18 °C. The four seasons are distinct in Chengdu, featuring an early spring with changeable temperatures, hot summer with abundant rainfall, cool autumn putting gorgeous hue on mountains and warm winter during which frosting and snowing days rarely occur.

Located in Sichuan Basin, mountain-locked Chengdu is overcast on most days. High humidity is a remarkable feature of Chengdu weather. This makes summer oppressively muggy, winter sometimes bone-chilling. So Chengdu-native love eating spicy food with a lot of chili peppers that helps to cope with the damp air. The best time to visit Chengdu is March to June and September to November, with pleasant weather, less rainfall and mesmerizing sceneries. But also expect to find more crowded tourist sites during these months.

Average High/Low Temperature for Chengdu
Average High/Low Temperature for Chengdu
72-hour Visa Free

Chengdu is the fourth city in Mainland China that adopts the 72-hour Visa-Free Transit, allowing travellers from 51 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New England, to enjoy a 72-hour stay in Chengdu without a visa.

It's an ideal way for foreigners to travel in Chengdu for a couple of days when they are en route to a third country or region via Chengdu Shuangliu Airport.

72-hour Visa Free Transit
72-hour Visa Free Transit

Essential Tips1. Transfer to a third country: A round trip from your home country to Chengdu is not applicable. Travellers must hold a confirmed onward ticket to a third country or region departing from Chengdu within 72 hours of entry.
2. Designated port of entry and exit: Chengdu Shuangliu Airport
3. Area of activities: Transit passengers are not permitted to leave Chengdu during the 72-hour stay. This means they couldn’t go to visit Jiuzhaigou Valley, Leshan Giant Buddha or other scenic spots outside the Chengdu border.
4. Duration of stay: The 72-hour permit starts from 00:00 the day following the entry date. In most cases, travellers can stay in Chengdu for more than just 72 hours.

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