Sichuan: Bamboo for Pandas, Spicy Food for Humans

The western Chinese province of Sichuan is widely known for its stunning nature, but also for abundance of historical sites. And of course, for the great cuisine.

The mighty Yangtze River flows down the Sichuan basin, which is the place of birth of many interesting ancient civilizations. In Sichuan, Tibetan communities still conduct a traditional way of life, monks still pray in the Buddhist monasteries around Mount Emei, with outlook for 71.metres high Giant Buddha, luckily undamaged by 2008 earthquake.
Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve is famous for its multi-level waterfalls and colorful lakes, while in the southwest there are Giant Panda Sanctuaries, which also are home to very rare snow and clouded leopard, as well as to red panda (called sometimes firefox). Outside the capital of the province, Chengdu, there is Pandas Breeding Centre, open to visitors.
The Sichuan Cuisine
Sichuanís worldwide famous cuisine is important part of the Four Great Traditions of Chinese cuisine. It is hot, spicy, fragrant and fresh. The main techniques used for food preparation are stir-frying and steaming. Food is preserved by drying, pickling, salting and smoking. The specific taste is obtained by using Sichuan peppercorn, ginger and other spices.

The main idea of the Sichuan cooking can be put that way: one dish - one shape; hundreds of dishes, hundreds of tastes. And there are actually hundreds of them!
Climate & weather
The climate varies.  In the east part (Sichuan Basin, including Chengdu) the weather is influenced by subtropical monsoon climate. Summer is long, hot and humid, winter is rather short, cloudy and dry, and it can be cold.  The south of the province enjoys subtropical climate, with plenty of sun, hot summers and mild winters .The western area has  mountainous climate, with very cold winters and mild, sunny  summers.

Currency: Chinese renminbi, also known as Yuan (CNY).
Time zone: UTC (GMT)+8.
Driving: on the right side of the road. 
Electricity: 220-240V/50Hz.

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