Chengdu is usually included
in a Tibetan tour because it is an easier approach
by flight from here. In the past, traditional
industries of gold, silver, silk and lacquer ware
have helped to make this city the most important
commercial center in Midwest China. Being the
capital of Sichuan Province now, the significance
of Chengdu is irreplaceable.
Du Fu, one of the greatest poets in
Chinese history, made his home here in the Tang
Dynasty. Du Fu Cao Tang, meaning Du Fu's straw
house that has been restored with modern materials,
is a Mecca for the Chinese intellectuals and scholars.
Old Wooden houses that once
dominated this city can still be found in the
outskirts although they are disappearing quickly.
However, a fascinating street life remains unchanged.
Everyday, vendors from all over the country would
fill up the market streets, dealing in everything
you could possibly imagine, from snakes and snails
to jewelry and scrubbing-brushes.